Archive for the ‘drugs’ Tag

Losing Christmas….   2 comments

rainydaycentralpark

Its raining outside, and somewhere my family is looking up at sunny skies, sharing smiles and eating a delicious breakfast. I won’t be with them anytime soon.

I’ve lost Chrstmas.

I don’t know how much people know about the stilted lives of those who aren’t American living in the U.S, but let’s just say, its not always pleasant. Details of why I’m forced to remain in lovely ol’ DC for the rest of the year are irrelevant.
I’ve lost this time with my family and a few friends, but I feel I lost Christmas a long time ago.
Tomorrow will be the fourth year anniversary of my Grandfather’s death. I can’t even believe it, it still feels like yesterday, like the way I feel when I forget my keys as I’m stepping out of the house, or the way I feel when I have something to do that’s on the tip of my tongue. It feels close, as if it’s a breath away, an arm’s length. But its not. Four whole years have passed since I visited the quiet hospital room with its green, ugly walls, where everyday I would greet my Grandfather with a smile and hug, feeling his bones press into my skin because he had lost so much weight. The staff loved him—he’s just that kind of guy—and I followed suit. Even though he was at the last stages of being eaten by cancer, he never showed much pain or anger. He would always entertain conversation if he could manage it. He was always laughing with the staff and telling me: “Mr. Marcus, good to see you.”
I only had two weeks to spend with him, and there were nights that I was falling asleep after spending the day there with him, and he would tell me to go out and have fun.
It’s hard watching someone with one lung breathe. The day before he died, one of his lungs collapsed, and watching him was heartbreaking. When you have one lung you are forced to exert all your efforts into breathing. Sucking in life-giving air is no longer something you do effortlessly awake or asleep, it becomes frightfully real. I watched him heave awkwardly for hours on end, while nurses stood by, their faces dark brown masks of death.
On the day he died, we were all standing around him, most of his immediate family, and we were there to see him go. His last words with his arms outstretched were “Sing for me”. Sing we did. His pastor was there, singing a quiet hymnal, and we stood by, our eyes filled with tears and our hearts in our mouths. As soon as he said those words, he wilted, and we knew he was gone. My mother grabbed us and rushed us beside him. “Tell him goodbye.” She said between breaths.

Tell him goodbye.

That was four years ago, and tomorrow a gathering will take place at my Grandmother’s house in Jamaica. People will play dominoes, eat Christmas cake and drink Sorrel (a yearly drink we brew) and talk about good times. I will be here in DC, watching rain pour from the sky like tears from my eyes four years ago.

In a way, I lost Christmas then.

A year later, I was in love. The worst kind you can be in, the unrequited kind. That Christmas I was unable to sleep, and I lost my appetite. The days went by in a blur, and all I could think of was a person I couldn’t see or touch. I couldn’t hear her voice or smell her hair, but at least, I had my family. I had the kind, consoling words of my Grandmother. She with her powerful hugs and sweet kisses. She calls me Marks. Then there were the outings with my father, the endless stream of Heinekens and staying out at bars until the sky becomes a purplish blue. I get to hear my father say, “This is my big son. Marcus.” To numerous people I’ve never met. Then there are the idle conversations with my sisters; joking about esoteric things you learn over twenty odd years of living with each other. The jokes that only you will ever find funny, the ones that pop up from the recesses of your memory in the same way your name does when a stranger asks you what your name is. You immediately go back in time, and you are ten and she is five, and you are both sitting with skinny arms and legs, calmly watching a Disney movie on the brand new VCR. I didn’t have love, but at least I had that. I had those memories around me to stymie the effects of my loss.

The next year, I lost a friend.

This also changed Christmas. No longer would I run to his house and laugh and recap the year, or traipse about Kingston, laughing at how well we were dressed, or more esoteric jokes. No more would we reminisce about riding through the hills during the summertime on our bikes; no more playing video games and crashing on couches. These memories were gone, wilted away like the moment my Grandfather left this Earth. We might think life is mundane and often empty; that the little things around us are the things we dislike the most. The little things family and friends might say to annoy us, the meals we used to hate, the little trips we didn’t like taking. But when those are gone, we are left with nothing but silence, a cavernous raging silence that we can’t escape. It stares at us from the heavens, drowning us in its malevolent laughter.

Treasure the moments.

A year after this one, I made sure to make Christmas what it should be. I relished the moment, hungrily went to all the parties, I went to all the dinners and I laughed at all the jokes. Losing love, family and friends makes you do that. It turns you into a leech for good emotion. Dammit, if I have three weeks out of a sad year to feel good, I will use them like an addict’s last hit of coke before rehab.
Today, that’s changed.

There is no love twittering about in my heart, no painful memories of someone nearby. There is no friend to call and laugh about esoteric jokes. There is no family nearby to hug and giggle with, no sisters around to laugh about old Disney movies and catfights when we were kids. All I have is the rain around me, the humming of my space heater to keep me company, and my thoughts.
It is said that we die alone, that when we exit this Earth, we do so the same way we came. I think this is true, but I also think we live alone. We may occasionally see people and go to places were others dwell, but in our minds we are forever by ourselves. We never completely open up to those around us, and our reality is uniquely our own. Time might pass and we might love and lose it, get married or have children, but in some way, people never truly know us. We spend most of our lives being trained not to tell people about ourselves, and then worry as we get older and experience states of undesirable disconnect. Thus, if we die alone, and we live alone, is dying like living? Are they one and the same?
I don’t know. But as I head out into another rainy evening and the wet drops soften my hair, mix with the salt on my skin and burn my eyes, I might have my answer.

