this is the perfect place to get jumped

Month: October, 2013

favorites, continued

the act of peeling

Sarisarinama2

sinkholes

fractal

fractals

fried calamari chips

forcefully bumping into acquaintances on the street and forcing small talk

aimless wandering

failing to maintain my composure in the midst of a good hoodwinking and receiving a perplexed look from my baffled victim

dried fruits

TMZ

dog-scooter_1845197i

dogs riding scooters

James Ferraro

Kali Muscle

Rocco Botte

Shady Blaze

nonfiction on the subject of the daily life of civilians of repressive regimes

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women with hoarse voices

squid2

giant squids

ambulance sirens ( the booooops and bweeeeeeps )

squeezing triggers

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walking while eating

robbed again

so my dream of sitting on a couch beside Angie on Jimmy Kimmel Live! as Angie plays and hundreds of audience members clap enthusiastically has been dashed because my video is going viral on someone else’s channel.

from my window i heard the moaning of what sounded like a wounded mongrel, and when it persisted i investigated. the families in the apartment next door were recently removed, and the building was gutted and renovated to accommodate the glut of incoming valueless yuppies, and Angie, an artifact of olde Bushwick, used the stairwell as a temporary coffer for her narcotics. i called the paramedics and debated the ethics of grabbing my camera when the apartment’s residents emerged with scowls of disgusted annoyance. i wanted to capture the bifurcation of the neighborhood’s residents as part of a larger documentary about the hood in transition, but Angie’s disturbing behavior sort of stole the show. there is some downtime in the footage before Angie’s harrowing escape attempt and before the clueless paramedics work their magic, where i make my comments to my friends on the unfolding trauma, but i left it out intentionally bc the focus should only be on the baleful effects of drugs on Angie, not the baleful effects of Angie’s behavior on me.

plermpt is not a brand and Angie is not a character of my creation. virality should never be an intention for video makers bc it always leads to bad videos and is never indicative of a video’s worth. i make lots of videos that are largely ignored, (as do many people) so i would know.

as a filmmaker and photographer i contribute by capturing and preserving moments. depravity is just something i am very interested in. i can’t stay mad that this video has reached a wider audience and sparked discourse; this brings me hope that something positive can come from something so negative.

however, recognition should not be a luxury. normally i am ecstatic with receiving 500 views bc those views are on my personal channel. i only become upset when somebody takes my work and passes it as their own (as do many people). that being said, there is nothing i can do besides send RWJ a link to my channel.

my last encounter with angie was late one night in sept 2012. while enroute to the subway to meet my friend, i found her bottomless in the middle of the street, rolling backwards on her spine. my friend wanted to see her, and as we passed he tried to record it on his phone. angie took offense and threatened us, chasing me down the street, jiggling her cock and wailing, “Suck my dick, faggot!” the hermaphrodite rumors were true.

new dump

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LSLR diaries: Week 2

day seven

Although I pumped it full of air the night before, my bike tire was flat. With time running out before the crew van departed I had no other option than to take the bus. I walked to the nearest bus stop, already cutting it close when Robin texted me, asking my ETA. When the bus landed I sprinted until I was in view of the crew van because I didn’t want the crew to see me panting and sweaty.

Danyel smiled as I grumbled my early morning hello to everyone in the van and snuck into the penultimate bench seat, beside Austin and in front of Justin. John was sleeping with his mouth open in the back corner. Robin informed the crew that we were still waiting for Ben, and Justin said, “Who the fuck is Ben?” Austin said, “Ben, the Gaffer. Come on, you know Ben.”

I blew my nose and Justin said, “This kid better not make me sick.” I laughed. Then he said, “Yo, I’ve had enough of NPR right now.” I asked him if he had headphones, and suggested he put them on.  He looked at me and told me to go home. Danyel smiled with fearful eyes and I shrugged complacency. Justin tapped my shoulder, pointed to the van door left ajar and said, “Leave.”

Chuckling, I pulled out my book. Ben arrived and we took off. Justin motioned to Austin to unplug his ear buds, then, speaking in terms of grip gear, warned him of the two hellish company moves planned for the day. He urged Austin to enjoy his music while it was still possible.

We arrived a few minutes into breakfast. Robin drove up the driveway of Alder Manor and unloaded the crew at the breakfast terrace, then asked me to park the van at the bottom of the driveway. After parking I reached the breakfast terrace ready for coffee. Robin notified me of Jenny’s absence, and made me responsible for printing sides.

I drank a cup of coffee and put one foot on the sill of the production office overlooking the front garden and breakfast terrace. This pose made me feel like I was a lookout surveying newly discovered land. I felt like jumping. Julia printed the sides and I sliced, collated and stapled them. I placed my empty cup of coffee on the sill and gave Corinne a copy of sides, then gave a Neph a stack for distribution.

I jetted downstairs to find the last crumb of bacon sitting in a pool of opaque grease. I dug it out and savored it, then ate some eggs and drank two more coffees while the crew prepared the set, transforming the entrance of the property’s abandoned catholic school into the entrance of a hospital.

The first shot of the day involved Leighton driving a station wagon older than most of the crew. As she drove up the hill I ducked behind an ornamental ledge to avoid getting caught in the frame.  Chris laughed at my antics and I felt accomplished for the day. I noticed Brian squished in the bed of the station wagon, his huge feet sticking out from the window as he contorted his body into a comfortable enough position to pull focus.

I stifled my laughter and my tears as I watched the scene at video village. (Whenever I make it over to video village while rolling I can’t contain my awe…I laugh and tear up. After a few takes I blink the tears away and get a hold of myself.)

The production couldn’t afford to pay for extras, so the producer, the wardrobe intern and the child star’s mother were cast as nurses and patrons. Cameron wore scrubs and said it felt great to chill and smoke a cigarette and still be considered working.

Patrick stationed me by the crafty and then I screamed Krystal’s name a few times when someone on walkie asked for Krystal’s twenty.

To sneak away from set and divert possible blame for slacking I informed my dept via walkie that I could not be reached until my 10-1 reached completion. I rushed to the basement and scoured it for my sunglasses, which I lost the previous week during my orgiastic explorations. After twenty futile minutes I returned to set. It’s difficult to be upset about losing a pair of GAP sunglasses that I bought with a gift card two years ago. Besides, I now have a reasonable excuse for revisiting Alder Manor to get in some free shooting, since the day rate is a few thousand dollars.

Julia said I would never find my sunglasses. Cameron said I would never find my sunglasses.

I saw Abbe at craft services. With confidence she admitted to having terrible gas from the catering. She thinks its okay for her to talk about farts because she is a hot chick but that doesn’t make it okay. I like her sense of humor but I usually sleep with someone before fart talk becomes acceptable conversation. I looked at the ground and she said she would start drinking her coffee without milk so she wouldn’t have to go so quickly. I explained that coffee is a diuretic, and it doesn’t matter how it’s diluted.

