Me, Frankie and Andy

I have this image of myself as a tomboy who wears high collared blue coats with high pockets and high wasted jeans with the cuffs pulled up to show the black working boots with yellow laces. I have a short “Beatles Haircut” and the checkered blouses show from inside my coat. I walk the walk and talk the talk. I’m not a girl and I’m not a boy. I walk with my head high and a cigarette between my lips and behind me there is a group of identically dressed young men. Some of them were polished shoes instead of working boots. Some have longer coats than others, some wear black gloves, some wear glasses, but in total, we all want the same thing. We like fooling around, gambling, smoking, listening to music, driving, swearing, getting into fights and stealing. We are like this big gang where nobody cares about me being a girl. Nobody treats me differently, both in a bad or in a good way. I’m a part of them and it doesn’t matter what my gender is. I don’t really care too. Even our enemy gangs don’t care. nobody even raises the subject.

I’m finally where I want to be. In a place, with people, where nobody talks about makeup and gender equality, where everyone is equal, where love is what it is and there are no rules. There is no marriage and there are no great love stories. Here are only people who do what they do. Friends love each other and are ready to stand up for each other, to stand up for their views and feelings. Nobody judges you. The only problem is the money, gambling and enemy gangs. Despite it all being a problem, we can’t do without it. We love it and we love fighting.

I am kind of crazy, really, as this character. Her name is either Frankie or Andy. But Andy was different, she was before I cut my hair short. No it’s Frankie. The alter ego Frankie.

Frankie is everything I want to be. Though it’s not something a normal person to wish for. Frankie is not a hot long-haired babe, she’s not a beautiful short-haired mystery-girl, she’s not a smart successful nerd, she’s not an artsy colorful painter. Frankie is cool, short-tempered and relaxed at the same time. She doesn’t get worried easily, but she gets angry easily. She hates pretentious people, pedantic people, hypocrite people, people who spent most of their time pampering themselves to look good. Frankie hangs out with a bunch of guys who are like a gang. The Gang hangs out at pubs and basements. For them, hanging out is: gambling, betting, smoking, smoking weed, getting into small fights, stealing stuff from stores, swearing and randomly shouting out to people. They are not concerned about relationships and education. They go to University or work as normal people, they just don’t attract attention and just do what they like to do. They don’t have relationships, but those who do, make sure it doesn’t get in the way of The Gang. Frankie gets the same treatment as every guy in the Gang.

It’s awesome to be like that. I wish I was like that. I like Frankie more that Andy, though Andy has more chances of getting a good fuck than Frankie. Frankie is a tomboy. Andy is too, but she has middle-cut hair with bands, long lashes, a straight nose. She is softer and more quiet and shy. Andy IS strong, but not as strong as Frankie. Though I think Andy feels more responsible for her actions and is more careful than Frankie.  The thing is, Andy is kinda like me, and Frankie is kinda like me. Frankie looks more like me that Andy. I created Andy as a more beautiful version of myself, while Frankie is simply a thinner version of myself. (not like I was fat, but!) Frankie is like me in not caring, swearing, acting like a boy. But unlike me, she is like that and she doesn’t care. She doesn’t feel like being like that is wrong. I guess she’s like that because she has found people who accept her, while nobody accepts me in real life as a Frankie. Andy is like me because of her soft and forgiving nature. Though she too does get angry like me, she doesn’t show it. While Frankie is all about showing how angry she is.

To say the truth, I’m confused by all this. Frankie, Andy. These two really do feel like me. I love Frankie more since she’s new, but Andy is still here. I created her through many many stories and after creating all this stories, I realized she was in all of them, playing different people, but in whole, she was always the same person. The imitation of the same person over and over again. She fit into every story, so I fit her in. But now I’m tired of her, and I wanted change, so here came Frankie, after years of waiting and working on myself. Frankie is a more precise image of me, I guess. People love Frankie more, while Andy was a huge thing in the matter of being loved by males. Frankie is loved too, but for being the way she used to be. Old Frankie was like Andy.

Now I get it. Frankie didn’t just come out of nowhere. Frankie is the continuation of Andy. I always ended Andy’s stories when Andy got cooler and stronger. Now we have Frankie – The Andy that grew up and said “fuck it” and started doing things her way.

