Not at all a date

Tonight I put on my best personality (which ain't much) and met Kelli Williams for dinner and a double feature. Kelli, for the poor fools who don't know, writes the great personal zine That Girl, and tells tales of the MUNI in Twenty Bus.

We were both a little nervous at first, but most people are nervous meeting new people. If they're meeting me they're even more nervous, because I'm so nervous.

Soon enough it felt mostly relaxed, and we talked about zines we like and our lives and whatever else came up, between bites of a fabulous dinner at the Sincere Cafe.

Then we strolled a block for two movies at the Roxie…

Love & Happiness (1994) is a lighthearted black-and-white noisish comedy about a hired killer who prefers to kill only women. Sounds delightful, eh?

Perhaps unavoidably with that premise, the movie treats women coldly. Every chick in the flick is thin and beautiful, and their only scripted reason for living is to be killed. The funny parts are funny, so I was able to put off being put off by the casual killings, for the first hour or so, but it's finally too repulsive to recommend.

Frisk (1995) is repulsive too, and leans so heavily on gay stereotypes I'm surprised it's running in San Francisco without being picketed. The protagonist has a new sexual partner every ten minutes, plus a death fetish, so there's oodles of sex and violence, but none of it's fun like James Bond on Matt Helm.

According to Frisk, every gay man is tortured inside, and wants only to torture and be tortured by others."I shoved one hand down his throat, one up his ass, and shook hands with myself." All righty then.

I thought it was boring dreck. Kelli said that the book was better.

So that was my evening with Kelli. Before the shows, between the shows, after the shows we had a few laughs, some engrossing conversation, and some conversation that was just gross. Really it wasn't much different from my first meetings with Josh or Jacque, except of course that it was completely different, because those guys aren't pretty women.

To be clear, this was a purely platonic night with a potential pal, not at all a date. I'd never met Kelli before, but maybe we were buddies by the time she got onto her bus home. Or maybe not, and I'll never see her again, unless she waves from a passing #22 or #26.

Cripes, do I sound like a total dweeb? It wasn't constantly on my mind that I was with an attractive, funny, bright woman, only every few minutes or so. But it adds something to the mix, and probably made me more nervous than I would've been otherwise. 

I'm not Eric Stoltz in Some Kind of Wonderful, buddies with a pretty girl but unaware she's a pretty girl. But Kelli has a life and interests and stuff, and a boyfriend, and I'm ten years older and two or three times her weight and she could never be even slightly attracted to a lump like me. She's not writing anything as pathetic as this in her diary, that's for sure.

Elmer Fudd spent the evening with Drew Barrymore, that's all. Had a good time, and hope she did too, and I've been Elmer for a long time & can deal with it.

My heart beats a smidgen faster spending time with Kelli than spending time with Josh, that's all. Nothing personal, Josh.

From Pathetic Life #23
Tuesday, April 9, 1996

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.


  1. Sort of a followup to my comment yesterday and also a recognition that we're closing in on the 62nd anniversary of the United States' first human journey into space, brief as it was.

    I was eleven, and watching every second of action and inaction, along with Walter Cronkite and most of America.

    It's easy to forget in this scripted world how unscripted NASA was initially. Every piece of the technology was new. Computers barely existed, computers small enough to fit in a Mercury capsule were a decade away, and personal computers were almost two decades away.

    Al Shepard had been laying on his back in the Freedom 7 capsule for four hours because of cloudy weather and a string of technical glitches that continued to elicit a "no go" from at least one controller. Finally the coffee and orange juice worked their way through his system. He got on channel 2 (the channel between him and the CapCom) and simply said, "Man, I gotta pee."

    Fifteen minute flight: no onboard rest room. So Al pissed in his suit and burnt out all the monitors taped to his back. Then (again entirely unscripted) he got back on channel 2 and included as many controllers as possible while blocking public access. Tired of all the "no go-s" and what he perceived as risk aversion on the ground, he said, “I’m cooler than you are. Why don’t you fix your little problem and light this candle?”

    On the next runthrough, all the controllers gave a "go", and the countdown clock ticked down to zero.


    1. Lovely, especially the punchline, "I’m cooler than you are. Why don’t you fix your little problem and light this candle?" Gonna memify that when I get home.


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