Tag Archives: Humor

The Polaroids are, uh … in my other coat.

I still exist.

Poetically. Philosophically. Physically.

Yes, faithful Wuckers. I’m alive and advancing. Dwelling in ye Old Blighty. Enjoying a rather tepid summer and yet another Phoenix rebirth!

You see, following the attempted annihilation of my character ‘n’ career by the most recent in a long line of Vaders, I boarded a plane bound for London, set for a month-long holiday …

Soon, I was in Paris.

Sitting at a sunset rooftop bar with a pina colada in one hand, bread ‘n’ olives in t’other, and a view which stretched clear across Paris to the Sacré-Coeur. Around me sat tourists holding American, Australian and French conversations over wine, beer and cocktails (respectively); opposite: a dude with a bright red mohawk reminiscent of Frenke Potente in Run Lola, Run.

It’s the little things.

As I waited for a friend to arrive so we could begin our time in Paris … a time filled with flea markets, a tower de Eiffel, and giggle-filled train rides … I pondered that it may be this visit where I finally fell for Paris. Perhaps ’twas my frame of mind, my frame of past, or the fact I was without ties … but the sun on my skin made promise of possibilities. Much like the sun of Italy and Greece had made promise (and delivered on) before.

Bien sur, the first thing apparent of Paris (aka apparisent) was how succinctly it shone back at me mes inadequacies.

Behind the bar was a beautiful, tanned, lyrical French man. Tousled hair. Golden beard. Wearing a throwaway t-shirt likely plucked from the floor of a sparse, sunlit loft which spoke (in French, no less) of youth and freedom. A worn guitar no doubt sat expectantly propped against a wall, open shutters nearby, a winding Blonde tangled in sleep nearby. This was the kind of man every woman imagines falling in love with; the projected trajectory of said relationship easily fitting into every romantic comedy ever promised.

Across from me: an ordinary looking geek avec acne and polo shirt, bent over laptop.

My story held neither, of course.

But travel is akin to physically walking onto the 5km-square blank page of a giant sketchbook, where characters and roads are drawn before your eyes, unexpected and inspiring. Infinitesimal. Suddenly you remember what life can hold, if you have the courage to stand up and demand joy. It suddenly stretches out before you, not as a threat, but as a playground.

And so. Mon ami et moi traversed Paris, climbed the Eiffel Tower at midnight, made videos of us bouncing along the boulevards, swept along on good times and endless laughs. Indeed it was the trip where Paris and I became friends; or, as the French say, “tell me whom you frequent, and I will tell you who you are”.

Then we set fly for Malta. Backward in modern amenities, yet forward in beauty and scope – it proved equal parts stunning and maddening. We jet skied on the Mediterranean, zooming out to sea at 40km per hour, jumping self-made waves and getting seasprayed, as the whitewashed square houses of the shoreline whizzed by. We laughed til tears ran down our faces, and drew the eyes of sane folk who knew not of the wonderful secret of whimsy.

Then back to London to visit my cousin for two weeks before (supposedly) returning home …

Cue: Flashback.

Three days before I departed, I made the sudden decision to give notice on my flat. This way: I wouldn’t have to pay rent while away and could extend my holiday if a wayward whim did sidle up (as they are want to do). Consequently, my last two days were spent in a hive of hustle – cutting off bills, organising movers, madly packing and cleaning. I put the entirety of my life into two large storage lockers which drove off to an undisclosed location (presumably my subconscious) the day afore I flew. Headlong towards oxygen and a large question mark made of puffy white clouds. My decision half drawn and left unfinished as I boarded my flight to London, I had effectively released my last tether like Bullock of Gravity lore.

Who says you can’t make and execute a major life decision in two days?

And so, flashback over … when it came time to return to the life I left, there was nothing tangible to return to; and instead, I stood in England – possibility and curiosity before me.

That was a year ago.

So! Now I live in London. With office work officially, squarely in my past. Because, dear Wuckers. I did it! I landed a contract on a long-running television show. Not at entry level, oh no. But as an assistant director – on the floor – where the ACTION! happens.

Can ya fucken believe it?

 

I can’t fucken believe it.