Hello DC: Rubix Cube Party   Leave a comment

I’m at a Rubix cube party.
We all know the Rubix cube. It was a genius little device invented in the early 70’s by the Hungarian architecture dude. You spin the faces, line up the squares and make the colors match. We know how it works. At this party, we are the colors, and by the night’s end, we must be wearing one color of clothing. In a sense, we are squares on the cube.
Earlier in the evening, I was happily munching on Chicken Tibs at a local Ethiopian restaurant. I was eating with a good friend of mine. We spoke frankly about the diatribes of broken relationships, growth and Sean Penn’s new Movie, “Milk”.
Afterwards, we stepped out into the darkness of DC’s winter cold, and I bid her adieu. Then I hopped on the 70 bus towards Columbia heights. I spent the trip listening to dancehall, and watching the dark blobs that represent rowhouses go past in a dull blur.
I was sitting quietly, (like most people in the bus), but I was listening to sexually charged, uber-voilent dancehall music. I’m sure my hipster pants and trucker hat hid that fact nicely.
It’s really cold when I exit the bus to head towards the party, but there is something oddly stimulating about it.
Maybe it’s the feeling of the wind biting my fingertips, the little brown leaves that rustle above me whenever a gust of wind flashes by, or the fact that I’m underdressed. My fingers are burning me, and my jacket (stylish as it is) has no outer pockets for me to slip my fingers into.
I walk fast.
When I reach the party, there is no one milling outside. This makes perfect sense. Even the smokers are happily huddled inside, accepting warmth instead of tiny doses of nicotine, cyanide and a dozen other harmful chemicals.
As I step in, a guy wearing red tights, and a red dress walks past. His eyes are glassy with alcohol, and he has a wry smile. “I need your hat!” he says to a girl walking nearby. She is wearing dark leather pants, a red hat and a suede Jacket that looks straight out of a vampire movie. She chuckles and disappears into the small crowd of people occupying the space.
I personally am out of place with my outfit. I’m technically wearing full black, (even though I wore a yellow shirt to throw my outfit off) but I am determined to find matching yellow pants. I see one person dressed in yellow, a short girl with dark features. She is wearing what appears to be a yellow jacket around her waist, webbed yellow shoes, yellow stockings, a yellow hat and a yellow shirt. I groan, as I have nothing to trade. The idea of taking off my pants right there to put some yellow tights on isn’t stimulating yet. I need to get some alcohol.
I meet and greet the hosts, and I find out it’s a birthday party. I was invited by a girl I know, Ash, and she is decked out in a full red outfit; large red shirt that reads “Ameican Heritage”, red tights and a  red baseball cap. At some point later on in the night she will be completely blue, complete with a blue wig. “Would you like some whiskey?” she says to me as I step inside.
For a moment I pause, and my mind flashes back to Halloween weekend a month prior. I saw a blur of people, faces and felt the heat of different bars and houses on my face, then I remember waking up and not knowing where I was.
“I think I’ll get a beer.” I say with a smile. Ash starts talking to the girl in the full yellow. Behind me, a guy says. “She (yellow girl) looks like a creature from Final Fantasy.”
I spend the next ten minutes trying to remember what creature she  looked like. I was never a huge Final Fantasy fan, but I knew a few of the creatures.
When I was in high school and Playstation (not Playstaion two or three, not even PSOne… PLAYSTATION) was all the rage, when Final Fantasy seven came out, it was lauded as one of the greatest RPG’s of all time. I didn’t have a Playstation, I had an N64, and I forever regretted not feeding on the frenzies of my school mates. I wished I could have huddled under the tree where the nerds hung out and read backstory on the FF universe, talk about little creatures and boss fights and escape in that world of fantasy. Instead, I played games like Bomberman 64 and Turok. I’m thinking about this as i walk through the kitchen looking a cup, then a word pops into my head:
Chocobo.
That’s the thing the girl in the yellow looks like. It’s a little bird sort of creature. I walk down a narrow hallway and through six active conversations. Outside is  a keg, and I get a drink. The temperature feels like its dropped another six degrees, and I hurry up and go inside. After my first beer, I’m determined to get some yellow pants.
The music isn’t very inspiring. It sounds like slow lounge music mixed in with upbeat country or old pop songs. No one is dancing yet. I see the birthday boy (who I incorrectly called “Jesse” for most of the night) and say hello. He is wearing a hodgepodge of colors. He has an orange shirt on, tiny blue shorts and black socks, and he has an orange bandana tied on his head. “So, you are twenty five eh?” I say. “Yeah, maybe in a week it will hit me and I’ll either be like “oh god!” or “oh yeah!” He says with a laugh. “I’ve been there,” I say. “I’m definitely in the “oh god!” stage right now.”
He disappears down the same long hallway with two girls and I eye some cake. Lately I’ve been avoiding a lot of pastry, and I don’t feel like digging into a suger-laced cake while I’m drinking. Ash is standing beside two more girls who are working the Rubix. One is wearing full blue regalia and has a blue wig on. She does Madonna style poses as cameras flash in the background.
I smile and survey the rest of the party. It’s a weird mix. Some people are dressed very normal, in the usually array of jeans and jackets. Then there are a few hardcore guys, who I call the “Rubix dudes”.
For some reason, they are all wearing dresses, and I think their oufits were elaborate plans engineered by the women at the party (they are in the majority). One guy is about six foot three and wearing a green skirt, a green halter top, what looks like a shiny set of green leaves on a string around his neck and (I think) a green necklace. Another fellow, who I later find out is Mark, is wearing small,orange boy-underwear, what look  like orange tassles around his waist, and a v-neck orange shirt (above a green one) complemented by a knit orange hat. He has sharp eyes, a playfully expressive face,a moustache and goatee. He looks like Robin Hood, if Robin Hood left Nottingham to join the broadway cast of Mama Mia! And ended up doing West Side Story instead.
There are a few other guys who enthusiastically get into the Rubix-mode, but the guy that took the cake was a short, broad-chested fellow wearing a full white female outfit. It was his manliness—hairy chest and broad flat features—that made his outfit the funniest. A tiny white haltertop barley fit on his chest and he wore a small white dress, and what looked like a white hairnet…. Or head tie, I’m not familiar with what all forms of female clothing are called.
They Rubix dudes were constantly taking pictures, smiling and laughing. I was on my second beer now, but I didn’t feel like clothes swapping that much. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I wanted to get my yellow pants. I started talking to Mr. T, a friendly-faced guy with a classic Midwest disposition. Ash told me he was apparently, a rubix cube expert.
We started discussing the dynamics near the front entrance. By this time I was on beer number four or five and sipping on a Bacardi ginger ale. Needless to say, talking about the concepts behind multiple planes and matching edges were lost on me. The music changed, and I started dancing with Ash.
At some point, I start a conversation with the tallest women at the party. One looks Scandinavian, and one looks German. I mention this to them.
“Hah! One laughs. I’m Swedish.” She says. “I’m German.” The other replies.
We talk for a few minutes about their amazing athletic abilities. (The swede did decathalon, long jump, high jump, 200M ,800M and deep sea shark hunting). The German did shotput, discus and javelin. (I guessed discus correctly).
Then the German speaks about one year of celibacy, and its implications as it relates to meeting people for “who they are.” I smile as she says this. “I wanted to know how it felt you know? To just not experience that for a year.”
I laugh, and say.”Most people know that feels for a good ten, fifteen years. I think they are too aware of celibacy.”
“Ten? Try twenty!” The Swede says with a laugh.
Ash is now in blue mode, and is dancing amongst friends, laughing and taking pictures. I wear the wig for a few minutes.
I go to the kitchen, and talk to two girls wearing black trucker hats. “What do your hats say?” I ask, squinting to read the writing on them. “Hah! You though it was Japanese didn’t you?” one of the girls says.
In fact, I didn’t think that, because I can read some Japanese. I was thinking it was some kind of Arabic language (and in my defense, the girls both had that “dark-ish” look. Long black hair, sharp dark brown eyes. Which means they could have Persian ancestry or just be from Manhattan.)
“It’s a hat our friend made. Its actually in English.” She points out what it says, and it becomes as clear as day. “ohhh….” I say. Then I look down, and see that she is wearing YELLOW PANTS.
“I said I’d get some yellow pants tonight.” I say seriously. “You have what I want.”
She swaps pants with me, and we snap pictures with her friend, who also has the pants on. Technically, they are little boy shorts, but I rather refer to them as pants.
I parade around in the pants for a while, and smile broadly. Ash comes over, she rubs her small hands across the small of my back. “I see you got your yellow pants.” She said. “Yes I’m a happy camper!” I reply.
I spend the next few minutes taking pictures of all the other emasculated men, including those I’ve named the White Russian, the Green Giant, Robinson Hood and the Black Tight. Outside where the keg is, people are huddled around a grill, talking about nothing in particular. I snap a few more pictures and go back inside.
The girls in the trucker hats are heading out, and I return the yellow pants. The party is beginning to thin out, and everyone is heading to wonderland. I feel a twinge of regret as I head out with Ash and Mr. T to wonderland. I was hoping I could wear my yellow pants there.

