February 9, 2005

Gout

I lied about my ailments. I have more! When I was in Paris, I got gout. I was drinking copious amounts of wine and eating rich food. Wine is incredibly cheap in Paris. Expensive wine here might go for six dollars over there. So I was drinking more wine than I ever had, all at once. They say gout is one of the worst pains there is--all the pains of a body concentrated in one joint--for me it’s the big toe. I’ve had it once a year or so since then. I am a young old man.

I managed to write a screenplay while I was holed up. Sometimes pain is a good catalyst. I used to think it was the only catalyst, but not anymore. That was the only time in my life that I thought of a scene in a dream. In the early morning I dreamt the first scene of the screenplay, woke up and wrote it down and didn’t stop writing until the screenplay was done. I’ve been waiting ever since for that to happen again--some great premise to magically hit me. Come to think of it, it was probably the French gout medication.

I wrote the screenplay while my roommate was at the summer home of Francois Truffeau’s daughter, Eva. Sounds like the stereotype of what you’d do in France, but it’s true. I also met a good friend at the birthday party for semi-legendary jazz musician Steve Lacy. I mention this because my life is nothing like this now. It’s like a strange, old dream, an interruption of my normal life.

You might have noticed that I don’t talk much about what’s going on in my life in the present tense. I use this blog as a kind of memoir, rather than reporting on my daily life, for the most part. I don’t like writing autobiographical fiction, and I wouldn’t have the gall to write an actual memoir. And my life is generally dull. Trips to the park. My second home at the Beverly Hills library where I wrote my last story and I bring home CD’s and books, most of which I don’t read. We watch movies. My life is uneventful.

On my wife’s birthday, we went to a Brazilian restaurant, just the two of us. Normally, we can’t afford to do this. It was the first time since we moved to L.A. that my wife and I went out to dinner alone--this is insane, a year and a half. It was a profoundly eye-opening experience. We walked past the bars in West Hollywood--the sounds of sexual tension, the smell of smoke and liquor. Such a familiar smell, I felt 25 again. For all anyone knew, my wife and I were out on our first date. I wasn’t defined as a guy with a kid. Sounds like I could be complaining about fatherhood, but that’s not true. She’s the only thing on earth that should have happened. It makes me intensely proud and comforted to walk around with her. But it also cuts into my time to be an individual. I got a small taste of the good life and I want some more.

As the Zombies’ song says, "This will be our year, took a long time to come." I say this to myself every year, and I always believe it.

5 comments:

darling maggot said...

what a life you've led. what surreal experiences. you're lucky. i still search for my la dolce vita.

your right column has decided to spill over into the left column, at last glance using firefox on mac os x.

Henry Baum said...

Writing it all down makes it seem more interesting than it is, which might be the whole point of writing. Actually, living in Paris was one of the only times in my life when I knew it was more interesting while it was happening. Most times I have to look back to appreciate it. I hope some of my good old days are ahead of me.

…I fucked up and deleted something in the template that I shouldn’t have. I want this to end.

darling maggot said...

or perhaps it is in writing it down we learn to appreciate what we might not have noticed when we were in the moment.

either way it's cool to read about.

template looks fine now.

i'm getting a template done for me which i won in the blogger auctions. be launching the new site soon at the same address. prepare to be underwhelmed. it'll be much simpler, i hope.

Cernig said...

She’s the only thing on earth that should have happened. It makes me intensely proud and comforted to walk around with herI have that too, with my wife. That, more than the trips to Paris, is the highlight. You're life isn't more boring now.

The true harvest of life is inatngible, it is as the hints of morning and evening, it is a little stardust caught, a segment of the rainbow Henry David Thoreau.

The Patients Voice said...

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The Patients Voice – Community Manager

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