Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I Used to Know That Guy

I was killing some time in Square Books the other day. I picked up a book called THE DISASTER ARTIST, co-written by my friend Tom Bissell. It's about a famously crazy movie called THE ROOM, which I've never seen. So I didn't think I would "get" the book. But I sat there and read the first chapter or so while a woman stood nearby in the poetry section having a loud, angry conversation on her cell phone about her no-good cousin. If Richard had been around he would have snatched that cell phone right out of her hand! Or something subtler. And the woman knew it! She yelled into her phone, "I'M VIOLATING ONE OF THIS STORE'S CARDINAL RULES!" But anyway, I was irritated by her because I was getting caught up in the story and she was making it hard to concentrate. So anyway, I bought the book! It turns out to be incredibly enjoyable even if you're like me and know almost nothing about THE ROOM. And today I was leafing through the glossy part in the middle with all the photos and I RECOGNIZED SOMEONE FROM MY OWN PAST. He was D.P. on THE ROOM - and still holds that title in the section I am reading - though it seems to have been a nightmarish experience and he doesn't appear to be credited in the final film. I suppose I'll find out why as I keep reading. Anyway, his name is Raphael, and we affectionately called him Raphy, and remember when Ward McCarthy and I went to Las Vegas to cover an Elvis impersonator convention? He shot all that stuff! He was quiet and wry and pleasant and did a good job. We tried to work with him as much as possible. Well, it was a nice surprise seeing his picture.