n633745386_4994459_51651

Hello DC: Shorts Party in Adams Morgan   Leave a comment

I’m standing outside Asylum, a bar in the heart of Adams Morgan. I’m trying to pull up my pants to make shorts, because I’ve found a nice little party. I can see in the window the movement of lots of bodies; the windows is thick with sweat and I can hear the echo of indie music.
I see a guy I know, Mick and he gives me a one over before I go to the bouncer. The bouncer is a man with a gentle face—he could have been a hobbit any of the Lord of the Rings movies—and he has a long head of wavy, semi-straight hair. I could see him sitting on this stool thirty years ago, with a beard to accompany the hair, smiling at people with those fairy tale eyes.
Its been a slow night. Thursdays are like that sometimes (at least in DC), and I just came from Saint Ex where I was hanging with a few friends of mine. Since I’ve returned to DC a little cloud has been growing over my head. I’m not sure what it is. Part of me thinks it latent memories popping up and leaping to the forefront of my conscious mind, but I have a theory that involves pretending to be a superhero and eating lots of potatoes that might get rid of it.
Saint Ex is on 14th street and I walked the four block stretch to hit Adams Morgan, where I had no real intentions. Anyone worth their salt knows that Thursday night in Washington DC is much more happening during the lovely summer months. Now the nights are getting cooler and congress is in session, so all the happy-go-lucky Capitol hill people have to go easy on the booze and coke for a bit and actually process reality.
So, I’m ready to go into this shorts party. Intially the bouncer said “I think those pants of his are too tight to roll up into shorts.” I disagreed. After a little effort, my biker/hipster black pants became glorified shorts. They grabbed at my knees like a gleefully obese child, but they worked. I would only need them to walk in. I hand the bouncer my ID, and I’m in.
I’m hit with a wave of heat and a thick smell. This smell is common to almost every bar I’ve been in with lots of people dancing inside. Its like a slice of salami that’s been left in a plastic Tupperware case for a few hours mixed with beer suds. Depending on the night, and the number of people in attendance, this scent can be mild, or downright disgusting. Tonight, the smell is at code yellow: Tolerable.
The party is definitely indie for DC. That or a lot of college people are out and about. The first girl I see is wearing what appears to be her boyfriend’s t-shirt and her eyes are glazed with the veil of inebriation. To my left, two tall shirtless guy with beach bodies dance with bottles of champagne in their hands, sipping while doing a very Euro-gay movement to the rhythm. They aren’t the only shirtless ones.
Two more guys, dancing on a large leather couch with its back resting on a wall covered in mirrors are grinding like the women in front of them are tossing dollars bills their way. One is wearing swim trunks half the size of the doozy that Daniel Craig wore in Casino Royale, and the other guy seems like he’s tripping on drugs, because he’s look at the ceiling, rubbing his thigh and dancing in a way that suggest the ceiling is a woman he’s trying to bed and this is his only chance at getting laid.
Within seconds of doing this sweep of the room, a girl yanks my tie (I’m wearing my customary t-shirt and tie) and pulls me to her left (my right) as she walks by. I chuckle, but she really has a tight grip on the thing. She reaches back—I think to grab my hand—but she misses by a mile and just slightly touches my crotch. Then, just like she appeared, she disappears into the sweaty throng of dancers.
I stand where I am for a moment. The music is good, the vibe isnt’ bad, but I’m not feeling like letting loose. The cloud is still following me, sprinkling me with bits of rain like that unfortunate Carebear that was always depressed. Now THAT guy had issues. Imagine living in a happy cherubic land where you can get doped up on “good feelings” by rubbing your stomach and saying “CARE BEAR STARE!” and you are the one schmuck that gets stuck with a rain cloud that follows you everywhere? I wouldnt’ be surprised in that carebear had an E true Hollywood story involving prositutes, latent homosexuality and some connection to Kevin Bacon.
A bunch of guys that look like the perfect entourage for a low-key rapper are in the back. They seem drunk, and they are doing wild things, like tossing the balls from a ball pool located near the window into the crowd, and spraying Champagne and beer on everyone. This action startles me at first. People spraying the bubbly for no reason usually pisses people off, gets girls made about their hair being wet and kills the party. But not tonight.
These guys sprayed at least four bottles of Champagne all over the people immediately beside them and no one stopped dancing. It was like a strange sexual display, with people getting sprayed on and cheering by guys wearing dark glasses with huge, lecherous grins.
At this point, the shirtless guys have all united on the leather couch and are all dancing with bottles in their hands. The last time I’ve seen a display like this was at South Beach, where a friend and I happened to a see a purple box way in the distance as we walked down the beach on Spring Break a few years back. As we got closer to this purple box, it was actually a large structure. From this structure was music. Pulsing, pumping, trance music. I got excited because I was thinking “Beach party, yeah!” and as neared the thing we saw hands in the air, heard people cheering and I got even more excited. We walked past a port-a-potty where a long line of guys were waiting to pee. But then, not only were guys waiting to pee, but there were guys everywhere. In fact, there were NO girls to be seen. The purple box was a gay party.
At this gay party, every man was hairless and had a body that Brad Pitt would envy. It was a garish display of the Miami gay scene and also a reflection of what working out can really do for a guy. Either way, seeing those four shirtless guys on that couch, looking over a mixed crowd dancing and being sprayed with champagne was, somewhat awkward, but oddly familiar.
As good as the music was, I didn’t feel like dancing. I entertained light conversation with a few people and then left. Maybe I was tired from working out earlier in the evening, or maybe trying to figure out the narrative of a new book I’m working on is taking up more mental energy that I realize. Whatever it is, next time there’s a shorts party going on. I’m wearing shorts, and I just might end up shirtless.

Hello DC: Sex, alcohol and Easy Drugs   Leave a comment

“Hey Marcus, you wanna do a line?”

This is how my Saturday night ends. I’m in a plush apartment somewhere near U street. Its so big that there are two couches; one near the front door, a beige couch that can seat three, and then fifteen feet away, is a black behemoth that can seat at least ten individuals. I’m at the tail end of a long night—several clubs and bars included—and now I’m being offered the tastiest of late night treats… coke.
I say no, because I’m not a coke person. I’m not a weed person either. People find it funny that I’m from Jamaica and I’ve never done weed. I find this interesting. I know doing coke, or “blow” as its commonly referred to in movies, doesn’t fit my regular racial demographic here in sunny ol’ D.C. People who make lots of money in high stress jobs tend to do a lot of blow. The ladies who live in this massive apartment are no different. They work for some massive business organization that probably pays them no less than one hundred K per year.
Me? I’m a lowly graphic artist who floats between interesting crowds. One guy in the group, a tall, burly fellow in a black t-shirt that reads “SECURITY” does a line. “Wow,” he says.” Its been like a year since I’ve done any coke.”
I stand there bemused. I’m in no way tempted to do coke—I’ve been in this situation many a time before—but I am feeling the effects of the alcohol I’ve been drinking throughout the night.
My night started out at Tryst, a small café in the middle of Adams Morgan. I was sitting there typing diatribes about my psychological issues with a good friend who lives in Atlanta, when I realized it was 10:15 p.m. I said a quick goodbye and hopped on the bus to go home. During this time, I received a text message:
Hey man, I’m on *** street and **** there’s a house party.
I think about heading to the spot but I’m unbathed and unprepared. Going home, bathing, heading back to the spot would take no less than 45 minutes. I’d reach there at no earlier that say, 11:30.
I’m heading out in a bit. I’ll let you know when I’m heading out. Is my reply.
I go home, briefly munch on some Candy Corn snacks (delectably disgusting) and then I don a vest, a pair of my favourite relatively tight pants, and an army green shirt, then I head out. While I walk to the bus, I’m listening to some hardcore dancehall music, which is the perfect fuel before going out. I hop on the bus five minutes later and feel my thigh throbbing. Its my cell phone buzzing. I answer, It’s my friend D.
“Hey what’s up man? “ I say.
“Nothing man, what are you up to?” he says.
“I’m on eleventh street.” I say.
“Oh cool, I’m on thirteenth.” he replies.
“Cool man, there’s a Rite Aid on thirteenth, I’ll ,meet you out front.”