I killed breakfast and consolidated crafty. I spoke to the gennie operator about gennie’s. A genie is a generator.  He said they hold lots of power, something I know nothing about.  He wore golden, circular framed glasses, and was on the job because he is Brazilian, like the producers. I expressed my disappointment of losing my sunglasses, and the Brazilian gennie operator told me about some cool sunglasses he once found. (There was definitely a story here…i forgot it…) He owned two gennie’s; one was the ominous, windowless black van that lived in the set parking lot, and the other was an eighteen-wheeler that lived in a garage. The Brazilian genie operator showed me a detailed email from his protégé, Eric, with the date, amount of power expended, and the amount of hours it ran. He said, “This is a good guy to hire. This is the type of guy you want working for you.”

I played music out loud on my iPod when Justin asked, “Ab Soul?” I said, “No, Chief Keef.”

He asked, “Have you ever been to Chicago?” and I smiled. Before I could answer he told me that he has worked on a shoot in every state in the country except Idaho and Kansas. He almost went abroad for a shoot in Italy last December but that was a free job and he wanted to stockpile money before the black out.  I asked him what he does during the black out, and he said he stays close to the people who have the money while rubbing his thumb, index and middle fingers together. I felt uneasy that a guy like Justin with experience and skill and contacts would be out of work for a few months, so I immediately texted Sergio to see if he had returned from Burning Man because I need his contact so I’ll have some side hustle during the blackout.

After about one hundred takes of Leighton driving up the driveway to the hospital the shot was complete and the crew began the excruciating task of moving to the new set a few towns over. The next two hours became a mad scramble, and I felt like a soldier of Pickett’s charge. Nobody seemed to know who or what was going where or when.

I spent about forty minutes discarding trash and draining coolers and then asked Neph where she bought her tie-dyed Lil’ Wayne shirt. She said last year at Target. I asked her what she thought about Dedication 5 and she said, “What’s that?” I explained that it was the fifth in Lil’ Wayne’s Dedication series of mixtapes and she said she had never heard of it. I am a bigger Lil’ Wayne fan than Neph.

After a few hours of cooler dumping it was time for lunch. A splinter team went to hotel for blocking rehearsal. Justin asked me who was going to the hotel, and I said, “If you were going you would already know.” He said I should go home. When he used Neph as an example of a cool person who respects his authority I stopped feeling wrong for being a sass.

The Brazilian gennie operator drove out of the driveway while I dropped my load at the dumpster. He held out his hand as he passed me and we slapped five. I stood and watched him as he drove down the road, out of view.

When I broke myself for lunch I sat with Julia and Angela while voices chattered in my head. I stirred my lunch into an amalgam of texture and flavors. Julia drank an iced coffee and offered me a sip but I needed a pint.

Kenny said he would be free to talk about developments on our movie on the weekend. When I had a free moment I called him but he did not respond, nor did he return my phone call.

Neph drove the crew to set. I stayed back and cleaned up lunch with Julia. The mansion was so quiet and peaceful, a sudden change from the clamor of the previous week. For once I was glad to stay behind.

Poor Aurora is always stuck escorting first team and bothering hair and makeup and wardrobe via Cecily over walkie…but she does get to watch them change, which is almost worth the trouble.

I flirted with Julia while dumping pounds of food into a trash bag. She whispered that we should go and explore the grounds and I asked her to repeat herself because I couldn’t understand her. We wandered onto the neighbor’s property, another vacant, state-owned mansion, and my cock bulged in my shorts. I looked up and noticed a flailing groundhog struggling to climb a frail branch. He looked like he needed a hug. I wanted to hug him. I wanted to hold him. When he gained balance he looked at us angrily. I wanted to walk down to the Hudson but it started to drizzle. On walkie Robin urged us to quickly move the box fans from the rain, so we had to go back.

Zach needed to be on set so I was given the task of driving him. On the way he arrogantly explained his take on the general pitfalls and absurdities of The Industry and how Like Sunday, Like Rain is destined never to be seen. The Industry seems to have transformed a once impressionable youth into a diehard cynic, having seen the illogical cycle of The Industry repeat itself hundreds of times…

Though Zach is three years younger than me, I was the impressionable youth, and his words left me feeling ill. After a year and half of interning at Off Hollywood, Zach became an expert with the repair and operation of every professional camera model, working through school with a clear goal: become a Director of Photography. He knows the differences between the fashion, film and ad worlds and comes highly recommended with steady gigs. Basically, he did everything right. One million dollars is not real money…real money is ten million dollars for a three-day photo campaign that is shelved on completion. Real money is having a vision compromised by the Creatives responsible for funding it. To become privately funded means that I cannot make what I want?

I am an artist. Zach wants to shoot. I want to revolutionize. Zach wants to decorate. Zach is important though. My works exists because The Industry exists. I can learn from Zach.

I dropped Zach at set then sprinted back to Alder Manor. I picked up a box of garbage from the production office and took it down the main spiral staircase as a hidden, leaky cup of coffee dripped through the corners, finally falling from the box and spilling all over the floor. I yelled fuck and continued to the dumpster alerting Eliav to the mess as I passed him in the driveway. When he saw the mess he yelled at me from the terrace, “Hey can you help me clean this up at least?” I mopped it and then felt silly for asking him to clean it because I have never asked someone to clean up my mess in real life, so why would that become acceptable on set?

At last we were wrapped from Alder Manor, so I drove myself, Robin and Julia to the hotel. On the way I asked Robin what was the highest budget show she’s ever worked on and she told me it was the sequel to Captain America, with a $220 million budget. She was wistful in her descriptions of the smoothness of that operation especially when caustically comparing it to our current predicament.

As I drove down Executive Blvd we passed and I waved and was ignored by a yawning Ryan and Danyel, who were returning from their trip to Manhattan to drop off the prop furniture.

At set, I immediately recognized this as the hotel from nineteen months ago, when I was in town with my family for my grandmother’s funeral.

On set at the hotel Gaffer Ben made a night scene in the day while I ate snacks and locked up the hallway.

I drank seltzer and moved the heavy production printer in a straight line from the truck to the production office, traversing the perilous, hilly landscape that Westchester is infamous for.

Leighton faked a saccarine, guttural southern accent for an interested Krystal.

Some guys ordered Dominoes pizza to their room and I chuckled when one of them answered the door and said, “Man of the hour!” to the delivery guy: a middle aged, white guy, who looked like he used to be a real estate broker or a banker or associate of some kind.

I was locking up crafty while we rolled when a weathered man with a hoarse voice and goatee who looked like a drunken farmhand emerged from his room to ask in a indifferently loud rasp if we knew where the soda machine was. I shhhhed him with a mouth full of Tortilla chips and then he asked, “Can I have your grub if you’re not going to eat it?” I panicked, looked to a confused Jocelyn for guidance. I shhhhed him again and he slunk back into his room.

