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solitary man [userpic]

It's 4 a.m. in Glen Rock, NJ but . . .

December 28th, 2007 (03:52 am)

current mood: anxious
current song: You're the Good Things - Modest Mouse

Things are the best they've ever been. 

The best they'll ever get.

solitary man [userpic]

My phone rings every night at precisely 11 p.m.

November 6th, 2007 (01:43 pm)

current mood: worried
current song: Shine a Light - Wolf Parade

I've been thinking a lot about what it would be like to wake up one morning, completely alone, forced to be independent in the most painfully literal sense. Independence has always been such an exciting and empowering prospect for me. Now it just seems terrifying. Today, I called my parents only to say "I love you" for the first time in years. I should do that more often. I should give a shit more often. I have my whole adult life to be independent. Now is the time to celebrate DEPENDENCE, while it's still an option. Mom and Dad aren't immortal like I once believed. My family is around me all the time but I'm starting to realize how ignorant I've been. The fact that it took the misfortune of a friend to remind me of this is starting to really fuck with my head. I don't like where I am right now but I don't know how to change. I feel sick to my stomach all day just thinking about how disgusting a person I have become.

solitary man [userpic]

How did I get here?

August 25th, 2007 (04:17 am)
current mood: indescribable
current song: "Yeah! Oh yeah!" - The Magnetic Fields

I've been working on a film in Manhattan for a few weeks now. How the fuck did all of this happen in a few weeks? I've met industry assholes, two of the nicest guys I've ever had the privilege of knowing, an ignorant yet strangely compassionate mentor, and a girl. Ah yes, a girl. I'm back in the dating scene, and it has reminded me of the reasons I love having a girlfriend and the reasons I hate being involved. It's complicated. Fuck, I don't even understand most of it. I like her though, and it's nice to have someone around with whom I can share these surreal moments and who manages to get me through 16 hour work days.

Last night on the set, she turned to me and whispered in my ear, "I don't want to be here but somehow you make everything seem alright. I'm happy standing next to you. I don't expect the same in return, but I wanted you know that I appreciate you and that the mere idea of spending time with you makes this whole fucking job worthwhile." How can you walk away from that? It's tough and there are a lot of really daunting possibilities for the future that make me question how to proceed. I hate thinking about it so I put it off.

Luke is the funniest and kindest guy I have ever met. He's 7 years older than me, but, for some reason, chooses to spend all his spare time with me during work. Tonight, he asked me if I wanted to drive with him to Atlantic City at 3:30 am. Just the two of us, gambling and drinking all morning. I couldn't make it, but his offer was so bittersweet. It feels amazing to have gained a friend like him, but at the same time, it's painful to think about how he should be spending time with his older friends. I feel like I'm holding him back in some way. We've become very close, very quickly. It hasn't sunk in yet. I hope we remain as close after the shoot, because I've never connected with someone his age so quickly and perfectly. Tomorrow night, the two of us are bar-hopping around Brooklyn all night.

I don't know how I managed to get here - to be the youngest member of a 200-person crew, getting a nice paycheck, learning about the industry so rapidly, gaining experience by the second. Tonight, after a long shoot filled with orders, insults, and physical torture, Brett smiled, pulled me in, and hugged me. "Thank you," he said. "If anyone, ANYONE, ever gives you shit or treats you unfairly, you come to me immediately and I will break their fucking face. You, Spencer, and Luke mean more to me than anyone else on this crew. I know you think I'm crazy, but I care about you and recognize how amazing you have been. I will always have your back, you hear me? Always."

I stared in disbelief at our embrace and his compassion. He laughed and said, "Welcome to the business."

solitary man [userpic]

The in-betweens are killing me

July 17th, 2007 (02:07 am)

current mood: lazy
current song: We're Just Friends - Wilco

You know that feeling you get when you meet someone and you automatically picture yourself having an excruciatingly perfect future with them? It never turns out as good as you imagined, but right now (in my head) things are looking too goddamn blissful to predict the comedown. It's the anti-safety device. The ultimate chink in my armor. Back to my old ways again - a typical summer in Glen Rock for me. I know what comes next, but it feels frighteningly good for now.

solitary man [userpic]