I come off the bus and meet D. D is a relatively tall, handsome Asian guy—wearing a trench coat. “What’s up with the coat?” I say. “Hey man, I thought it was going to rain.” He says. I smell the slightest odor of liquor coming off him. Something rummy. Something strong. ”Were you drinking?” I ask. “Hell yeah man, I”ve been seriously drinking.” He replies. I chuckle to myself and we start walking. After exchanging the basic pleasantries (I.e a quick recap of some of my New York adventures), we head to a bar called Salam. This is an Ethiopian restaurant by day, weird indie bar by night. An Ethiopian man who looks like he’s sixty years old is checking ID’s. He looks at my passport and I walk in.
Salam is small—in that typical DC kind of way. A small bar is in front of me, somewhere music wafts through a door, and ten to fifteen people are milling about, having drinks. I immediately know this is not a place I’d like to be. D and I both grab drinks—Red stripes—and sip them as we catch up. I already know that I need to head to Adams Morgan, that smorgasbord of sweaty bodies, dive bars and impressionable women, but D hates Adams Morgan, but I’m intent on getting him to go there. After we finish our beers, we head outside and lean against some evil-looking railings.
“So what do we do now. Where do we head to?” I say.
“Let’s head this way, “ D says, pointing towards fourteenth street. (note we are on fifteenth, Adams Morgan is towards eighteenth).
I cajole him over a five minute period into heading towards Adams Morgan, making a careful note to mention this is probably the last time I’ll be in Adams Morgan for a long time (which is very true, since I’m leaving DC and probably won’t be back EVER) and we eventually start heading towards the A Morgan. D gets a text message. “House party at ***** off **** street. “ I pause as he says this. This place is unusually close to the abode of my ex-girlfriend who I really don’t’ want to run into, but I decide to go.
We walk for about twenty minutes and he in the wrong direction after we pass through the madness of Adams Morgan. Bodies are everywhere. Drunk girls roam the streets, and people walking with plates with pizza slices way too big for a human to consume traipse back and forth. It’s a blissful walkthrough.
I run into a back alley to take a piss. Luckily I miss a cop catching me sprinkle on someone’s garbage can by seconds, then we head to the house party. The party, like most house parties in DC (in this area) is mostly white. Guys in plain t-shirts and polos run about. Girls with glassy eyes, nice dresses and cheap heels walk oddly about, stilted by drunken gaits. I don’t’ feel very comfortable.
I don’t’ feel comfortable because I’m very used to this scene. I see two other black guys. One is very preppy with a calm look about him. He probably goes to GW or Georgetown.—the other is tall, with a small afro and a lightly muscled body. He looks like the archetypal Ivy-league black guy, and he floats into a room near the front of the house and talks to a girl with a large smile on his face. I scan the area, and see no one I’m interested in talking to. Most people are drunk, and the only person who speaks to me is a guy named Eric who’s playing beer pong. I have a few drinks and go back outside.
D decides to leave—he does this a lot, and I feel stranded. When D has a headache, isn’t feeling the party, or wants to go home, he does. This usually leaves me wingless (or wing-man less, and I don’t like it, because if you want to roll with your boy and have fun and he bounces on you, you become the sober guy talking to drunk girls… which ISN’Tcool.) So I start hanging with his ex-roomate, D2. I call him D2 because his name starts with D as well.
D2 says they are heading to Adams Morgan and I’m good to go. The party is a little bit too preppy, and I everyone who’s there seems ready to leave, as am I. I have a slight buzz from drinking two beers and two cokes heavily laced with a whiskey I can’t remember. We start walking and run into two other guys—a tall, burly fellow wearing a shirt with “SECURITY” on the front (I’ve already mentioned him) and another guy, a short, stocky fellow named Matt. With two girls in tow, miss J, and another one who’s name slips me, D2 and his roomie S, we head to the A morgan. We don’t go very far. At the top of the strip is a club called Chloe. We go in. At first there is some hesitance to enter—the cover is five bucks—but we all go in. Its like a typical club. It’s a sprawling expanse of cheaply tiled space with two bars. The only girls I talk to are the bartenders and a waitress ( who I didn’t realize was working that night). I drink some water, a cranberry vodka and then we head out. D2 starts pitching to me the positive reasons for smoking weed.
“Look man, I want you to blaze tonight. I can’t believe you’ve never smoked.”
I try to explain that weed isn’t my thing, partly because I think I have an addictive personality, and I’m constantly searching for happiness—two things that I think would make weed (supposedly a happy-inducing drug) something I’d want day in, day out.
We walk for a few blocks and D2 continues to pitch me, talking about how weed positively changed his life, affected his outlook and is incidentally better than cigarettes. I believe him, but I’m not inspired to smoke weed. I can see myself being in Europe, lying in bed with a smoking hot brunette who’s wet with sex and has the kind of skin bronzed from years in the sun. I can see this women pulling out a very distinguished looking bong (or pipe) and saying to me, “Markus, vould you like to smoke vith mee?” then I’d say yes, and smoke with her a bit, then return to coital bliss. Me smoking with D2 on a random Saturday night?
No.
D2 warns me that the rest of the group will be doing blow, and that weed is the best choice. I tell him that I’d rather do blow that weed (this is true) and he says I shoudn’t. Naturally, I’m not interested in doing blow or weed, but I find blow more intriguing. Weed is in your mouth, blow is in your nose. Nose rules.
D2 tells me that where we are going (a girl’s apartment ) is amazing. When we enter (like I said before) she has two couches, nicely polished floors and a bedroom with gold sheets, and no less than twelve pillows. Her room looks like a miniature palace, not a place where someone sleeps, much less has sex. Having sex in that room would seem sacrilegious.
The counter (one of two ) in the kitchen has an assortment of alcohol on its surface. I grab some SKYY Vodka and mix it with some Coke (the soda!) At this point, a few people are trying to figure out the best way to do lines. “Use a twenty dollar bill” miss J says. This seems to work. A few Bank of America cards appear, and the coke is divided into tiny lines. These lines are less thick and obvious that the lines of coke that you see in movies.
Then the snorting begins. Again, this has no effect on me. I’ve been in rooms where people are doing blow/talking to me about world events. At this point, Mr. A, looks at me and says, “Marcus you wanna do a line?”. I politely decline.
A part of me is genuinely interested in the blow ( I mean, who the fuck isn’t interested in snorting some coke and flying sky high on a boring-ass Saturday night?) but I don’t listen to that voice.
Miss J has a hot, flat screen LCD TV. “I have free cable.” She says proudly. I actually marvel at this, because the apartment is at least sixteen hundred bucks a month or more, and the free cable almost feels like an oxymoron in a nice paragraph of prose.
D2 is sitting on the couch, staring seemingly at nothing. Mr S says he should like up his J (not to be

confused with miss J) and he says no. He shoots me a look, hitting me with a gaze from large brown eyes.” You wanna get out of here?” he says. I look around the room. One of the girls is on the couch, completely passed out. Miss J is watching Tv. She either wants to get laid or is floating on a coke high, and the other two gusy (high and drunk ) are also watching TV. Me in my semi-sober state wouldn’t’ survive another hour there. “Let’s go.” I say.
We head outside the apartment building and D2 lights up his spliff. We are walking on a public street in DC, and D2 is smoking weed. This is life.
We turn onto the main road and a guy on a bicycle and two other people walking see him. “Can I hit that?” one of the fellows says. D2 gives him the spliff, and he takes a huge puff. So does the guy on the bike. A converstation starts—where the guys on the bike are asking him where he gets his supply—then another person enters the fray. A guy who looks Italian, dressed in a dress shirt and ugly dockers is walking down the street with his arm around who I assume to be his girlfriend. He walks past us, then stops. “Can I hit that?” he says as well.

