Maintained the torture through a pow-wow with Bertozzi about me pitching my '12 Angry Men'/BATMAN proposal with him writing it and adding another twist to the mix. Also, we discussed tooling around with his original THE DISCORPORATING MAN idea and pitching it to Vertigo. I suggested we add the word AXIS to the front of the title, give it some *umph*, and a name to latch onto. I'm going to take a look at the proposal and add my two pennies. See if we can make us some work.
Coaxed Mike & Marie to come over and watch Orson Welles' second best effort, the incredible film noir flop, TOUCH OF EVIL. We ordered BBQ spare ribs and Kansas fried chicken with coleslaw and corn bread from Jakes. TOUCH OF EVIL perpetually impresses me with its seedy nature and greasy characters. Every character is a victim and villain to some degree and they all deserve what happens. The script is macabre and never keeps it a secret how corrupt and disturbing the politics of law and race is when push comes to shove while the borders of Mexico and America battle each other between illegal tactics, stolen dynamite, tacos, and heroin.
SBX was working late at home while juggling a heart-to-heart visit w/her pal Rebecca, who had recently broken up w/her long time beaux, Jonathan. When I didn't hear from my lady by 11:30PM, I knew it was too late to give her a 'sweet dreams' shout, figuring she had slipped and respected her need for sleep. 20-minutes burned passed the midnight oil, and I got a jingle from SBX. She had just closed the computer and sent Rebecca off. Surprised by her late night voice on a school night, I expressed the wish for her to flex that kind of nocturnal fortitude for me on a random Wednesday, rather than me always watching the clock like a hawk virtually hearing the minutes tick-tick-tick away the couple of work nights a week we woo. SBX took me to task but understood my frustration and I needed to not make every damn act a conspiracy against me. Hah -- and I was afraid I was going to BECOME like my father? I AM MY FATHER. Well, no, maybe not, but I cannot deny that...I am...my father's…SON.
My suave assistant, Mike Fiffe came by early Friday w/bagels & juice and got started erasing pages and filling in blacks like a champ. JMRN called with good news and bad news. BAD NEWS: he went outside and came back home to a broken down door and messed up apartment. Seems that the neighbors had a terrible blaze and firemen had to break down his door to help fight the catastrophe from his side. AND, he wife, Sari's brother's apartment [who lives directly below them] got swamped with water from the battle, destroying everything. Only, they were on vacation and JMRN was going to have to break it to them over the phone. Ouch. GOOD NEWS: Alternative Comics publisher Jeff Mason wants to publish JMRN's new comic [tentatively titled NOMAD], only, he likes the title CARPET BAGGER better. Whatever, man.
When the ball gets rolling a chain reacts. So, I wrote former employer Infotonic about the possibility of reprinting BITBUNKER, a series of comix strips I drew for [the now defunct] WEB HOSTING MAGAZINE into a proper comic book collection. BITBUNKER was a parody about the rise and fall of a start-up/web hosting company and could maybe do well if marketed right. Infotonic gave me the green light and the writer of the series, Steve Schultz, was excited to see it all under one cover, too. SO, I emailed Mason about publishing it and his answer is pending...
I inked some pages from NIGHT FALLS/2 and listened to the Live Prince CDs, and Busta Rhymes' latest, and put DOLEMITE on the television for Fiffe to shake his head to. I love to turn new folks on [especially young folk] to the blasphemy of old entertainment while they try to justify THE WHITE STRIPES and BRITNEY SPEARS. Well, truth be told, nobody needs to sell me on SPEARS, she's already got my wallet in her back pocket and my brain in a jar on a shelf. Swoon.
Scored us some Ling Ling for lunch and I got two cryptic fortune cookies: "Settling for love is no compromise," and "Abstaining can be the gravest act." Uh-huh. We finished our comix duties and Fiffe went his way and I went mine. Mine was the G-train to Greenpoint where SBX's best pal Meredith was celebrating her birthday at an Italian restaurant called Olli & Vinni. Mere's hubby Jason was ever dandy and chipper [a solid, Aussie chap], as were her sister Holle and pals: Pedro & Nan, Grace & Rueben, Rebecca, and a bunch of other folks. SBX was looking divine. So, so beautiful. She took my breath away. I'm sure most folks, on a superficial/exterior level, wonder why the hell SBX would ever date a beat-up hunk like me. It's rare that I agree with the consensus 'cause, regardless of my demons, I have a healthy attitude about what I can and cannot do and what I can do shakes mountains into pebbles. But when SBX is looking like the way she flaunted that night, Gat-damn, there must be some lucky stars up above that ain't been accounted for 'cause I was certainly making a list and checking it twice. The dinner went well, even though SBX got caught up in a 45-minute conversation w/a boring chump who was old pals with her good pal, Lori.
Antsy, I got up out of my chair and started doling shoulder massages. Pedro turned gay and Rebecca was too tough a horse to break. So, I tried to apply my other world-winning talent: art, and drew a sketch of Rebecca, which, to my surprise looked a lot like her [likeness is not my forte]. ‘Becca grabbed my pen only to scribble over it until there was nothing left to see behind the unapproved markings. Pissed me off but I held my cool. Interesting to witness how effective my skills are. We drank a lot of wine and ate swell food. SBX had to get back to pay the babysitter and we were the first to split [as usual, which bums SBX out...her life, a series of small windows for recreation and big mansions of responsibility]. We trekked by taxi to her pad and she fell flat exhausted. This perpetual lack of private time with my gal was making me itchy. I figured she should crash and maybe I should just go home. This puff of tension steamrolled into a full-fledged fight as we entered her home. Drunk and dangling by the last knot on her nightly rope, she lashed out at me. From "I can't afford a man like you" to "you need attention I can't give" to "I don't love you anymore" to "Leave! LEAVE! GET THE FUCK OUT!"
We've been through this before and I recognized the signs. Not only was she 'extra, extra read all about it' tired, but doing that thing that her mind does when it needs a coma and finally snaps: manifesting bitter hatred for all things that test her. SBX lives a life of challenges [I know, I know, we all do] that push her physically and emotionally to the limit, everyday. I've realized this before and I'll realize it again, but in order for us to work out the kinks NOW, I need to stand tall and deliver. Be the martyr that she is afraid of asking me to be so that she can find a place with us and still keep her strict finger on the pulse of her children, her career, and finally cope with her failed marriage so that we don't chalk me up as Mr. Re-bound. I don't bounce well like that. Which is why, by 2AM, I dug my spurs deep and gave her the hug that let her exhale.
SBX went up those stairs and I could hear her body flop hard against the mattress. Was that a squeal? I took a minute to compose and turned off all the lights. I walked upstairs in the dark and found my way to her bed. I leaned on the side and put my arm on her back. I told her that she was just lashing out at me and I was sorry about all this and I forgave her. A few pregnant moments ticked by she said, "The Haze is laying right next to me."
A black hole opened up and nearly swallowed me whole.
Obviously, The Haze had heard everything I said, perhaps everything we had bickered about downstairs, and was keeping silent. SBX was too devastated by wine and drama to do anything about it, and so, without negotiating a thing, SBX got undressed, I got undressed, and all three of us went to sleep in the same bed.
One sheep, two sheep, three sheep, four.
Ola Bola slithered in-between SBX and I Saturday morning, wanting to join the sheep counting party. The Haze and Ola started in on their morning talk radio show as I tried to count the last remaining sheep in my semi-conscious state. SBX muttered a few syllables and tried to follow my lead. No go. The bed was alive with youth and little cold feet sobered the hung over bed into action. A pair of pants, a shirt, and some Doc Martens later, and we dropped The Haze off to school for some tests she's studying for and the three of us hopped the F-train. SBX went into Manhattan w/Ola to rent a car for our Catskills trip and I hit my crib to work on some NIGHT FALLS pages, AIM TO DAZZLE, and set some more thoughts about BITBUNKER, in motion.
SBX was supposed to drop the girls off at a pizza party in Red Hook and climb into my bed @2PM, before picking them back up @4PM and all of us heading off to the Catskills. Nifty. Only, an early call revealed that the party was slated for Sunday and the girls had goofed. No time for hump & grind. I suggested she nap at home and catch an hour of missed sleep. Especially since she was driving and needed that energy. I updated my website and continued to work. Ack, I could've used a proper shag. None-the-better, SBX and gang honked the horn @4PM and we were off to the Catskills in a red sedan as the sun began to set and a winter zephyr rushed to ice the windows.