If you ask me, Kim is pretty badass

July 13th, 2007 (01:56 am)

current mood: refreshed
current song: Things I Don't Remember - Ugly Cassanova

Tonight, I had a few beers with Kim Addonizio at the bar of a divey poet's house in the Bowery. It was just us, her daughter (who is a stunning and incredibly honest girl), two stragglers who kept to themselves, and the employees. She told me that it's good to ignore most people and love a select few endlessly. She told me to save my shitty writing and scrutinize it, learn from it, remember it. She told me to share my good writing with everyone who is willing to listen, but bear in mind that it is flawed - "treat everything as if it is unfinished, otherwise growth is impossible." She told me to stay in New York as long as it is physically possible. She told me to adore happiness and sadness equally for what they have to offer. She told me not to listen to her advice, but rather to remember our conversation as an anecdote, possibly one that is meaningless. "I mean, what the hell do I know?" she said, laughing to herself. 

We talked about critics and one-night stands and cigarettes and the definition of success. She was so generous, conversing with me much longer than she needed to, far past the point of common courtesy. Then, she bought me a shot that would "make the subway ride home a lot more enjoyable." It was surreal and comfortable and bittersweet, all at the same time. It was nice to at least pretend that I met a new friend. I felt totally fulfilled for the first time in a long while. Pretty sure I'm also in love.

solitary man [userpic]

Oh what a night

July 8th, 2007 (04:28 pm)

current mood: giddy
current song: Slow Hands - Interpol

When I got to Atlantic City, I was expecting to get drunk, lose money, laugh at the clientele, smoke indoors, and go home. That is exactly what happened the entire first day... until I decided to do something ridiculous. I was alone in the casino bar, listening to a shitty DJ blend together shitty pop songs into a shitty dance mix. I flirted with the waitress, a surprisingly intelligent, classically (gasp!) pretty girl from a local community college who accepted my subtle invitation to exchange playful insults. I talked to a group of twenty-somethings who roadtripped from Austin to get smashed and throw their money away. It was refreshing to hear their regretful confession: "We realized upon arrival that we did not, in fact, want to indulge in the AC culture and had made a gigantic, cross-country mistake." The waitress waltzed my way and sat down on the barstool next to me. She played with my hair (hoping for a big tip) and then asked me about New York (hoping for some inside information), the city she wished to make her home yet had, somehow, never visited. 
"You really never checked it out? It's so close, though." I checked my watch. "You could be scoping out apartments there by the convenient hour of... 4:30 am!"
"I just moved here last semester from Santa Monica. Haven't got a chance to venture that far yet. But if you have a car here, then we should get moving if we're gonna make your 4:30 ETA." She got up and mocked movement toward the parking lot, pulling me off my seat with both hands. I laughed/blushed as we wrestled in the crowded bar, onlookers either smiling or whispering to their friends to partake in the voyeurism. I set her back in her seat, and we caught our breath. She rested her head on my knee and pushed my chest to propel herself back up. "What are you doing later?" she asked, still panting.
"Don't really know," I said.
"Well you should check out the club on the second level. Just opened. It's not as trashy as the techno bullshit one over there." She motioned to an enormous megaclub located on the opposite side of the casino that was currently swallowing meatheads and Barbies one by one. "I gotta go back to work now. I'm off at 5, sleep till 1, so hopefully I'll see you between the hours of 6 and 8 tomorrow when I loiter outside the casino and chain smoke for two hours. Look for me."
"I will. Thanks for the tip. See you tomorrow." We hugged and exchanged kisses on the cheek, and I headed for the club.

I was skeptical until I was close enough to hear "Slow Hands" playing inside. Flashed my ID. Walked in. Met a group of college students from University of Wisconsin - about 6 guys and 8 girls. Danced with some of the girls to Arcade Fire and Bloc Party and did a Jager bomb with the guys. They invited me back to their suite to drink some more. With nothing else to do at 2:30 am, I shrugged and tagged along. The suite was huge. Three bedrooms and a hot tub in the living room. These kids were fucking rich. The whole night I stared at this one girl with black hair and a blue dress. She was so goddamn beautiful, I couldn't help it. I mean she was really stunning. Even though I had inflated my confidence by way of cheap champagne, I was ambivalent about talking to her for fear that she was just another party girl in AC for the weekend. Turned out, she wasn't.
"Cary, right?" she said, handing me another drink. I looked around and thanked my lucky stars that there were other random people here who they invited to come over.
"Yeah." I faked a pensive expression. "I'm sorry, I'm really bad with names and I'm not just saying that."
"Juliette," she said and shook my hand. The way she pronounced her name tipped me off.
"Are you French?" I asked.
"Yes I am from Paris on exchange to University of Wisconsin."
"Wow. Quite a change of scenery."
"I hate it. I should have stayed in Paris. Wisconsin has a very specialized music program though. I study violin and voice."
"That's really great. Classical?"
"Both classical and contemporary. What are you studying?"
"Ugh. Film at Fordham University in Manhattan."
"You know you are wasting your parent's tuition, right? Maybe, in ten or so years, we can be homeless together."
"Deal," I said. I liked her. We talked for an hour and drank a lot. She was so fucking beautiful. Between her looks and her accent, I thought I should just propose on the floor next to the hotel bed. We chatted for 45 minutes or so.

