Not-date after not-work

Today was a pretty good day at work! A bug in the software made most of the programs we use inoperative, and the computer experts are working on it, but meanwhile I may have done about fifteen minutes of work in eight hours.

Instead, all the people I like — Lottie, Kallie, me, and sometimes Peter — loitered and chatted most of the day. Kallie had more date updates, Lottie had funny stories when Kallie was around and sexy stories when she wasn’t, and Peter arm-wrestled with a temp, and lost.

For a change, though, I won’t report on Carlotta’s silly conversations. What I’ve noticed is, when I come home and type up whatever she said that seemed risqué, it gets me going again, but at the moment I’m tired and not in the mood. Anyway, if you’ve read any of it, today was just more of the same.

♦ ♦ ♦

Kallie says her date went well, and the guy was a perfect gentleman, charming and funny and... yes, I wish it was me, but I'll never let on.

She’s seeing him again tonight, so I guess it went really well. Her date is at 7:30, and my movies don’t start until 8:00, so Kallie and I did dinner at Tina’s on Eddy Street — omelets and laughs and the widest-ranging conversation we’ve ever had. We confessed that we both dislike parties, first dates, almost any kind of social situation, Jennifer, our jobs, and our mothers’ nagging. I even found a hole in the conversation where I could gently wedge in that I rarely if ever make the first move to ask a woman out, even a woman I might like. Hint hint.

Then we said good night, and she bused to her home for her second date with Prince Charming, while I strolled over to check the maildrop.

If I let myself think about it too much, I could be depressed that this nice lady is tiptoeing toward a relationship with some other man, but of course it’s my own damned fault. I hesitate. I say nothing. I remain alone, and apparently that’s by choice. My head is a complicated place, and I get lost up there, frequently.

Oh, and everything about my cheese omelet was fine, except the potatoes, which tasted like they'd been frozen and reheated. The tab with tip was five dollars. I’ve had better, and cheaper, but Tina’s is with easy walking distance of the office, which makes it convenient for a not-date after not-work.

♦ ♦ ♦

In the mailbag, came a surprise from Martina Eddy of the zine Big Secrets. She sent a tiny porcelain figurine of a blond blue-eyed white girl, and at the bottom it says, “Made in occupied Japan.” It’s both beautiful and sad, and I thank you very much, Martina, sincerely. But there’s no place in my apartment (or in my life) for such a lovely and fragile thing. I’m a big ox, and if it put it on a shelf I’ll accidentally jostle it off, probably soon, and it’ll be shattered.

My mom, though, has an intense fascination with all things Japanese, so I’ll give it to her as a present when she visits in a few weeks.

♦ ♦ ♦

Tonight was another fabulous show at the Victoria, with a big and enthusiastic crowd — nearly a sell-out, which I hope means they’ll be unlocking the doors and showing more movies, more often.

The program began with Threshold of Tomorrow (1964), an awful educational film that’s nothing but overripe PR for its sponsor, the Masonite Corporation. Middle-aged white guys with glasses and crew-cuts and pocket protectors explain all about leading edge technology and modern engineering. The robotesque narrator explains that forests are a valuable asset, which the men (and one woman) of Masonite make into lumber, cardboard, laminated paneling, pegboard, mulch, charcoal briquettes, livestock feed, and much much more, pouncing on virgin forests, putting every tree to profitable use, and “improving on nature.” I’m certain I saw this film in my 7th grade science class, and even then I knew it was absolute shit.

Zardoz (1974) begins with a flying godhead imploring some savages to “Go forth and kill.” Then this idol spits a thousand guns out of its mouth, and the killing begins. It’s not a comedy, but as stupid science fiction it’s deliriously demented, profoundly silly, and never threatens to make the slightest sense. Future science seems to understand Sean Connery’s erections, and it may be your only chance to see him in a white wedding gown. Worth noting, the theater’s air was thick with pot as soon as Zardoz started, so if you’re taking my advice on what movies to see, it might be better under the influence.

Speed Scene is a short 1969 documentary that takes a morose look at the serious problem of amphetamine abuse. If anyone hooked on speed could sit still long enough to watch it, he or she would probably walk straight to a detox center, where, of course, the doors would be locked and the windows boarded up, because this is America and we don’t like to help people who need help. The moviemakers could’ve used some uppers themselves, though, as visually and cinematically it’s a boring preach-piece. You could call it a motion picture, technically, but there’s hardly any motion; it’s almost entirely talking heads.

I was getting drowsy, with extremely low expectations for the evening’s last movie, so I seriously considered leaving, but I stayed, with no regrets. What they showed us was a psychotronic masterpiece, and it was frickin’ awesome. Do you remember thinking in high school, or maybe yesterday at work, that the world would be a better place if someone would eliminate a few of the many assholes and idiots? Well, check your scruples at the door and revel in that feeling.

In Massacre at Central High (1976), a pasty-faced gang of four rules the school like “a little league gestapo,” until our adolescent hero decides to take them on, and take them out. It ain’t Room 222, but Massacre has everything you could want without admitting you want it: violent revenge, sexploitation, a dreadful theme song, and yes, even foul language.

It also has some very imaginative murder techniques. There aren’t any gunshots in this massacre, just plenty of clever ways to kill. Another nice touch is that there are no teachers, no classes, no hints of education at all, and no parents, no preachers, no police, no authority figures of any kind until the inevitable sirens in the distance at the end. It’s just kids being kids, running amok.

And in a depressingly true-to-life plot twist, once the bad guys are dead, the movie’s not even half over, because a new crop of crap rises to the top of the school’s society, necessitating another round of elimination. So the moral of the story is, sure, killing cretins might be fun, but it only clears the way for the next battalion of bastards to assume command. Sigh. I sadly put away my fantasies of death and destruction, and picked up my scruples again on the way out.

From Pathetic Life #8
Friday, January 27, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Pathetic Life 

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