D2’s spliff has now united five people, all on a public street, in the middle of DC, where cops run abound. The Italian looking guy takes D2’s number, to figure out where to get some good weed. The other guys disappear somewhere near 14th, and I stop at D2’s house to take a quick piss.
I say goodby as I’m heading out, and start the long walk back to my apartment. I always pack my little ipod with me, to break the monotony of a long home walk, and I listen to hardcore dancehall all the way back home. I see the light on in my roomie’s room, (hers is right above mine) and I shoot her a text message. We have a light phone conversation where I basically say she has a dude in her room she’s trying to bang but hasn’t’, then I hang up.

I put on one of my favourite movies, Aladdin, and watch it idly. To anyone watching me, it would look like I’d actually done some blow. The alcohol has worn off (I need much, MUCH more to get drunk these days ) and I watch Aladdin on my LCD screen.

I’ve been in DC for 24 hours, and I’ve had drinks, Japanese green tea, horrible spaghetti, hung out with a Euro-girl, a few friends and offered coke. Let’s see what the next 72 hours bring.

Cheers.

Avenue C + Blonde Girls + Indie Music   Leave a comment

I’m leaning against a wall.

Above me strobe light casts a spasmodic, reverberating glow of multicolored light on pale bodies, all dancing to the frantic beat of The Killers. I’m in a club near Avenue C, a place called 40 C, and I’m standing quietly, watching everything and nothing.
As I close my eyes, I imagine myself running hand in hand with the girl of my dreams through a mystical meadow, naked and insouciant, as our body parts flap in the breeze like tissue paper caught under a car tire. This hasn’t been my first stop tonight. But for some reason, it feels like the thousandth stop in so many nights of my life.
An hour and a half earlier, I passed through a bar. As I walked in, a girl grabbed me by the arm. “Let’s get out of here.” She said. I sized her up briefly. She was tall, blonde, with dark piercing eyes, a long almost hawkish nose, and thin yet protruding lips. “I’m thinking of heading to this bar across the street,” I said. This wasn’t a lie—even thogh I’d just went into this bar for no more than thirty seconds—the bar across the street had better light and cuter girls.
She starts following me and then her eyes pop open like someone pulled the light switch in her head. “I have to find my friend.” She says. “When you see her, you’ll be amazed. She’s the most beautiful girl ever. She is amazing.”
This reference made me pause. Number one, why was this girl pitching her friend to me, and number two, why would I find this girl attractive? or even beautiful? Thoughts immediately came to mind of a tall, hideous woman, with sharp grating teeth and meaty breath. This thought flew away pretty quickly. We move through the thick crowd, wet with the smell of beer and sweat and went to the bar. There, I saw a girl with a head of large curls with dark features. Like her friend, she had piercing eyes. But I didn’t find her that attractive. Her friend (who remains nameless) says something to her and then grabs my arm again and heads towards the door. Then, a tall guy who looks like Mowgli from Jungle book (if Mowgli had grown up and started modeling for Armani) grabs “the beauty” and starts talking to her. We all go outside as a group and the friend (blondie) repeats the beautiful friend pitch. “Isn’t my friend the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen?” she said.
I look briefly at her friend, and she gives me a look that can only be described as “eww”. I find this repulsive. “Hey lady, I didn’t say you were beautiful!” They say they are heading to some bar up the street. Mowgli gives me an uneasy look and grabs the “beautiful” girl around the waist.
I have known this group of people for all of three or four minutes. They leave, I don’t follow them.

As they leave, two cute girls walk past me to go into the bar. One of them girl rests her hand on my shoulder. “g’night fabulous.” She says nocomittaly, and disappears down a pair of dark steps. I’m tempted to follow her inside and say hello, but I decide not to. I have no energy to do this. My social desires to interact with people occasionally get scooped out like old moldy ice cream and tossed into a back alley somewhere.
I have a quick drink at a bar across the street, a place called Max Fish, and watch people play pool. At some point I realize all I do these days is people watching, walking around like a wraith, all but invisible, if it weren’t for this pesky thing called a body I’m wrapped up in.
I end up at this spot where a guy I know asks me what I’m trying to do.
“What kind of girls do you like?” he asks. “Women.” I reply with a smirk. “But generally, tall ones, with interesting dispositions, but generally girls who like me.” I say this with a smirk as well.
“Well you need to head to Nublue, a spot on Avenue C between seventh and eighth.” He said. This was coming from a guy who owned a bar in the area—mandatory ponytail included—and I thought about it. Avenue C was a good ten minute walk from where I was, and this place might not even be jumping. But face with another boring night of the same ol’ bars in the LES I decided to go. I walk slowly past a few clubs, seeing throngs of people outside talking, smoking and laughing.
When I reach Avenue C, I’m in a blank zone. I walked a block too far and ended up almost on Avenue D, had to sneak a tinkle in front of a bush (directly in front of what I think was a church), and then felt annoyed by the time I reached where I was supposed to be. I stop at a place labeled 40C, and ask a few girls in the line if this is NuBlue. “No,” a cute girl with platinum blonde hair says. The guy checking IDs, a flaming guy with straightened hair and pants that would make Dave Navarro blush tells me NuBlue (which, up to this point I believe is spelled “New Blue”) is a block down the road. When I reach, a (obviously black) bouncer sits in a cheap plastic chair, and gives me an indifferent look. Admission is ten bucks, and I don’t feel like making the investment. I ask him what kind of music is playing inside, and he says Brazilian and house. I’m still not tempted.
A few guys come out and tell me there are very few ladies inside. At 40C, the line was chock full of little indie chicks. I head to 40C.
This brings me back to me leaning on the DJ booth. After paying five bucks to get into the spot, I become lost in the noise around me. The girls here are dressed very nicely, but they aren’t any friendlier than girls anywhere else. Lots of guys with Pete Wentz hairstyles, float around with big smiles on their faces. It seems everyone has black hair, tight pants and an “interesting” fashion sense. I see one other black guy in the entire place, a man that looks like he’s in his forties sporting a head of thick locks and a sharp jacket. The music is very good, but this doesn’t inspire me to dance. I stand near one of the bathrooms for a few minutes, watching people interact. The indie crowd always fascinates me. People are more energetic and lively. The occassions are trumped up with energy and riddled with a hazy sense of the status quo. Everyone knows how to dress, people dance for the sake of dancing and the DJ looks like Edward Scissorhands. I can’t say it was surreal, but in some way it was cool.
At some point a song plays that I can’t name that takes me back to Barcelona. For a split second, I’m there beside my then-girlfriend, happy and blissful without a fucking care in the world. Then I blink, and I’m back on the dance floor, somewhere off Avenue C.
At some point, I end up leaning on the DJ booth disinterestedly staring at the people dancing in front of me. I find how sad this image must look—the tall (other) black guy in the indie club standing in the most obvious place in the club staring at nothing—and I think someone else notices it too. A girl beside me says something, and I realize it’s the girl I had spoken to earlier in the line. “Hey, didn’t you ask me earlier if this was NuBlue?” she says. I give a stilted response and entertain light conversation. She introduces me to her friends, but my social radar doesn’t’ inspire me to keep talking. She is cute, verily so, in a nice black skirt. She reminds me of Brittany Murphy, but that comparison doesn’t make me feel anything. She’s with two other friends and I my energy is low. I suddenly feel like sleeping, and lean against the DJ booth once more.
At some point, a woman talks to me. “I can hook you up with any guy or girl you want.” She says with a smile on her face. I’m not sure if should be flattered or wonder if I’m projecting a bisexual vibe. I ask her why she’s good at this sort of thing. “I’m freshly divorced,” she says, her eerie smile never losing its brilliance, “and I’m happy!”
I take this into consideration, nod, and lean against the wall again. I see the blonde and her friends leaving. She waves to me, and somewhere inside me, I curse briefly. The chick liked me.
After another ten minutes I leave. The music was getting better and the DJ was amped up, but I didn’t feel like staying, even after he shouted “Okay you sexy motherfuckers start moving! Two for one drinks for the next hour!”
When I went out side, ironically it was raining. It was fitting, as if the earth was aligned to my somber mood. I spend five minutes standing in a group of people that curse a lot. A drunk girl kept bouncing into me. She was literally inches away from me and acted like I wasn’t there, and in that moment, I felt truly invisible. There I was, standing in a group of seven people, all talking around me, while I watched light reflect on falling raindrops on Avenue C.
I say screw it, and head out into the rain. By the time I reach my pizza place for my ritual slice, I’m soaked. I walk inside with a wet head of hair and a light chill running up my back. I wolf down the slice and go home.
Another wonderful night.