"Think we will sleep together tonight?" Like a slap in the face she pulled this one out of her pocket.
"You know, you just said that out loud," I said after a minute of recovery.
"Oh I'm well aware." She smiled. "I'm a grown girl. I can separate my thought processes from my words. But, unlike you, I was able to say what we were both thinking. It's a skill. Takes time. You'll get there."
"I admire your candidness. You should learn to speak for yourself in social settings though. I was just now thinking about how you guys got better mints on your pillows than the ones in my hotel room. What a dirty mind you have. Creepy, in fact."
"Very nice, sir. A point awarded to you. I believe we are even, no?"
"Sounds about right." I said, fighting to keep a stupid grin off my face. I was giddy and nervous. She was more than I bargained for.
"Then, let's call it a draw and move on to more pressing concerns."
"Like what?"
"Like when you are going to stop trying to fulfill the requirements of meet-and-greet small talk and just do what you aimed to do in the first place."
"You're right. I should do what I aimed to do in the first place... steal more of your alcohol. You want anything?" I stood to refill my glass of champagne. She hopped up and blocked my path. She giggled, because she knew that I wasn't about to bow at her feet. She couldn't win the power struggle. I made sure that we had joint custody.
"You're stubborn, you know?" she inched closer.
"No, I'm just thirsty." She kissed me and pushed me onto the bed. I was officially in a romantic comedy. I would have said a Bond flick, but I would never be cast for that role. I'm much better at playing the awkwardly charming leading man whose clumsiness is somehow misinterpreted as "cute."

When we were through, she rested her arm on my chest, and we shared a clove. I couldn't stop staring at her.
"What is it?" she asked.
"You know, you are very pretty. Painfully pretty, even." The game was over, so I could be as blunt as I wanted to be.
"So you want to be a nice boy now?"
"No, just honest."
"Well, you are very handsome." She pressed her lips against my ear. "Painfully handsome." She giggled, obviously mocking me.
"Shut up." I laughed.
"I will if you kiss me again."
"I can't argue," I said. It was early morning and I had to go. "I really don't want to leave right now."
"So don't."
"But your friends want their bedroom back."
"Yes, but we are so very tired, no?" She wrapped her leg around mine tightly. "Plus, I'm not done kissing yet."
"Since when do you make the rules," I said. We giggled and made out for another half hour, taking a few cigarette breaks. I got dressed.
"Let me button your shirt." She pulled me back into the bed. "Fuck. You are so fucking cute. But I have to do something about your hair." She licked her fingers and fixed it. I felt like lying back down and sleeping next to her the whole day. I really did have to leave though. At the door, she jumped into my arms, wrapping her legs around my waist and kissing my lips and cheeks.

This will never, ever happen again. But...... it was incredibly fun. I kept thinking I should take a picture of her to remind me of what I accidentally accomplished. I left for the beach the next day. I spotted that waitress on the way out of the hotel.
"How was the club last night?"
"Not too bad. You were right."
"I don't lie," she said.
"See you in New York."
She looked at her watch. "Yeah, I can be there by 2. Just let me pack my suitcase."
"Hurry up. I have reservations for us at the Russian Tea Room at 2:30." I was back to my lame self.
"I don't drink tea." She ashed her cigarette and grinned.

solitary man [userpic]

No rest for the weary

June 12th, 2007 (03:16 am)
current mood: determined
current song: Happy to Hang Around - Travis

Sometimes, it fucking hurts. I don't care what anyone says about time healing wounds. Some scars slowly fade, but most don't fade at all. They are a part of you. Visible. Tangible. You are reminded of the stories they tell by the strangest, most mundane events.

