Friday, January 25, 2008

Red Van, White Trailer.

I'm coming out of the fog I was in. Fog is not really the best image to convey it -- it felt more like having my head encased in a Plexiglas box for 3 weeks. But my sinuses are clear now. I can hear, I can smell, I can breathe through my nose!

On my walk to the bus every morning, I cut through the parking lot of a hotel (we live two blocks from I-35, so our sweet little neighborhood is bordered with a strip of chain hotels and restaurants). One day last week, parked in the lot behind the hotel there was a nondescript white trailer hitched to a maroon van. I saw it from a block away and my eyes widened, my throat thickened, and I could swear I heard a dark heavy chord played on an organ somewhere. Closer, I could see that the trailer wasn't a camper, but some sort of hybrid with a camper-style door on the side and double cargo doors on the back. And the van was more of a Suburban-type vehicle than a regular van. But the colors and proportions and the foggy morning light had created a ghost, and I felt sweetly sad for most of the morning.

The bright red object on top of the van in the picture (above) is a canoe -- click on the pic to make it bigger. Once, during a particularly messy patch in our year and a half on the road, when it felt like our heads and hearts were going to explode, we decided to separate for a week. J and I didn't have any gigs for a spell. I stayed in a campground with the trailer and Christopher Isherwood's My Guru and His Disciple, one of my favorite books. I can't remember where R went, J dropped him off somewhere. And J took the van. I also don't remember where J went for that week, but he came back with a canoe. He bought a pretty red canoe. We used it a few times but eventually decided that lugging it around was more trouble than it was worth.

I apologize to the folks who read my blog and aren't familiar with Y'all and Life in a Box and all the rest. I know my references to those things are cryptic, vague. It's just that my writing here is about the present, and that stuff is the past. Not that the two are ever really separate things, but you know what I mean. Now that I say that, I realize that a good percentage of my blog writing consists of remembered anecdotes, so I'm lying when I say that this is about the present. Okay, here's another excuse: Y'all and Life in a Box are too big, too wide, too deep to summarize here. Here's my favorite review of Life in a Box. I refer people to this review when I'm trying to get out of explaining the film myself. Scroll down to where it says: "My favorite film at this year's PTFF, however, was one that took me by complete surprise."


I love this movie! I don't know if it has been released everywhere yet. J and I saw it at an Austin Film Society pre-release screening last night. It's gorgeous and terrifying and hysterically funny. Jess Weixler is brilliant. Her performance is perfectly calibrated to make the whole thing work. It's just a perfect movie.