I walked around the Best Buy near my apartment yesterday. I hit a few keys on the most ghastly laptop I’ve ever seen; an associate asked me if I needed any help and as I told him “I’m good” I think he noticed the sneer on my face, as if the hunk of plastic was molten. Have you ever melted plastic? It smells awful. Bobby and I melted plastic forks in my backyard one 4th of July when we ran out of sparklers. As they deliquesced they began to resemble shuffleboard cues.
I spent some time with the cameras on display. If upcoming things go well, I’ll be able to outfit my humble production studio in not so long a time. The other night, quite before I realized this, I started thinking again about The RomCom Shuffle, a screenplay I started writing in a creative fever two years ago, in that sweet summer of 2008. It was the first project whose brainstorms were facilitated by my now-perfected “talk to no one on my mobile in public” technique, strolling in acclimation of my new home on Union Square West. I talked through a rough outline of the screenplay, bought a slice (at the Brick Oven Pizza 33 which is actually on 14th street and whose pizza is apparently highly regarded but which I don’t quite like, myself), wrote thirty pages in a single sitting, and then put it down. Haven’t touched it since.
But I think about that story constantly, and in fact it’s quite appropriate that I figured it all out the way I did. It’s kind of about theater and it’s kind of about hopeless romance—it’s my quintessential story, perhaps second only to Stay Focused, Harrison, the story I mentioned previously about the fella who not only talks to himself, but also plays out ideal conversations with the women he almost encounters.
Do I have some kind of complex? Something kinda shitty happened today and I coped twofold. First I whined to Jon and when he didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear (he never does and that’s why I value his opinion so highly) I whined to myself. I tend to speak my piece and then, for some reason, meditate on whatever point just surfaced by listening to the other side of the conversation: Yeah…uh huh…that’s exactly what I was thinking…no, yeah, you’re right…yep… Myself and I are quite agreeable.
This time, during that meditation (or whatever we might call it) I realized that my first instinct is always to de-personalize the situation. I have some need to analyze. I mused over this idea in conscious-public today and soon after realized that perhaps these here two qualities must co-exist—that is, if the former is going to be successful. To do my job well I must know how people interact, and the most convenient way to observe is to observe myself and how I interact with others. But I get wrapped up in that.
I wonder if that’s why I’m always so pleased with my own work? I can read something I wrote ages ago and laugh out loud at the jokes, even if—especially if—I can recite them from memory. I look back at some of my past work and I don’t think Here’s this thing I made. I think, Here’s this thing I like. I detach myself. But since I’m also creating these things, I affect them directly. I have complete control. And when the stakes are high I am too quick to panic, to pull back, to revise, to overprepare.
I was talking about film, though. Uh, I might spend some money on a camera soon and shoot some things.