Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Melancholy Meaning of a Man

I curled my body into a tight little mass of sadness as I slumped my frail frame into the sand. I had discovered my own personal haven of loneliness along the California coast. Most of the weekend tourists and local metal detector fiends scurried near the populated areas.

I was forced to park in their midst, but it didn't mean I couldn't wander.

I had made my way to a small half moon cove. Rocks jutted out on either side, tall and proud, seemingly protecting me from any nearby voyeurs.

A population of smaller, darker rocks stood at attention along the breadth of the coastline, scattered and unfettered by the incoming waves

This is where I would wait for Him.

For the last few weeks I could feel Him breathing down my neck. He would scatter tightly organized papers on my desk or toss some pens to the floor to get my attention. He ruined my pasta by sapping its flavor. He pushed me to feel sheepish and unnecessary around others.

I knew my only resolve was to make time to deal with Him. But I would choose the location at my own discretion, without force or anxiety.

I wrapped my thin arms tightly around my weakened frame and wished someone I cared for were in my vicinity. I placed my index finger in the sand and made an impromptu frowny face.

For some reason it made me laugh.

I started to give him an aged receding hairline when I felt a mass of weight plop down to my left.

Melancholy had arrived.

"It's about time," is all I managed to share with Him as we sat there alone enjoying the continual dance of waves against the coastline.

Melancholy sat in the very same position as I did, mocking me as his smile sent a shiver down my spine.

He was much older than I remembered and less polished in his appearance. His raven hair had given way to wavy strands of grey. He was dressed in the very same silver suit I had remembered, only the threading wear of time had not been kind.

"So lets get to it," I said with just a hint of fatigue in my voice.

He threw back his head as an eerie cackle arose from his throat. He smelled of stale Marlboro's and a unique blend of fruits and alcohol I didn't recognize.

He caught his breath as he finally managed to speak.

"You know you're my favorite, don't you? I never leave your side for more than a few hours."

I tried to be subtle as I backed away from his breath.

"Am I really that compelling?"

"No, not really. But you give me so many reasons for being, why would I ever leave you?"

I turned my head back toward the sand and continued my personal sketch in the sand.

"See? See what I mean? You're totally defeated! You're totally done!"

He kicked up a mass of sand and a few helpless tiny crabs scattered for their lives.

"You don't even have an answer, do you?"

I was resolve in my retort, for it was all I had left.

"I'm too damn tired. I don't have the strength."

He beat his feet against the sand, ruining my artwork.

"Well you better rent a bigger apartment, because it looks like we'll be living together for a long, long time."

Whether it was his mocking tone or his cocky attitude, I couldn't say.

But something in me snapped.

I shot at Melancholy and grabbed his neck, shoving his head into a nearby rock. The top portion of his skull burst open revealing a deep blue mass of goo. It was thick and gelatin and it moved quickly, covering one of the nearby rocks.

My hands released their grip and his wicked, self-assured smile lay affixed on his face. I fell back and stared up at the now deep blue rock.

Suddenly images began to flicker on the rock face.

A Dialysis treatment gone horribly wrong...

Another young woman sickened by the realization of my condition...

A workday afternoon where I can't help but lie on the floor of my office to get some rest...

A company party where I stand on the sidelines because I don't belong...

As each scene played out on the rock face, the emotions of each encounter filled my mind until I felt as though they were happenning over and over again and I failed once again to act to stop them.

And then I passed out.

I awoke, or at least that's what I assumed I did, in a completely white arena.

I shot my glance in every direction and found there were none. Everything had been denied any sense of color.

And then I heard footsteps, dress shoes on a tiled floor.

I turned left and right and left again. I had no idea where they were arising from.

And then there He was.

Melancholy had returned.

He appeared to have either discovered the secret of youth, or travelled back in time.

"Here," he said as he shoved a few stapled pieces of paper into my hands.

He smiled that eerie smile again as I glanced at the cover.

In big bold letters were the word "Test" with a huge D minus written in red pen.

My gaze met his and in his right arm I could see a huge three ring binder with the word "Answers" written on the binding.

"Can I take a look at those?"

"Now what fun would that be?"

I fell back into the sand on the very same beach I had been curled up on earlier.

As I picked myself up, I dusted off the sand on my pants and shoes, reliving the past few moments in my head.

The rock was assuredly no longer blue.

And neither was I.

I took in a slow, deep breath and allowed the salt vapor to tickle my lungs. A sliver of sunset made it's way through the clouds and landed near my feet as I began to take my first step home.

One step at a time, taking on one emotion at a time.

