I can rest in the fact that no matter how far I sink in my life or how much I accomplish, to someone, I will always be “that kid who writes for that gay magazine”.
It was the second time the filmmaker Harmony Korine had called me such an extremely public forum, the first having been an “Apple Store” reception for his previous film, Mister Lonely.
This time it was at a Q+A at the New York Film Festival, interrupting a question I had asked, rather stupidly, about the connection between Korine’s new film Trash Humpers and Waiting for Godot, the play by Samuel Beckett.
“Are you that kid who writes for that gay magazine?” Korine asked me.
“Dunno, you that guy who gave me that fake interview?” I replied.
Dennis Lim, a film critic for the Times and Voice who was also the interviewer, adjusted his glasses not knowing what to think.
For those of you who want some vintage Feitellian criticism, here is the original article, pulled from the artist’s website, which was just basically Harmony Korine feeding me a bunch of bullshit as I wrote about my personal connection to his work. It was a pretty good article for me, one of my last for the place I used to write.
And as a point of reference, it was a gay newspaper, not a magazine.
Still, it led to some funny jokes as Korine summarily dismissed my question, which seemed to puzzle Lim as well, after recognizing me and moving on.
Afterward he was nice enough to say hi to me though he never watched the DVD I’d given him over a year ago. Ah well. He asked if I had another one that he would take a look at it, but I was DVD-less and his BFF David Blaine was there to hang out with them.
Overall, that was a good night, as nights at the New York Film Festival Student Rush Line often are.
I managed to get tickets, showing up early enough, while observing the people around me.
Inspired by the crowd, I sent what was the first communication to Jonny-Jon-Jon I’d sent in a month which was something along the lines of:
“If you are looking for atttractive/willing hipster girls who might dig your aesthetic, might I suggest the Student Rush line for Trash Humpers?”
No reply, but later Chadd and Bryan of the Last Pictures crew showed up to pick up some Mexican food and wait in line with me.
By the end of the evening and the performances, as we headed out past obsessive Blaniacs, hording the magician for an autograph, the three of us had our own takes:
Chadd hated it for Korine’s bullshit, Bryan thought it complimented his mild buzz and I thought it was Korine’s best movie, a meditation on American/Midwestern pointlessness.
One thing was for sure, by the end of the evening, Chadd and Bryan weren’t too happy with me.
Since I was blowing nose near them, the entire evening.
Whenever I get sick, I try to write it off for a while.
“Allergies.” I think. “A sore throat.”
Whatever I had, it wasn’t swine flu, which I had had this summer and which was discernible via the achiness one experiences throughout their body.
No, the days just drag on as symptoms persist with mornings offering hope of recovery, stifled candle-like by evenings, thick with mucuousy goo.
I went to a seminar at my internship today only to have to get up every 10 minutes to run next door to the kitchen to grab a paper towel (with both hands, otherwise it won’t come down) to blow on vainly, to temporarily open my nasal passages and rid myself of anything egregious that will probably just regrow itself in minutes.
Not a good thing to do around a Co-Executive Producer.
But I came in sick a bunch of days to work this week, because I actually enjoy my work and I feel like I’m making enough of it, sitting down to talk with crew members, people nice enough and generous enough with their time to indulge a questioning dude such as myself.
Something I keep on hearing is something that still the most difficult thing for me to do, which is to take seriously the most menial of the tasks I am assigned.
Restocking a refrigerator or straightening up a kitchen might not seem difficult, but knowing what and what not to recycle can prevent embarrassment in front of your boss.
Sniffling all the way doesn’t help, but I’m motivated, thinking at least I’m doing something, at least, at least.
One thing my work and my outside life have in common though is the pressure to get a haircut.
Getting one is a process of pushing past procrastination for me, complicated by the fear that my hair will never grow back again.
I tend to find semi-legitimacy in excuses that I discover for not cutting my hair: I’m in a play, I’m in a web video, people find it funny or remarkable.
The last bit is important, because just like my demeanor and my attitude, my hair feels like a signifier to me, something that makes me uniquely me.
It’s how Dan Pleck found me on the subway the other day, how Harmony Korine recognized me, or Aviva, on the night I met my girlfriend.
That said, there’s such a thing as too much hair, that clouds my vision or obscures my face.
“Eyes.” a fellow said at my work the other day, as I showed him what I planned for the cut. “I just realized you have eyes. It was impossible for me to tell otherwise.”
But then again, growing my hair is an indulgence and cutting is giving something up, leaving something behind, growing up again, in a small and most insignificant way.
When I started my relationship with Eva, still nascent, I worried that the fulfillment inherent in that would turn off inside of me the basis of my writing: complaints stemming from my own ineptitude.
But mostly what I’ve discovered, is that in shelving that section of my creative inspiration (that is: single unhappiness), I’ve discovered all the other things in life I can still complain about.
(Like being sick.)
(Or getting your gay publication you used to work for mixed up.)
I guess the moral is to have confidence in myself, who I am and my character, that I’d be recognizable and still me without the ‘fro.
But it’s a leap of faith.
And as Jonny-Jon-Jon once told me, “you don’t do leaps of faith, you do rope ladders from the roofs of flooded houses onto rescue copters.”
Articulate, if nothing else, I suppose.
For the first time in a while, what with the heyday of my internship, I find myself with something unexpected: downtime.
Which, again was something else that used to motivate this blog.
With four days of work a week, plus a wonky compromise for the fifth, I thought my days of bored insanity behind me.
But with job interviews, festival applications, unanswered emails and video games yet to be completed, I should have known better.
There’s always a downtime-in-waiting.
And so, I return.