E and I originally met during the only play I was ever in. He was a rapping reporter and I was a timid librarian. It was only partially typecast. We completed the whole play without really even speaking to one another and then at the dress rehearsals he asked to see my CD collection. Thusly, a bizarre experiment in human relations happened.
I have oft quoted him as the darker version of someone else, but when faced with more facts, E asked why I considered him such a schmuck. I would disagree and tell him that he has a lot of the better attributes (minus, er, some of emotional baggage) and that it’s just that he is a lot more somber, has better T-shirts, and to trump all, a much larger collection of music. [I suppose the overarching card to win the game would the fact that he speaks to me. Ha.] He sometimes becomes my penance in the fact that I get to help him out with a relationship that is bizarrely malformed as my last one.
“I’m not sure I understand the abrupt change of heart; she stopped speaking to me overnight.”
“Ah…well…um…shit. That whore.”
So it was a dark and windy night on a forlorn side road. The eves of the buildings dripped with acidic rain and it was in this alley that E passed me the answers to my turbulent questions. He then leaned over, his tar-colored coat flapping in wind, and tipped his hat against the gusts. With as much composure he could muster as his eyes darted from side to side, he whispered, “Rocky V never happened.”
1. Quick, I say the word “Yodel”, you say (or sing):
Ricola never really appealed to me with those stupid commercials, and the few times I did try them I was hardly impressed. Yodeling is also pretty far down the list of useful talents to focus on in a personal ad. Well, unless you’re down with singing into… Er, Shortbus memory. Scary.
2. Have any hidden talents that you would like to have not so hidden any more? Share with us.
I have an amazing ability to remember recurring dates. One might not see me for years, but I will still somehow remember their birthday. Of course, if it comes to it, I will not have any recourse for the apparent fait accompli where I’m destined to want to “forget” the anniversary of marriage to my miserable and ungrateful wife. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.
3. Who would you want to play yourself in a movie based on your life?
For that matter, who would play me?
I would be played by a young but cynical Bill Murray, who would question into his poorly made martinis where it all went wrong. You would be played by Uma Thurman, and threaten to kill everybody in sight. I might be embellishing a bit. I’m thinking either musical, or methodical tribute to the French New Wave. Perhaps neo-noir. Yeah.
4. I’m stealing this one from the Book of Questions. “What are your most compulsive habits”?
My most compulsive habit is lingering too long on things. I’m not one to just accept things that I feel are amiss, and it gets me in trouble. Other than that, there is the tendency to listen to a song one too many times.
5. Why exactly do you tolerant me anyhow and what is your favorite memory of us?
Tolerant of you? I like talking to you. If that’s tolerance, well, sure. Sounds like too harsh of a word. Anyway, I remember the endless string of gay jokes at the bar, the haggling at the bookstore, the great Tech blackout… The list goes on.
6. What mores do you value?
More cake. More good food. I’m a bit of an epicurean. More laughter. More time with people I like. Oh, you mean morality? Um, I value honesty. Loyalty. Not setting up people on a Byzantine set of conditions. [Ed. note: Hear, hear!]
7. What are you like when you’re gobsmackedly drunk?
I’m often way too giggly and happy. I still maintain a level of clear-headedness, but sometimes unable to control the junk coming out of my mouth. However, every now and then, when the moon is right, I can be a little more dark and miserable than even usual. Thankfully, that’s not too often. My repeated drunken line? A laugh at something stupid, and saying “That’s way funnier than it actually is!”
8. Pray tell, E, what is the appeal of noir with you?
The appeal of noir to me is the darkness of humanity, the struggle of men and women who are not heroes, but try their best given their situations. Hard hearted souls that know that they may not change the world, but they’ll make damn sure that at least somebody pays the price.
9. There is a swarm of locusts. The end is near. What do you grab?
A baseball bat. The nearest sharp object I can find. Hopefully I will find some bubblegum. The best b-movie line ever: “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum.”
10. Any journalist worth their sarcastic salt should always ask this question: if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
If I were cynical, I would say I was a Christmas tree: useful and admired for a bit only to be tossed out when the appeal has run its course. If I weren’t cynical, I’d say oak. Oak is steady and makes good furniture. Oh, yes, and “Oak’s nice.” — The most quotable movie ever.