Alone and feeling alone at a show that’s holding your attention by about 25 percent, a decision, based on loneliness and missing him, is made: Get drunk and do something unlike you.
This means drinking three beers instead of sticking with only the two. You’re a terrible drunk.
The bike ride up the hill at 1 a.m. is a struggle. You feel the beer.
At home, you listen to one of your favorite records, a dancehall-for-permaangst single made from the heart of your hometown. You turn in around four o’clock in the morning.
Four hours sleep. The remembering of an awful dream had.
In it, she screen captures posts from this blog and posts personal photos of you in private moments on a social media site. Captions include the words “twerp” and “the worst.” Her friends cheer her on in the comments.
Your stomach stays dropped all morning. You miss him even more.
A repeated thought: a horoscope in the local, slim alt-weekly that you read while seated alone at the venue.
Now is an excellent time to phase out fantasies that bog you down or drag you backward. Are you up for that challenge? Can you summon the courage to leave the mediocre past behind? If so, here are your assignments: Wean yourself of longings to reconstruct bygone pleasures. Forget about trying to be like the person you used to be and to have the keys you used to have. Stop feeding the feelings that keep you affixed to obsolete goals. Break any taboo that makes you scared to change what needs to be changed.
A horoscope, for Chrissake.
You returning her recent message – and breaking your silence – might be the "unlike you" that you vowed to execute at the show.
An insignificant detail in a B-movie, watched separately by two friends and discussed later at a café, sets into motion an absurd and dizzying conversation where there is no winner. A brilliant writer and author of An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter, César Aira's sound construction in this 88-page novel is another document that illustrates the Argentine's heft in contemporary fiction.
In order to appreciate the magnitude of my disappointment, I should explain just how important conversations are for me. At this stage of my life, they have become the single most important thing. I have allowed them to occupy this privileged position, and have cultivated them as a raison d'être, almost like my life work. They constitute my only worthwhile occupation, and I have devoted myself to enhancing their value, treasuring them through their reconstruction and miniaturization on my secret nocturnal altar. Hence, if I lose the day, I also lose the night. In fact, my nights even more than my days would be emptied out, for it is always possible to find other distractions during the day; nights are more demanding; their entire sustenance is intelligence and the complicity of intelligence, which becomes complicity with myself through my system of duplication. To lose that would be to lose myself, to remain alone in my aimless insomnia.
This is worse than a sophomore slump. It's a shitshow.
Marisha Pessl, who nailed it when she debuted with her 2006 novel Special Topics in Calamity Physics, completely misfires with the murder mystery-esque Night Film, which attempts to chronicle the unexplained death of the daughter of a cult horror filmmaker.
While the plot is mildly interesting, the narration by the annoying main character -- a shamed investigative reporter -- is maddening for the clichés that litter the 624-page hardcover en masse and the sentences that are weak in their transitions and too often feel like padding.
The most maddening characteristic of Night Film is Pessl's use of italics to emphasis internal thoughts or dialogue. She uses this writing trick so often that it reads like a college freshman's term paper, in which that college freshman read Night Film and thought it was the best book he had ever read.
Randomly selected passage:
Harry banged the glass of water onto the bar. She grabbed it, gulping it down, a drop of water trickling out the edge of her red mouth, sliding down her chin. She set the empty glass down, wobbling unsteadily on her heels, and the bartender wordlessly moved away to refill it. He'd been through this drill with her before.
A house with a premium of sun, daily storms that threaten to destroy, a 12-mile walk/hike in the nearby mountains, the steep decline into downtown and the intense incline back up the hill by bike, a nightly trip to a venue or the cinema. The ability for privacy in public in a place where you can blend in.