Some skinheads entered the hallway from their room and with similar indifference bluntly asked if we were shooting pornography as we rolled. I shhhhed him and he said, “I didn’t shhh when you were loud outside my room!” His skinhead boyfriend slammed their door shut during the take and Patrick admonished me over walkie: “We’re rolling…” I audibly called them dickheads.

I snacked harder than ever, and Val snapped a pic of my I NY t-shirt saying that she loved its dinginess, which could be considered a compliment.

Val told me there were no props in any of the scenes at the hotel because “the art team was fucking up so badly that Frank wanted us [them] all fired.” She had been sitting around for five hours as bizarre punishment, when the film (Frank’s life’s work) would actually suffer more.

I only stopped snacking when we wrapped. Our company move took about two hours to orchestrate. We were forced to split the bed of the Unit Truck with camera and sound, which greatly extended our day as all three depts. struggled to figure how best to fit three camera carts, two coolers of hot soda and a sound cart into such a tight space.

Zach beckoned me from the sill of the hotel’s first floor and handed me an iPhone. It was dead when the crew arrived to the room and was left behind when the crew moved out. He charged it to 7% and told me to find out whose it was. The background photo was an upside down Times Square. I put it in my pocket and waited for someone to ask about it, which never happened.

A small splinter crew headed to the train station while I stayed behind yet again and organized the truck under the command of Patrick.

Ashton spoke to me briefly about becoming a camera PA and she said she would help me out. She is cute but very skinny. She’s from South Carolina and can turn on her legitimate southern accent.

I drove the camera dept. in a crew van to the last set of the night at the Greystone train station, with instructions to pick up the rest of the crew for drop off in Brooklyn.  I didn’t break hard or fast enough while rolling down the hill around the curve, and almost slammed into a tree. Everyone screamed and Ashton laughed and said it was fun. I said, “Please don’t tell anyone about this.”

I sat in the middle of the parking lot with Corinne in the parked, idling van, waiting for Robin and Chris to arrive in the Unit Truck so I could drive her home. Corinne was tired and fittingly cranky and anxious to get on the road. Cecily was standing in front of my van when Robin and Chris arrived. She screamed at me to move which made me nervous. I accidentally stepped on the gas, revving the engine. If the car hadn’t been in park I would have run her over, killing her. Cecily was frustrated with me, but didn’t know how close we both were to manslaughter.

Plans changed again. The prop truck was still on set because of a miscommunication, so Robin had to go back to set to retrieve it. Instead of driving to Brooklyn Chris told me to go to Union Square. Besides Corinne, everyone jumped out in the traffic before Union Square, so I changed course to Corinne’s front door in Bed-Stuy/Crown Heights.

Unburdened by the camera crew we talked freely. Corinne placed much of the blame of disorganization on Cecily, saying that she is “always the last to know everything.” I dropped her off and found a spot right in front of my apt.

day eight

First team holding was at a church meeting room on Arnold St in Ridgewood, a five-minute drive from my apt. I woke up an hour before my call time, sat in my dark kitchen and ate two bowls of apple jacks with my eyes closed, shaved and drove over, arriving at 9:02.

Chris and Robin were already at holding, but something was different about each of them; Chris wasn’t wearing a hat, and Robin’s hair was down.

I parked my van across the street then got out and walked over. I didn’t wish them a good morning; I just stood there. Chris told me to parallel park the van in front of the church as he unloaded the printer from the Unit Truck, which was parked around the corner. It took me 5 attempts to do so, only thanks to the help of Mr. Caterer, who wore a white and pink striped polo and goatee. He smiled and said, “That is such a great spot.”

Patrick showed up with the wardrobe truck. He told me he didn’t get home until 1am because he waited with Kate in the hotel parking lot for Evan to retrieve the prop car.

I helped Chris unload the production office stuff from the Unit Truck, and then Robin started talking to me on walkie, even though I wasn’t yet jacked in. Patrick covered my ass and told her I had my hands full, which was only half true.

Chris told me, “Take the mirror from the pass van for makeup and wardrobe and then look for the tiny director’s chair. Then pull out twenty-five chairs from the Unit Truck.”

As I began to pull chairs from the back of the truck Patrick and Michelle climbed into the bed and asked me what I was doing and why I was doing it, with the obvious intention of giving me a new task. They said something about a taking a cooler out for breakfast and when I told them to leave it in the truck they impudently asked me why. With a sprig of desperation in my voice I told them those were my orders from Chris. They decided to help me pull the chairs. I counted twenty-five as I passed them the chairs. I heard Michelle tell me we only had twenty-two. I know how to fucking count, but instead of requesting a recount I bit my tongue and swallowed my pride and dug up three more. I thought, “She will realize her mistake when Chris tells her to tell me to take three chairs back to the truck.”

However, Chris came out to the truck and told us to put all of the chairs back because there were already chairs inside the church. Robin called me on walkie and told me to make a dry run to set before I could count the chairs in front of Michelle.

I told Chris, “This is my hood…I already know how to get to set.” I went anyway and it took me 5 minutes to travel .7 miles; pretty good time. Meanwhile, Neph drove to the Lorimer L train to pick up crew, since the trains were not running to set, which was off the Jefferson L.

The crew arrived at holding after my dry run, so I picked them up and drove them over to set. On my open walkie, Eliav asked me to bring over four breakfast plates. I was driving with two hands because I had a van full of bodies, so instead of answering I grumbled angrily to myself about preparing someone else’s breakfast. Blake was in the passenger seat and called Eliav and told him, “This is not the time for you to be thinking about your breakfast.” But he wasn’t thinking of himself, he was thinking of crew that had yet to eat. Regardless, Blake told him never to delegate breakfast related tasks over walkie to a PA ever again. Once I dropped my load I returned to holding to pick up Kama and Cameron and then drove back to set.

When I got back to holding after dropping them off I tried to parallel park the fifteen pass van behind a Mitsubishi Eclipse and between a Honda pickup. Just like before, it was very tight and I was nervous backing up. Neph was incompetent as usual and couldn’t give me decipherable hand motions or realistic directions to back into the spot safely, twirling her arms in a circular motion and shaking her head ‘no.’ Before I could embarrass in front of someone important I was requested to return to set over walkie. Relieved, I pulled out of the spot too quickly and scratched the door of the Mitsubishi, swearing liberally within the sound proof van. Neph was my flub’s only witness, and hopefully not a rat.

I listened to “Car Talk.”

There was nowhere to safely park my van on the street, as set was congested with crew trucks. I nervously drove past the frantic crew and pulled into a gas station at the end of the street when I was requested back at holding. Ugh.

I drove back to holding to look for sides, which, Robin had discovered, had been in the van since I dropped off Kama and Cameron. After I dropped the sides at set I had to go back to holding to pick up the wireless port upon Chris’s request.