Cannes day 9   Leave a comment

Yes, I skipped day, six, seven and eight because I didn’t have any internet a the hotel and too much was happening to really document. This blog will summarize the most recent events. 

Day 9

 

I’m in my first party and I’m getting a taste of the life. I’m in a villa owned by a few Lebanese billionaires, staring at one of those hundred inch plasma screens that cost the price of three or four kidneys. (Maybe five kidneys).

I tagged along with a friend for a party celebrating the 24 Hour Cannes Film Festival competition. On the way to the party we tried to walk through the  Grande Hotel to get a shuttle heading up to the villa (aptly dubbed, “The Mint”) and we were stopped. My friend is a Cannephile, this being her third or fourth trip to the festival. As we walked through the hotel, a tall doorman said to me in a thick accent, “I’m sorry sir, I’m sorry, you can’t go through.”

These statements are now meaningless.

 

Since I’ve been in Cannes, I’ve become pretty ballsy. You have to be—getting in anywhere you have to walk like you own the place, know the bouncers and have all the women, even if you are sharing a hotel room with a couple of other people, and you live nowhere near the Croisette (the uber exclusive strip of shopping malls where the access to all the beach parties are).

I traipsed through the hotel like it was my own. I didn’t hear the doorman calling to me, and when he eventually did a light jog to the back door to stop us, I looked through him. It was weird, but it felt pretty cool in a strange way. It wasn’t a big deal, because we only walked a short way around the hotel to access the cars to the event. I am Cannes! haha.

The last few days have been literally a whirlwind. I didn’t really think I could do so many things in a day, but I really have.

I’ve directed a short film, which I’m pretty proud of. I’ve done a few shorts, but directing a short Film in France just felt different. Then I entered this film competition the Short Film Corner was hosting in association with a company called “Theauters.com”. I interfaced with this crazy artistic guy named Jesse who is a member of my program.

“I want to win this ten thousand dollars,” he said to me. I nodded. There’s nothing wrong with ten thousand dollars.  “But,” he says to me afterward. “You’ll have to be in a scene where you run through the street… in your underwear.”

I did a huge Scooby Doo.

Aruu?

I thought about it for a second. Either this guy was really crazy, or really inspired. The competition was shooting a three minute film with a tiny and very cheap “Flip Cam”. Each entrant gets a camera (which they can keep for themselves afterwards) and you just run with a story.

Our story is badass.

It is essentially a roundabout story of cheating. A guy (me), meets a French girl somewhere, I hookup with her and her boyfriend finds out. There are chase scenes, fights, some serious Cinema Verite’, a dream sequence and the money shot—me chasing after the French girl in my underwear. It was amazing doing the film, even though some aspects of it were a bit weird. More than once a bus filled with French passengers drove past, wondering who this tall black guy in his underwear was doing in the street at 1 a.m, standing next to a young woman at a bus stop while a guy points at us with a teeny tiny camera.

 

At some point during the night, I said to Jessy. “I’m not shy about standing in the street in my underwear. Its standing in the street in my underwear in a foreign country that make me a little nervous!”

 

All in all, it was fun. Not only did I end up in bed with a French girl (who we recruited mere hours before the shooting started), run through French streets in my underwear, scare a crowd half to death by being chased in realtime, but I did some real acting for the first time I can remember. There was a sequence where I screamed, I did creepy laughs, and we were doing so well we even drew a tiny crowd.

 

At some point a tiny Japanese man tagged along with us to help out with the shoot. At this point I headed to aforementioned party.

 

If my blog isn’t making perfect sense, its because I’m all over the place. I’ve been waking up at 9 and going to be at 3 or 4.am each day for the last week and a half, and I have no signs of slowing down. I’ve been networking like crazy, and I’ve gotten on my first “list” in Cannes! A cute English actress I met sent me a text saying she has me on a list somewhere. What it is and where, I have ZERO idea. But its cool to get some sort of hookup.

Before I end the blog, I jus thave to say that networking feels very natural for me. These parties are just people saying hello, people pitching themselves, and people having drinks. The party at the Mint was sponsored by Perfect Vodka. The two drinks of the night, were the Red Carpet, and the Perfect Pussy. “I’m not making this up.” At some point during the evening Alfonso Ribiero (a.ka. ‘Carlton’ from the French Prince of Belair) shows up. He orders two Pussies and two Vaginas.

Exact words.

After the party I finished the film and fell asleep in a friend’s room. The next day I would see footage on his FlipCam of me asleep on the bed. What will tonight bring? Who knows. There has been so much happening that I haven’t the time to document it all. I’ve been so busy trying to meet people I haven’t really been watching any movies, but today I snuck in a viewing of Everyone dies but me a Russian film about teenagers that makes you want to cry, or put your little sister in a safe FOREVER.

Cheers to a good night. More details tomorrow.

Bonne Nuit.

 

 

 

 

Cannes day 3: Welcome to the real world   Leave a comment

Cannes day three.

 

 

I’m sitting somewhere in between the first floor of the main Palais, and the Riviera. These are sections of the massive Palais des Festival, which is where all the magic happens. To say Cannes is chaotic would be a lie, its more like a storm of chimps on red bull in suits trying to buy and sell films. Not that any of these people look like chimps, but the place is pretty wild.

I just left the Debussy theatre, one of many areas to screen films at Cannes. I watched Hunger, a tale of the hunger strike enacted by prison-bound activist Bobby Sands, in 1981. It took me a few minutes to realize I was actually watching a film at the Cannes Film Festival. There I was, sitting amidst the peers of the industry, taking in a film.

