Saturday, September 26, 2015

Juvenile Possum

I was sitting up at the City Grocery Bar the other day, drinking and reading THE DECAMERON. And I was like, "THE DECAMERON really reminds me of Faulkner!" Maybe because I was in the middle of the town square of Oxford, Mississippi, and drinking. But also because this character was a horse-trader and he spouted off a whole page of dialogue about his feelings for this woman, and when the woman responds only with silence he spouts off another page of dialogue in what he imagines is HER voice, and that sounds like Faulkner, doesn't it? And then Jonathan Franzen walked into the bar. And I said, "Hi, I'm Jack. Jon Langford was in town this weekend and he told me to say hello if I saw you." And Jonathan Franzen said, "I know, he told me. I know about your Emmy." Ha ha! That was a funny thing to hear upon meeting Jonathan Franzen. Reader, I balked! Is that the correct word for what I did? I don't know. I was discomfited. Is that a thing? I couldn't think of what to say. I said, "Oh!" But that reminds me. When Langford was in town a bunch of us went to lunch with him and he started talking about his affection for the soap opera ALL MY CHILDREN, and especially a character named "Janet From Another Planet." And she was an evil twin, and sometimes tormented her sister's husband by pretending to be her sister. It was generally agreed around the table that a husband would be able to tell his own wife from her sister, twins or no. But I remarked that ALL MY CHILDREN was just indulging in a tradition going back at least as far as THE DECAMERON. In THE DECAMERON, men are always fooling women (or the other way round) by just putting on somebody else's cloak and creeping into a bedroom when it's dark. Finally, when I was flying back from California, the iPod played Bob Dylan doing a version of the old love-and-murder ballad "Frankie and Johnny" while I was reading THE DECAMERON, and I was like, this song is just like THE DECAMERON! (Photo by Kent Osborne. He said he was going to get a "candid shot" but he made me wash my hands a second time so he could get it... that's not candid!) So when I left City Grocery night was falling. My only job was to pick up the cat food on the back porch before a possum came along after dark and got into it. And when I got home there was already a possum eating leftovers! I shooed it away. It was a likable possum. It had been coming around a lot. Dr. Theresa saw a "juvenile possum" (her phrase) that had been struck by a car on our side street the other day, and I fear it was the same possum. And now the floodgates of memory have opened!
I remember that when I was trying desperately to meet Matt Weiner after the Emmys, this guy (pictured) was walking with Matt Weiner and Harry Crane and he seemed more approachable so I kind of poached him from the group and I was like, hey, remember in THIS IS THE END when your head pokes through the door and then a demon gets you? And he was like, yes. And then I reminded him of some Sonic commercials I had seen him in, and then I asked him wasn't he in CAKEY: THE CAKE FROM OUTER SPACE? which surprised him. Anyway, he was nice as I recited his own credits to him Chris Farley-style and Matt Weiner sprinted into the distance, along with all his hopes and dreams, maybe, or mine, who knows?