Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tiger Hunting in the 1940's

I'm experiencing wild mood swings. Not like my long standing manic depressive style, but hour to hour, which I can only attribute to my fever. Like, one minute I feel that cold claw of depression on the back of my neck, highlighting the pointlessness of a day spent trapped in bed and why would you go out anyway it is as grey as London out there. The early DuPonts were known to have said they chose to settle along the Brandywine because it was reminiscent of their French Countryside, and I guess Chateaux Country still holds that feeling, but as I look out the third floor window of my flat I feel like I reside in the British Isles somewhere. Not as much as when we lived at Delaware Circle in Newark though... our backyard looked just like the Young One's! But then the next minute I am inexplicably overjoyed over any little thing. Utter contentment just knowing that the Phillies are playing tonight or that I might put on my New York Dolls "All Dolled Up" DVD.

Not lending to a healthy mindset in anyway, I just watched "The Science of Sleep" on HBO. It's by Michael Condrey who did "Dave Chapelle's Block Party" and "Be Kind Rewind" but most notably "Eternal Sunshine." I really liked that movie ("Eternal Sunshine" that is). I was nearing the end of a relationship with my college girlfriend when I saw it. She loved me very much and I was an alcoholic punk rocker, which, though very cool, was not at all conducive to nurturing a relationship. Anyway we had alot of good and dramatic times and the "Eternal Sunshine" choked me up, but good. "Science of Sleep" is equally as disconcerting, but in a different way. It's about this dude who kinda reminds me of Sandro B. He was also the actor who played Che Guevera in "Motorcycle Diaries." Anyway, he is an illustrator who moves to France to get a job after his father's death in Mexico. He is mentally unstable in that overly creative sort of way. He has a very hard time distinguishing between his dreams and waking life, and his dreams are portrayed throughout the movie in a visually stimulating puppet world. So, he falls in love with his neighbor Stephanie, who is unique and unconventionally attractive and French and some sort of crafts genius. His awkward and amazing overtures for her affection work rather well, such as making her a present of a "one-second time machine" which allows you to go one second forward or back in time and really works, and mechanizing this puppet pony she has so it can gallop about. She has feelings for him, but holds back a bit, which he can't take, constantly breaking down and acting out. For instance, at a party in his honor for getting his cartoon illustrations of disasters published in calendar form, she refuses to hold his hand and dances with a dirty Frenchman, causing him to get plastered, drinking right from the tap. When he is passed out drunk, she tells him she loves him. But he (his name is Stephan by the way) don't know that and spazzes on her the next time they meet, furious for making him feel so insecure. She asks him out on their first proper date so they can discuss everything, but on the way he encounters a vision that tells him she stood him up and will never care for him, which he believes and runs to her apartment to confront her, even though she is at the cafe waiting to meet him for their date. He slams her apartment door asking how she could forget about him and runs into it, busting his head wide open. At this point in the film I had become pretty sure that in no way was he going to end up with her, even ambiguously. He pretty much decides the same and prepares to move back to Mexico, but upon his mother's insistence he goes to say goodbye to Stephanie. She is receptive to a good good-bye and notes that they have unresolved issues. Stephan however can't deal as usual and makes crass jokes about her boobs and insults her crooked French teeth. She asks him to leaves but instead climbs into her bed and convulses when she won't touch his hair until he sees, nooked away in her bed, his gift of the "one second time machine" and a project of her's he had assisted with earlier, a felt boat with trees in it, adrift on a cellophane sea. He instantly is asleep and they ride the giant mechanized pony to the boat and sail away with her embracing him. And that is how the movie ends. When he wakes up maybe she'll have the cops there or maybe they'll do it, but that is my American Detroit Greaser mentality and I'm sure neither of those would have happened, but we'll never know. The whole thing was like a cinematic Belle and Sebastian album, and unlike "Storytelling" the actual cinematic Belle and Sebastian album, this one didn't suck. (Really, Todd Solonz, "Welcome to the Dollhouse" was awesome and everything else has been total crap.) So all that swung my mood somewhere weird, and I have a fever and the flu.

The last time I had the flu was the Blizzard of '96. It was early January 1996 and there was a school dance at Sallies. I decided to go home with my best friend and bass player in Ninja Attak, Brendan "Huffer" Huffman afterwards and spend the night. Little did we know that it would snow five feet that night and I would be snowed in for days. Now, it was all good and I love the Huffman clan, but they aren't the kind of family to have Pepsi reserves in case of blizzard, or to have soda at all of any kind, so we were running shy on supplies, and I was without any nasal decongestant spray to which I was already addicted, and we slept in the furnished basement which was wildly drafty. We wiled the days away watching Ramones videos, writing songs and watching "the Seven Samurai" and one night something significant happened. So, Brendan and my girlfriends were best friends too. In fact, it was at Heather King's sixteenth birthday party in Mullica Hill, New Jersey the previous August that Bren and I, and Pam and Bridget were attending that afterwards I told that Huffer that I "like-liked' Bridget and in fact was gonna ask her out. I talked about this night with my man Toddy last week or so and he commented that that was the night my life began. And in a way he is absolutely correct. Just as the Bible talks about how Jesus was born to die and fulfill the prophecies, I began that night my process of fulfilling the prophecies of the Mr. T Experience and Plow United, and all previous experiences of the '93 Phils and Aerosmith concerts and Mandies became Old Testament. So, an epic (in my eyes) occured between Heather's b-day and that night snowed in at Huffer's, but that's neither here nor there. The important thing was that night after Brendan talked to Pam, the phone was handed to me and Bridget awkwardly broke up with me. This badge of honor would define me and undoubtedly added to my punk rockedness over the next year plus, and by the time the snow had melted and Bren's parents met my parents at the Churchman's Borders parking lot to get me home, I had the flu, back to my own drafty basement and my own Lookout Records tales of doomed romance that I now fully understood.

I've listened to so much punk rock and other music since then, I have no one emotions set for any records. That is, I can't be like, I have the flu and and drafty and it is shitty out so I'll put on "Our Bodies Ourselves" or I am happy and carefree and it is perfect out so I'll put on "Maniacal Laughter". The way my synapse fire in response to music is a complex tapestry indeed, and there is only one cure-all, one never-fail, double-fudge, thin crust motherfucker band, and that is the Ramones. But I am and artist, and when I paint my neurosystem with music, I don't just use the best or I'd get a similar result every time, and that's hardly stimulating. So... fuck it, I'm putting on the Ramones.

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