The way industry people take these films seriously, there was a cacophony of coughing as the film started, as people with small colds coughed out the last of their irritable viruses. When the movie started, there was pin-drop silence. For the entire movie. At the end the coughing started at again.

Personally, I was very tired. In my last blog I mentioned going out the night before and celebrity watching. Then I came home, fiddled with the internet a bit and then got some sleep to wake up at 8 a.m so I could sort out some issues I was having. So in the movie at some point, I dozed off. But I saw 95% of the film. I can scratch off a life goal of mine today:

“Applauded at the end of a Cannes film screening with rest of audience.”

That sounds pretty simple, but the logistics of getting into this place were maddening. I might go into the details of the accreditation process in another blog, but trust me. I had to jump through hoops and drop some serious euros to get where I am right now, and I don’t even feel ready.

Early this morning, when I walked into the Palais for the first time, I grabbed a few copies of magazines that are available to everyone in the area. There are thousands of copies of the Hollywood Reporter, Moving pictures and various other magazines. When I slipped a few of them into my bag, I said, “Dammit. I’m really in it.”

Days ago I was a student on the verge of graduating. My worries involved ironing my graduation gown, packing for this trip to France and worrying about how much my feet hurt when I shop for new shoes. Here, I am officially a professional. I don’t have time to worry that much. All the people here are trying to do the exact same thing. Get ahead. I’m surrounded by thousands of talented, super driven people from dozens of countries with literally thousands of different agendas.

 

Cannes is a Market based festival. Essentially people come here to promote, buy or sell films. Or they come here to promote, buy or sell themselves (not necessarily in that order :p) . So it is a rat race of the most powerful kind. Workshops run abound in Cannes, companies are EVERYWHERE and its non-stop. So a person can juggle visiting companies, catching a screening here and there and maybe catching a party at night. I’ve been told a good strategy is to head to some of the more exclusive hotels and hang out in the lobby and chat to people. This is a business. A relentless one.

 

So therein lies the question? How do I market myself as a writer? Are writers truly in demand, or are hot scripts in demand? When I received my badge, I got a cool little gray bag with ‘Cannes 2008’ all over it. Inside was information on the festival and market participants. The market participant book is twice the size of the Bible. This book had the information of participants in the festival. (and I thought looking into the face of eternal hellfire was daunting). So, I have to organize. I have to go through the periodicals(magazines, etc) and figure out which companies would like my product. I have a comedic script that I want to pitch, but get this. In my Graduation week (as madness ensued and I had no time to sleep) I didn’t adequately prepare some things for my trip. As it stands, when you don’t carry certain things with you to a foreign country, you have to buy them in that country, and man are the prices different. I’m leaking Euros.

 

The plan has to get juggled. Not only do I feel like I have to dress sharp (in Jamaica we say “Bush”) to seem like a true professional, but I have to do it every day. I’m not sure I have that many dress shirts :p. Either way, the battle begins. Tiny Jamaican writer, versus huge, well established international festival. I may not have a movie, or be able to get into the exclusive parties, but I have my little script. May I pitch it well!

On a side note, I bought a SIM card today from a phone store. The guys were not helpful at all. They spoke no English, the phone card’s instructions were in English, and I’m sure I don’t even know how to recharge the bloody card… but I had to get it. Its already getting impossible to link up with members from my program, much less contact people I will be meeting throughout the festival. Investment is key in these things. Don’t scrimp on those comfy black shoes you wanted to wear because they were slightly out of your budget, and get more dress shirts! Self-promotion baby!

Plus tard, ladies and gentlemen, Bush every day!

Cannes Day 2: Pictures with Celebs   5 comments

Julianne Moore. Mischa Barton. Gillian Anderson.

What do they all have in common with me? Well, I’m in pictures with all of them. Before you go running to your friends and saying that Marcus is a celeb, think again. I experienced the first taste of the paparazzi vibe.

A few of us from the program were idle at the hotel, sitting in the lobby. After chatting for  a bit about which movie was better, The Village or Lady in the Water, we decided to try and head to a party near the Palais. Apparently, the popular house group Justice was playing at this exclusive party on the waterfront. A friend of mine Chris, received an armband that gets him into all the parties during the week, courtesy of the William Morris agency. A few other people decided to head out to see if they could go to the party as well. IF not, we’d have a nice scenic walk in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

 

So we walk the three mile stretch from our Hotel to the Palais, stopping occassionaly to see how Caroline is doing. Caroline is wearing three inch heels and needless to say, heels are evil. After another twenty minutes or so we reach one party. The music is pumping and bouncers wearing tuxedos are standing guard by a small walk way that leads into a series of white tents. The music doesn’t sound like house, and we walk further up.

 

What is amazing about this area so far is the quality of the women. Yes people can say that the way  a woma n looks is relative, but the average woman here is slim, well toned/tanned and very well dressed. Its like the cutest/hottest girls were tossed into a basket and dumped into the ocean near Cannes, where they fought to get to shore in a sweaty mass of lotion and hair gel. The women I’m seeing are pretty attractive, but I’m not really excited by the number of attractive women around me. This is an area heavily populated with millionaires and important people. For now, I’m content just watch them go by. In the way a Lion with a full stomach watches a gazelle graze a few feet away.

 

We reach the Justice party and people are floored left and right. The man at the door is a tall, well tanned French man who looks like a 1982 Calvin Klein model. He takes one look at a person in our group, a tall guy named Ryan (who is wearing a sharp sports, jacket dress shirt, fitted jeans, designer shoes and glasses ) and says. “No, se impossible’ “.

Chris, who has the exclusive armbad, is shut down as well. To be fair, Chris was wearing a plaid shirt and a straw hat. Everyone going into the part was dripping in Gucci and all sorts of designer garb. Then somewhere to our left, we hear some commotion. Bodies were running to and fro and lights were flashing everywhere. A celeb was sighted!

 

We took a few steps to see what the fuss was about. A tall, modelesque looking woman surrounded by people with cameras walked by. “Who is that?” I asked. “That’s Mischa Barton.” A guy named Sebastian replies. “What show is she on?” I ask again. Caroline replies this time. “She’s on the OC.” Chris laughs. “Man, that’s wack! The OC isn’t even a real show!”

 

I watch her walk by, in a resplendent gray dress and she heads into a movie theatre outfitted with an Indiana Jones motif for the upcoming movie premiere. We talk as a group for a second, when in the corner of my eye, I see a flash of red hair and what appears to be a familiar face.

“Is that Gillian Anderson?” I say. “The x-files chick?”

Sure enough it was. “Let’s get a picture with her!” Chris says. We trot over to where she is, and I’m suddenly standing right beside her as the cameras start flashing. I smile with my arms folded, Chris shows the peace sign. The photographers keep shouting, “Liz!Liz!” (we don’t know why) and soon Chris starts saying “Liz! Liz!” as well.

 

We repeat this process when Julianne Moore comes out of the party. I squeeze in past a few photographers and stand almost directly beside her.  As the cameras flash, I smile and Chris gives the peace sign. I realize that I’ll most likely never see these pictures. These could be going to magazines all over the world, but it is a funny exercise. Julianne Moore looks the way she always does; pale and ageless.

We take pictures with a famous French guy “La Rouche” I think his name is, and a couple who people are snapping but I don’t recognize. We miss a photo opportunity with a cute Japanese actress wearing a traditional kimono and massive setas. After that we talk about the industry for a while. I’m chatting with a cool guy I met named Danny, who wants to be  director.

