Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Free Association At 2 AM

I have a new friend; his name is Charles. He says stuff like this:

We were at the door. I knocked.
It opened to this tall slim delicate type, you smelled artistry all over him. You could see he had been born to Create, to Create grand things, totally unhindered, never bothered by such petty things as toothache, self-doubt, lousy luck. He was one of those who looked a genius. I looked like a dishwasher so these types always pissed me just a bit.

Okay, yes, it's Bukowski. But he's the kind of friend I need more of: people who write interesting things and look like dishwashers. I'm tired of Memphis-fabulous, because I just can't reach to it. I'm shy, I'm inhibited, I'm wracked with self-doubt, I don't do well at parties, and I'm prone to bouts of despair. And the thing I need to be reminded of above all else is that I can be all those things and still do good work. There are times when I really need to be reminded of that.

The book I'm reading is Hollywood, and it's my first visit with Charles. He drops names left and right with only a tissue-thin disguise (Wenner Zergog? Jon-Luc Modard? Frances Ford Lopalla? Who could these people be?) The bit about "Tab Jones" is a thing to fucking behold: "Here is Tab Jones. He sings. His shirt is open and the black hairs on his chest show. The hairs are sweating. He wears a big silver cross in these sweating hairs. His mouth is a horrible hole cut into a pancake. He's got on tight pants and he's wearing a dildo. He grabs his balls and sings about all the good things he can do for women." Yeah, that sounds familiar.

Anyway, last night I was reading a bit about a film screening, in which our hero views a documentary about "Lido Mamin," a charismatic African dictator. Since everything else in this book seems to be based on fact (even if I can't decode all the names yet), I wondered if this film actually existed. And then tonight, at a local video store, while looking for something else entirely, I saw this film about Idi Amin.

I didn't rent it, because I can't afford it. But it's sort of satisfying, in a way, to see it and confirm that it's real.

And earlier this afternoon, an odd thing happened. I was in my car listening to the radio -- y'see, a couple of weeks ago the FM transmitter that allows me to listen to my portable CD player in my car broke. And what with all the expensive iPod-pitched transmitters out on the market, the little cheap model I've been using for years has been discontinued and replaced with a $45 model, which I can't afford, so I can't listen to my own music anymore. So now I'm stuck with the radio, which means shitty commercial stations (I would sooner jam nails into my ears), our local volunteer station which is excellent sometimes and other times populated entirely by hayseed banjo music, or NPR. On this particular occasion I'd opted for NPR.

It was the usual high-minded blah-blah-blah. Whatever I was listening to ended, and they rolled off an NPR news break, except someone fucked up and accidentally played two different news clips simultaneously. It was the same female voice speaking on both, and about approximately the same thing, but two different scripts. Since they were at the same volume and in the same voice, it was impossible to make sense of either one -- all I could catch was words and fragments. And then, against any rational odds I can think of, both voices said the word "Lebanon" at exactly the same moment, so that they became one single voice for the second it took to say it. And then they diverged again and went on prattling independently of each other until somebody stopped one of the tapes.

I thought that was pretty cool. I wonder if anyone else caught it.
1:47 AM ::
Amy :: permalink
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