Advertisements

Fisherman

The little bloat slowly appeared on the horizon. The air was heavy and foggy, the rain was dripping and the sun was setting. The clouds distand white clouds had an orange glow. Far away, beyond the horizon, the weather was charming.

The man on the boat was visible now. He was wearing a white shirt, which was already greenish brown from all the fish and dirt. His favorite hat was sitting ajar on the top of his grizzled head. Jack was slowly rowing, not minding the rain which was becoming more and more violent. The sun had already set when he reached the small town port. Jack parked the boat on his favorite spot and tied it to the wooden column. The he preceeded to unloading the boat. Not like there was much to unload. There were no signs of fish the whole day, so Jack took his fishing equipment, including a small brown box he was always carrying around, just in case. Holding all this in his hands, he then realized that it was raining, so he put them down again, put on his worn out coat which was hidden in a secret compartment, not to get wet, and put it on. The hat was soaked with rain, but Jack didn’t mind. He had a distant feeling that something had changed, but he couldn’t understand – was it him? Or had something around him changed? But how could everything change in one short day?

As he said goodnight to the janitor, who was snoaring heavily, Jack thought of his wife. What will she say when she sees that her husband hasn’t brought back any food, though he promised he wouldn’t leave them hungry for yet another day. They had bread and cheese, but the kids wanted something to satisfy their childish food craving. They wanted real food.

Jack walked slowly. He was strolling. He wasn’t ready to face his wife. He loved her, but he was started to feel afraid of her. Afraid of the image of himself he saw in her eyes. The image of a poor, worn out man, who had lost his price and pride.

Halfway through the road to his house, he discovered in himself a strange excitement. The excitement he had missed so greatly – the excitement of strolling in the rain. Something so simple, yet so inspirational for a person like Jack.

He smiled slightly and went on. As he saw the door of his house, so identical to all the other doors in a long row, yet so familiar he could find it even when blindfolded. The lights of his house were out, so he decided to sneak in. But he had no key. He sighed, stood in front of the dark wooden door for a few minutes, and touched the handle. The door opened. His was was a smart girl, she knew he would be late, and that he would forget the key, so she left the door open and went to sleep.Yet again, his wife outsmarted him. Before Jack left the house in the morning, as she was ironing the children’s shirts, she told him it was a bad day to go out, that there would be no fish so maybe Jack could buy it instead of catching it. They had to have a little money saved up.  But Jack refused. He knew the weather was was going to be bad, but he was determined to catch the fish. Besides, their “just in case” money was no longer. He had to pay a debt he was very ashamed of, so it was gone, but the wife knew nothing.

Jack silently put the equipment on the floor, put the soaked hat on the coathanger, took of his coat and hanged it as well. The small box was still in his hands. He looked up the stairs. There was no noise. His wife and children were asleep, but he wasn’t in the mood of sleep.

Jack tiptoed to a small room which was adjacent to the living room. The living room was cluttered with toys and clothes, so he had to be careful not to step on anything and make noise.

He went into the room. The room which used to be his cabinet. It still was, but he didn’t use it a lot. The writing table, a lamp, a bookcase and a chair. It was still there, unmoved for years. But the room now was filled with used and unneeded things. Old oil lamps, a broken television, old toys and so on. Jack moved away a broken chair and sat on his good chair. He put the box on the table, next to an open notebook. The notebook was blank. It was new, as was the pen and ink next to it. There weren’t new, but he bought them years ago and never once used them. The pen was the last thing he bought exquisitely for himself.

Jack lit a cigarette and sat in silence. There was only the sound of rain dripping on the concrete outside. The windows were blurred from the raindrops, so there wasn’t much to see outside, but still Jack’s stare was firm on the windows.

He remembered. Remembered how he used to love the rain because he took up fishing. Walking in the rain was his favorite thing to do when he wanted something to inspire him. It was during rain that he had written his best essays and short stories. Maybe it was because everything is calmer in the rain. There are no people outside, like that very night. The streets are empty and silent. It silence of the dripping rain is overwhelming.