I parked dangerously on the corner when I reached set with the wireless port. After successful delivery I asked Danyel if she knew the inconsiderate owner of the sedan taking up two spaces on the corner. It was John’s car, which Eliav moved so I could park safely. As I tried to back in amid stressful traffic piling up behind me I heard Cecily yell, “Jonathan is the worst driver!” I laughed because I was thinking the same thing.

I left the keys in the visor of the van and took my first steps on pavement in hours when Patrick asked me to return to holding to pick up Purel and Shrapies from his bag. Defeated, I returned to holding. I felt much better after eating three sausages and drinking three coffees and speaking with Cameron about sausages. I took the liberty to dig through Patrick’s personal belongings and found a really interesting novel entitled Murder, written by a French woman.

The shot list had not yet been printed, and was needed immediately on set. Chris emailed the shot list to Michelle, who was replacing the still sick Jenny. After it printed I drove back to set and handed the copies to Cecily and crew. Cecily handed it back to me and snatched the copies from the crew, telling me that it was tomorrow’s shot list. Chris looked at it and furiously crumpled it up, frustrated by a mistake that was not his fault, but which he received the blame.

Patrick called me and told me to meet him by the pass van. I got into the passenger seat and watched him eat pancakes. In between syrup soaked bites he told me that he needed to eat something. His throat was full of pancakes and his voice sounded very foggy. When he was done drinking his Diet Coke he drove us back to holding to collect the correct shot list. By now I was an expert in the route and pointed him in the right direction. Then I drove him back to set and then drove back to holding, where I parallel parked perfectly between the Mitsubishi and the Honda on my first try. Just as I put the van in park Blake and Kama emerged from holding and got in without noticing my improved skill. I drove them to set.

When I got back to holding I ate some more sausages, talked to Cameron, and chugged a coffee before being sent back to set.

Robin sent Neph to Duane Reade for seltzer and she was gone for hours, despite there being a Duane Reade ten minutes from holding. When she returned, Robin asked her for the prescriptions she was supposed to pick up, which she couldn’t locate amid the sleeves of seltzer in the van.

When I came back I pissed, chugged another coffee, and then embarked with Krystal and Neph.

A pickup truck parked near holding had a decal in its back window that said Always Imitated, Never Duplicated. Neph said she wanted a new tattoo, and thought that would make a good one. I said she should get something original, since getting that phrase tattooed anywhere on your body would be the antithesis of originality. I suggested she get something unique, something she made up. Neph said, “Why would I want a phrase that I thought of myself?”

Neph noticed McDonald’s on the drive to set and reacted with such glee that it seemed like she had never seen one before saying, “I am going to go there for lunch later.”

On the drive to set, Neph said they should get pizza for the crew for lunch one day. Krystal said that was a horrible idea. Neph was unoffended.

With Krystal and Kama in the car, Aurora called me and told me to remind Krystal about Cecily’s Cortisone. Krystal told me to fuck off, then apologized and said it wasn’t my fault; she didn’t mean to direct it at me. She wasn’t Cecily’s assistant and didn’t want to be treated as such.

On the way towards set Kama and I sat in silence and listened to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” I ripped my earpiece out when it caused me to miss a punch line that made Kama lol; the voices were too much of a distraction.

On the way to holding Krystal and I chuckled in silence and listened to “The Moth.” She got out and missed the end of the story when we arrived at holding, only waiting for a few moments before going inside. Maybe she had work to do.

I got out and casually walked inside. For the first time in hours I was not given five tasks at once, so I sat down with a cup of coffee and pulled my book out. As soon as I opened it I received a text from Chris, asking me to come back to set.

Robin said she would drive Krystal and I back to set. I stood outside by the van and she gave me some locks to give to Michelle.

Blake gave me $60 to buy coffee. I completed the task in record time, illegally parking in front of a hospital and still avoiding a ticket. Danny listened on headphones to a grainy YouTube video of an old man talking. Blake pulled up a Wikipedia page and told Danny, “This will be the next movie.”

Cameron said he loved fat boy food.

I got to set and moved tables from the Unit Truck to an empty lot for lunch. It was a Bushwick Picnic. Robin was worried lunch wouldn’t be one hundred in time for Leighton to be the first person eating. Everyone ate as I read my book and fire watched.

Robin needed to lunch/talk to Cecily, but was stranded at holding, forced to fire watch. As typical of Cecily an excessively confusing exchange followed, until it was decided that I would drive Neph in exchange for Robin, who would then eat lunch on set. In the van Neph requested that I drive her through McDonald’s before dropping her at holding because she didn’t like lunch or something. I told her she should go on her own time because Robin was in a hurry.

The owner of the Mitsubishi was a little man with a large forehead and giant tufts of gray hair.

When I got back to set I slurped down a plate, knocked on the set bathroom door and heard Ben say ‘just a minute,’ spoke to Ryan about stealing books and then Robin screamed at me to take down lunch. Chris said “He’s flying in” on walkie and that was my queue to run.

The brightness of the sun reminded me how much I missed my sunglasses.

Alone, I moved tables until it became dark.

Robin was back at holding and Neph disappeared again.

I yanked out my earpiece and screamed “Shut Up!”

Eliav gave the lunch leftovers to the empty lot guidos. They sensed that I was one of them, and were very friendly towards me. The fat one showed me all the times in a day that his “crazy” coworker called him. They love each other like family.

I snacked.

Cecily requested someone to lock up on set so I sprinted up the stairs. When I reached the second floor she turned me around and positioned me up the block, near a pack of middle school kids. I felt like an eager cadet forced from the front lines. I gave the kids my take on the movie’s plot and explained how their demographic was one of the film’s targets, because they were the same age as the leading man and liked beautiful older women. Then I rehashed Zach’s cynical theory about the future of LS, LR: oblivion.

Justin gave the kids cookies and told me I needed to learn how to talk to people better. He said he grew up as a smart ass, and I said I was slapped for being a smart ass. I said that I liked someone that can dish it and he laughed. Maybe we are okay again? Patrick said being sassy is the only way.

Justin said that he gets very close to everybody on set and told me of the crafty legends who bake lobster rolls and spend all night pulling pork. He asked me if I wanted their personal phone numbers bc maybe he thought I was seriously interested in doing crafty professionally? I can confuse people with my sarcasm.

Evan flirted with Aurora and threw carrots at me. I think this was his way of safely expelling his anger at me for stealing the hero prop last week. Aurora is very sexy, but too much of a professional for me.

While I loaded the unit truck a panicked Robin ordered a free PA to holding over walkie bc she was getting kicked out and needed help moving equipment to the street before receiving an overtime charge. I ran over and made sure she saw me sweaty and panting so she knew I was a hustler at heart.

