Before it gets too far into 2018, I want to do a Draft Amnesty on all my 2017 drafts -- things I started to write and abandoned, or things I just never published. There are a few kicking around, so here, enjoy their half-cooked, unedited glory.
Me in Media: The Jinx
I see things sometimes, movies or TV or whatever, and I wonder if it’s just the Hand of Fate or I’m drawn to certain types of stories, or if there’s just an awful lot of dissociation in the world...but anyway, there’s the story and then the things you bring to the story. I want to always be aware of that. But I also feel like what I’m bringing to things isn't something I’ve seen talked about much. So anyway, this will maybe be a series. Time will tell.
Thanks to a friend and a free trial of HBO, I’ve finally watched the documentary series “The Jinx”, which originally aired in 2015. The series is about Robert Durst, member of the New York real estate mogul Dursts, which means that for 2017 audiences he’s probably most interesting as a man who probably grew up hanging around with Donald Trump, before they both went on to get away with a lot of things they’re definitely guilty of.
For me, it’s really difficult to watch Robert Durst talk and not see and hear my dad in a million tiny ways. The bullshit fake-out “honesty” of lying that’s actually telling a very minimizing version of events, but makes it seem like he’s very self-aware and holding himself accountable? That’s a classic move. The way he can be so upset for himself regarding events that happened to him oh, forty years ago, and expect sympathy but refuses to do the most basic kindnesses to the people closest to him -- another trademark move. Of course I can say these things because when my father gets backed into a corner and needs to solve his problems, his solutions never look like murder (to my knowledge),
Super Opinionated Power Club - Gay Space
I've been thinking about how we're almost through the first quarter of this long endurance race we're on. I cannot speak for everyone, but I've almost lived through 2017 and it's a bit of a shock to me. I bought a planner for 2018, seemingly practical, but downright optimistic when I think on it too long. The feelings getting dredged up remind me of being an adolescent, that slow gooey time when everyone told me, "you'll get along so much better at college", but I couldn't go anywhere yet. My stepfather was the kind of man who left work early so he could go through my mail and then lord that fact over me; I avoid the national news. It lacks freshness.
Then as now, escapism holds strong appeal. The mind requires a break, and mine seems to have found one in, god help me, Star Trek Discovery. In some ways, this was inevitable; I'm in my mid-30s and the show is on CBS. (To ease the transition into An Old, it's recommended to add a CBS show per year for every year over 30. I'm well overdue.) It's also a show that started out being developed by Brian Fuller, he of the infamous Murder Husbands (Hannibal), so it's got some weirdly queer, sinister DNA, one assumes. None of this is what I gave a shit about initially. I'm here to be fucked with by the writers' room.
(Potential spoilers ahead)
There's a very elaborate fan theory about one of the actors listed in the show being a *made up person*
The Story of the Creation and Destruction of the Cave Behind Our Heart
We came to find ourselves with two wailing women. Both adult, one more dressed for the outside world than the other (who wore long rags), both with long dark hair hanging about their faces. They both wanted to scream so much that to let either of them out felt too dangerous to the body -- nobody wanted to hurt the throat, for one thing. It felt as if our eyes would burst, or our jaw would tear off, or our skin would rip away just from the energy behind the screams, if we let one or both of them out.
And so we built the cave behind our heart. It was large and echoing. It had stalagmites and stalactites. It had a large lake in the center that water dripped into from some unknown source. There were no living creatures in the cave, other than the two women. They stood, one with her feet in the water and one on the shore, screaming in rage at all hours of the day. It was safe for them there, the cave could contain everything they had to get out of themselves. That’s where the two women lived for many months.
Eventually, one of the women stopped screaming and just started crying, long and loud. It was a different kind of wail, and not much quieter, but it changed the atmosphere of the cave quite a bit. The other’s screams became more like angry sobs. One day for no reason we understand, one of the women stopped crying and left the cave. She’s off in the deep woods somewhere, silent and watching. The angry sobbing woman stayed behind; she didn’t seem to notice the change and carried on.
The other day one of us was crying and we felt something change behind our heart. Instead of feeling the deep limitless space of the cavern behind it, now there is the sense of only a few inches and then the skin of our back. There is a strange callus that is hard to look at, somehow funnel-like, swirled, pink and tan, where the cave used to be. It is closed up, but at just the right angle, like a slice of light, the void is still there somehow. Like a thin sheet of glass has bisected our body, invisible when looking directly at us, but standing just-so, a doorway.
Inside the void-cave, the angry sobbing woman is still there. We can barely hear her. We aren’t sure if she is farther away now or closer. Is she hiding? Or protected?
But that is how the cave was destroyed, and where the women went.