There’s a scene near the beginning of Annie Hall* where Alvy and Annie are waiting on line to see an Ingmar Bergman movie and this guy behind them is going on and on about the indulgence and lack of cohesiveness in the latest Fellini film. It’s a really pretentious character (who lights up a cigarette in the theater lobby, which is something in 70’s movies that I enjoy immensely), and throughout the entire scene, Alvy is complaining and rolling his eyes at the bullshit coming out of this guy’s mouth. This causes he and Annie to have an argument because Alvy is always complaining and rolling his eyes at other people’s bullshit, and Annie missed her therapy appointment that day.
Excluding the therapy part, this is pretty much how I act in public all the time. I don’t loudly complain about the pretentiousness and bullshit all around me (not even when I’m drunk, because even then I’m thinking about assault charges), but I am a world champion eye roller and spend most of my time in public being agog at the general level of idiocy I experience on a daily basis.
But Self, I think, how do you know that You are not an idiot, too? No one thinks they’re an idiot. Everyone thinks they’re brilliant, kind, decent human beings. You could be an idiot and a monster and You’d still think You had the right to roll your eyes at everyone else.
Well, let me tell you something. Despite all of the posturing I do here, I am not always convinced that I am totally awesome. Mostly I think I’m awesome, but there are times that involve specific memories of acting stupid or thoughtless or cruel, and I want to bury myself in the ground and never come out. This is a problem experienced by people who never 100% corroded their brains with drugs. At no point in my life was I heavy enough of a drug user to be able to block out entire periods of time. I remember everything. I think of my memory as this one episode of Quantum Leap where Sam’s…uh, host body?…dies and is judged for the afterlife, which involves experiencing every moment of hurt he ever caused someone else. Everything is so vivid in my memory. No matter how much I drink, it won’t stop being there. This might be why I’m a decent storyteller; it’s also why I feel like an asshole some of the time.
Without naming all the names, Graham once almost hooked up with this girl who is now a friend of mine. He almost hooked up with her because he was taking so much acid at the time that he was barely conscious of being on this planet, let alone able to understand the nuances of male-female relationships. Apparently, this lack of consideration was a bit unkind of him and resulted in some hurt feelings. Of course this was only at the time; everything is okay now, everyone is fine, and as far as I know, there’s no residual nastiness on anyone’s part.
My point is that while Graham is aware that this happened, I doubt he remembers making anyone else feel so bad, and even though he’s been told about it since then and wishes he hadn’t been so uncaring, I don’t think it would fully register with him. Not because he’s brain damaged or anything, but because hindsight can be a difficult experience in the first place, and trying to capture a drug-addled portion of it accurately is next to impossible.
This is probably only one of three reasons that I’m glad I can’t take drugs anymore. The rest of the time I wish someone would burn down all records of my company’s random drug testing policy, because it would be really nice to get stoned.
I Don’t Get High But If I Did This Would Be My Jam
Time After Time, Margaret Whiting
Jetpack, Jill Sobule
Girl, Richard Barone
Here Comes My Baby, The Tremeloes
To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High), Ryan Adams
Afterglow 61, Son Volt
All You Ever Wanted, The Black Keys
We Used to Wait, Arcade Fire
Corvette Bummer, Beck
Um Like Your Smile Is Totally Ruling Me, Japanther
Bhang Bhang, I’m A Burnout, The Dum Dum Girls
Fight Test, The Flaming Lips
She’s a Jar, Wilco
Drifter, Wild Nothing
The Funeral, Band of Horses
When I’m With You, Best Coast
Prismatic Room, Crystal Stilts
Popular Mechanics for Lovers, Beulah
Love Like That, The Heavy
I Cut Like a Buffalo, The Dead Weather
Electric Alice, Grinderman
Day In The Wife, The Death Set
Sour Cherry, The Kills
No Hope Kids, Wavvves
Crash the Market, The Salteens
The Escape Engine, Burning Airlines
Missed Me, The Dresden Dolls
X-French Tee Shirt, Shudder To Think
I Typed For Miles, Jets to Brazil
*If you’ve never seen Annie Hall, you’re fucked in head and I don’t want to be friends with you. It’s on Netflix Instant, so stop being a cretin and go watch one of the greatest films in the history of the Universe, for chrissakes.