I sat in the street and shooting wrapped. I shifted stuff in the truck back at set with Chris. Robin left her seltzer on the gate of the Unit Truck and when Chris asked whose it was I ran it over to Robin and she smiled excitedly and said, “Thanks!” Chris said my name in a way that made me feel like he is beginning to understand and like me. Robin told me to go home and wait for an email from her. I ran past the art nerds screaming goodbye and never looked back.

day nine

Word Press has failed me. I spent the past two hours recalling the day’s details knowing that I had a very early call time, and when I clicked ‘Save Draft’ an error message read across my screen. Nothing I wrote was saved.

I can try to recall everything again but I am drooping as I type this sentence and even anger can’t keep me awake. I can try to do it tomorrow, but I am not sure how much authenticity I can muster for two recurring days…I feel like today never happened and that is a very bad feeling because it definitely did.

day ten

I woke up two hours before my 5:30am call time in Long Island City, Queens due to my roommate’s thunderous, drunken lip smacking.  This was tolerable only because I needed some extra time to sit in my dark kitchen and eat two bowls of Apple Jacks in my underpants before leaving. On my walk to the shuttle bus I found a dime bag of weed in the street and stashed it in my wallet, hoping it would be laced with PCP. The men hosing the street told me that the bus comes every twenty minutes, so I sat writing on the pavement, recalling the events of yesterday to try and make up for last night, but gave up when I got on the bus, which arrived after five minutes.

I reached Long Island City an hour before call time, wandering for fifteen minutes in the wrong direction until I found the location, which was only a two-minute walk from the subway. This only gave me forty-five minutes to sleep until call time, so I pulled my new pillow out from my new pink backpack and laid on the stoop of the church expecting to be woken up by the arriving crew. An idling con-ed truck kept me awake for most of my nap, so I repositioned myself in the nook between the church stoop and the wall.

My head was in my lap and I was reminded of the old days of sleeping through my overnight security shifts when I awoke at 5:38am, with still no sign of the crew. I stood up and walked around the corner of the building and found Robin and Chris already set up in the Church’s meeting room downstairs. Not only did I overlook the fact that the nave of a Church wouldn’t be fitting for holding, but I also wasted an opportunity to prove punctuality to my bosses.

I helped Patrick move director’s chairs from the Unit Truck. He told me that Robin couldn’t print sides because the van with the lock hanging like an eyeball from a socket had been broken into, and the printer had been stolen. On walkie I heard Cecily wildly requesting sides for crew and Robin said “Jesus, calm down,” and that she had sides without a call sheet and that would have to do. I tried to think of something we needed without having to be asked, so I took crafty into holding and then dragged a cooler to the crew across the street.

Justin was reclining in the passenger seat of the van, scrolling through Facebook on his phone when I walked out to retrieve the office supplies. I said Good Morning, and he said that Bronx Gucci bitches have no asses. I said yeah, I guess that sounds right, and then he turned to me and said he was talking on the phone. He could beat the fuck out of me no problem.

Breakfast was catered by Cranky’s, the restaurant where we had set. I sat next to Cameron and ate pancakes and biscuits and gravy and eggs and bacon and drank three cups of coffee. All browns and tans and yellows. There were plenty of tables and chairs, so we didn’t need to pull any from the truck, which made me believe that the day could almost be uneventful, that I may even have some down time. Then is started raining.

It drizzled, then it stopped, then as the lights went up it rained harder and the lights needed covers. Then school started because apparently it was a school day, and all the trucks parked on the street had to move so the buses could drop off the children. We drove them around the corner and landed them in front of the church where some traffic cones labelled ‘funeral’ were conveniently planted. Patrick drove a cube truck too far, so when he came back around I moved the cones and landed him.

Jimmy walked over to me from the smoothie store as I exited the truck and gave me ten dollars, with instructions to pick up his blueberry smoothie and a pack of gum in the next five minutes. He said, “Thanks so much man I really appreciate it,” and I waited in the smoothie store as Alex called me on walkie and told me where I could park the van, around the corner where his intern was acting as a human cone.

I brought the smoothie to Jimmy and his skinny French wife. Jimmy said, “Thanks so much man” again, touched my elbow (best spot) and then I went outside of set and tried to find something to do. I responded to a call by Cecily who needed copies of release forms for the extras. Since Jimmy lived above the set restaurant, Chris asked him where I could make copies. Jimmy pointed him east and I was standing in the way and he pointed straight into my face.

I walked in Jimmy’s direction and saw nothing, so I stopped at a coffee shop to ask directions. The barista pointed me in the opposite direction of Jimmy and then I decided that I didn’t want to make any copies anymore.

There was a funeral at the Church, which explained why the cones where we parked our trucks had “funeral” spray painted on them. (I thought it was a sneaky strategy courtesy of locations dept. ) I heard somber processional music coming from the church’s open windows across the street while we scream echoed Cecily’s “Rolling!” and “Action!” over walkie. Our shoot was definitely interrupting the service.

As I locked up the cooler I found an American Spirit cigarette butt to smoke and borrowed a lighter from Cameron, who was busy dying and scraping a printed t-shirt. I suggested he make the holes bigger, so it would look rattier.

I sat on a cooler just outside of set and struck up conversation with the delivery kid and the chef of Cranky’s. They told me that the skinny French woman who owned the restaurant is Jimmy’s wife. I said I thought it was just a coincidence that Jimmy lived upstairs from the same restaurant we were shooting. They offered me another cigarette, and we talked about the film industry. I took some puffs of the cigarette and then got nauseous and decided to save it for after lunch.

I talked to Josh, the human cone, and told him this was my first movie set. He made an unnecessary and illogical comparison of a movie set to the Myth of Sisyphus. We talked about music and then Chris came over and asked me about the copies. I told him I came back because I couldn’t find the place. He asked me if I walked to where Jimmy pointed and I got nervous and lied and he probably didn’t believe it bc I am a horrible liar. I told Chris I would do it later and he said “Copy.” Josh had a smart phone so I sent him to make the copies and gave him some petty cash.

After Josh left the location brothers asked me where he went and I said he went on a run to make copies and they said who sent him on a run to make copies and I said I did and they said don’t do that again without consulting us bc we need him on set. I apologized and they jokingly pretended to stab me in a sign of friendship and understanding.

Cecily became mad over walkie, saying “I don’t know why I say it if no one fucking calls it out or copies….” I decided to copy everything, all of the time, for the rest of the day.

Chris asked for Danielle over walkie and I found her and brought her to set. Before I could ask she said she was feeling sad because her boss, John, was fired.  She was conflicted because she didn’t want to quit, but she did want to support her boss. I told her not to worry and consoled her with a pat on the shoulder. She held me close and I thought see, touching works. Cecily made an announcement over walkie that Angela would be the new Production Designer, and then I saw the producers talking with John and watched him get smaller as he walked into the distance.

Later Chris explained to me that John was fired for numerous reasons. Specifically, there was meant to be a window smashing scene, but John came to set unprepared, and said that he couldn’t figure out how to do it, and Frank had to rewrite the scene. Woof.