I’ve been in the job eight months and it has indeed been a baptism the likes of which Joan of Arc has never seen. The majority of staff have been there from the start and navigating the resulting factions has been akin to attending a high school designed by Tim Burton on a particularly virulent acid trip. My average day is 13 hours, which is physically fairly nuclear. But I’m in it, Barry. Oh so innit. And I have credits! An actual motherfucking profile on IMDB, which makes me finally, formerly, established in the industry.

I know this all sounds annoyingly Disney but in truth, it’s been much like stepping into a tornado with farcical faith it’ll drop me off in Oz miraculously in one piece, like a kindly windswept taxi driver … my ruby slippers placed nearby. Indeed I am in Oz, but my ruby slippers are up the arse of an unlucky munchkin and the yellow brick road is closed for repair.

But, in my high stakes game of Tic Tac Survival, I am indubitably surviving. Nay, expanding. And no, not like Mr Creosote in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. 

But in outlook, dear friends. In trajectory.

the wuc bytes – the rock | guarding tess

Can I just say: what the fuck happened to Nicholas Cage.

I mean, really.

Once upon a Cage age, I would feast upon his flicks like a rabid dog upon Celine Dion. Oh, how I loved his Moonstruck madness and Valley Girl moves. (Like, for sure.) And as a longtime lover of action movies and sweet-ass rides, I have loved The Rock for its patriotic poppycock, magnified machismo and wonderbar wuccadoodies. Ipso facto:

What kind of fucked up tour is this?!

Blessed be thee Rock. Hallowed be thy high-octane thrills.

But in the blink of an eye (wouldn’t do that if I were you), Cage turned into a crazy wild-eyed old man. And not in a loveable Doc Brown kinda way, neither. More like someone performed a rustic lobotomy on him while he slumbered on ketamine and jelly beans, only for him to awake with cheekbones higher than Rihanna’s undies and his wherewithal erased.

I’d be sad about it, really I would. But such sadness is generally reserved for the demise of Taylor Swift’s dalliances (pick a card, any card) and the fact the 80s are indelibly done.

Actually, strike that. Still unconvinced on the latter.

I guess this aged Cage (aka Ca-ged) is what ego looks like once youth has dropped its dazzling disguise (only ever on loan) (despite the deluge of dysmorphia and denial sweeping LA) and all we’re left with is a veritable lunch wagon of regurgitated revenge flicks – as unfathomable and interchangeable as the Mad Hatter’s undies collection.

But, hey now. Let us mourn the salad days no more, my friends. Instead, let our sign off be salubrious in show. Herewith, the first ever BYTES double bill and a classic: Guarding Tess. Much like Clint Eastwood, this movie is gentle in its genius (if you can call a 44 magnum ‘gentle’) and celebrates a time when Nicky-boy brought many a wucca my way.

Meanwhile, in cutting this clip, I’ve inadvertently snap-shot the regnant relationship I share with my soon-to-be-ex boss. Also known as: the noxious nelly who recently tossed me overboard. In case you’re wondering where I stand in said metaphor: I once was the secret service agent catering to her every whim but, now meet my end as Le Sueur baby peas …

“We’ve lost in interest in peas. Repeat: lost interest in peas. Canned goods, out.”

A wrecking ball… is something else entirely.

It’s come to this: I sit with a glass of red, my emotions in a rage.

Love. Crippled hope. Fear. Futility. Exhaustion. Defeat.

A daisy chain of disquiet. Tumultuous seas confined to the teacup that is my chest cavity. A kaleidoscopic sideshow only I am privy to. Yep, that about covers it. It’s the first emotion which inspires all others, ironically. It breeds like a Freudian rabbit, springing from one to another. Singular pain is multiplied. Worry becomes fact. Fear becomes a fait accompli. Or is it the fear that it isn’t fear, but knowledge of what is to follow?

Riddle me that, ubiquitous joker.

Either way. It feels just shy of impossible to live within my own skin today.

Ad and in nauseum, I have marched behind each minute, magic marker in hand, attempting to erase the wake each thought awakened. There were too many. They piled upon each other and now, I can only wait for the day to end and bring with the next a differing doctrine. Til then, they have my heart in a death grip. And, among all other fears is this: the grip prevails because of the truth it holds.

