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Refuge for the rational.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Your Mother Should Know 

I used to know this guy named Aaron when I was crazy and I could never figure out why I hated him so much. I knew that it was partly because he had an attitude towards my negativity that I saw as morally superior. I don’t remember what we used to fight about, but he used to say things like “you know, people do care”, and it would always make me feel guilty and confused. Now I realise that I still hate him, but this time my reasons are different.

I’ve watched a lot of biographies about Marilyn Monroe. She’s quite fascinating. Despite her usually ditzy roles in films and her voice to match, she was highly intelligent and fought for more challenging roles. After she committed suicide, they found a fairly sophisticated library in her house. Another fascinating thing about her is the men she was involved with; I’ve heard it said that part of the attraction was the fact that she was damaged goods. Beautiful, intelligent, sweet and fucking nuts. I think people like to think they can save people like that.

In retrospect, I know that this is true. That’s why I hated and still hate Aaron. There was some kind of attraction to the craziness for him. He pretended there wasn’t, but he was so much more focused on it than I was. I suppose next to me, he could try to look saner.

I also know this is true because all the men I dated at that time were the same as Aaron. I could never figure out why they were so stupid for me; I was, after all, far younger than them. They all seemed to fit a similar profile: They were graduate students or “professionals”, they had “grown-up” friends who seemed painfully prudent to me, and they all seemed pre-occupied with my nuttiness. They took me to the symphony and out to dinner at nice restaurants and bought me things I didn’t really want, and when I decided I was getting too close to trophy-wifing it, they would try to “keep in touch” for months and even years after. A naïve person would claim that it was all about the sex, but Marilyn and I know better. They just couldn’t have a nervous breakdown on their own.

That character is so prevalent in our society. You young salesmen, students, artists, lawyers and engineers—you’re all the same. And Salinger was so right about you.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Dear Freaky Vampire Boy, 

The thing is, I tried really hard to be nice to you. And there are good reasons for that—I didn’t giggle behind your back because I don’t think it’s wrong that you should find me attractive. I also hate when people do that—I’ve had it done to me—it isn’t a crime to desire involvement with someone.

The problem is that you are really creepy. You crossed the line a long time ago, and I’m not sure that it would even be visible if you turned around and looked for it. Because you clearly don’t know that you’ve crossed it, and you clearly can’t read body language, and you clearly don’t get that my valiant efforts at not hurting your feelings are being thwarted by your persistent and masochistic insistence that we are somehow fated to be together.

The first time you approached me, I thought you were going to ask me to go to a movie with you. I think that would be the most fitting approach for a fellow film student. I wasn’t really sure what the approach would entail so I decided to prevent it altogether. I tried to do you a favour, to save you the rejection. I made a phone call—surely you remember? “I just have to make a quick phone call before break is over.” And that call went to the person I’m involved with—perhaps it was too subtle?

You must have rationalised it, twisted it until the person on the other end became my sister, because you persisted. You told me you woke up one day and just decided to start a film company. And then you told me you believed in signs. Eeek.

You told me I looked like some B-movie actress, except “hit with the sex-kitten stick”. You told me that she had been your inspiration in creating the one and only character that you have yet to cast in your film. I asked you what the genre of the film was and you told me it was a vampire love story (eeek), and I almost asked if it was a comedy, until I saw that you were serious. Then you told me my character was the queen of the vampires and I nearly shot snot out of my nose.

The next time you approached me, everything I had said in class was recited back to me, and had been interpreted as some kind of sign. A lot of people like Ewen MacGregor (he’s kind of, like, famous you know), it doesn’t mean you can use his shitty new movie as an excuse to take me on a date. And considering my reaction to your film idea, it shouldn’t have shocked you when I responded to your second request with a speech about artistic ethics. I told you that I didn’t consider myself ready to pursue an acting career at the moment and that I didn’t ever want to be cast for appearances because that would stunt my progress in attaining a genuine artistic practice. I told you I despised bad art, that formulaic art was a waste of time, that Wilde and I were in utter disagreement, but that I loved him just the same. I thought this was a fairly plain negative answer. Your confusion surrounding this issue should have acted as somewhat of a guiding light to the fact that we aren’t meant to be together.

It’s so kind of you to share your intimate knowledge of the universe with me. I, clearly, have been wasting my entire life up until this moment and should gladly discard my life, passions, interests, intellect, values and pursuits to fulfil the personality that you’ve assigned me. You made it quite clear that my boyfriend was not the one I was meant to be with when he came to visit me. You made a special effort to glare at him and stare at my ass that day.

Last week you made an extra-special effort to try to get closer to me by cornering one of the people I sit with in class. He was very impressed. I’m sure he didn’t mind being late for class, the subject of ME being so important and all.

