I was going to post the animated trailer for Stranger Here today, but the big social media release date is 2/25, so I’m going to have to wait. . . So instead I’ll tell you a story.
I met a guy the other night who asked me, “Have you ever made a business plan? Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and said, ‘I can achieve my goals?’” “I haven’t,” I said, “but I guess I should.”
He asked me, “What percentage of you is committed to achieving your goals? On a scale of one to a hundred, what percent committed are you?” I thought about it, I looked down, I looked up at him. “I’d say 95 to 100 percent,” I said. He laughed. “It’s not a test, you’re not on a game show.”
We had just watched my boss compete for a job, on a reality television show. He didn’t really want the job, but it was a chance to be on television, which is what he really wants to do. His actual job is owning a restaurant, which is where we were, drinking boxed wine. It was really snowing for the first time this year.
We went outside into the snow. We threw snowballs. Mine went in gentle arcs, smashing to powder on people’s coats. The business plan guy would hide behind a car until we were all ahead of him and then hit us from behind, hard.
The staff of the gelato place was outside and we had a snowball fight with them. After a while, a girl on their team asked a guy on our team whose team he was on, and he said, “I don’t even know anymore!” I yelled at him and threw a snowball at him. “You hit me in the dick! You hit me in the dick!” he yelled. But he wasn’t mad and I didn’t feel bad. I said, “That’s what you get for being a traitor!” He said, “Yeah, I deserved it.”
There were tequila shots inside. Aida and I told the boy I hit in the dick that he should shave his beard. He said, “Sometimes I shave off this part, so it’s just a goatee.” “Noooooo!” we said, “that’s worse!”
We went down the street to a bar and there was dancing in the basement. We danced with two 22 year old fetuses. One of them said to me, pointing to my hair, “Why the bob? I love it! You’re so retro!” I wanted to say, I’m not retro, I’m just ten years older than you, but I didn’t want to kill the moment.
Aida said to me, “Attack them with the hair!” and we shook our hair in their faces, her long black hair and my retro bob.
Sometimes everything comes together—how things look, what you’re doing, who you’re with, and who you are right then—and you can feel it all existing as one thing, separated out in time. Like a knot in a string.
The next day I thought about my business plan. I don’t have one. But I have looked myself in the mirror and said, “Go for it.” I have had a flash, while carrying a stack of glasses across the restaurant where I work, and thought to myself, “This is my life! This is my life this is my life this is my life.” And thought, I want to get that tattooed somewhere so I see it every day, but in French or something, so I don’t get sick of it, so it can become just letters most of the time.