Monday, June 4, 2007

Love In The Time Of Schizophrenia

Well-meaning friends got dimly incensed when I rain-checked on hanging out at Warehouse 135 last Saturday night. Following a semi-elongated silence in the course of a disgruntled phone call I can hear them wordlessly contemplating on engraving my forehead with a fluorescent tattoo blinking PARIAH in brash tangerine.

I’m not losing interest in bar slash club-hopping, nor am I in the theatrical depths of gloominess. I just can’t find the enthusiasm or the impulse to gargle on intoxicants, have a screaming competition with the sound system in an attempt at a conversation, or having inebriated stab at cloning a dancing move.

Confidently speaking, this is not premature geriatric fogeyness setting in. It’s a mixture of fatigue, general blandness, and the curious craving for calm and selfishness.

I figured I’d have a more gratifying weekend if I jump in bed in nothing but white boxer briefs, bury myself in downy pillows and crisp white linens and catch up on escalating DVD backlogs.

And I did. I had a blast convulsing in the maniacal hilarity of Danny Boyle’s Vacuuming Completely Nude In Paradise, the vaudevillian farce of Luis Bunuel’s The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie, the mental savagery of Noah Baumbach’s The Squid And The Whale, and the surreal romance fermenting in Michael Gondry’s The Science Of Sleep. Also I had a tremendously dandy time watching the skewed circus of ineptitude and compound operational jeopardy in the first season of the original British version of The Office: Think Dilbert meeting Spin City in a hyperventilating corporate mardi gras on amphetamines.

The Science Of Sleep stars the consistently erotic Gael Garcia Bernal. Gael memorably wanked off with the absolutely and equally fuckable Diego Luna in Y Tu Mama Tambien screaming “Salma Hayek!” as he furiously spanks the monkey. That movie is a bisexual’s celluloid wet dream. He also made my nipples harden in La Mala Educación (My Bad Education) where he astounded audiences with a striking resemblance to Julia Roberts. He was dreamy in The Motorcycle Diaries but I was panting even in his gritty take on in Amores Perros and as an errant cleric in Crimen Del Padre Amaro. I happen to own aforementioned DVDs and In The Science Of Sleep he essays Stephane, an idiosyncratic calendar artist who is about ten seconds from sliding into complete schizophrenia. In his constant dreams he is the anchor, producer, director and gorgeous protagonist of StephaneTV in which he provides an alternate universe to the daily drudgery of his job. The problem is, it is increasingly apparent that the line between reality and fantasy keeps getting squished and our hero is reeling on a struggle not to overlap the two parallel dimensions.

Anyway what struck me most about The Science Of Sleep is not the general bizarreness or the romantic angle lacing the riotous matter-of fact dialogues. Beneath the surface of wacky exchanges is a certain mystifying fierceness of passionate skirmish skating on the façade of friendship, affection and that dreaded L word. But I’m digressing.

I am not privy as to how the filmmaker developed the plot for The Science Of Sleep but I have strong suspicion he spent time looking at Marc Chagall paintings, wedged in the concluding plotline for Jose Saramago’s The Tale Of The Unknown Island (lost my copy to an irresponsible borrower) and the alternate universe of Pleasantville executed in stop motion storytelling of The Nightmare Before Christmas speckled with demented imaginings of Willy Wonka and Norman Bates in American Psycho.

I shouldn’t be deconstructing this movie with unfounded, suspicious Frankenstein theory. I should be out there downing vodka shots and having drunken banters with strangers in crowded bars.

Instead I’m fastening my eyeballs on the steady glower of a plasma screen, dreaming of substitute schizo universes. Hopefully I won’t be hearing voices in my head soon. Particularly the one that goads you to torch an inept boss’ desk.

~ ~ ~

Sunday Evening I was scouring Bestseller’s in Galleria for a copy of Surface Magazine when I spotted two paragons of lusciousness. The first edible is quite oblivious, reading The Secret, that dopey pop inspirational book wearing Oprah’s imprimatur. (I haven’t read it, but given the breathless gushing of a how-to colleague I gather it’s for people whose personal shelves carry The Purpose Driven Life and The Celestine Prophecy; the kind of genre that inspires me to go berserk and perforate Dr. Phil’s smug face with an Uzi. The book is a demerit but the positive side is that this paragon of lusciousness IS ACTUALLY reading. How many hot guys around are literate, or can recite the alphabet in its entirety, huh?) He’s so absorbed in his reading and I took advantage of his lapsed vigilance and made him my featured evening entertainment. He’s wearing a plain cerulean blue shirt (which makes me go ballistic given my anomalous attachment to the color blue), denim shorts and Nike runners. He’s sporting a sexy three day stubble and his not quite lengthy hair sort of strung together in mock ponytail. He is somewhere between sophisticate Japanese rogue, a Costa Rican gigolo and something that leapt out of DSquared’s catwalk. I inspected the shelves slowly; occasionally pelting him debauched, laser glances.

On the loft section of Bestseller’s I spotted another edible wearing a black cap, military cargo pants, a maroon T-shirt with golden neck lining. Not quite a Hedi Slimane in terms of style but the dude’s cuteness overcompensate the mismatch color palette. Then it dawned upon me: Is Bestseller’s becoming the new Powerbooks/Fullybooked? I mean, is it becoming the new idling ground of good looking self-sufficient people? Drat. I hope not. I hope it won’t get reduced into a cruising gulf for the loud types and ruin it’s semi-obscure vibe. I love Bestsellers for its airy, bright and roomy ambiance and it’s less populated character.

Literate guys are a turn on. After a steamy intercourse you can commence on a literate verbal orgy.

Or drift to sleep, rocked with muffled slurs of an adored Neruda Verse.

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