Sunday, February 23, 2003

The proposal is ready to be mailed. I can't identify how I feel, but it's neither optimistic nor pessimistic. I've been working on this for so long I guess I think wait and see, afraid to go too much in either direction.

We saw The Hours yesterday. I'm not sure whether I liked it. I guess I did, but maybe I'm not sure how much I liked it? It was a complex movie. The acting was great. The story was very interesting. Also sad, and I don't know whether it really added up. It was kind of Hollywood. What I mean is, as you watch it, you just know everyone will gush over it, it had all the necessary ingredients. American Beauty was like that too. Quality movies, but definitely not at all indie. Something that bothered me: it is a story that focused so much on women - and to me it was obvious it was written by a man. I'm not saying that a man can't write about women and do a good job, but there seemed to be something missing from this story. I was left thinking, this won the Pulitzer? Maybe the book was a lot better? Why not make something actually written by Virginia Woolf into a movie instead? Kind of ironic.

Part of my mood afterwards was influenced by going to a newish bar, Mad River, for a late lunch. I'd tried to go there three times before, each time unsuccessfully. The first time, for lunch, it was 11 am, they didn't have their act together and were very rude, so I ate across the street. The second time, about dinner time, there had just been a fender bender in front of the building, one of the involved parties was shouting the f-word and a variety of other obscenities, and it seemed like a good idea to go elsewhere. The third time, later at night, it was so packed there was no getting inside. Yesterday, we went to a matinee, then to Mad River. It wasn't crowded, several men were at the bar, and a couple of tables in the back were occupied.

Although completely renovated before it opened, the place had a look that said it would be better served by it being late at night and dark; a place where people do shots, smoke packs of cigarettes, talk in loud voices, and throw up in the bathroom. At one of the tables, there were three women and a little boy maybe 7 or 8 years old. At first I figured they were having lunch and a quick drink, but as our meal progressed, it became apparent that they were starting the night of drinking. They were very made up, hair permed and dyed, wearing evening clothes, drinking multiple rounds of Cosmopolitans. One had a shiner. I couldn't estimate ages - maybe around my age, maybe younger but showing wear. The snippets of conversation I could overhear surrounded vacations, partying, and passing out. I wondered if they had been home, or if this was merely a continuation of the night before. The only food consumed was one order of cheese sticks that they shared. I used the bathroom after one of the three women and was greeted by a thick cloud of perfume. The bathroom decor said recent, but it was already beat up, the door wouldn't lock, and there were scuff marks all over the door, I assume from using one foot to hold it shut.

They were still there drinking when we left. The depressing scene reminded me of my ex-friend, alcoholic D., in the days when she made the rounds. And the image of that poor boy, squirming in his chair, was with me all night. The kid had obviously spent many a night in bars.

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