But Jack couldn’t write any more. His wife was against it. She said it wouldn’t bring enough money into the house, especially when she was pregnant with the second child. Jack knew she was right. His wife, too, had dreams and goals, but not everything is possible in a world were getting a job is as hard for a young man as it would be for an old hag. So Jack gave up writing. He didn’t blame anyone for this loss, only the world. He started fishing for food and money. At first it wasn’t easy, but the he became better and better. Fishing was natural to him now. If he called himself a writer before, now he called himself a fisherman. But that night, he was a writer again. Something had clicked in him. He had seen the rain many times. IT had rained many times when he was out in the sea fishing, but never once had he felt so strange and good.

Jack lit out a cigarette and looked at blank page of his pen. It looked so seducing, so forbidden. He felt like if he touched it, it would forever change the way things were. The way he had gotten used to life. The sound of rain, the sleeping wife and children upstairs, the provoking thoughts in his head made him vulnerable. For a long time Jack knew he missed something. This something used to fill his life before. How had he forgotten. How could he not think about it every day.

-It is never too late – Jack told himself and picked up the pen.

Marlen is sweeping the floor with an old, frizzy broom. I’m sitting on the couch made of wooden planks and blankets, with two stools underneath standing as feet. The smell and smoke of yellow Camels fills the air and makes it look thick and dustier than usual. I look up to the skylight and see small sun rays trying to get through the thick blurred glass. The light in the room is the same as always – the blurred rays on the dusty floor and shadows in the corners of the room. Sometimes it gets hard to tell the weather while sitting in this dusty room, since there are no real windows and the door is always closed. Plus, the building itself never get sunlight straight, so it always looks cold and dark inside.

Marlen is sweeping and sweeping and as my cigarette ash drops on the floor, I watch her in total silence. I watch as the dust spins round and round as she sweeps around it, beginning to look like a small tornado. I think of the world. The world as this garbage Marlen is trying to get rid of. There are small pencil, the ones that are too small to hold between your fingers, cigarettes butts and ashes, different colored  clips, bottle heads, lighters, tiny scratches of paper, packets of single-use coffee, teabags… Everything we ever used in this room is now lying on the floor and my friend is trying to get rid of them. This is one of those moments where you start thinking about your life and what to do with it, what to do with yourself and why things have become this way. You know that these thoughts are just for a moment, everything will be the way it was before, but you hope it won’t. You sit there, frozen to the couch and look at something so remotely ordinary  and you are scared of what will happen the second you move, or even shift you leg.

I wait for my senses to get me back to normal. They slowly do.

I hate Marlen. I always hated her. She’s like so many of my friends who I accidentally befriended. Through talks about music, taste, movies, food and all. I know too many people who are like that, I should get rid of them, I know.

Marlen and I used to talk so much. About Hemingway, Pink Floyd, Guy Ritchie, Bregovic, Hollywood, Independent films, trash movies. We could talk about anything. Religion. Family. Marriage. Friends. Art. University. Everything but sex. She is afraid of sex. She starts screaming when she hears the word, but when it comes to erotica in art, she’s all for it. She’s an art hypocrite. She hates something, but she loves it in art. She hates the color pink, but she uses in the most in her oils. I hate her for that. People don’t notice small details like that, but I do, that’s why I hate her, and that’s why I hate people. They don’t notice everything I do and they blindly believe everything they see, everything the people want other people to see in them.

I haven’t talked to Marlen for months. I don’t really want to, not like she asked me to. She annoys me with her innocence and childish behaviour. She’s dumb and totally not ready for this world. This cruel world, as people say. She’s too innocent for it, too soft, too fragile. But I don’t know anymore. Maybe she’s faking it. Maybe I think she’s faking it because I’m jealous of her imagination and her artistic nature. The way she carries herself with her long red hair, like a fairy. The way she hates herself and thinks she’s not worth anything. The way boys always like her, talk to her, and nobody pays attention to me. The way she is 2 heads higher than me which makes me feel like a dwarf. I hate her for sitting on her knees like a fairy and picking up the stuff that might actually come in need from the dusty garbage on the floor, not giving a fuck about dirtying her hands a clothes. She’s an artist. She doesn’t care about dirt.