Subsequently, Ryan informed us of his resignation after he returned the prop furniture, bc he is loyal to his boss. I liked Ryan, and was sad to see him go. The art team went from six to three bc Evan quit the following day.

Rachel, the new swing, had the widest hips on set. I introduced myself when she asked me for traffic cones.

Julia came in for a half day and I smiled. She was cast as an extra in the restaurant scene, which made me envious, so I made weird faces and tried to make her laugh.

Chris whispered greg greg greg greg greg greg over walkie as a queue for the actor to enter the scene.

I saw Leighton lift her shirt up to get mic’ed and I became hard forever.

Cecily requested water for Leighton and crew. My cigarette butt became wet and useless in the process of bringing some bottles to set. I handed Cecily the waters and she said to offer some to crew and I just stood there in the tight space between Justin and the dolly and said “what?” When she said it again I handed the waters out and felt slightly stupid. The Church bell tolled as I lit the wet cigarette.

I squatted beside the cooler. With a mouth full of pop rocks Krystal squatted beside me and asked about the voluptuous French waitresses who were watching the action on set.

I tear up with a mixture of laughter and embarrassment whenever I see the actor’s acting at video village. I want to live on a set.

Warren gave me petty cash to buy gasoline for the generator. I spilled some on my shorts as I walked it to set, and resisted an urge to stick my finger in the can and taste some.

Justin judged my musical taste as he scrubbed through my iPod and then queued up The-Dream’s Florida University, and said that one of his girls thinks of him when she listens to this song.

I complimented Kate on her cargo pants and told her that there were no good beverages, which reflects poorly on my department, since we are responsible for the hydration of the crew. Her deep cut V-neck revealed a muscular sternum, and I couldn’t stop staring.

I stood next to Kama as she admonished Cameron for not answering his phone as he smoked his cigarette and leaned against a tree. When she wasn’t looking he rolled his eyes and walked away.

Lunch was called and I volunteered for fire watch inside the restaurant so I could read. I described the plot of my book to Eliav and he recommended a Murakami book I have been recommended one thousand times. I made a video of myself sampling prop food from all of the plates on set.

I made myself sick with a full lunch of tans and whites and auburns. Warren needed me to go to Eastern Effects to drop off and pick up a hamper full of electric gear, and the he disappeared into his truck, so I lurked behind the camera crew as they set up the next shot. Ashton showed me some stuff, like battery packs and block batteries and shot list sheets and how to switch cards and how to power down the camera and where to throw the camera blankets. Justin showed me some moves on the dolly. Suddenly, and without warning or reason, Chris told me I didn’t need to go to Eastern, and I felt a heaviness lift from my chest.

Jenny wore my new pink backpack, and it looked good on her, but it looked better on me. She wanted me to clean out the coffee maker and I said ok and then gave it to Neph to clean.

I told Cameron that Tammy and Blake have similar looking ponytails from behind and he cracked up.

I saw a sharpie floating in a dirty puddle. Cecily dropped her cigarette and called herself a whore for sugar.

I forced a door shut over a cable and cut a chunk from it.

I told Aurora to sing every word like Jenny because it feels good and makes work more fun.

Coffee gets me high.

Cecily finally recruited me to be an extra. I eagerly stripped myself of my annoying surveillance, and jumped right in as a patron eating a lonely brunch of day old scrambled eggs. I started conversation with my nameless brunch companion and the makeup assistant. I joked about living in New York for three years and wanting to experience the thrill of being mugged and my extra friends laughed. I sat in place for about two hours and became antsy with boredom then started playing with the menu without noticing, sticking the corners in my eyes. Jimmy laughed and told me to put it down because they can see what I am doing through the window and it’s really distracting.

I sat inside the restaurant with Chris so I would know when to give queues for Leighton. We may have made eye contact. After her first blocking rehearsal with Billy Joe she played with the camera tripod as she mockingly recited her line. She might be a smart ass too.

I thought Leighton was on the phone with her mom when she was actually rehearsing the next scene at a payphone.

Frank said last take about six times. We ran into overtime and had to push Leighton’s call time one hour when we wrapped. Aurora saw a man walking down the street with a six pack of Corona and made a grabbing motion. Poor girl just wanted to get drunk. I think it was Friday.

Robin kept asking over walkie for keys to the pass vans and Neph had both pairs but wouldn’t say anything. She just sat in the van and waited for orders. We always leave the keys in the visor so we don’t have to look for them whenever a van needs to move. Neph needs to be told everything. I remember a strange dream I had about Neph. I told her I thought she was stupid thinking her to be someone else, and then she said she would fuck me. Ew.

At the end of the night I was loading the Unit Truck when Neph ran over with the paper slicer. I told her that the office supplies live in the Wardrobe truck. She said, “This is the Wardrobe truck, and I said, “No this is the Unit Truck.” Neph is clueless; she doesn’t even understand the basics.

Robin maintains a bubbly personality yet a tough resolve despite the unforgivably stressful onus of the job.

The clouds in LIC are always photogenic at dusk when looking west. I spoke to Jimmy’s wife Mina about their beauty. We talked and snapped photos as sound sped.

I said something sassy and made a producer smile.

Cecily made Fabio give the bar owner $20 to shut the door so it wouldn’t be distracting.

Chris, Patrick and I hung out drinking Diet Pepsi’s on the gate of the Unit Truck after loading it. I showed them my bag of drugs. Chris said that he unintentionally smoked weed laced with PCP with a friend in Central Park once.  While high he heard a stomping sound, and chose to ignore it. When the sound continued Chris asked his friend if he also heard the sound. His friend motioned to Chris’s stomping and scraping foot as the source of the sound.

Patrick said that his friends once stumbled upon an empty park post-drug violence. The only things left behind were bricks of weed, droplets of blood, and some guns.

I rode with Chris to the gas station on the way to the BAM parking lot and lamented about the loss of last night’s diary. I guess that makes me a writer. Before we pulled up I jumped out to check for the gas nozzle and then secretly rode on the gate as he pulled up to the pump.

We parted ways and I went to retrieve my bike but only found my newly purchased wheel locked to the bike rack. I took the wheel and headed in the direction of the subway.

day eleven

I noticed a thirteen-year-old kid with a pubescent mustache walking a thick bulldog in the early morning. He reminded me of myself at thirteen. I followed him to the holding address, a residential building, and pet the bulldog In the elevator. The kid told me her name was Brooklyn. The elevator arrived to the ninth? floor and we both stepped out. I told him I was looking for apt 9D and he welcomed me to his home by yelling, “Mom! Someone is here!”

The family had a cat with depth perception issues. Sometimes he would jump and fall short of the ledge and hit his face on the floor.

I drank my coffee on the couch and watched SpongeBob when Aurora walked in and asked me what I was doing with incredulous disbelief.

