who dat? contest.
no one love left column anymore. so sad. soooooooooooo lonely.
Well well well.
Because of recent drama and mostly (but not exclusively) sad things, I'd been really looking forward to getting out of town. A wedding in Chicago seemed like a lovely fucking excuse.
I woke up on the morning of my trip early, having gotten very little sleep due to a friend's late freak-out that found me driving across town at 11:30pm. I called my neighbor/friend Jack, waking him up.
"Are you ready to take me to the airport?"
"Dude, didn't you get my message?"
Of course not.
See, my answering machine broke a couple days before and I didn't realize it. However, the break was all stealthy, thus not alerting callers to the fact that it wasn't actually recording your messages. Neighbor had called telling me he has to be "on set" at 9am and I should look for another ride.
I had to be at the airport in an hour.
So I became acquainted with Long Term Parking.
Naturally, the first 3 morning flights to Chicago had been canceled due to midwest fog, and they'll have me on a flight in 6 hours. Luckily, I did standby and got the last seat on a flight leaving only an hour after I was due to leave. I'm quite glad because the prospect of 6 hours at LAX without cigarettes was too much for me to handle and I'm sure I would have just gone home for good.
In Chicago, after dealing with the creepy "keep walking" moving walkway and an hour subway ride during rush hour, I got to our downtown hotel. I was to share a room with friend J. from Brooklyn. J. and I met the groom, Bill, at Northwestern University's National High School Institute (the "Cherub" program) 10 years ago, and had stayed pretty close for not talking very often. Both of them are easy friendships: easy to lose track of, equally easy to catch up and feel comfortable together quickly.
So at the hotel I noticed a flurry of activity. Oh shit. Turns out there was a huge convention in town of the Nation of Islam, and our hotel was home now to a HUGE number of very angry looking, if quite polite, suit-wearing men walking in formation and posting themselves on every floor with walkie-talkies and scowls. There was something funny about watching these tourists mistakenly ask the Fruits of Islam security people self-appointedly guarding the hotel lobby to call them a cab.
They were all nice enough, and they only bothered me in that I'm fairly sure they are the reason I was told they gave away our room due to unforeseeable circumstances (read: couldn't say no to scary Nation of Islam people), the lobby person whispering to me, "Help me out here."
"You fucking help me out. We made this reservation 2 months ago."
We ended up being forced to share a smaller room with one King sized bed, but it cost us almost nothing for the weekend, so that just left more money for gum.
I bummed around the room and read and wrote email from a book store and bought beer and hung around the room some more until J. showed up. I promptly handed him a beer and he handed me a smoke.
We headed to an informal pre-wedding get-together and talked to people a bit and then went straight to a bar and chatted for hours. Then he fell asleep and I watched Copycat on TV and smoked until I couldn't stand his snoring anymore and I took a walk and drank beer and typed more email from our hotel's 12th floor computer room.
Saturday we walked for hours to find the kind of cheesy diner we both love, and ended up walking into Hooters... I took one look at the skanky waitresses in the orange ass-pants and said, "I can't handle this" and left. We ate at a horrid little place and then on our walk home passed the exact kind of diner we'd had in our mind, about a block from our hotel.
We dialed up Three Kings as I mentioned and then got ready for the wedding.
Now my general reaction to elegant events... is laughter. I'm not proud of it and I'm not being derisive, I just literally feel so out of place that I start laughing. When once a very rich ex took me to the 5-Star restaurant in Manhattan her friends owned, I had to excuse myself and force this plastered ironic smile off my face. Well, the church in which this big super-Irish Catholic wedding took place elicited the same reaction from me. Luckily, I have the power and good sense to mostly keep the giggles under control.
The wedding was beautiful and very churchy and obviously expensive, but touching. The two have been going out for 10 years and he's a teacher now and she's a professional midwife and they are obviously in L O V E.
So J. and I promptly found a bar and talked about marriage and love and romance and sex and the whole messy messy thing before heading to the reception.
The reception was at this very fancy restaurant which they'd closed just for the event.
I shudder to think how much this thing cost.
Now J. and I, somehow, ended up being like the two cool funny interesting dateless Boys in this Sea Of Females, and we were promptly invited into this circle of very nice-postured, well-groomed women.
Anecdote. Quip. Joke. Funny story. Can I get you a drink? Do you have any gum? Ha ha. Where are you boys from? How do you know the groom? You did not do that. You are bad. Where are you staying? Blah blah blah.
Dinner. Toasts. Etc.
We were seated at a table with the Drama Teacher from the couples' high school and I was reminded how annoying high school drama teachers can be.
