My assignment for Reader Request week was to write about True Stories (thanks, rutabagaparsnip!)—that sardonic, musical, surreal David Byrne film featuring John Goodman and Swoosie Kurtz. What follows is not an essay, for…
:D I was a little disappointed at first that Wilcox didn’t write an essay about True Stories, but then I read the last stanza, and my heart sang.
I sort of just hate saying “Yes, this,” in any context other than an AIM chat, but that’s about the only response I can come up with to this piece. Well, that and the fact that fangirls are just as capable of eating their own as the male of the species. Mean Girls ain’t got nothing on them.
That last line in the article is key for me. I don’t begrudge my friends their loves—I personally know six people who went to Comic-Con, and one of them was even a panelist—but sometimes I feel like a giant dweeb for not reading comics anymore or being into giant sci-fi films like Kick-Ass (though I did love Inception). Am I a geek for anything anymore? Except for David Lynch?
Our set ended with a version of “Gloria” that had taken shape over the past several months, merging my poem “Oath” with the great Van Morrison classic. It had begun with Richard Hell’s copper-toned Danelectro bass, which we bought from him for forty dollars. I had it in mind to play it, and since it was small, I thought I could handle it. Lenny showed me how to play an E, and as I struck the note, I spoke the line: “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.” I had written the line some years before as a declaration of existence, as a vow to take responsibility for my own actions. Christ was a man worthy to rebel against, for he was rebellion itself.
“A few moments ago I tasted mighty white – a name that lends itself readily to parody – and I was back with them, spotty and miserable in an Edinburgh February. On the palate, cheap bread feels like a kind of fungus, a pappy, vaguely elastic, glutinous, gluey foam. It coats the roof of your mouth like an oral infection. It feels as though you could lag a loft with it. It’s horrible, as dry and refined as an art historian.”—
Oy. Cheap white bread scares me. When I found out via Harold McGee that modern, industrial-produced bread wasn’t even technically bread (it’s more like a chemically risen cake), I stopped buying the store stuff for a while until my fancy bread habit got to be too expensive. My goal next year is to attempt to bake all of my own bread. We’ll see.