Today I was walking through a department store. Something felt far too familiar, and I just could not place it. I couldn't even tell which of my senses was rudly awakened. A fragrance... goddamn it. As I browsed the perfume section, it hit me. I knew that scent so well. I had held it and kissed it. I had carried it with me throughout the day after a morning embrace.

It wasn't the memory that hurt. It was the realization that my scars only represent unfinished stories. Stories without conclusions that end mid-sentence. Memories forgotten by most that have somehow, cruelly, become part of me.

solitary man [userpic]

Papers and people

April 26th, 2007 (03:25 am)

current mood: tired
current song: Box of Rain - The Grateful Dead

Tonight I sat in Starbucks for four hours with Theo. We both had papers to write and things to be angry about. A crazy man harassed us, but Theo made him fear for his own life so he went away. It was scary and funny, but I was in too much of a zombie-like state to let anything affect me. I wrote about a death row inmate and thought about how one of my friends wishes her boyfriend were on death row because he ruined his own life and, consequently, her's. She (let's call her S) calls me every day. S cries every day. I have a lot of work to do, I need a job for the summer, and I recently (and regretfully) slept with one of my good friends... twice. So, the shit going on in my own life has filled me to the brim with anxiety. The shit going on with S and her boyfriend has caused my anxiety to spill over. Before the workload got heavy, I cared a lot. Every day she would call and cry and I would listen and cry. I like to think that I don't care about other people, but I do (and I'm not flattering myself purposely because I think it's pointless). When something happens to someone I know, I think about it. In high school, people would purposely keep things from me because they didn't want me to get affected. That made it worse because not knowing hurts me more. So they would inevitably spill it. My friend recently committed suicide and I thought about him a lot. When I first heard about S's boyfriend and his mistakes, I thought about her... a lot.

Now it's different. It's not that I trained myself to block out other people's issues. It's just that I can't think about them anymore. Things roll off me more easily, which is kind of nice and kind of bad too. Nice because it's easy for me to listen. Bad because all of my energy conserved for anxiety has been thrown into my own issues. I prefer to think about other people's issues because they aren't mine and because I like to hear about what is happening in other people's lives, pure and simple. Now all I think about are the things that directly affect me. Very recent phone conversations have led me to believe that my "more-than-friend" has convinced herself that she is in love with me... which I don't think is true. Problem is that I don't feel the same way and I CERTAINLY don't want to fuck around with her feelings and jeopardize the friendship. The other reason I can't commit to her is because I kind of like someone else. I get mixed signals from my prospect because we have a complicated, though short, history. I can't act on ANYTHING so I automatically polarize towards girls who make their feelings clear. She does not. Christ Almighty she DOES NOT. Despite freak mistakes in our past, she has been acting like we have to do the whole playful, pathetic, flirtation thing again. Like nothing has ever happened and no attraction has been present. Sometimes she drops obvious hints and physical signs but whenever we move to a new setting, she's 100% buddy-buddy. I like to play games but only for a short time but I think I have made it clear that I'm up for something with her. There comes a time when things need to progress, feelings need to come out, and (at least some) masks need to come off. I don't care about the power struggle after the initial encounters because, after a while, I just want to fucking know. Am I wasting my time? I don't have much of it these days so make up your mind. I sound malicious because I'm in "rant mode" but I still think that things should be laid out eventually. Dancing around the issue is incredibly fun for a time, don't get me wrong. And I don't want some sort of submissive outpouring of motives from both parties. I just want to know what terms we are on. I don't want a relationship! I need a non-committal romp and I think you want the same! Just tell me - not even verbally if you don't want to let your guard down. Tell me somehow, because right now, in my life, people are dying, overdosing, crying, and self-medicating. I don't have enough energy to stress out about petty romantic entanglements... but manage to do it anyway. So, I've got three weeks left of school in NY and 1000 term papers to write. It would be nice to have a distraction or even just to know something concrete so that I can check SOMETHING off my list. It's about time.

solitary man [userpic]

"We Were Dead" but we could still dance

March 17th, 2007 (03:33 am)

current mood: complacent
current song: Florida - Modest Mouse

Well, here goes. My first of many inevitable rants about Modest Mouse. Brace yourselves.