“This is what we want to be a part of eh?” I ask.

“This is fake, man. BS.” He says.

We dissect the issues surrounding the festival, the nature of film and talk about goals of success. At the end of the day, I’m not worried. At present I am nobody, but I’m at one of the biggest festivals in the world regardless. I might be on the outside looking in, but in a way, I’ve taken the first steps towards something. We take a cab back home and get this, the cab is a 2008 Mercedes SUV.

I reach back to the hotel, give Danny 3 euros for my share of the trip and see two more guys from the program chilling in the lobby. They’ve spent the evening chatting with two French girls and they seem to be very happy.  I have to wake up in a few hours to head to the Festival to deal with a few house keeping issues. Tomorrow is a new day.

 

Plutar!

Life 4 Inches at a Time [PreBday Thawts]   Leave a comment

Today is Wednesday, March 19, 2008.
.
Last year on this very day, I was in Barcelona, probably sipping on a cafe con leche. I spent my 25th birthday in Europe, far away from almost everything and everyone I knew.
.
Today, I’m sitting in my room, staring blankly at my computer screen. Naturally, this leads one to reflect. I’m not sure what to speak about honestly, but I feel like with any blog a person needs to say something before they usher themselves into another age bracket?Maybe I could talk about love, growth, the economy or probably Global Warming. Who knows. I have no poignant thoughts on the brain of late.
Maybe I’ll blog about nothing in particular, and write a little poem that reflects my state of mind.
One thing I realize about this blog thing, its pretty challenging at times. This thing is supposed to be a sort of online diary, a forum where anyone can hop onto your page and read what you’ve been up to. Much of what I’ve been up to, I don’t want to say.Maybe I’m too shy, or a little too reserved when I think of who might be reading these blogs. Does it really matter if I say whatever is on my mind? The most hits i’ve received in a day are 120. Can my life really be affected if an extra 120 people know a few tidbits about someone they will probably never meet?

Who knows.

I’ve toyed with the idea of writing another blog, the one were I can REALLY speak my mind. Rant if you will. Talk about my life’s frustrations, things that are approaching that sometimes keep me awake, disturbing adult behavior, unrequited love, the works.

But who knows. These aren’t things someone really has to focus on are they? We are in the age where people can find out almost anything if they search hard enough. I’m just doing people a favor, and putting it out there before the masses come calling.

I can say without reservation that in my life so far I have seen some pretty ugly things. The dark side of human nature, people and events. I try to ignore these things, but I realize that when some really f-ed up stuff happens to you, it can really sit with you for a LONG time. This sometimes makes me desire to be “normal”. But what is normal anyway? I don’t think anyone is normal. Half of my relationships are destroyed by the hangups my exes have over their former boyfriends. Do the wrong thing, you become that guy, and you are gone. Caput.

Everyone has their frame centralized based on what happened to them in their life, good or bad. Who is normal? The chick with the eating disorder because she hates herself or the guy who does lines to forget about his friend that killed himself? What is normal?

Each time I hear about people dying on the news I feel nothing. Worse, when people close to me have died and I don’t know how to react. How can I? We are in this weird, desensitized world where no one generally thinks past how far they can tolerate discomfort.

I’ve also seen some amazing things. I’ve traveled, I’ve met beautiful people I care and love. I’ve seen one of the better sides of humanity, the value of family, good friendships, and priceless moments. I’ve sat on a beach in Hawaii, staring at the sunset, realizing how big the world is. I’ve heard my father tell me he loves me, looked a hurricane directly in the eye and dodged a few near death incidents. I’ve had broken bones, and a broken heart. Christ, I still have a broken heart. I’ve lived eh?

Even though i’m sitting in my room, alone and in my underwear typing this, I have to be thankful.

Yesterday I was walking home. I was feeling like a huge cloud was over my head. This happens to everyone in a major city if you don’t have that many people to interact with. Its almost like everyone is a mannequin, and you are walking by everyone in slow motion. You don’t hear any voices because you have your headphones on, drowning out the world. You don’t see any smiles, or looking into anyone’s eyes. You walk straigth ahead, like society’s runway model, unaware of anything in the periphery, all you see is that walkway that leads to the photographers.

I was feeling like this. I had just returned from walking around aimlessly for a few hours. About fifty feet in front of me, I saw a man struggling to push his wheelchair up a small ramp that lead to the sidewalk. A passerby helped him and when the man regained control of his chair, I walked past. This man–I have no idea what ailment he had–could only push the wheelchair forwards a few inches at a time. His head rested awkwardly on his chest, and he was twitching. Even so, his eyes seeemed much brighter than mine. I, the person in full control of my faculties had darker eyes.

Immediately I felt ashamed of myself. I felt the need to cry surge within me as I wondered about what I was truly thankful for. What is wrong with you? I said to myself. Even if there isn’t much going on right now, you can walk, you can talk, if you get lucky, you can get laid. You aren’t living life four inches at a time.

This emotional charge has probably lead me in a spiral of thinking about the past. I’ve been in a few car accidents, and I’ve suffered some major injuries in my lifetime. These leave me in a fluctuating state of pain, which I find annoying, but i’m not crippled. Even though I tend to limp every now and then, I can still run if I need to, and walk a few miles every other day or so.

Whoever reads this, I might dismiss this as meaningless in a day or so. Regardless of that fact, it is all i can think about right now. The time your inner voice in the loudest, is when you have nothing to say, and no one to say anything to you. Add a Spring Break time period to that, and you have a regular existential birth about to happen.

Who knows what life means. So what if I was in Barcelona last year, and this year i’ll probably be sitting in some Cafe in DC somewhere. I’m not unhappy to be alive. I don’t really have that much to complain about. I’ve realized as I get older that a few things happen:

(a) you see the bad side of people you love, and you can choose to hate them, or get over it.
(b) you will experience the death of someone close to you, sooner or later. No one escapes.
(c) you will fail a few times at things you believe you could NEVER lose at. Life teaches all.
(d) you will have at least one or two major regrets. Things you can never change. Ever.
(e) you will have the choice to call someone to say hello, or tell them you love them, but you won’t.
(f) you will either decide to focus on your career as the focus of your life, or take your own steps towards what your life will be. Either way, its fueled by the notion of death at the end of the road.
(g) you will have lots of fun if you so choose.
(h) you will realize your own meaning of life and death, sooner or later.
(i) you will be challenged to change a bad habit you have, or you will lose people very precious to you if you don’t.
(j) you will realize the words of your peers when you were a child make perfect sense.
(k) you will fear having children of your own someday.
(l) you will have a moment where you can completely change your life, or stay where you are, knowing it will keep you trapped for years to come.
(m) next year, you’ll realize these things all over again. :p

Okay that’s not some comprehensive list, but its MY list… and you are reading MY blog…so there! :p

Anyways, lately I’ve been like “screw it”. I’ll tell my thoughts within reason. I’ve been hesitant at times to write because I think certain people might read my blog, but hey, I’m not that important. I get comments from random people in different countries. The people closest to me refuse to read my blog, so I’m safe. I’m still trying to get my sister to read one of my 76 posts.

So ladies and gents, so ends the rant. Maybe there wasn’t much point to this. Tomorrow i’ll go back to my usual witty re-telling of whatever I do on my birthday. Hopefully it will involve women, drugs and alcohol.

Peace

%d bloggers like this: