This week I've been buckling down, chained to the art table, chipping away at THING pages. Took two days to turn around a corker of a splash page featuring a pin-up of the FF surrounded by twenty or so of their famous rogues gallery, but I did it and it looks fresh. Running real low on funds. Less than a grand in the bank I can tap until the tax man figures out what I owe for this year come next Spring. For every grand I make, I hide $300. I suspect that my earnings vs. my spending will cost me that much, hopefully less. Rather than pay the quarterly rates, my accountant tells me to keep freelance monies in the bank under some shade so I don't spend it yet reap some interest. Maybe I'll be able to buy my gal that slice of pizza she always wanted come April Fool's Day.
On Monday evening I got to show SBX the classic horror film HALLOWEEN [my personal fave] and it still sends a shiver up my spine after all these years. The music alone creeps me out. That, coupled with Donald Pleasance's melodrama, the heavy breathing, the painted white rubber William Shatner mask, and the Shape's determined yet calm terror and stride, gives me the jeebies. All the formula horror flicks since have milked the scare tactic template, so the fear factor is greatly reduced, but no cinema can beat that moment when evil Michael Myers sits up from being stabbed, looks towards a frightened yet unsuspecting Jamie Lee Curtis, stands up and storms forward like a juggernaut.
If I could make a dream horror film to beat all commercial chiller thriller shock theatre, I'd want to see Michael Myers vs. Leather Face vs. Ash vs. Jason Voorhees vs. Freddy Krueger in a knock down drag out that would last 90-mins. of non-stop kitchen knives, chainsaws, pick forks, sawed-off shotguns, and metal claws, on the living room set of EVIL DEAD. I'll pay NiggerKojak $5 to write that treatment and beg Sam Raimi to direct it. Title it "MADE FOR CABLE"
Tuesday night got me a turkey burger, dinner fries, and a salad at Mike & Marie's house [w/Marie's pal Danielle] while we watched the second season premiere of '24.' Never having watched a lick of television last season, I was not informed of this series. The premise sounded promising and the first episode made me want to watch the first season. Fun, balls to the wall, comic book logic, high octane drama of Shakespearean proportions. Who would of thunk I'd give a rats ass about Kiefer Sutherland?
Had a meeting with Evan Dorkin and Marvel editor, Andrew Lis on Weds. at Jim Hanley's Universe to pick up the latest new comix and discuss cover concepts/designs for NIGHT FALLS ON YANCY STREET. Sat down at Starbucks over a hot one and ran through various ideas and themes. Since the story is a romance noir, we wanted to pay homage to the genre sans getting too retro and too corny. After a bunch of thumbnails and brainstorms, we agreed that the first issue should boast a crime detective style image. Something that involves and overcoat, rain, a gutter with drain, The Things reflected image in a puddle, and a torn photograph of the romantic interest. The second issue would take the next logical step and sport a classic 'Beauty & the Beast' romance cover, with the third issue busting out with a center shot of the heroes surrounded by villains, and the 4th issue cover up for grabs. Each one purporting unexpurgated high drama while nodding to the original Lee/Kirby lore. Feeling charged I split for home.
Met up with SBX at my pad and she walked in the door sunk knee deep in a black cave of depression. My initial attempts for understanding couldn't shake her out of that place. My queries only angered her. Our window for woo and levity was dwindling rapidly. I felt bad. Emasculated that my shining star couldn't dispel her fog. I took it personally and laced up my combat boots, schizophrenically teetering between Bruce Campbell moxie where nothing can stop us nor the horse we rode in on, and seething in my own feces, ready to give it all up like a sad flaccid Charlie Brown on Prozac. We sat in my pitch black living room, lit only by the red street light and the shimmer of reflected rain. The heat was blasting but SBX was cold. Elbows jerked, guts tightened, throats clipped. I paced -- upset and confused. Her depression was getting the best of us and I couldn't figure out how to fix it. Sometimes our communication skills are Kindergarten level at best. Two toddlers experiencing a mid-life crisis. More and more, SBX and I learn that we're both cut from the same insecure cloth and that affects our parlay and diminishes rapid resolve. Once we get to a solid place, the returns seem to limp back weakly. We need to work on that. Pronto.
Nutshell: the narcissistic/alcoholic Mr. Ex's recent 'Hulk Out' with liquor is stoking paramount fear in SBX. She's afraid that he will repeat his violent and irresponsible behavior upon their daughters and ruin lives. A choke hold that SBX can't seem to shake. Sure, SBX has numerous accounts and reasons to have this fear, but it's a power that she is giving him. It's a grip that she has allowed to tighten over the 10-years of their relationship and cannot find the strength to rid of and burn, once and for all. I maintain that Mr. Ex doesn't have that power to control her. It's all in her head. Unfortunately, that is a dog she must walk alone because no one, not me, not no--body, can convince her otherwise. That's some epiphany shit that you come to on your own. I feel for her. Fear is an ugly demon. Mr. Ex is pushing her buttons and the ripple effect is tipping my boat. And that's a no-no.
Finally, after two wretched hours of "shit, fuck, piss, karate," SBX had a moment of clarity and realized that she had to live life large for herself first. Take care of A-Number-1. No more sacrifice. No more fear. She admitted that her philosophic spin on the 10-year sham that was/is her marriage was that she was willing to lose if her kids could win. Meaning, if Mr. Ex could be sober 24/7/365, and be the good father to their kids, she was willing to take the lumps and sacrifice her personal desires. See, SBX is a well travelled woman who likes to roam planet earth and uncover its treasures and the mysteries. SBX hails from England and has roots there. Her culture and way of living stems from UK culture. Her middle name pays royal homage to the Queen. She's British through thick and thin, and unfortunately, must stay in America, specifically NYC, with her kids under the regime of her separation. Another good 11-years before she can split dodge, unless she's willing to give up custody, and that is no present option. SBX is in a nasty quandry. Ergo, her depression. Ergo, my rage.
Wrongs never make right.
We settled, called a cab, and waited for the street to honk. And that's when SBX dropped the other shoe. A Doc Marten.
"I told the kids about us."
"Huh? What do you mean?"
"I told them that you were my boyfriend."
Oh....snap. On the heels of all this rancid carbuncle and braided dread, something good had come out of it. I was shocked. Taken aback. Happy. Flabbergasted. Proud. Quiet. Didn't feel right to raise a glass, so I asked her a little bit about it and put it to bed. We could open up that can another day next week and give it proper due. For now, I just wanted my sweetheart happy and warm. I felt the rush to take care of her with her furrowed brow and taught cheeks. She'd been through some serious turmoil and I should have been the bigger one -- if only my ego wouldn't always play backseat driver. Street honked, lips met and left, and SBX was off in her $10 chariot.
I put on the tube and watched Warren Zevon sing his last few tunes on David Letterman before he ties off his mortal coil a month or two from now due to terminal lung cancer. Letterman asked him what that was like? Ya know. Knowing. Zevon paused, grimaced, and said "Sure does make eating those sandwiches last a little bit longer."