I like Modest Mouse and sometimes I get carried away. I'm about to do just that. The new album (due out on Mar. 20) leaked online a few days ago. It's dancy and polished and mainstream... BUT it marks a refreshing return to form in a few respects. "Spitting Venom" is nine minutes of blissful nostalgia. "Florida" is as inconsistent and passionate as any track off of This is a Long Drive. Thank God Brock got Good News out of his system and threw Epic "Float On." He has established himself as a respected and clearly marketable force in the music world. Now that Epic is confident, let the guy do whatever the fuck he wants again. We Were Dead is good, but little hints embedded in a lot of the tracks suggest that there are strings attached to Brock's strumming hand. He's as pissed off as ever. He is still frightened of death and relationships and family. He is still fascinated by the in-betweens and landscapes and empty spaces. He still refuses to trust people and hates the day-to-day routine and has no clue what to do with himself. He still abuses himself and wants you to do the same if it makes you happy. But now, instead of telling you that and playing you that, he is just telling. Marr has added some good disco licks and the Shins guy has a solid backup falsetto, but they are collaborating with a man who is screaming that you should take a moment to truly comprehend the fact that YOU WILL DIE. He celebrates the words, "Hey alright I might be goddamned!" He drinks away every concern and crisis. He is comfortable with unhappiness.

If disco beats successfully slip Brock's dirty, angry, human lyrics past the radar and into the public's brain, then more power to him. I just wish he would be ballsy enough to commit. I want the B-sides to The Lonesome Crowded West. I wish I could have the words AND the music again. For now, I'm happy to dance to his (and often my own) misery, pain, reality. Let's fucking boogie.

solitary man [userpic]

When you are sick, it is often fun to watch movies

March 9th, 2007 (01:12 am)

current mood: sick
current song: Old Man - Neil Young

I'm sick.
I have the flu and have to miss a full week of classes because my fever spiked so high that I hallucinated and blacked out. Sooo... I'm on bedrest... in New Jersey... with my parents. Judging from the manner in which my mother pours herbal supplements down my throat, artfully bathing my esophagus with a healthy splash of Vitamin Water, then raping it with an old-school mercury thermometer (because digital just cannot be trusted), any sane observer could easily confuse the reality of my current situation with the cinematic tearfest of "Brian's Song." I miss Fordham. I miss my friends. I miss New York. But I love movies, so I watched a lot of them. La-di-fucking-da. At the end of each film, I picked out which character best represents me, then cried about it, and then coughed up a lung.

First up is "Jules and Jim," a classic tale of a femme fatale who destroys the lives of two men, yet, ironically, gives them a reason to live (insert exit music). Probably the most influential film of the French New Wave. Who am I? Jules. He tortures himself by doing everything in his power to be around the deceitful whore who left him. I feel like I would probably do that. If I become obsessed, self-torture is basically my number-one priority. I like to hang around people who don't like me. I like to be attracted to people who are not attracted to me. But for some reason they never try to shoot their boyfriends, or drive off of docks for that matter. I'm crossing my fingers.

Second is "Annie Hall." If you know anything about me, it is clear that I do not identify with Woody Allen... because I AM him, minus the religious affiliation. I can never walk into a movie two minutes late and I am unable to kill giant spiders. Also, pretty much everyone I've dated has moved from New York to the west coast (or Spain... long story). Plus, I love to make elitist pop culture references and rent beach houses in the Hamptons!

Finally, "Strangers on a Train." My favorite Hitchcock. In my opinion, the tennis match scene is one of the greatest fucking thriller moments of all time. I have a sneaking suspicion that I will eventually become Farley Granger's character. Weird people talk to me. A lot. Yes, sometimes on trains. They tell me about their lives and their problems... and I never ask. One time, I was standing in line in the Fordham dining hall and the guy in front of me proceeded to tell me how he was in love with this girl. He was elated to inform me that he had tremendous success on his "date" with her. The date consisted of usual crazy person activities, the most obvious of which was the setting of the date itself - the cafeteria. In a bold gesture of chivalry, the man had swiped his meal card for her. He mentioned that sex appeal points aplenty were rightly awarded to him by the object of his affection... who, I believe, resides in his mind (because I looked up her name and found no matches within our school). I have not seen the guy since, but the creepiest part is that he sort of resembles Robert Walker. It's probably nothing, but I've decided never to play tennis again. Ever.

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