I stare into my closet wondering what to wear today. Some people that live in downtown NYC live in a bedroom the size of the closet but I’ve been told I live in a closet the size of a bedroom.
It shouldn’t be so hard to get dressed but today is one of those of days where nothing fits right and I know what this means, it’s happened before.
Nothing fits right because nothing feels right.
My laptop begins playing Gwen Harris’s cover of Modest Mouse’s Float On (feel free to listen as you read on) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0ShPb04UL0
“I backed up my car into a cop car the other day.
Well, he just drove off, sometimes life’s okay.
I ran my mouth off a bit too much, oh what did I say?
Well, you just laughed it off and it was all okay.”
And out of nowhere I burst into tears.
I don’t know why trying to figure out what to wear today could make me projectile cry like this but I’m going to guess that maybe I’m not the only person that has ever looked into their closet and burst into tears? Maybe?
But what the fuck has happened the past few days to make me such an odd mess today?
Maybe it’s the baby’s fault? Can I blame a baby? I don’t care how cute and innocent they are; once they emerge into this crap-crazy world they are one of us. Responsibility may be different for a baby but whoa, human beings get blamed for shit they didn’t do all the time, so, welcome to the world baby.
Here’s the lame part (or lucky, depending on how you look at it). I don’t have a baby. I don’t have a creature of any kind that could even minutely resemble caring for a baby. I have a plant.
And it’s dying.
It’s sort of crazy how one of my first BG experiences a year ago has lined up with a friends BBQ in which I first met their beautiful little 9-month old daughter. I love parties with babies and here’s the simple truth:
Playing with a baby means I don’t have to talk to people.
It's genius if you think about it- any social awkwardness I feel or any small talk I might struggle through can be totally avoided if I have a baby in my arms.
And that’s a very attractive option if you are secretly a shy person and don’t want people to know how awkward you are because now the baby has made you cool- you are the person that is great with the baby! “Oh, the baby loves you! Oh, wow, the baby isn’t usually so happy with someone else, etc. etc.” Yes! I win!
A year ago I was taking care of a baby. An ugly baby. I’m not being insulting, not really. I might blame babies but I’m not going to stoop so low as to call one ugly. This baby was not a real baby, it was a prop baby. Apologies to any babies that have their face frozen like this:
A brief recap:
In the summer of 2016 my career as a film director took a quiet turn, a turn was so quiet that many people didn’t even notice me veer off the path and onto some highway, somewhere, going who knows where. I started doing Background work on film and TV sets as a way to pay my bills while getting an escape from myself, my life. I was trying to get over a new relationship that failed, mostly because of me (and my habit of drinking and texting), a close friendship that collapsed through little fault of my own, and a friendship/romantic relationship that kept seesawing back and forth causing emotional distress and creating a great excuse to drink myself to sleep some nights.
After doing BG work every week for about a month I got an idea.
What if I really pretend to be these characters while I’m portraying them?
Not just listen to the ADs and PAs tell me where I’m supposed to cross or when to laugh or scream but what if I do these things as if I really want to do them because that’s my life?
I started feeling a part of this new technique on the day I did Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. I was given a stroller with a fake baby and as much as I was trying to forget my own life, it sparked an unavoidable confrontation with myself. While I stared at this ugly doll (and it truly was, this doll had the squinty, mushy face a baby makes as it’s waking up) I realized that I was chosen to be one of only three moms that received a stroller and a plastic child. I was not chosen to be one of the many millennials enjoying a breakdancing show in the Central Park Amphitheater that got interrupted by gunshots, sending the crowd screaming and running in every direction. I was not wearing a halter top or a bandana or pyramid studded sandals. I wore a collared, linen dress with buttons all up the front and sensible, flat shoes. I was a mom with a baby. I could no longer pass for a kid, at least not in the discriminating eyes of the TV screen. Even as a blur, I was a thirty-year-old blur.
As gunshots rang out and I ran with my stroller up and down Central Park, I realized something else. I ran a lot faster with the stroller than I have ever ran in my life, and I wasn’t sure if the ‘Action!’ had all that much to do with it.
And then the memory passes, and I’m back, staring at my closet as the song ends.
“Oh, oh, don’t worry,
Even if things end up a bit too heavy,
We’ll all float on.
Alright, already we’ll all float on
Oh, don’t you worry we’ll all float on.”
I pick a pair of jeans and an old Sex Pistols tee-shirt. For now, it’ll just have to be good enough. And it is.