I’M ENCOUNTERING THE SAME ISSUE from before, that there aren’t too many things in New Orleans that can go “on the record,” but now I have the added weight of time — that is, there is none. It’s been all 12 hour workdays and 6+ hour work-weekend-days, little to write about but writing itself, and since I’m not Charlie Kaufman, I won’t bother.
My biggest and “best” experience remains the one that occurred on my first Saturday night here. I learned, very emphatically, that alcohol impairs both judgment and motor skills, and this can be good if one’s motor skills are too impaired to allow one to do the things his impaired judgment makes him desire. I’m speaking hypothetically, not from a very lucid recollection that when the time came to make really terrible decisions, I stood up and fell face-first into a wall.
Here are two additional classic moments from that evening:
“Let me show you my friend who gave me this bracelet from Haiti,” she said, as she took out her iPhone and flipped through photos. “Here’s her. Here’s her again. Here’s… oops! That’s my pussy!”
“I’ve got really bad heartburn. And my tooth hurts,” she said.
“Maybe you shouldn’t be drinking so much Grey Goose and pineapple juice.”
“It’s not good for my heartburn, but it helps my teeth.”
“I’m not sure about that.”
I’d love to provide context, but that might prevent me from holding public office, or private office, or ever working in an office, or ever working again. I don’t know what I’d do in that case; lately it’s been nothing but work. Fortunately, work’s paying off.
I’M IN A BIT OF a bind with regards to what I can write about New Orleans.
I’ve been working on an independent film alongside some of the most talented people ever assembled (At our budget? With my experience? You bet!). The project’s gone so smoothly so far that people on their tenth or fifteenth feature have commented that “everything’s falling into place like it’s fate.” But if you want to write about interesting or exciting things — which I do — that’s a problem. I’ve heard some juicy Hollywood gossip while scouting locations, but that’s all, and to repeat it would be unprofessional. The most I can reveal is that yes, Clint Eastwood is a badass.
In between, I had another one of those “reevaluate your life” type of experiences. It made my date from hell story seem like a day at the DMV. Here are two choice quotes, of many:
“I’m anemic. My doctor told me to chew ice because it has protein.”
“Don’t you want to rub this on my chocolate clit?” (My answer? “Uh… yes, I do. But I don’t think I’m drunk enough yet.” And I never was.)
The best parts of that evening were, as you could guess, unrepeatable. I texted M_____ the next day: “I crossed a lot of lines last night.” His reply: “Those lines are completely arbitrary anyway.” My reply: “You’re a great enabler.”
The person I revealed the most detail to was Pete, and even he heard a series of semi-exaggerations:
I WROTE A SHORT STORY some years back that now seems strangely apt…
A writer wants to write a true crime novel about the psyche of a killer. In order to get the details right — the adrenaline rushes, the paranoia and sleepless nights — he decides he actually has to kill somebody. So he does. But he doesn’t feel anything out of the ordinary. Disposing of the body is as routine as taking out the trash. So he tries again. Still, he feels nothing. This goes on for some time, a lengthy trial and error process in which half his neighborhood winds up dead, before he realizes he was a psychopathic murderer the whole time, just one who hadn’t acted on it. But once he came up with an excuse — the “authentic” true crime novel — away he went.
The premise of this site has lately been as follows: “uptight, well-reared twenty-something from Connecticut meets blue-collar, big city living,” featuring such adventures as Mike goes to a Lucha Libre match in East LA, Mike goes to an Ozzy Osbourne concert, Mike plays Bingo on a date in a dive bar, and Mike goes to strip clubs (yes, strip clubs).
I try to write about these things with the detachment of an outsider but one thought keeps recurring: this shit is fun. Maybe I should’ve been doing it the whole time. What was I doing instead? Reading fine literature, being trained classically in piano and voice, writing and acting and attending theatrical performances. I still do some of those things, but my palette has expanded. That’s where football comes in.
I USED TO BE ONE of those men of mystery you hear so much about.
After I split — amicably — with my last girlfriend, she complained, only half joking, “It’s not fair! You know all my embarrassing secrets and I don’t know anything about you!” We’d been together three and a half years, a long time to know nothing about someone. If being mysterious is an art, that was my masterpiece.
But after she left, something changed. Suddenly I wanted everyone to know everything.
Blame it on writers like Bukowski or Henry Miller, comedians like Louis C.K., Artie Lange, and Jim Norton, all of whom create brutally honest work based mostly or entirely on the sordid details of their own lives. There’s nothing more seductive to a blogger in our narcissistic age of ME! than knowing that Miller’s Tropic of Cancer is considered “one of the ten or twenty great novels of our century” (Norman Mailer) and “a book which […] might restore our appetite for fundamental realities” (Anais Nin). Why? It’s about bumming around, getting drunk, and sleeping with whores — not being derogatory toward women; I’m referring to actual prostitutes. Plus, his stories are, if what I hear is true, true. Henry Miller is Tucker Max if Tucker Max wrote like Walt Whitman.
So I’ve been stocking this website with truth these past few months, hoping to restore appetites for fundamental realities and going to some pretty dark places in the process. But a little over two weeks ago, I had a strange experience. I didn’t feel good writing about it and I didn’t feel good having people read about it, and even knowing it had happened made me feel ill at ease. There was so much comedic potential waiting to be unleashed but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Then I remembered something: you don’t get consideration for Norman Mailer’s “Top 20″ list by holding back. So I won’t, consequences be damned. To quote a t-shirt I once saw Stephen Malkmus wearing in an old Pavement publicity photo: “FUCK ART. LET’S DANCE.” Shall we?