Middle age came crashing down on me once more last weekend…more than it ever has, certainly since hitting 40, which, for ease of conversation and general, all-around simplicity, is my hard definition of the phrase.
And don’t give me that shit about age being a mental state of affairs, cause it’s certainly not a mental thing when my knees and back ache for no reason, and I find myself enthralled by TV shows like “Meet The Press” and “Real Time with Bill Mahr”, I don’t have to beat off every single day of the week, and I can’t read without “readers”.
Isn’t it fun to think that, at best, 40 means we’re about 1/2 done with The Show…give or take?
(Time for a brief — albeit relevant — digression: all this middle-aged whining came started before it ever really happened. Which is to say turning 30 years old was way harder for me than turning 40. Days after I hit 30, I suffered a panic attack of such enormous proportions that I was forced to pull my car to the side of the road for a half hour to concentrate on breathing deeply, cause I thought I was gonna have a heart attack. That, or lose my mind. I was living in Dallas at the time, and it’s a vivid memory. There’s a big fountain where Oak Lawn Ave. turns into Preston, and it’s in the kind of neighborhood where dudes like Big Oil and Dallas Cowboy and Brain Surgeon call home, and I panted like a dog near that fountain until I could quit shaking long enough to drive back to my near-by neighborhood…which was super gay. The neighborhood. It was super gay. Not the duplex, nor I, cause No Way Am I Gay).
Anyways, last weekend was reunion time, and I got to hang out with friends I haven’t spent time with since, oh…about 1988.
Because it’s none of your business, I won’t say anything about what brought us together; it wasn’t high-school. Besides, high school reunions are generally in the fall, and I graduated a few years before 1988.
Just a few, goddamnit.
Watching your own life unfold as time rambles on is almost as nerve-wracking and weird and mysterious as spending time with people who — over 20 years ago — were part of your life on a daily basis…and haven’t been since. If you haven’t experienced it yet, lemme tell ya, it’s fucking weird, bro.
And it just got weirder when the first one asked, “So what are you doing with yourself now, Watson?”
It’s always interesting when anyone asks me what I do for a living; in other words, it’s The Pornographer’s Dilemma — to tell The Truth or The Lie.
I reserve The Truth for either very close friends or complete strangers…and The Lie for just about everyone else.
Here’s The Lie: I design websites for a living.
Which really isn’t that much of a lie; a kernel of truth therein lies…right?
Does that even make sense?
A kernel of truth therein lies. I just Googled that, cause from some reason I thought it sounded kinda familiar, and I wanted to cover my ass on the plagiarism thing. Plus…it’s kinda gay. Almost as gay as my old neighborhood in Dallas.
Hey…wait. Can phrases be gay? How about neighborhoods?
Anyways, sometimes people have to press it, and it’s not like I blame them, and it certianly doesn’t make me mad, cause, after all, it’s just friendly conversation: what kind of sites do you design? Do you really know HTML? How about making shopping carts? Which websites do you own? Can you design mine? Lemme see some of your work!
That’s when I toss around phrases like “CGI scripts” and “PHP coding” and “server side applications”, even though I have no idea what they really mean. Which is OK, cause they don’t either. And if they do, I finally pull them aside and say, in a whisper, “I do a lot of outsourcing to places like India and the Philippines…please don’t hate me!” which shuts them up every time.
Here’s how I tell them The Truth: I make dirty movies.
Eyes grow wide when The Truth is told, and it always elicits the following: what do you mean you make dirty movies?!
“I cast actors, direct them, and hold a camera while people fuck in front of me.”
Then, they always say: You’re not serious.
I can’t explain the phenomenon that involves those first two statements always presented in that particular order. They want me to clarify what I just said, and then they follow up with a confirmation of such. After that, it gets all willy-nilly: Do you really know pornstars? Do you need an assistant? How do I get to bang the girls? Do you know Jenna Jameson? How do I get to bang the girls? Are you ever in the movies? How do I get to bang the girls? Do you need an assistant? Do your parents know? How do I get to bang the girls? Are all the girls victims of child abuse? How do I get to bang the girls? Aren’t they all on drugs? Where can I see your movies — DVD or internet? How do I get to bang the girls? Do you need an assistant? I’ll work for free! And how do I get to bang the girls? I’ll work for free! Can I have a password? I’ll work for free! Can I have a password?!
They usually end the conversation with, “you’re now my new hero”, to which I always reply, “don’t be stupid. I’m not your hero…you father should be your hero.” — and I always say that cause Jack Kerouac said it on David Frost’s TV show after Ed Sanders told him, “You’re my hero, Jack Kerouac!”
Maybe it was the Dick Cavette show.
Kerouac hated hippies, and I do, too.
Shit, why not Google that, too?
On September 3, 1968, in New York City, in the last year of his life, Jack Kerouac appeared on the William F. Buckley’s TV show “Firing Line”, along with Ed Sanders (Hippie) and Lewis Yablonsky (Chronicler of Hippiedom). Kerouac was fat and drunk and cranky as a motherfucker the last dozen years (or so) of his life: his popularity was over, The Beats were over, and no one really cared anymore.
You can watch the first 5 minutes of that show here. Pay close attention to the last few seconds when Buckley mentions hallucinogenic drugs and how Kerouac and Sanders react.
How the fuck did I end up here?
What’s this blog all about again?
Didn’t your teacher warn you about digression, and wandering off topic, and thesis statements, and defending them with all your might?
Over beers I told them I don’t need assistants, but they could come to my studio anytime and watch; there’s been a few times I’ve gotten lucky with the porn girls, but most of the time I don’t; I don’t know Jenna Jameson, but I did get a chance once to tell her I liked her book; and yes, my parents know, but my extended family doesn’t, although I think they have a pretty good idea; I didn’t answer if I was ever in a movie; I told them my movies are on the internet, and I told them about Blacks on Blondes and Manojob and The Dick Suckers and how I couldn’t really stand working with Chelci Fox, but I never say a word about No Way Am I Gay; I briefly mentioned that some of the girls probably got sexually abused when they were kids, but that’s something no one wants to talk about; I told them to e-mail me for passwords, too; and then they took turns telling me all about their lives and right in the middle of The Boredom and Commonplace they call “Life” it came to me that, through all the drama and weird shit I deal with on a daily basis, I’m one of the luckiest men alive.
At least that I know.
Pert near, anyway.