I knew I would return, but next time, I'd try to pack less baggage.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The 78th Annual Stacy Awards

I would like to take a moment to quote myself, which is highly egotistical and just plain wrong, but it got a big laugh, so I will share it with you now:

"I'm a better nose picker than I am Oscar picker."

I made my Oscar picks about a week ago and, as usual, I went with emotion instead of logic and didn't win the big screen TV I wanted.

Since I don't have cable and no one felt me worthy enough to invite me to their Oscar party, I decided to pick up a Stacy Special (personal pizza with pepperoni, sausage and anchovies) and head to the conference room here at work where we have a little 13" that I've wasted countless hours in front of.

That's right. We're friends.

To my surprise, our night time jock Michelle was there with a bag of goodies because she is Pay TV Challenged as well.

So we formed our makeshift Oscar Party, which was kind of cool.

If the critics don't give Jon Stewart kudos for hosting the best Oscar show in years, it will be a as though they carjacked him in the parking lot before the event, only they did while he wasn't looking.

I was happy that George Clooney won for "Syriana" because not only did I experience the film firsthand, I thought he was fantastic in it. It's a film that I can recommend if you're interested in the current affairs of the oil industry and all the people it affects throughtout the planet.

You also have to REALLY pay attention, because the film has fifty different characters with forty-seven different agendas. Repeat viewing is probably needed, but I don't think I could endure it.

I was also pleased with "Crash" winning Best Picture. When Jack Nicholson was presenting, he was talking really slow, like he was doing a Phil Hartman version of himself. "Crash" was a fantastic film and reminded me of another film from the early 90's along the same lines: "Grand Canyon." Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Steve Martin, Alfre Woodard and an all-star cast, written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan. I highly recommend both films.

And now we come to the part of the blog entry that only I've been waiting for...


Most Inspiring and Tear-Jerking Speech Award

Reese Witherspoon for "Walk the Line."

I wasn't really sure where she was going with the speech at first because she was just listing names of people she wanted to thank.

I despise those kinds of speeches.

And then she started to address why she began acting in the first place and how vital her parents were with support.

I turned to Michelle and she turned to me and we're both tearing up.

It was pretty funny.

Reese Witherspoon is a doll and extremely likable in everything she does. "Pleasantville", "Election", heck even "Legally Blonde" was infectious.

Most Obviously Drunk Presenters Award

We actually have three nominees in this category:

--- Jack Nicholson presenting "Best Picture"

I love the fact that Jack gets a front row seat every single year and he always seems to be enjoying himself. But when he got up there, he was talking so eerily slow and precise with the sunglasses hiding his eyes, that you just knew something was up.

--- Lauren Bacall introducing "Film Noir Montage"

I adore the fact that they bring out legendary film stars to introduce certain segments or categories on the show, but either she forgot her glasses or she had one too many before her moment. This one was just embarrassing.

--- Lily Tomlin & Meryl Streep introducing "Honorary Oscar for Robert Altman"

I know they were trying to speak in the vein of a Robert Altman film, but they kept stepping over each other's words and it was difficult and irritating. Apparently some people enjoyed it. I would not be some of those people.

And the Stacy goes to...

Lauren Bacall. I know she's a legend and performed for over 60 years, but Ms. Bacall, you've done Broadway, TV and film. Please get it together for the sake of you and the ones that care for you.

Stop Him Before He Does an Oscar Bit Again Award

We have a tie:

--- Ben Stiller

Your bit was funny, but after the first 30 seconds it went on way too long. This ranks up there with your dressing as Starsky while presenting with Owen Wilson at last year's awards.

--- Tom Hanks

The length of speeches bit was pretty unfunny. This ranks up there with doing Stupid Pet Tricks with David Letterman during his telecast. It's ok Tom, you're a funny guy. You don't have to keep proving it in year's you're not nominated. You've got two, be happy.

Funniest Moment of the Night Award

Will Ferrell and Steve Carell introducing Best Makeup and wearing the worst makeup possible. I didn't even realize Carell had anything on until they did a closeup, I thought the whole joke would be the Will wore bad makeup and Carell didn't.

By the way, the best movie of 2005 was definately "The 40 Year Old Virgin." Rent it. Enjoy it. Then e-mail and thank me.

So the final Oscar tally:

Stacy 5 (including my pick for Best Picture "Crash")
Michelle 13 (she rode the "Brokeback Mountain" so to speak)

Movies have been my friends over the years, taking me by the hand and guiding my mind away from my health problems, two hours at a time.

That is why I watch the Oscars every year religiously.

And best of all, I didn't have to watch them alone.