I met Frank’s friend Frank, who was playing the role of the bodyguard. He was excited and friendly and said that autumn was his favorite time of the year, that it reminded him of his home: Canada. I said I loved to watch the leaves change, and he said I should visit Montreal and drink apple cider.

Patrick arrived with the wardrobe truck and I started pulling office supplies into the apartment. The truck was parked tightly against a tree, and when Patrick tried to pull out he became wedged on the branch. He tried to accelerate out of it, but became even more stuck. Alex was an expert parking assistant and explained (with words!) which way to turn the wheel and how far to pull forward. The branch left a dark smear on the truck, making it look war torn; a nice compliment to the dark line I made crashing the truck during pre-production.

Kama hated Brooklyn, the bulldog, who was locked up in the kitchen. I pet her through the baby wall.

We were shooting exteriors. Cecily asked who wanted to be in the vestibule to queue Julian and I leaped at the opportunity, and was surprised when she obliged. I talked to Julian about things. I told him it was my first movie set. He asked me about my pink backpack and I told him I found it a few days before, along with a pillow and a copy of V. by Thomas Pynchon. I told him having an earpiece in my ear was like having schizophrenia. I asked him if he knew what schizophrenia was and he said no, so I told him it’s a psychological disease that makes you hear disembodied voices that order you to kill. He was born in LA, or somewhere, and then moved somewhere else before settling in New York’s West Village when he was seven. Overall he was an average kid.

While locking down the street I met a “failed freelance photographer” who asked me questions about the movie. He was unbothered by the wait time to get into his home because he had no plans and nowhere to be. We spoke through rolling and then exchanged numbers. He wanted to be a production assistant and I told him that there had to be a better way. He said he would text me about his film festival. I received a text from him later in the afternoon saying that he bumped into his college friend, Jonathan, who was the leading man’s tutor. When he told me that it all made sense because they are both harmless nuisances.

I drove the Unit Truck with Alex. Danny motioned me to back out through the side view mirror then made a stop motion with wide eyes and a ‘you’re a bad driver’ face of disbelief. Alex asked me if I wanted him to drive and I said no.

Jonathan ate lunch with his friend, the failed freelance photographer.

I ate lunch with Kama, Cameron and Jocelyn.

Aurora didn’t eat lunch because she doesn’t eat slimy things.

The sterno’s were still hot from lunch when Michelle decided to clean them up. She always wants to clean it up immediately, and, being an expert in catering, I always tell her to wait until they cool down, for two reasons: 1) so I have time to enjoy a second lunch if I desire, and 2) so I can use the excuse of not cleaning up lunch bc its “still too hot” and find something to do on set.

I tell her to save me a tray of ribs before she tosses it. I start to break down tables when she screams Patrick’s name. She looks at me and screams his name and then she is screaming fire and I have a slow reaction time because I am very confused: I do not see or smell a fire. A woman walking a dog on the street looks at me and points to Michelle and screams “Fire!” I am like a glacier. I drop my table and look at Michelle, who yells at me, “Patrick, put down the table! There is a fire!”

When I walked over I saw a hot sterno sitting on a pile of napkins, edges crisp with flame. Not a fire in my book. I sweep them onto the ground and Michelle screams, “No, we need water!” I stomped out the flames, smiled and said, “You called me Patrick, and I was like, ‘where?’”

I told Josh to help me break down the lunch tables and he stood next to one and waited for me to help him move it.

Eliav loaded the bed of the Unit Truck with lunch garbage for easy transport, and Patrick was mad because there was garbage juice all over the Unit Truck.

Patrick got the job of queuing Billy Joe for the fight scene. The shot was facing the street and Billy Joe’s friend wanted to be an extra. When Frank called action BJ’s friend calmly walked towards me, leaving the frame and stifling a conspicuous smile that said, “I’m in a movie.” On walkie Cecily said “I don’t want that tattoo guy in my shot!” I thought Patrick copied, but in rare form, Patrick queued him to walk across the street. Cecily was furious and BJ’s friend was disappointed with her decision. I knew exactly how he felt.

I was stopping cars like a boss, using the perfect balance of assertive and friendly, yet nobody noticed. They were probably too busy. Most people I stopped were receptive and understanding and some people were even interested. One shithead asked me why our cameras rolling was his problem.

The camera cart started rolling down the hill and I caught it and saved it from falling and Frank looked at me with thumbs up and said, “Good Job!” He doesn’t know my name.

An audience of teen girls and lobby guards crowded the street and I talked to all of them. They were mesmerized listening to me. I felt like an expert of something.

I spoke to the kid with the pubescent mustache about the absurd nature of The Industry and told him that commercial film making is overrated. He was more interested in being a zoologist anyway. I told him that was splendid, and to continue to pursue what was important to him. I had to read a book to figure that one out. He mentioned his mustache and said he wasn’t shaving it because he didn’t want it to grow in thicker. I told him it took thirteen years to grow it, and if he shaved tomorrow it would take six months to grow back. It takes years to grow thicker. It sounds weird but it makes sense. I know because I’ve had two mustaches in my life.

I was bored and everyone loved my new pink backpack. I received compliments from Abbe and the thirteen-year-old kid with the mustache and the new swing with the wide hips and the producer who Fabio said looked very reminiscent of me. I tossed it in the air and caught it.

I sat with Patrick in the Unit Truck and when we pulled back up we saw the producers screaming at us. I had taken my earpiece out while driving and didn’t understand why they screamed. When I put my earpiece in I heard Cecily screaming at me to move because we had parked in the shot, “right up her pike.” I really hate that word, it’s gross.

I passed a tall, pretty hunk with curled locks of black hair and stopped and stared because I couldn’t remember if I met him at a party or saw him on TV. I told Patrick I recognized him from someplace, but I couldn’t remember where. Patrick didn’t respond because he probably didn’t care.

Later Cecily asked for someone to queue in the vestibule again and I got inside with Leighton and Deb and Julian and then one-second later Aurora stepped in and I was yanked out and placed up the street, facing the opposite direction of set. Cecily kept screaming at me, saying I was “right up her pike” and told me to keep running up the block.

I helped Robin load the fifteen pass with office materials up the street when Cecily screamed over walkie that she needed another PA on set.  I ran over and asked where I should go. She placed me up the street, facing away from the action and then screamed at me bc I was in her pike although I was pressed against a wall. Jenny (or was it Chris?) said, “You can’t see anything against the wall like that.” When I stepped out onto the sidewalk Cecily told me to keep moving further up the street. By the time she said she couldn’t see me I was at the pass van I had been helping Robin load five minutes prior…

Resilient Robin told me she was leaving the show bc she couldn’t take it anymore. Even the she has a breaking point. It’s ok though,  she got a job on Orange Is the New Black.

Robin gave me a better task: to go to Billy Joe’s apartment and bring his backpack to set. I made a video of myself drinking whiskey from the bottle in his apartment and showed Cameron.

