Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stardust Memories

The other night, I rewatched Woody Allen's Stardust Memories. The movie is brilliant, one of my favorites, and this time it took on new meaning for me. Movies can do that, songs too, when you are going through some particular thing, some particular situation, emotional crisis, and can see that same thing occurring explicitly in that song or that movie, can see the artist's insight into the troubles you are having. Alternatively, this may just be projection, seeing dick shapes in every cloud, seeing what your mind is preoccupied with.

And I have been thinking about relationships, not just romantic ones but also those with friends, and trying to figure out what it is I want. The reason I was watching this movie is because Gabriel wasn't talking to me (still isn't) and because Diego was too busy sewing to have me over, told me I could come over for only half an hour, time enough for a quick fuck I guess, but ignoring the fact that I would spend at least that amount of time traveling each way, ignoring also that I was feeling incredibly lonely because one of my closest friends was being an emotional sadist, not talking to me at all, and that I wanted nothing more than to be with someone who cared about me and that would hug me, that I could spend the night next to, that would make me feel sane. Instead, talking to Diego made me more exasperated with things, with people, feeling unmoored, and so I dug through the bootlegs I had brought home from Mexico, looking for the right potion, the right medicine, the thing that would take me out of myself for a while.

Allen was definitely the right medicine, particularly this movie. In the film, Allen constantly thinks back to one of his ex-girlfriends, a total nutcase, emotionally cold for the most part, who would only rarely be pleasant, be sweet, and yet this is the woman Allen can't shake from his head - someone terrible for him in countless ways. These memories are played out against the present, Allen attracted to two women, one, a sweet, caring woman, one with her shit together, and the other, someone involved with another guy, depressed, and unpleasant. Allen overhears this other woman on the phone talking to her friend about one of her past gay relationships and about how she has herpes. And yet! Yet, it's not enough to stop Allen's interest, the big flashing warning signs; if anything, it probably drives his interest more. And Allen, in a way more intelligent than just about any other director, gets at human attraction, how it totally lacks in logic, and yet despite the pain, despite the stupidity, and despite how afterwards we may say we should have known better, that process, that being stupid, is such a special experience, is what there is to this life, these things we can't make sense of and that give us so much pleasure.

Toward the end of the movie, Allen is recalling a perfect moment he had with Dorrie. The scene is really beautiful; he rhapsodizes in an eloquent voiceover about how there are those rare moments, odd, when you feel like you really connect with someone and that that is all you need to keep going, how beautiful and special those moments are. And as this voiceover is occuring, the scene shown on screen is Dorrie lying on the living room floor with the newspaper spread out in front of her. She is idly flipping through the pages and then looks up at the camera, at Allen, at us, and you can see it in her eyes. She keeps flipping through the pages but her eyes are distracted and she is looking at Allen, at you, and you can feel that connection, one of those rare moments, that Allen was talking about.

And I want those moments. I need them now. I am unemployed, totally broke, haven't done sex work in far too long, and have sent off what seems like a billion resumes to jobs and temp agencies, hoping to hear from someone that wants to pay me money to do some task so that I can remove this worry from my mind, that of my brokeness. And these moments, the ones I seek out and crave, human connections, do a good deal in the way of distracting myself from practical concerns, from monetary ones.

I went out for drinks last night with this guy I met recently and who likes me, Michael. I met him at his restaurant and we had some drinks there before going to the Cock. I knew that I shouldn't meet him for drinks, that I was doing so because I wanted a friend, because I was feeling lonely, and that was wrong because I knew he wanted to sleep with me. He is super sweet, a little crazy, and I don't know what it is that I need, but I knew that he didn't have it, that there wasn't going to be that connection, that feeling I was seeking out, giddiness, excitement.

I was outside smoking a cigarette, a bad habit, a terrible one, that I keep on unsuccessfully resolving to quit, and that is probably because the habit, bad as it is in some ways, enables the thing I am about to describe, a chance meeting with another smoker, that chit chat occurring while you pass time in exile outside the bar. And it just occurred. It was there. The giddiness came over me and I knew he was feeling it too. And some other guy, another smoker, tried to talk to me after asking for a light, and I tried to psychically shoo him away, that I wanted these sparks that were occurring between me and this other boy to start a fire, to burn this city down to the ground. The guy needing the light left and I talked to the boy a bunch. His name I found out was John. He is a writer and we talked about books and New York and I was so excited to talk this boy, conversation a fun game.

John told me he was leaving soon, getting a ride back to Brooklyn, and asked me if I wanted a ride. Of course, I did. I told Michael that I was leaving with John and felt very awkward about doing so, Michael looking a bit annoyed.

And I went to another bar with John in Brooklyn and we smoked cigarette after cigarette and talked about Philip Roth and Woody Allen and David Carr and it was a feeling so magical to me, to interact with someone really intelligent. He reminded me of someone's uncle, too much knowledge about weird subjects and a very hearty laugh, a shouted HA at things he found funny. He touched my hand as we sat next to each other. I went home with him and it was lovely, cute, awkward, and sweet - a combination I haven't felt in so long and which really won me over. I have a tennis date with him tomorrow and a date to see the new Allen movie on Friday.

And I thought about Diego a bit when I was coming home from this guy's house, about how nice he can be, about how incredibly sexy he is, and about how in some ways he falls short of what I want, that there is some of that magic missing and maybe it's just because I have been seeing him so long, that maybe magic, that giddy awkwardness, is dependent upon those first interactions. I am not sure - not sure about that and so many other things, too many really. There, of course, are also memories of my own Dorrie also competing with the men of my present, them not her, not Dorrie, that fucking crazy bitch that I can't shake from my head.

I biked to the beach today, wanting nature, sun, sand, and maybe more moments. There were some moments, but not necessarily the ones I wanted - a creepy Wall Street dude who stood above me checking me out for a while before sitting next to me and telling me how sexy I was; three seventeen year old boys who asked to see my dick and to whom I showed it; and a man who wanted to talk about bike trails to me forever. I managed to brush them all off politely, to get them off of my beach blanket, to get myself back to the thoughts I had been trying to tease out, these subjects, these people, and what it means to be a human being interacting with other human beings.

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