Saturday, November 30, 2002

living the puppet's dream

Sci-fi movies get the worst of me, make me fear death and life in ways that nothing else is capable of. I hung out with Sarah in Georgetown tonight because I wanted to go check out the new multiplex that opened on K Street. So, the theater impressed me a lot. Loews did an awesome job which surprised me so much. They preserved this old brick smokestack and built the theater around it, having the smokestack in the middle of the lobby. So maybe it was just done to look hip, to look trendy, but whatever, they preserved a part of old DC and that is commendable.

And then there was the movie, Soderbergh's latest, Solaris. This man is so fucking productive these days - how does he have time to make so many movies, so many movies that are actually pretty good? Why can't I be this productive? I will be. I will stop sitting on my ass.

But yeah, the movie gave me the same sensations that the last two sci-fi movies I saw did, AI and Vanilla Sky - there is something about the format of sci-fi movies for me, that makes life seem so scary. Normal movies, even horror movies, deal with the mundane - with social relations and what various humans do to various humans, all very common stuff. But then sci-fi movies take stuff to a whole nother level - making their themes so much more expansive. Sci-fi movies step out of those earthly concerns, show a universe, a fucking mass of nothingness - and all I can do is mutter, "Oh Shit." Oh Shit, Earth is so fucking tiny, I have luckily forgotten this, and there is this whole fucking universe, a silent one. Oh Shit. Sitting through these types of movies where mortaltiy and concepts of life are called into question send me into fits of existential shivers. The movie was actually really good and the end dealt with these issues in a way that's sort of cheesy, but makes life bearable for me, gives it meaning and hope. I am a big fan of optimism. The world has as much meaning as we are willing to grant it. The question of whether you are alive or dead was declared irrelvant, that all that mattered was love.

And I left the theater in the best of moods, walked down a deserted alley with Sarah over a rickety footbridge over a dry C & O Canal, walked happy for a couple more blocks, until I ecstatically walked over the Key Bridge over the still full, the nowhere near dry Potomoac River. Stopping midway over the bridge trying to watch my spit land, to see definite constraints to space, to see the spatial parameters of nature, of me, of what I hope is life. I looked at the skyline, at the glowing Kennedy Center, at smokestacks, at the Washington monument and I wanted to not be in school, to live somewhere fun, to act like I was actually alive. I ran into Joni today at Target when I was shopping with my mom, and she told me that she dropped out of Rutgers this week.

I said Right On, emphatically, seriously. I wanted to drop out. I asked her what she was going to do. She, Joni, said that she didn't want to join the corporate world yet. That there were still piercings she had never got, and that she still needed to die her hair blue. And, ha-ha, there are people so wonderful like this, that are devoted to living, to doing what they want to do, and I gave her a huge hug, so happy to see her, so fucking happy that someone else wanted to live. And so, I asked what she was going to do. And she said be a rock star. And she is so fucking cool. So right on.

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