WilderWorks

Dec 5, 2004

Back from L.A.

My month away has come to a close.

The sad part is, it was freezing out west. Blistering, wind-burning cold. On my drive across the Mojave mountain pass, between Vegas and LA, I was trapped in snow. I-15 was closed off, with me on it, first at Primm, at the state line, and later at Barstow. A four hour drive became 18 hours, stranded in a snow-covered desert. Quite an experience, but I made it to the interview on time.

Now, I'm in an oddly unpleasant place between boredom and anxiety. I don't know whether to pull for or wish against the internship off Mulholand drive, where the girl wore a Grover tee-shirt. Winning it would mean a long-awaited step toward a career, a step away from Christmas decorations, skin biopsies, and patient charts, but it would also mean a sudden and too-expensive relocation to Los Angeles. As in - Thursday.

Losing the internship would mean incredible disappointment and self-doubt, and a future without any direction, and still, an expensive, if now more gradual, relocation to Los Angeles.

I fear that I will see none of my friends in the short while left before I travel to LA, no matter the time table. My friendships are all internet fantasies. Spammers show more loyalty. Promises are made to cross the digital divide, but no one can find the time to come through. Their lives are on track, and can't afford being derailed. I understand that.

I've considered throwing myself a going-away party. It would be quite a laugh.

***


Christmas is drawing near. It is, as always, my favorite holiday, but with it comes a timeless feeling of solitude and poverty. The lonely are lonelier at Christmas. The poor are poorer. Somehow, my previously perfect credit score has taken an inexplicable nose-dive, leaving me utterly unable to secure any new credit. With the massive expenses of relocation ahead, it's hard to imagine surviving, or even being approved for an apartment, without any credit. Money slurps away much faster than I can make it, even when I'm willing to travel the coutnry, slaving over costly decorations.

***


I lost $1.50 in Vegas. I won about $0.75.

Taking a shower one morning, two quarters fell from nowhere onto the bathtub floor. Clunk. Clunk. Were they stuck in my hair? Had I slept on them, and gotten them affixed to my back? Or were they magic quarters, destined to secure my future? I'll never know. The slot machines don't take coins anymore.

I'm thankful for a brief visit from Barb. I am thankful that I am home, and my puppy is here to keep me company, dirty as he is. He missed me, and he's still excited to have me back, even while I'm finding it hard to be glad I'm back.

Being away from home kept away the demons that taunt me to find a direction. Being back gives them trumpets.

***


Ben, the DP from Momentary Engineering has asked me to write a short film for him to produce. The requirements he set out are a bit daunting:

1. 5-15 pages, approx. 10 mins.
2. Action covers one complete event in continuous time; no flashbacks, flash-forwards, jumping around in time.
3. Minimal, if any, dialogue; no voice-over narration; I want the piece to be more visual than verbal.
4. Surprise/twist ending, something that completely blindsides the audience.
5. Some comedic overtones, even if the story isn't a full-on comedy; there are just too many dour, overly serious student films out there.


I've been wracking my brain, but his requirements concerning dialogue and time play directly against my strong-suits. He seems to be describing a Three Stooges short. But I'll give it my best shot, since I remain honored to be asked.

***


I'm also trying to write Storybook Park.

I've revised the first chunk down to 30 pages. With a few more tweaks, I'll be ready to move forward, but my passion is low. Low passion has become all-too common. It results from a lack of synergy.

I have a hard time convincing myself that writing has a purpose or a future for me. These stories are not shared with anyone. It's hard to work hard on something that is ultimately ignored. It's hard to put in months on a piece that gets an hour of discussion from those you know, and then is forgotten.

I feel the lack of a partner.

It's a dull, lingering feeling.