Patrick thought the ribs on the Unit Truck were garbage and put them on the sidewalk. I told him not to throw them away, that I would take them home. Eliav threw them out anyway. I feigned displeasure.

Abbe gave me attitude about the prop truck being left open and unattended while I locked up the street. “Um, there’s a $30, 000 cello in there.” Maybe she was mad cus I told her to walk around the block to deliver the pizza, since she wanted to walk through the shot to deliver it. I don’t like taking snide orders from the producer’s assistant, especially when I am already doing my job and can’t stop doing it to appease her. It’s not my job to take orders from every person on set.

I helped Cameron move the actor’s clothes from the pass van to holding. We were both in a very good mood. I placed the clothes on a bench near a pair of boots and noticed a cold cup of coffee beneath the bench. Minutes later someone said that Frank was mad because his wallet was missing from his pants. He was walking down the street on a warpath, asking for me by name. “Who’s Jonathan?! Are you Jonathan?!” I am Jonathan.

He yelled at me that he knew his wallet would go missing, that he never leaves it anywhere unattended, that he told Frank this would happen. He stuck his finger in my face and I looked at him with steel resolve and said I would find it. I experienced polar opposite sides of Frank at polar opposite sides of the day.

Jenny approached me as I was staring at the ground and asked me to do something for her but I said that I had a crisis to divert first. She helped me look and tried to calm him down.

He stormed off and then Kama approached me and said that Frank’s wallet was found near the bench. She said somebody spilled that cup of coffee all over his boots too. She said we shouldn’t have been so careless with his pants. That we were holding his pants like fools. Frank came over and said he was so sorry for yelling at me. I said don’t worry about it I understand and he said no, he was really sorry. Everyone was happy again.

When I returned to holding I noticed the pretty hunk with the curls sitting with his arm around Leighton. I recognized him as the nerd from The OC. They must make beautiful love.

Second meal was served and Cameron and I walked over to the pizza table together.

All of the actors except for Leighton were wrapped.

I recommended Kate try the water, to keep her hydrated.

Somewhere between the pizza and the pass van, in between locating Frank’s wallet and eating pizza I dropped the keys to the pass van. I cursed audibly and stared at the ground wandering the streets. I noticed a man with two corgis and stopped to pet them, which made me feel better. I told him his dogs were beautiful. They weren’t near the pizza and then I heard Cecily exclaim over walkie, “We’re wrapped!” I screamed ‘fuck’ and some people stared at me. I admitted defeat by announcing over walkie for everyone to keep their eyes on the keys to the pass van. Patrick responded by saying “Jenny found them.” I made him switch to channel two and asked, “Where?” and he said, “It doesn’t matter,” and I said through clenched teeth, “It matters to me,” and he told me, “Near the pizza.”

Everyone was wrapped but Eliav’s car wouldn’t start.

He was headed to Ridgewood, and said he would give me a ride, so I waited. Traffic police rolled through just to give one of our trucks a ticket, and wouldn’t help Eliav jump his car because they are not supposed to. Slowly, we were the last people left. Eliav flagged down a cab to help him jump, but that failed because something else was wrong with it. The guy who lent Eliav the jumper cable was a polite Asian man. Justin tried to help him jump his car, but then gave up and hailed that cab that failed to jump his car. I am not a car person, so I couldn’t offer any advice, only condolences. We were the only ones left and I suggested we get stoned on the possibly PCP laced weed I found. He agreed, given the circumstances, and emptied a cigarette. Neither of us had smoked weed in months, at least.

Once I was high I remembered everything I hated about being high: the self-conscious self-inspection, the schizophrenic goofiness, seeing through the sad façade of human existence and feeling sympathy for every person walking down the street pretending to be themselves. Where I normally read, I took interest in staring and laughing at everyone on the subway, individually.

The subway stopped and started and stopped and started and I nodded off from exhaustion and awoke at the Lorimer L, the last stop. The crowded subway dumped its human contents into a gross commingling of bodies. The MTA workers handed me an offensive pink ticket for a free shuttle to the Jefferson L, but I declined, choosing to walk home instead of waiting in line.

My iPod and my phone were dead when I embarked. I walked down Morgan Ave staring at the ground, talking to myself to pass the time, my pink backpack bursting with my new pillow and several books. In stoned exhaustion I must have taken a wrong turn. As I walked beside Cooper Park  a man doing suicides in the park called out to me for the time. I called back to him saying that my phone was dead. I felt the presence of an individual walking behind me, and thought nothing of it.

When I reached the corner I felt a hand come from behind and touch my waist. At that moment I knew what was happening and felt no fear, just willing submission. Cooperation meant a smooth transaction, and I figured opening my wallet and giving him my $17 cash would suffice. When I turned to face my thief I saw a long sleeve black hoodie, a ninja mask pulled over his nose, and a silver pistol pointed at my face before I felt it pressed to my temple. He instructed me to turn around and give him everything. I emptied my pockets into his hands as he stood behind me with the gun at my head: wallet, cracked iPod, dead phone, keys…He pulled my backpack off for me and then told me to run in the direction I was walking and not to look back.

I sprinted for ten minutes until I found an idling police car. I continued running, waving my arms to flag their attention, but they pulled around the corner, oblivious. I finally reached them out of breath; they had just began a routine traffic stop when I told them I needed help, that I was just robbed at gun point.

The officers were novice females. I explained as concisely as possible what happened, requesting a ride back to the scene, since it had only happened ten minutes prior. It was out of their jurisdiction or something, so they called it in. When I tried to open the door to their car it wouldn’t open. They apologized for the technical issues with their vehicle, and said it was embarrassing. I was too distressed to fill out the stack of paperwork they handed me; I didn’t want to sign my name on some robbery confirmation form.

I walked in circles on the sidewalk while waiting for the car that would take me to the scene as three separate cop cars pulled over to ask my officers what had happened. They had already phoned it in.I had to wait while they couldn’t open their doors. I suggested climbing through the window, that I was very lithe and wouldn’t mind if it would get me there faster. They laughed and said no.The women spoke slowly and awkwardly in cop code. They weren’t yet fluent. It was almost cute.

I explained my story to every cop vehicle that approached and didn’t give me a lift. My ride finally arrived and drove me around the park, then I got out at the corner and sat on the pavement while they called another ride. The officers asked if I was drunk, and I said I wish. Some undercovers asked me the same questions and didn’t take me home. I laid on the sidewalk when my ride finally arrived.

I told them to take me home, I would give them directions, I just needed to be home immediately. They dropped me at my stoop and watched me ring my bell as they ate tacos. I held down the buzzer obnoxiously as a distress signal and waited for my roommate to be ripped from her sleep and answer the door. The cops didn’t wait for me; they drove off as I stood outside my home, peering through the window into my hallway.

Like Sunday, Like Hell

LCR_1707they sent me on a run for letter sized manila envelopes and three 5 lb. bags of ice so they could take this photo

stay tuned for diaries from the front lines