I had neglected Greg for about two weeks. I needed to make a courtesy call and check in with Dary. I was mildly concerned that I'd never see Alundra again (silly, actually, but rather dire at the moment, thinking I would never have a plain enough excuse to seek her out on my own). Mildly, I say, because I knew I probably would see her, but moreso because I was resolved that my wishful thinking was leading me nowhere. I was flat broke, as usual. I bought a PlayStation 2 a week ago. Actually, MaryJane made me buy it, but I'm not going to blame her. I cracked out on "Grand Theft Auto 3" so bad, I caught myself, in that nexus between consciousness and unconscious reflex, looking for sidewalks to jump while sitting in my car, inconvenienced at a red light. That's fucking bad. Bad. It was very, very bad. Video games are very bad for the mind. It's video crack. But playing video games is awesome with MaryJane.
Right or wrong, I told myself, still sitting there on the edge of the bed, these last few weeks, if not the last few months were my own little getaway, and it is now over. I am so glad that it's over. Everyone has relapses. Wow. There, I said it. Yeah. I'm glad I've learned how to be honest with myself. I hope this one is over. MaryJane is gone for now, but she's always just a phone call away. She's not very interesting, except when we're together. Every time I give the pipe head, she takes me to the moon. It's the orbit of her hips, or something like that. Sexy as hell, but I feel like I let her get in the way of my life entirely too much. Not often; just too much. Don't get me wrong. I love her. I'm in love with her. The same way I'm still in love with my ex's: she's no good, but damn, she makes me feel like a fucking rockstar. But it's time to get over it. It's one thing to act like a rockstar in the shower. It's something else entirely to get up in front of people and do it for real. Everytime I step out of the shower, the only audience I see is that blobulous reflection in the mirror. I want someone else to notice what I can do. And if there's anything I took from that stupid mall-survey job, it was learning not to give a fuck what stupid people think.
Without analyzing it too much, I made that courtesy call to Dary. I was very nervous. His aquaintence means alot to me. To his face I consider him a friend. Privately, he's one of those guys I like to be around, but I'd never tell him who I really am. I don't fit the stereotypical profile. Most people don't know how to deal with all of my idiosychracies. I would like to believe otherwise, but I've given too many people too much credit.
He was amazingly understanding about my walking off the job. "Hey, man, that's the way the job goes. Don't think I don't understand." Wow. I want more bosses like him. But it was more than that. Over that conversation, Dary had at once ceased to be my "boss" and settled into that blurry area of "friend." I told him that I thought I should say something to Alan, but I thought no matter what I say, Alan and I will always be at odds. Dary seemed uninterested in talking about the job. He instead told me I was missed at the screening at Jennifer's & Caleb's house. I was touched by his use of a conversational technique that diverted interest toward my wellbeing, regardless of current circumstances. He said nothing of my dumping a steaming pile in Alan's lap. Instead Dary was indicating that he was more interested in my involvement with his short film. I told him I missed the screening because I was getting my non-linear orientation at cable access. Again using the technique, he asked me how it went; told me about his prerequisit orientation with linear editing and wondered if cable access was still pulling that jive. I felt like I was finally aligned with him the way I'd always wanted to be.
That conversation jump-started the rest of my day. The next order of business was to check in with Greg. He had asked me months ago to take over technical duties on his cable access show. That's why I was at orientation. It'd been weeks since our last chat, but there are no plans to go before he finishes his book in October. Trying that "with one stone" theory, I gathered some books to sell in a shopping bag, tied it to the handle bars of my bike and rode down to the bookstore to sell them, hoping I'd run into him there. And there he was.
I'm learning that business is 90% shit-chat. Greg and I gabbed for only a few minutes. We don't know each other well, but he's one of the sweetest human beings I've ever met. He always makes me feel very comfortable in his company, even though, compared to him, I know jack shit about movies. I told him I was all "orientated" and ready to work for him, which seemed like pleasing news. He looked a bit more flustered than usual, but I had, after all, caught him at work.
I felt very good about everything. In a couple of hours I knocked off two minor anxiety pills that could have become major disasters. There were a couple more to deal with.
Outside the bookstore stood one of the vendors for the homeless newspaper. I have plans to make my first documentary on this homeless paper for college credit. I need to get my stupid ass over there and introduce myself to them. The only thing stopping me so far is a guilty conscience for using them without getting to know them. I looked at the guy, knowing exactly what it's like to stand around soliciting people who seem uncomfortable with his very existance. I knew I didn't have a dollar bill on me. The bookstore had given me only large bills. I really wanted to buy a paper from this guy, but how many times does he hear "I'll be right back"? I asked him if he could make change. Seeing that it was probably going to be more hassle for him than it was worth, I told him I'd break my bill at another store and come back since I'd need to fetch my bike anyway. It was the honest excuse I needed to go see Alundra at her volunteer job.
Honestly, I hadn't even thought about nervousness before I walked into her little shop. Then, standing in front of her, unannounced, I realized that we were without the conversational conventions of work. My speech mechanisms were slightly affected just by looking at her. That whole longer you get to know them theory is really working. I can remember the first time I laid eyes on her, months ago while she paid a visit to the office. (She's actually not new to the job, just new to me having returned from a few months in Europe with her familial roots.) Judging from a very typical frame of mind, she didn't make an impression. Seeing her in the little shop I was really stunned - by what she was wearing, or by being with her...I dunno. She had on a tight grey and black T-shirt, the sleeves torn out or cut off so the rounded flesh of her shoulders were exposed. She seemed to wear that tough lesbian look so innocently. I nearly melted right there on the floor. This was the first time I'd seen her off the job or off of Dary's production. And she didn't know I'd just quit.
...do you know actors? Do you know how they work? When you watch someone delivering emotion, are you aware of where that emotion is really coming from? I used to act. While I was training, it became thee most important tool to understand what mental processes make real people act, or react the way they do. Anytime you see someone have a reaction, what comes accross their face and animates their body is inspired, or heavily influenced by something else unrelated to the situation at hand. Almost never is the actual cause present at the time of the delivery, only the trigger. Those feelings on display are usually the end result of something completely unrelated. When I told her I quit, I watched Alundra's face change to some subtle mixture of shock, sadness and regret. I was really touched. Or maybe I'm just projecting. Like an actor, despite what I saw in her face, I'm assuming (for my own protection) that her reaction stems from experience and circumstances that have nothing to do with me. Still, she's so lovely it broke my heart that I brought it up.
I'm a horrible orrater (hence, the diary), but I spun her the story about my last day as evenly as I could. She and Alan are friends, and I respect that. Though, like Dary, she seemed less interested in the gory details, and more interested in what I was going to do with myself. I told her the plan was to get back on the job hunt and find something that will pay the bills. It was all very pleasant, but for reasons more obvious to me, it felt very hollow. Unfinished. For all the things I want to say to her I can't imagine a situation that would be appropriate. Time will tell.
I reminded her of my interest in her documentary on Dary's production. Whether she needed a fresh pair of eyes to look at the rough cut, or whther she needed help with the sitdown interviews, I told her I'm available, willing and able. With my new cable access clearences, I could get some light kits for her and maybe a nice camera if she wanted. I must have been there for fewer than twenty minutes, but by the time we exchanged phone numbers I was feeling much more relaxed having offered my resources to her. We will get together again sometime and it will be good.
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