Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Viggoliscious

I saw A History of Violence today. Good flick. I think it's being slightly overhyped by critics eager to embrace a more mainstream turn by Cronenberg that's also filled with top-notch work by Viggo Mortenson, Maria Bello, and Ed Harris. In that it's somewhat overrated, I don't really see that it's somehow a commentary on violence and America; I don't think that subtext is really there. It's a very affecting piece on violence, on the pressure it places upon the present and the past. It plays honest and true; you see it in their eyes. Excellent movie.

***

Of course, you might gather from this blog I'm seeing a lot of movies. And you'd be right. I get in for free so I see everything I'm interested in. I think I'll list, towards the end of the year, everything I saw.

It will likely surprise even me.

***

I'm beginning to think of not going to AWP in Austin. I fretted last year over the cost when I had the money and university support. Now I have neither and I'm thinking it may not happen. I just had to cancel a reading in Denver this month because I couldn't afford it.

I don't know. I may have to go if any job interview comes through. Which is always a huge if.

***

Feeling hale and hearty again. And the sun's been back. Thank God.

***

I got the time wrong for the movie today, off by 45 minutes, so I had time to kill. I was hungry, no lunch, so I walked next door to get a sandwich. Before I could pay, this young kid behind me, a teenaged guy, hands his debit card to the cashier, tells her he'll get it.

I protested, of course, but in that moment both people become conspirators of a kind. One is performing a generous act and the other is touched by the act and all too willing to swipe that card, or whatever is needed. I can't complain, really. This has happened fairly often in the last nineteen years, or some variation on it.

Once, me and two friends were waiting on elevator after seeing a movie. A man, without saying a word, sidled up to me and slipped something in my shirt, and walked off. When I looked, there was either a fifty dollar bill or a hundred. I can't remember which. The man was gone.

In Tuscaloosa, I was waiting to be seated in, of all places, an Applebee's. A man walked by, we nodded to one another on his way out, and I was taken to my table. Shortly, the waitress came back to tell me that my meal, anything I wanted, was already taken care of. That man had come back, taken care of the tab somehow.

And what do you do? It's a little embarassing, though not because it makes me feel, I don't know, like a charity case. It's not that. I understand that people do this sort of thing out of a very pure place in them, and I honor that. It really isn't about me and that's what makes it ok. That night, at dinner, in bed, the men tell their wives, maybe, about buying some kid in a wheelchair his lunch.

And it's not really me but a symbol. And that's ok.

***

God bless you, Aimee Nez. You know why.

8 comments:

Radish King said...

If I met you I have a feeling I'd sit on your lap and sling my arms around your neck. This would be neither be an act of charity or compassion. It's also why I don't leave the house much.

Paul said...

I'm not sure I would complain....;)

eliot said...

Hey Paul,

Good to see that you are among the living. Is this hihophicok thing still on? And what are the dates? Is your phone out?

e-dog

Ali Davis said...

I liked the History of Violence, a lot, although I am a fan neither of history nor violence. I am however quite a fan of Cronenburg, Mortensen, Loudon, and Guest.

Dee said...

Glad you are feeling good again, Paul.

I don't think I'd slip you a fifty because you are in a wheelchair, but because you are an excellent poet. My ulterior motive would be that I want to participate in a resistance to mass culture in a tangible way.

That said, it's heartening to hear about people giving to each other, whatever their motives, and of recipients who accept gifts with such grace.

cornshake said...

ah, i think I used to have a post with that same title, back in my non-married days and LOTR madness...;)

Alexis Z said...

i don't believe you're getting all that stuff for free. i think you're forgetting part of the story, like the part where you gave all these people sexual favors. jesus, paul, tell the truth for once.

Paul said...

A gentleman does not speak of such things!

At least not in the open....

;)