I went on a date the other day. We can call it a first date though it could also just as easily be known as a last date because I highly doubt I will ever see her again. In fact, I can even imagine a scenario where she would send me a very expletive and CAPS LOCK filled text message if she ever has the misfortune of stumbling across this particular editorial.
“I may have a lot of problems, but at least I can grow a magnificent beard.”
Seeing as I live in the terrible abscess of culture and art that is Central New Jersey, I don’t often get the chance to do simple things like go to museums, take DJ classes, or go to the movies. (There are plenty of opportunities for having deep metaphysical conversations with trees, so if you’re into that you should come hang out with me in my woods.) The closest movie theaters are about 45 minutes away if you drive the speed limit or an hour away if you spent a considerable amount of time living abroad and are now afraid of automobiles. (Everything just moves so fast now!)
Unless you’ve seen me naked sometime in the past three years, you probably don’t know about the giant homage to Princess Mononoke that adorns my stomach. I’m a relatively inconspicuous young man, my most notable other features being a thick, scraggly beard and a pair of extremely plump red lips, so most seem to be a little surprised when I take off my shirt and they are faced with a piece of art that takes up approximately 50% of my torso.
The first time I watched Titanic also happened to be the first time I saw a pair of large naked boobs staring at me onscreen. They were Kate Winslet’s large naked boobs, of course. I was a confused young boy of nine sitting in the corner of the very first row of a Central New Jersey theater: my father to my right, my older sister to my left, and me and a rapidly mounting sense of awkwardness in the middle.
(Ahh… should I look? Should I not look? What’s everyone else doing? Oh god, something is happening in my pants!)
Fifteen or so years later I found myself again watching Titanic in a completely sold out theater, but this time from the corner of the last row, with very different company and about as far away from New Jersey as one can get without either burrowing to the Earth’s core or flying to the moon.
So, you want to meet my mother you say? Sure, sure I think we can arrange that. You’ll have to find that bastion of liberalism that she and my father live upon. It’s a hill overlooking a small pond and two fields in the middle of the cow and horse and chicken and Republican country of Central New Jersey. Oh, it’s beautiful – no doubt about that – and what it lacks in nearby facilities that would entertain a teenager, it more than makes up for with its beautiful seclusion and the leafy trees that hide my childhood home from the neighbors for about three quarters of the year.
Bite my lip and burrow my sweaty palms in the pockets of my pants and wipe clean the evidence (though scant may it be to onlookers) that damns me for letting words spill out of my mouth that are not direct truths, but carefully composed misdirections.
Keep it clean. Keep it simple. Keep it safe.
Focus on the trivialities. Keep your eyes averted.
Control. Control. Control.
How many nights have I fallen into her trap? She glistens under a spotlight moon, the sparkles in her hair send beams bouncing around the room and into the eyes and hearts of a thousand desperate men, and none more desperate than I.
Of course, there are many mixtapes I’ve made over the years, and I can’t help but diving back into this topic.
So, let’s take a look at some of my Greatest Hits over the years. I have lost some of my mixes, but they were mostly shitty anyway so I’m not too worried about that.
Gangsta Grande Grillz GRIP GRIP GRIP GRIP – For most of my mixtapes, a bizarre and unnecessarily long title is usually present. This is a 51 song playlist that I made based on news there would be a way to play music at the after party of my sister’s wedding.
My bathroom reading for the past week or so has been Cassette From My Ex which, coincidentally, was also the last new book I bought. I’ve always had a bit of a propensity for making mixtapes (for this entire piece just know I use mixtape as a synonym for playlist even though there are some differences) or lists of any kind and I purchased the book a few months before my trip to Asia. I guess I was feeling nostalgic about the past (when am I not feeling nostalgic?), and a collection of short stories about music, ex-loves, and mixtapes seemed mighty appealing.
I assume it is because yesterday I went on my first bike ride of the new year and not as a result of some sort of violent sexual assault that happened after I went to sleep last night. I was visiting some friends of mine, so you never know.
We headed to a local bar (local for them, just a bar for me) and had a drink and watched the middle-aged cover band play songs so the middle-aged crowd would have an excuse to sway their hips and lift their feet and move their elbows and hands in the rhythmic motions most commonly known as ‘dancing.’
So, I’m supposed to start a new weekly editorial series in a couple weeks. I’ll have a platform to write just about whatever I want as long as I can somewhat relate it to film. Or, at least that’s what I’m hoping for, but it remains to be seen if that becomes reality. I have these warped ideas of what I will write about, and it is possible (read: very likely) they will all be denied and I will be forced to resort to writing the same kind of film analysis as the other “film critics” or else be kicked out entirely.