We walk up to an apartment community on the Fox River in St. Charles. The door’s unlocked and we go inside to a small entry way. There’s a telephone system labeled, “ENTRY ACCESS SYSTEM” to our left.
The shiny metal has been throughly scratched. The keyhole, too. I don’t know what could’ve done this kind of damage as the phone receiver is only plastic. Certainly it couldn’t mar the metal plate. I pick up the receiver and place it to my ear. No dial tone.
Ten seconds tick by…
I wish there was more to the story but there’s not.
I couldn’t bring myself to call any of the apartments listed in the directory. I just stood there for a minute with the phone receiver up to my ear. Like an asshole.
Wanna know why I never bake anything from scratch?
Because grocery stores get on my nerves. They sell All Purpose flour starting in thimbles but Bread flour must be bought in 5 lb increments. And dry yeast you ask? Hidden far away from the baking aisle. Probably by the syrup.
Organic seaweed though, they got a display with both salted and unsalted!
Stephen King’s seven-book series The Dark Tower has finally received a screen adaptation, and fans should brace themselves: it slaps a giant reset button on the series’ lore. (Which, a longtime series fan may explain to you, is somewhat appropriate.)
This long-in-production film lands with a clear emphasis on running lean. It’s a hair over 90 minutes long; its variety in scenery and locations is far from epic; and the story focuses on only three familiar characters. The result feels more like a Stephen King version of an ’80s misunderstood-teen film than you might expect, and, as such, its framework feels a little disposable—as if the names “Man In Black,” “Gunslinger,” and “Jake Chambers” could have been swapped if a license fell through at the last minute.
The great Dark Tower film we’ve wanted for years, this ain’t. But as an isolated, “inspired by Stephen King” piece of summer cinema, this first (and hopefully not last) Dark Tower film succeeds at finding a new angle to the series’ origin story, which is sold by a taut script, solid acting, and a compelling angle on what revenge looks like for both a boy and a man.
I didn’t read more than those first three paragraphs because I haven’t seen it yet…but I can work with that.
1994 was a pretty stellar year. I was two years sober, living with my brother, Scott, in a rinky-dink apartment, drove a three-speed manual black Chevy truck. Also, had my first relationship with girl that didn’t revolve around getting fucked up. I was, brace yourself, growing up. Even went and saw NIN and Marilyn Manson sometime that year. Because that’s what you do when you’re a grownup. 😉
At the time I didn’t realize how good life was, didn’t appreciate the magic under my feet. Head too full of chatter to stop, look around, and say, “this is pretty awesome.” My brother and I recorded over two CDs full of music in those days, a lot in that dinky apartment. One time we played in front of maybe 30 people in this darkly cool venue. You think I’m nervous in public now, oh my god…the horror. And they threw flowers after and I thought for sure we were well on our way to something bigger. And we might have been but he had his cosmic flight plan and I had mine. Chapters end while the book keeps going.
I still have the acoustic guitar I played at the time, the one I got from one of our friends for $25. Chris died somewhere along the way but in my memories he’s still part of my tribe from that era. Him and his ponytail.
Life was all pretty good. Pretty, pretty good. Pretty good even if Kathy, my girlfriend-turned-wife, did end up falling in love with somebody else and breaking my heart. She had her own flight plan that didn’t involve me. And that’s good because commitment and loyalty can be overrated. If something’s not working we’re better off just to quit.
Anyways, all those memories piled up in sleeping bags give me almost more gratitude than I can stand in the here-and-now. Grateful for my tribe today. When Sara and I were in Pizza Mambo earlier this summer I was thinking, “this is what life’s about.” More than anything I’m just grateful. Even if my lymph nodes are all flared up like a pack of dire wolves.
The Gunslinger is on in 8 or so hours and I got frozen veggie meatballs in the freezer.
There’s been a lot of public talk about “identity” lately, stimulated by high-profile cases of transsexuality (notably the athlete now named Caitlyn Jenner) and transracialism (Rachel Dolezal). It needs to be said: most of the talk, on all sides of these disputes, has been obvious nonsense – utter drivel that should not have survived five minutes of thought.
This is a long, well thought out read…but my two cents is that this particular case is NOT about rejection or identity. It’s about TV ratings.