mad in pursuit notebook

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS

Daze of Insanity

usI was paging through old notebooks yesterday and found a page dated 5.31.01. Remember those days? Remember how we thought History had ended? President Clinton got impeached because we were bored with peace and prosperity and the religious right was itching for drama. President Bush was mostly clearing brush on his ranch.

I had just re-watched "Julia" (1977), the movie where Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave have their friendship disrupted by Nazis and WWII. It reminded me of another favorite -- "The Year of Living Dangerously" (1982) -- where Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver pursue their romance against the backdrop of the deteriorating Sukarto regime in Jakarta. I asked myself this question: "What is the peril of my age?"

Maybe it was the Sixties, I thought, where I showed my heroic streak by not attending Chicago demonstrations because I was afraid tear gas would anneal my contact lenses to my corneas. And my romances were shit -- though "Julia" brought back memories of my friendship with Trish.

It gives me the shivers when pundits talk glibly about the collapse of the economy and the advent of another depression. I imagine myself hitchhiking to the next county to pick apples. Standing creekside, fishing for dinner. Trapping squirrels. Prying the gold out of my teeth.

But maybe the idea now is to think about love and friendship. Isn't that the best way to endure any scary times? Watch "Casablanca."

9.30.2008

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