Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The Day After, The Night Before
I heard from my 9/11 companion Eva this morning.
We had been corresponding each year on that date to mark our first meeting in downtown New York.
I thought she wasn't going to write this year, but this morning, I found her e-mail waiting for me.
She told me what had been going on in the last year, how her 89-year-old grandmother had to finally go to into a nursing home because she couldn't take care of herself anymore.
I certainly know how that feels, since my family is going through the same trouble with my father, who is looking more frail with every passing day.
Eva told me that she and her husband had adopted a German Shepherd from the North Shore Animal League who had been rescued after Hurricane Katrina.
The dog--they named her Hetta--was 67 pounds when they got her, but they have since bulked her up to a healthy 91 pounds. Eva even sent me a photo of Hetta, which cheered me up.
This has been a tough day. I am about to take off for vacation tomorrow and everything--I mean everything--is going to hell. I knew it would be crazy, but I had no idea the pre-launch would be this bad.
I'm going to my aunt's farmhouse in the Berkshires, a place I truly love. But I've been going there for years and I haven't gone anywhere new or different in years. A large part of this is connected to my fear of flying, something I intend to confront when I get back.
Hypnosis, relaxation tapes, I'll even take flying lessons if I have to, but I want to exorcise this phobia from my life. There are too many places in the world that I can't reach by Greyhound.
And by the way, I am so dreading the bus trip, especially that waiting period in the Port Authority Bus Terminal. I hate that place. It's purgatory with bus fumes. Nothing feels better than pulling out of that massive garage and hitting the road.
I Oughta Be In Pictures...But I'm Not!
So, did I get a nice relaxing evening before my trip? Oh, come on, now. Use your head. First, I find a series of potentially cool events are suddenly popping up on the calendar on those very days I'll be out of town.
Then the nursing service from the VA calls and says they're sending someone over tomorrow, even though I called them on Monday and told them not to. I won't be home Wednesday and Mary, my father's aide, doesn't have the time to break in a new person.
I couldn't reach the service tonight, so if the guy ends up sitting on my front steps twiddling his thumbs, that's the breaks, sweetheart.
Then my idiot tenants shortchanged me on the rent, something they do on a regular basis. My sister and I had initially agreed to getting the rent in two installments--I know, schmucks!--but yesterday the wife comes down with the first half of the rent, only it's a 100 bucks light. She promises to give the rest to Mary this morning.
Naturally when I get home, I still don't have my 100 bucks. So I go to her door and ring the bell. She comes down all apologetic, saying her husband or son or whoever's got the goddamn money was sleeping. It's all horseshit and her apologies have as much value as Confederate bills.
I was raging around the house for a while, but I finally decided that I'm pulling the plug on the partial rent crap. Starting January, they will pay the full rent on the first of the month like everybody else in the solar system and if they don't like it they can pack their goddamn bags.
I think the worst incident of the day involved my little ego. As I came home, I saw that my block, Senator Street, is going to be the star of television show called "The Black Donnellys."
I've had this dream of being a filmmaker and agonized for years over whether or not I should move to L.A. I never did, and except for 10 years in PA and CT, I've been living on Senator Street my entire life and hating myself for it.
So now here's the ultimate insult. Some is shooting a scene not just in New York, not just in Brooklyn, not just in my neighborhood, but on my goddamn street!!!
My house is going to have more movie experience than I do. I'm glad I'm missing this one because all I'd do if I were here would be to watch and fume.
The plot is about four Irish brothers in Hell's Kitchen, so what they're doing on my street I don't know. But I can survive this. I never really wanted to shoot anything on this block, except perhaps myself or my father. (Just kidding.)
And I did make a step toward shooting my own film. I wrote a short screenplay and I contacted a young man in this MeetUp filmmakers group and asked him if he wanted to be my director of photography. This is very important. I've seen enough rotten-looking short films to know that if people don't like what they see, they won't care if you wrote the next Citizen Kane.
He has yet to get back to me and if he doesn't, well, I'll find somebody else in the group. I'm going to get a crew together and I'm going to shoot this sucker. And then the Black Donnelly's can kiss my royal Irish kazoo.
All right, enough of this. What would Hetta think of all this anger and rage?
I'm going to close up my suitcase, watch some tube, and go to bed. I need a vacation and I'm going to enjoy myself, whether I like it or not.