IMI PARE RAU











A farewell to the facile… I do subscribe to GQ. This is beyond doubt. I have subscribed, even, for going on three years, with a renewal for two more. (Who knew?) But it was just this month that I read a column — well, it was more than column-length; two-or-three-pages length, acutally — with which I agree without complaint. I am referring, of course, to Dan Kennedy’s decision that he is thru being cool.

Now, I was never “cool”, nor “hip” — especially not that — & I freely admit that. But I was, always, very aware. (Except when females would get their flirt on toward me. In those situations, I vaguely sensed it, but never was I fully certain of their interest. Thus, I never made for their play (& never got any play ’til I paid for it in Romania (sorry, ma!).)  Indeed, I have been almost fully cognizant of what the four letter — pardon my Deadspin speak — refers to as “the now”. Whether it were a film, musical performer, political figure, or otherwise, I was abreast of it. I might not have always cottoned to it (I think back to my dismal view of the White Stripes, pre-Get behind me satan), but I did know it. I was on top of shit.

 Likewise, it appears that Msr Kennedy in GQ has reached the same conclusion: to be aware is to be favoured. Unfortunately, he never makes that final leap. He merely explicates that he is, in fact, “thru being cool”. Instead, he shall be “uncool”. He can now freely & unabashedly watch “Cheers” in re-run, listen to Def Leppard’s “Photograph” (not unlike perhaps the most misapprehended “boarder”, PopTodd, at my erstwhite internet demesne, Obner) — but he… Does he still feel a tiny shame, at the bottom of his psyche, for finding pleasure & valure in such pith, so much drivel? Apparently. Otherwise, would not be that he is “uncool”.

He is, yes, still indulging his self-evaluation in the context of the emo-banged & European carry-all sporting set. Never mind that when I caught the Arcade Fire on SNL, I thought it was the Decemberists — who I take pains to compare to They Might Be Giants (which I thought it were, when I first (& last) heard a Decemberists song on the ipod shuffle at Comet Bar-Cafe). Never mind that the broken ground is barely dented, that the “nouveau” is a re-hash of twenty-years-old quirk. (When in doubt, when you want to play music professional, but not in an orchestra, in a band, you should drop the rock & bring the quirk or kitsch. Sugar-free jazz, anyone? (By-the-by, I love Soul Coughing.)) Never mind that — those who sat up all nite, to buy “Neon Bible” on its first day of sale, are still the driver of respect socially. Thus, pay deference to them.

 I say “nay”, though. Even, “neigh”, in honour of Barbaro. The tastemakers are entitled to their tastes, to have taste even, but to think that they can determine “best” or “tops”, when they themselves, in weaker (read: less self-absorbed) moments will acknowledge that much beyond “Hitler/Pol Pot/Stalin is a monster” is objective, is an insult to the revolution already going on in minds like that of Dan Kennedy. Instead, he should take it all the way, & admit that he is neither “cool” nor “uncool”, that he just is.

Then he can get to the business of being aware, & not just now. That he can, we can, leave to the hipsters.



I saw a ghost… Friday evening, I had to pull a closing shift at the cinema, working from 8 p.m. ’til 1 a.m., but not a large deal. It amounted to cleaning one “set” of theatres, then slothing off, going from show to show, to catch the choicer moments of each. Easy way to make extra scratch.

 ‘Til auditorium 13 released. It was the penultimate showing of Knocked Up, & as I dismissed the patrons guests, with an imprecation to “get home safely” & “keep it real”, I was stoked. It was already 1215, if memory serves, & only three more theatres stood to release. Then, the unknowable unknown crossed the threshold of the rear-exit.

She was a female I had met last September ’06, leaving a theatre in the same complex, after seeing Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center. She was in a group of five, three men, two women, & as the males of the party shuffled to the restroom before heading in quintet to their vehicle, the two ladies chatted me up. The one whom I would see again, leaving Knocked Up, exaggeratedly remarked about my facial hair, “I love your beard”. (It is a big, bushy beard, that said, so thoroughly lovable. Sometimes.) So, we spoke for a bit beyond that, about films & such, mostly the one she had just seen, & her friend pipped up, presumably in seriousness, that I should look up her friend where she works. & after making sure — as much as I could make sure — that the aside was not jest, I figured, perchance I would.

 Well, that blew up in my face. I went looking for this woman, Laura, nineteen, chubby, & curly-haired, at her place of employ, finding her, & after two apparently-successful conversations with her — once when she was price-checking, again when she was on a register — my luck ran out. I met up with her, again, & after speaking very briefly, went to purchase a Dr. Pepper. While on-line for the register, she approached & asked me not to come looking for her, again. (Busted!)

 … So, I didn’t. I had barely known the girl, anyway, & had only thought to take a chance on her maybe, actually, kind of being interested in me, since I had never tried that out before, on the rare occasion when a women demonstrated interest, so no loss. Plus, I didn’t see fit to shop at her grocery store chain, anyway. (I’ve always been a Sentry-phile. Even worked at one, in my high-school years.)

 Comically, then, she did apparently keep me in her mind. About a month after being unceremoniously waved-off by Laura, she was back at my theatre for moving-picture show on a Friday that I happened to be working, & she encountered me at the concessionist’s stand. She had a shit-eating smile on her face & said, “Hey…”. I just walked off.

& for seven-&-an-half months, I didn’t see her, again. ‘Til Knocked Up‘s opening weekend. & I didn’t know how to respond. I clearly hadn’t menaced her, so I wouldn’t have been in the wrong to remain at the door, finishing the exit greetings for that showing, telling each exiting patron to “keep it real”, but just the thought that I had been turned away in mid-September like some common peeping-tom creep, only to have her run into me a month later & act like I was Scolari to her Hanks, & then run into her, again, didn’t make me want to do anything but rush to the break-room & curl myself into a ball of tears & hesitation.

So, I did. I extracted myself from crossing her path, as I had been explicitly instructed to do — I hadn’t been to any Pick n’ Save, let alone hers, since Sept ’06, & beyond that, had not looked her up in any other way (in fact, by early November ’06, she never passed my thoughts) – & went away from her.

Thing is, though, I feel cheated. I feel like I was instructed to give no pursuit to her, but she still “taunts” me. I’m not one to take the bait, nor will I do that, but it’s strange… Who’s the creep(ier)? The one who by request wants me gone, but then, when running into the one she wants gone, treats him like an old friend, or the one who’s wanted gone?

I don’t know, nor will I ever. But I wish I did.

I wish I could read a woman’s flirtations, period, to determine which are real & which are faux.

All I do know is that Cashier Laura was not, is not, & will never be the (kind of) woman for me.



et cetera