Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Nostalgia for Dark Times

I'm not sure why I'm thinking about this right now. Not to suggest that I've left the dark times behind by any means. If anything, I'm in the midst of a new period of darkness with unique qualities.

But the period I'm thinking about tonight was around 2004/2005. (According to the tattoos on my arm.)

My wife at the time had walked out and I was trapped in this apartment that we'd shared. This suddenly cavernous loft space in downtown Brooklyn.

A friend had given me this old projector that he'd poached from the company he'd been working at, that had gone under. I'd hooked the projector up to a DVD player and suddenly had this massive screening room. Projecting movies on this alabaster wall of this loft space. This was before HDTVs were ubiquitous. The first movie I watched on the projector -- alone -- was a special edition DVD of THX 1138. It was brilliant.

I would hold screenings at the apartment, inviting friends and showing movies that I loved. Silly shit like "Annie" and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and "The Shining" and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas". The screenings gave me an excuse to cook. And since it was my place, I'd smoke during the screenings... and the smoke would catch the light of the projector, and it would feel like I was in another era.

It was an absolutely horrific time, emotionally. I was earning a decent living working at Bear Stearns (which was still a thing) but this was a few years before my career breakthrough. I was lost. I was vainly trying to resuscitate a dead marriage. But all of that hateful darkness allowed me to rediscover my love of movies.

It was this super-dark period before I moved to the Upper West Side and everything got much better for an extended spell. The UWS was fucking Camelot, and I miss that period even more. But there was something about that bleak time in downtown Brooklyn, where that projector helped me remember what I loved about movies. That stays with me. And I've got to remind myself of that time...

... because I need to remember what I am fighting for.

I need to remember why I am sacrificing everything for this career.

Because before I loved anyone, I loved movies.


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