16 October 2011

party time, excellent.

photo by c. freeman.
when i was like nineteen i spent an entire summer waiting tables, smoking cigarettes, and going to the pool. i wasn't in college yet (if we're telling each other EVERYTHING, i'd actually just gotten my night school diploma, having had to repeat the senior year government class i'd been TOO TRUANT to pass) and i was living with my parents. i had few aspirations beyond getting really, really tan and remaining gainfully employed (the latter was the sole term and condition upon which remaining a tenant in the hungerford household rested; the former, somehow, was still more of a priority). people were around - home for summer break - and i hung with everybody every once in a while. i remember a couple of weekend beach trips and, towards the end of the summer, a short-lived romance with my now-husband that ended pretty un-spectacularly. other than that i kind of kept to myself and read a lot of magazines. at the time i was whatever about the whole situation, but in hindsight (ALWAYS IN HINDSIGHT) i was probably teetering on the edge of a dreadful depression; the only thing i remember ENJOYING and being PROACTIVE about was watching a ton of TV.
i got in the habit of coming home after an evening shift, turning on the hundred year-old television in my bedroom, and staying up all night to watch UPN20 at an extremely low volume (TRUST, you did NOT want to wake my mom). they played syndicated comedies until like 4 in the morning. two episodes of living single, two episodes of a different world, maybe some fresh prince? IT'S KIND OF A BLUR. A BLUR OF BLACK SITUATION-COMEDIES. i'd generally rack out around the time the infomercials started.
working around a strict pool schedule, i used golden, golden daytime - when my parents were at work and i had guilt-free run of the house - to laze around their living room, eat their leftovers, and utilize their VCR. we didn't have a ton of movies; growing up i remember watching beetlejuice and the princess bride more than anything else, both on the same VHS cassette and taped off one of those free HBO weekends that the cable company used to throw out. i didn't watch those, though. i DID watch wayne's world, and i watched it every single day. i don't know how we ended up with a copy of it, and i understand EVEN LESS my sudden obsession. don't get me wrong - i STILL think it's one of the greatest movies ever made in the history of the world and universe. every line is funny in about four different ways; every one of wayne's elated facial expressions brings me to tears; every time garth shoots a nervous side-glance it makes me pee. but WHY did i watch it so much that summer?
was i super-bored and it was just part of my routine? SURE. was i in kind of a glum spot and just really needed to laugh? YEAH, OK. but do i want it, NEED it to mean more than that? YES. YES I DO.
WHAT IF. what if this movie - this FILM - about a guy who risked everything for the love of a bass-wailing hottie and his refusal to surrender creative freedom to THE MAN - all while living in the basement of his parents' house in suburbia - what if it spoke to me on some higher plane? was this my destiny? was a lorne michaels production singlehandedly responsible for chasing away my total lack of ambition? sometimes - just sometimes - when i look back on that ennui-drenched summer, i see but one set of footprints. for it was then that wayne campbell carried me.

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