I’m tired. Tired of being tired. Tired of analyzing everything and everyone but still my brain does it for me everytime! I’m tired of people asking why I’m not talking so much anymore. I’m tired of not having a reason for not talking. I’m tired of talking to everyone, tired of people. Tired of their problems, their happiness, their friends and boyfriends. Their disfunctional and functional families. I want something for myself. Want to feel like a character, not a spectator. There are two roles in life – The main part, and the supporting -The one that throws in witty comments in a few scenes and then never appears again. The one that spends the whole movie doing everything for the main character, but gets nothing in return. Because the supporting character doesn’t do it for her benefit, she does it for her friend and her happiness. Because the supporting character is a fucking saint. Yes, I’m good at sarcasm, cynicism, irony and all.

I’m tired of my cynicism. I want to trust people, I want to believe, love their flaws. But I can’t.

I put out my cigarette just as Marlen tries to empty the ashtray. We exchange slight smiles. Mine is bitter. Hers is sweet.

Bitter. Bitter. Bitter.

Why won’t she talk to me? Does she hate me? Does she know I hate her? I hate the mystery of her? Maybe she’s just too much into her work – cleaning out the room, as I sit there like an empress on the throne, not bothering to move my ass even a little bit as she triess to sweep around the couch. It’s nothing. She won’t say anything anyway, she’s too much of a coward.

I think about lighting another cigarette just as Marlen ties the garbage packet and throws it in the corner. She swipes her long hair from her face and looks around for a place to sit. I don’t move an inch. She sees a small stool under the low table and puts in to the wall. She sits on it and leans on the wall painted with figures of Jesus and his other Saints. I watch her slow, elegant fingers light a cigarette and put it into her lips. No wonder boys jack off to her.

The cigarette butt is in the newly emptied ashtray.

-So what have you been up to? Sorry we couldn’t have a chance to talk like we used to. – She says in her waiflike quiet voice.

-Nothing much, you? – I say, smiling at her.

-Same here. Hey I noticed you haven’t been yourself lately, too quiet. Is something wrong?

I don’t want to answer the question. But I do.

-Well, nothing much, just tired and sleepy, you know me, I’ll get better.

-Okay… – After a long pause she says something I have been dreading. Something that will bring me back to reality and make the bitterness of the last 20 minutes go away. – You know, yesterday I watched this awesome movie!

Gummo

Image

Gummo. It’s like no other movie you have ever watched. In fact, it’s not a film at all. It’s a collection of vignettes, pictures, short films, home-made VHS videos, a lot of improvisation, very little acting and an enormous amount of reality.

It’s like I had been waiting for a film like this for the whole 19 years of my boring life. The film itself is the expression of boredom. I won’t waste my time on telling you what Gummo is about. It’s about nothing, and everything.

This is the type of film I had always wanted to make. No actors, no special lighting, no high quality cameras and high profile celebrities. Just a bunch of people doing their own thing. No need for scripting or planning or anything. The film is more natural than any other movies you have ever seen. What makes it natural? The fact that the majority of people playing in it aren’t actually acting. They are being themselves. Nothing is made up here. Everything is real.

I am sitting in my room right now, I turned of Gummo 5 minutes ago, but I still have its images floating in my mind. The weird feeling is the realization that a film doesn’t need actors, it doesn’t need any planning. You just have to film whatever comes to your mind, because that’s what’s the most interesting: the little images floating up in your brain without you even thinking about anything. You just have to capture them. It doesn’t even matter if people will understand or not. People like what they don’t understand, what intrigues them, what makes everyone think differently.

There are many things you can think about while or after watching Gummo. Or there is nothing to think about, you just have to watch. Some people give every detail a symbolic meaning. These types of people try to give every film, every book a meaning. They don’t understand that not everything has to be philosophical, not everything has to make you think about morality and what is wrong or right.

Gummo is one of the films that make you feel like life is about nothing, and also about everything. At least that’s how I feel. The characters are doing stuff. Just stuff. They aren’t trying to change their lives, or the lives or others. They just do what they feel like doing and don’t question the morality of their actions. I guess every Harmony Korine movie is like that. There is no morality, there are no questions. There are just people. People and their habits and behavior is intriguing, not the plot or the meaning of the film.