Decryption: I think I might love him. Having only ever been enamoured and not en love, I aint sure. But I feel sure. Which inspires panic in turn. For with that uncertain knowledge is this certain one: he’s unattainable. And, following that fucken rabbit down the warren hole, comes this conclusion: I think I’m in a tragedy.

As per the dustily droll definition of Dustin’s Hoffman in Stranger Than Fiction:

The last thing to determine conclusively is whether you are in a comedy or a tragedy. To quote Italo Calvino, ‘the ultimate meaning to which all stories refer has two faces: the continuity of life, the inevitability of death.’

Tragedy, you die. Comedy, you get hitched.

Ipso fuckto: tragedy. Or tradge, as my brother would say.

Which is not to say that I will die, my friends. Moreso, it’s the destination of an exhaustive journey which dies and leaves me perennially trekking. In vain. Towards what? Perversity? Exhaustion? Fucked if I know. So. At an impasse. I share my tumult with you.

And a new thought. When grappling with such a mood, I feel fresh sympathy for those who struggle with drug or alcohol addictions. What must it be like to have the option to escape such thoughts for a time; or years, should the addiction strike you? Irresistible, I imagine.

I’ve never had that option open to me, though I can’t say why. Luck, at a guess. Where all emotions are absorbed into my bloodstream with a readiness which breeds failure and fortitude in equal measure, drugs have nil effect. So, I’ve been left with philosophy and film to quiet my hurting heart; and here is where you find me.

With a storm that seas and besieges me, larger than my little boat of axioms, philosophy or rebuttals is ready for; but with a silver lining of sobriety in which to greet it.

Give my best to your wishful thinking.

I feel a wealth of sadness today. I’m not sure why. If I had to guess, I’d say there is desire and futility battling it out in my chest, with defeat as the veracious victor.

It’s maddening that the only kindred men I meet are unavailable. I suppose in the musical chairs of life, where everyone is madly scrambling to find a partner and secure their place before the music stops (and loneliness becomes a spectator sport), it makes sense there aren’t any spare chairs lying around for me to saunter up to at a time most salubrious. But, as my boss so eloquently said today: holy flying c*nt fuck. It should be easier than this.

It’s hard enough to find a Bert to my Ernie – they must also be available and have the same ding for me as I zing for them? Once such odds are computed by Willy Wonka’s Machine of Maddening ‘Mpediments, what’s spat out the other end are a couple of bereft baristas with a penchant for caffeine and Wuc. (Not surprising, I suppose, since one is inextricably linked with the other.) And while these baristas may light up at affirmations of how hot their coffee is (not a euphemism) – they don’t really froth my milk, if you know what I mean.

Hell. Even Benny Hill would know what I mean.

He is beautiful, you see. Normal. And sane, and gentle, and funny. Flutely flawed yet soulfully intelligent. He leaves me wanting on no level (except affirmation) and I find myself painfully envious of his relationships with others, especially those who also fight for his light to shine on them. As fireflies, they exist only millimetres closer to the flame, but. On days like today, those millimetres feel mammoth in injustice.

I’m living in a silent film it seems – where conversation is almost telepathic in its layered communications and foibles. And the space and silence between bodies almost lyrical.

Love shouldn’t be futile, as a rule; but it so often is. So the challenge becomes not to find or fight for love, but to keep finding and fighting for love each time it springs back on its kangaroo conclusion and binary boots you flat in the face.

To keep the faith in face of such cruelty seems the real dance.

So. In upbeat yet soggy sidebar, irrelevant to the one I hunger for: I met a lovely cerebral fellow at the networking event last night. He works in advertising but looks like a designer hobo. Beanie, geek chic glasses, beard. The quiet, observant type in the corner whose laugh you have to earn. Intellectually muppet-like. (I discover I have a penchant for men who remind me of muppets) (I’m unabashed in this) (one could even say, proud).

