Monday, February 27, 2012

why did the academy awards make me want to kill myself?

in the wake of the academy awards i wanted a beer, always a bad sign. and then i wanted to die and never grow old. how does hollywood do that to one? as an avid movie fan, i've always lived in fantasy. yes, i got restless at the pageant theater, even with all the folks dressed up and the champagne. i took a walk to the local used bookstore and bought a book on japanese netsuke, using the last of my cash. downtown deserted on a sunday evening and eerie, i must say. 

back at the pageant, i grew increasingly bored, yet i knew if i deserted  the enterprise early, going home alone, i'd feel abandoned. persistent to the end, i left more or less satisfied a silent movie had won the biggest prize. of course, i felt like nora desmond in sunset boulevard, abandoned by the tide of time. i'm ready for my close-up, mr demille. as host billy crystal said, 'watching multi-millionaires give each other gold statues,' put me in a strange state. after the glitter and glamour, snuggling up to beautiful movie stars, i found my little room confining and rather bleak. all i could do was go to sleep for a couple of hours.  

to quote ts eliot, i'm not sure how much reality humanity can stand. you're surprised, films the real reality? certainly, look at those readers, mostly women young and old, reading the fan magazines in the bookstore cafe. as a i guy, i sit there wondering, what the hell do they get out of it? i'm not against a fantasy life, having led my own version, however that's the answer: i've created my own dream world. at seventeen i decided you either watched television or did something else. i'm not sure i made the right choice. other people have a communal history i don't.

o yes, i watched the planes hit the towers, jfk assassinated, and oj simpson chased down the freeway, all the high points. i seemed to be in the right place at the right time to see the kids mowed down at kent state and caesar cross the rubicon. headlines, like trailers for movies, pretty much tell you the whole story. better to browse than flounder. upstairs above my tiny domicile in santa cruz, california, many years ago, gunshots rang out constantly as the little lady watched rawhide and flipped cockroaches off the arm of her chair. no wonder she lived like a badly traumatized pilot of vietnam, hiding in the bushes, once back home.

still, i love to sit in the back seat of the pageant and laugh my head off at midnight in paris, a send-up of everything i've lived and hold dear. 

these days i derive the most satisfaction from doodling on my ipad. no wonder i'd like to get drunk and imagine a harem all my own.

                                                     moses found in the bulrushes