Today, I was just annoyed. I didn’t make any effort to be polite. You asked me for my email address and I asked you why. I think it’s a fair question. We haven’t exactly engaged in any riveting conversation or interesting film analysis. You can’t possibly think I’m interested in you sexually. I’ve expressed my disinterest in appearing as the queen of the vampires in your lame movie. So why? Because you have some questions. Oh? Yeah, about the role in the film.
That’s what my body said, I know because M witnessed it. I said nothing—I couldn’t get out a complete sentence. I started to say something like “I can’t believe you’re still on about this”, but I was so unbelievably dumbfounded that you could be so utterly stupid that I just walked away.

I tried really hard to be polite, but the funny thing is, the more you pursue this, the more repugnant you become. The more I want to say the awful, rude, cold-hearted things.

I know what you’re thinking. That I’m going to regret this when you become a famous director. That I’m going to dream about what my horrible life could have been like if only I’d been capable of seeing your genius. Here’s a hint: real directors get their education before attempting to write and direct a film. Whether in school or elsewhere, it’s kind of a vital part of not making a hack film.

Do you think that if you corner me I’m going to give in to you? How are you going to wow me? Do you have a few Shakespearean sonnets saved up? Are you hoping that I haven’t noticed that you wear the same horrible outfit every day—black Adidas track pants and an oversized button-down shirt with a blue and red dragon on it? Do you think AXE body spray really makes women go mad with desire?

I’m quite done with being nice to you. It obviously isn’t working. Tomorrow is the last day of class. I suggest you don’t ask me any questions because I can’t promise that I won’t say something really nasty.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

What Freedom? 

I can think of so many ways I could smuggle numerous weapons onto the plane. This isn’t so restrictive. Where are all the bomb-sniffing dogs? I could snort coke in the bathroom and no one would ever know. Gives new meaning to the mile high club.

Now this is the worst part. Through security and waiting for the announcement. I’m in the back of the plane; they’re going to call me last. The children and the special needs go first. Then the first class people—rich people move so slowly. They call me last but there are still people adjusting their luggage and taking up space in the aisle when I get there. I eye each and every one of them and wonder how anyone could want to blow up a plane with such a multitude of harmless brats and car salesman fathers. They wouldn’t, I guess. They would get on the plane and look at the non-threatening people and they would think, so what? What government would care about these people? They would fly all the way to the end and then they would board a flight full of business people and oil executives and politicians and they would blow up that plane. That’s the one that they would blow up. Maybe if I’m really nice to everyone who gets on the plane, that will help. Then, if one of them is a terrorist they will know that I don’t deserve to die. I’m nice and I have things to do.

I’m in my seat now, still musing over whether or not it would be worthwhile for them to blow up this plane. Surely someone would catch them at the gate—there was one guy complaining that they wouldn’t let him take the Swiss army knife his dad bought him onto the plane. If he were really dangerous, he probably would have stuck it up his ass.

I could fight someone with a box-cutter anyway. What could they do? They’d have to be pretty precise to hit the jugular, and that’s really the only way they could do any damage. I’d ask to go to the bathroom…”excuse me Mr. terrorist, but I need to pee”…and then I’d grab something and sneak up behind him and get him. They don’t give out knives anymore, but what about that wire that holds together the magazine flap? Whaddya call that? Or I could use the piece of cloth that ties the curtain back. Just get it around his neck and take him down—I’d have to pull pretty hard. There are a lot of things that would work, probably. So, I should probably just relax.

Unless he had a bomb strapped under his shirt. He couldn’t get that past security, could he? Someone would surely notice the bulge—how big are they? No one patted me down—but maybe they know what terrorists look like. They must just go for the ones who look like terrorists.

These seats are smaller than I remember. My hands are sweating so I adjust the air, but all it does is blow a steady irritating stream at the top of my head. I wonder if the terrorists are sweating. I wonder if they are nervous, if they are afraid to die. I wonder how they said goodbye to their friends and family. I wonder how it feels to know when your last moment will be. I don’t want to know, but I wonder.

How far do they let you get? Do you get to the end of the flight, think that everything is ok and you’re finally there and the hotel room is going to be a blessing and you will order a cheeseburger through room service and get some pay per view porn and call your lover long distance and go to bed early and get a good nights sleep and set the alarm and wake up ready to start the day in unfamiliar territory? And then something terrible happens? Or are you mid flight and there are people watching the movie who take a little longer to realise that something is happening? Is anyone on this plane a fire fighter? Do fire fighters know how to disassemble bombs?

Flying makes me nervous. Next time I’m going to drive. Or maybe a boat—how long would it take to get to England on a boat? I’d like to go to England one day, but I don’t think I will fly. I won’t take the subway either, that’s way too risky. England is cold though, and I would like to go somewhere warm. I couldn’t go to a country that wasn’t free though, even though those countries are warm. Like those countries that all the terrorists come from. They hate our freedom, and that’s why they want to blow us up. Freedom, sweet freedom.

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