Then the dancing started.
I'm not a big dancer, but the few times a year I do it: I do it.
Having closed the reception down and sweated out the alcohol with this group of ladies...
...we all went to the bar next door and drank more.
During the evening, somehow I got seated next to Bill's sister, in her bridesmaid outfit, and we got to talking. JUST TALKING.
She's this tough but sweet wise-ass Irish hairdresser chick with big eyes and wide hips good for Birthin' the Wee Ones.
The party dwindled down to J. and I, Sister and her Hugely Obnoxious and Drunk Borderline Midget Lesbian Cousin, and we four headed back to our hotel room to continue hanging.
Sister and I were talking in the room and J. was trying to get HODBMLC to shut up. This annoying annoying woman, drunk beyond belief, kept calling me a "fucking breeder" and trying to get Sister to leave, convinced that Sister was trying to fuck me - though that was nowhere near either of our minds. Can't two people be locked into each other, just talking? But Sister didn't want to leave. Finally by about 7am HODBMLC, still drinking this whole time, went a little too far. (Basically, I was getting Straight-Bashed in my own room.) So I kicked her out. She wouldn't leave so I picked her up and carried her out into the hall.
Sister got all Mi Familia on me and said though I make her "feel good" (again folks: just talking) I shouldn't have kicked out her cousin, and left too. So I threw the ottoman against the wall, before running down to the elevator and apologizing to Sister for giving her friend the boot; but not to HODBMLC herself who was passed-out in a big potted fern, that bitch.
J. and I slept for about 4 hours and cleaned the wreck of a room before heading to the diner we'd spotted the day before. The place was exactly what we wanted, and the toothless dying cook made us some fantastic eggs and the coffee flowed like it should.
Then I went and met Sister for lunch and we continued our conversation. She sweetly gave me a ride to the airport, though I tried to decline.
So I smoked, I drank, I cried, I watched a great movie, I read, I talked, I got advice, I gave advice, I made an enemy, I made a friend (a non-actor friend for once), I saw a good friend profess his undying love for a woman in front of God and Family while my confusion and uncertainty regarding love never dropped too far from the front of my mind. I pondered, I mulled, I came to no huge conclusions. I found more questions than answers.
But... I did get out of town. Sometimes that's all you can hope for. Sometimes that's almost enough.
...In regards to this online world: I'm very happy Diane had her child. I'm very happy Pam is OK for now. I'm very sorry Beth has suddenly joined the ranks of those who are not. I am very happy to have made the friends I have through this lark of a journal; both other writers and readers. However, I am simultaneous disillusioned and hideously bored by the last month or so of fighting and bitching and journal-dissecting that has taken over many of my favorite journals. I suppose every community has its divisive and antagonistic elements, but I for one seriously seriously wish those who know who they are, would Shut The Fuck Up.
It's like that woman on 227 who hung out the window talking shit about people. If she hated everyone, why didn't she just close the fucking window and go watch some TV.
...I was actually going to try to keep it under wraps for a while (not because anyone cares so much, but only so as not to fan the flames of recent rumors), but since it's "out", yes, I'm going to Austin to speak on the "pointless exercise in writing" that is Journaling, at the South By Southwest Interactive/Music/Film festival. The real reason I'm going is for the film festival, and indeed my trip is being paid for by the film I'm currently shooting. But yes I'll be there. I look forward to it.
Funny story: when I filled out the response card for this wedding over a month ago, it had two boxes which you could check: Accepts or Regrets.
So I checked Accepts, and then after Regrets, I wrote, "I've had a few". So it read: Regrets, I've had a few. You know, from My Way. Just a funny ha ha, right?
The bride's mom is going over RSVP's with the couple and says, "Your friend Stee said he can come, but then also said he has a drinking problem.
The couple tell mom she's crazy, but then they look at the card and say, yeah, that's what it looks like to them too, that Stee accepts, but also for some reason admits he's been drinking.
Three weeks later the above-mentioned Sister is looking at the cards and she gets to mine and says, "Ha, that's funny" and puts it aside.
"Why's that funny?" they ask her.
"Regrets, I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention. It's Sinatra. Stee's a funny guy."
And if I have built this fortress around your heart. Encircled you in trenches and barbed wire. Then let me build a bridge for I cannot fill the chasm. And let me set the battlements on fire... speaking of which. If I built this new Ikea entertainment center in the living room of my rented house in Brentwood, would you bring an allen wrench and a six pack of Red Bull? Because not only could I use the help, but, you know, I love Red Bull.
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