November 10, 2024

A Lull in the Action of My Own Film

Tonight B and I saw Tarnation, which is a great film, and one that will have to be reckoned with by the new wave of inspired artists who will no doubt head to the streets first to film filler and then hole up in their rooms to construct their autobiographies with iMovie. Not that this is a bad thing. I've often thought that most of us who grew up among films and visual media now film our lives as we live them--Tarnation takes that theory to its literal conclusion.

Tarnation also ramps up and reinvents the Southern gothic form, and it made me wonder why we don't have a Northern gothic tradition (though believe me, its there). Go and write it then, dummy.

The film brought a lot of thoughts to the surface. B held my hand as a friend would as we rode the #2 toward Seward and I tried to express in words the feeling I've been feeling these past few months. I'm resting on my laurels, and Jason never likes resting for very long. A change needs to happen. Late at night, right before I fall asleep, I imagine quitting my job and moving back to London. Or getting a new job in New York. Or emptying my savings account, buying a used car, and rambling. I've moved away, and come back again, and I resent this city for feeling so damn safe, for being so damn familiar that it's a good place to come back to when your work visa runs out and you think you have HIV and the British won't entertain you at their dinner parties anymore. I don't want to come back anymore.

Now, I return to my apartment at the end of the day. Perhaps I've been to the gym. My body is washed and taut. I look around my perfectly arranged apartment. It is very clean, the magazines on the coffee table are stacked neatly. It is almost as if I leave my body and see my life at that exact moment, without perspective. Nice apartment in a small Midwestern town. Nice job. Minneapolis. 26 years old...and I have to stop myself because if I keep going, if I keep expanding this catalogue to its natural conclusion, I'll go crazy or burst into tears.

I got home tonight at eleven, stripped off my clothes, turned on the radio, loud. I flipped through some old photo books, examining how I looked two, three, four years ago. Then, I stood in the empty bathtub and watched myself in the medicine cabinet mirror. I brought the buzzing clippers to my temple, but for some reason I couldn't bring myself to shave off the lopsided locks I've been cultivating the past six months.

This is what it comes down to: I am not living the kind of life I would like to write about.

Posted by jason at November 10, 2024 11:10 PM