We talked at length about his projects, though nary a whisper about mine. His are heavy, emotionally laden ideas where dogs and children die. His brother fought in Afghan (the country, not the rug) and he recently had a medical scare which inspired him to pursue his love of film. We connected. I liked him, as an adult loves mental health. He liked me, as a non-committal man loves cheese. I gained his business card, but not enough interest for him to ask for mine. I expect he’ll fade into obscurity of muppet might’ve beens … only to pop up at Cannes as an up and comer who never was (in my personal story, that is) (or was).

Side note to my sidebar: I also met a French woman who was strangely lacking in confidence. (No French woman should lack in confidence.) She avidly engaged me in a philosophical confabulation about writing, but swears she’ll never be a writer. She cut every sentence in two: “I think …” insert start of opinion here, “but maybe, I don’t know …” insert self-defeat here. Then spoke of people perennially misinterpreting her. And in conclusion, recommended a Russian film featuring the dance of Dracula. I liked her immensely.

In other news, my life is progressing with risk and rhythm. How kind of you to ask. There is so much to impart, not least of which how I did depart from the slovenly survival of gunslingers past. In short and with much ado about something: I have moved house, moved jobs and moved closer to a career which feeds and seeds my other love: film. A felicitous fable for another day per’aps, when my forecast is not so flighty.

You can Derelict my balls, Capi-tan.

Tonight. All is right with the world.

I’ve had happy champagne, ironically with the scourge of my current existence – my coworkers: Sidewinder, Mufasa and Obama.

Sidewinder you know, albeit in passing. Mufasa is the female Lion King to my fastly diminishing kingdom, Obama the beatific bite-sized politician who makes up the set. These are people who daily contribute to my crusty choleric and yet today, I enjoyed their company.

Contributing factors:
  • Champagne. (A cherubic chunk of it.)
  • The likelihood I’ll resign within the fortnight. (Yeah buddy.)
  • The fact I’m on leave next week, working on a film as a Production Assistant! (Unpaid, in case you think I’m a Disney character.)
  • Yep. That about covers it.

Ain’t it funny how people suddenly become warm, caring fuckers the minute you’ve got your exits covered? Or chimera caring, as the day may be. Get a load of this corker …

At 12pm I was told in passing (as one might impart what they ate for breakfast) that I had to move out of my current work desk by 5pm today. Here’s the kicker: they don’t have a new desk for me to move to. Yeah, you read right. I’m being made homeless. In my motherfucken workplace, yo. Not fired, just homeless.

Not only that, they’d known for weeks and hadn’t said a word.

Sidewinder tells me (conversationally over lunch) of the clandestine meeting which took place the moment I left the room this morning – whereby Mufasa suggests they don’t tell me at all. They should simply wait until I leave today and pack up my desk while I’m on leave (presumably to move me to the basement, sans stapler, like moribund Milton of Office Space lore). They actually convened over that shit.

Questions:
  1. Who are these people?
  2. What in the Sheryl Crow?
  3. Is this any way to do business?

And so on, and so forth.

Sidewinder tells me this as I picked out my pumpkin risotto (aka orange opium), then acts askance when I react in the negative. (Insert expletives here, Aussie style.)

Whatevs, yo. Twenty minutes before, as excellent timing is want to do, my old boss rang to tee up beers and confirm my references were checked for the job I interviewed for yesterday. A job within film – as vast and diluted as that industry may be. Not one in the most ideal direction and not where I design to end up, BUT! In FILM baby! I’m their first choice and he’s gonna reference the shit outta that puppy.

BOOYAR. Sock it to you.

So. As my mangled day came to a close, there I sat. Alcoholling with Mufasa, Obama and Sidewinder. Rather enjoying myself, as perversion would have it. Quick-firing quips which neither their political correctness nor intellect allowed them to catch; throwing caution to the westerly winds which phase my hairdo not.

The irony (in an Octomum family of ironies) is that Sidewinder has fought so hard for their good opinion, only to be shunted to the shady corners of the high-school yard; where I warmed those parasites to me as quickly as I emotionally exited, stage left. I foresaw a month of false farewells in my future before I faded into their obscurity, and they became faceless portraits in the Edvard Munch’s scream of my past.

How many times I’ve done this I care not to recall, but I knew the musical steps as surely as Mozart’s prodigy. The beauty of laying it all on the emotional and pipe-dream line was, I very much planned never to do it again.

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