More than anything in the world, I just want to be inspired. I need a muse. Maybe a couple.
I’ve been thinking about writing short stories. Something fictional. But nothing like that thing I wrote before. I know what that was. That was me trying to put to bed 37 years of life. I was trying to make sense of it all. And maybe audaciously hope that I had a future. I wrote it because I had something to say. What I didn’t realize was that I was teaching myself how to say things rather than working towards a finished project.
So now I have the words. What I need are ideas. The stakes are low. I’m not pinning any hope to this. I just want to feel good about writing something just for me.
When I was a kid, I watched everything I could get my hands on. I was pretty much unattended all day, so I could watch anything I wanted. It started with PBS, Nickelodeon and HBO. By the time I was seven, I was reading TV Guide like a reference book.
In high school, on Friday nights, I would drive to Blockbuster. And while everyone else was picking up a copy of the latest action flick, I was in the back of the store reading a two volume index. It was IMDb before there was an “I.”
You knew the movie and maybe the lead actor. But I knew the cinematographer, the editor, the costumer, the references, the context, the deleted scenes, the soundtrack and the filming locations. When I find people who can geek out at things like this, I feel such an affinity that my heart wants to explode. It is never ever film studies majors, curiously enough.
I miss walking the aisles of Casa Video and the U of A library, looking at every DVD and VHS box like they were old friends. The streaming systems are great, but they really lack in the indie film and foreign film department. I’m in the greatest city in the world …there has to be a place I can go to get inspired. Alfie has a ton of DVDs that he burned from the old Netflix days. I think I’ll get another DVD drive for my computer. And maybe check out Video Free Brooklyn and Film Noir Video this week.
I just want to have curiosity rewarded with something filling. Like when I saw My Own Private Idaho or Kids or Clerks. When you’re a small town kid brought up in a repressed culture, movies give you a chance to be a part of a greater world—to know it just might be ok, to know that you’re gonna make it.
I still long to feel that sometimes. To feel a part of something bigger. And to know that I’m gonna make it. I might go to geek trivia tomorrow. I don’t know. I’m scared of strangers lately. Where have I disappeared to? I used to be so bold! I guess I still am, in little ways on most days. But failure is insidious. It breaks you down at the fiber level, like a meat tenderizer.
The book ends of my move here have been all the people throughout my life who told me I belonged here and all the people who told me not to let the city change me. I was already a New Yorker before I got my lease. I’ve been a ball buster since birth. I’ve been tough in ways most kids never manage. I’ve got an independent direction. I’ve got drive. I’ve got an innate sense of style (even if I have cringeworthy moments). I have taste. I have a moral compass. I have incredible luck. I’m charming and brilliant. And people want to help me.
What else could I need?
What I need to do is make some big moves. Fortune favors the bold. I could use her on my side. Her and at least five of the nine Muses.
Let’s get Kraken.
Self-Portrait With Muse (Dream)
Marc Chagall (1917-1918)