Tuesday, October 13, 2009
100 Proof: One Life To Liver
Overheard at The Naughty Pine, Monday, 10/12/09:
BRANDI: So how was your weekend?
MATTHEW: Well, I pulled an all-nighter Saturday. Technically.
BRANDI: Technically? How do you technically pull an all-nighter?
MATTHEW: That’s when you take a nap early in the evening.
GUINNESS: Oh; so it’s like the party equivalent of a semi-virgin.
MATTHEW: What in the name of all that’s blessed is a semi-virgin?
GUINNESS: In America I’m a virgin; in France, I’m not.
BRANDI: Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?
GUINNESS: Among other things.
BRANDI: So you stayed up all night.
MATTHEW: Got home at 8:30 in the morning.
BRANDI: Did you push the envelope until it turned into a FedEx box?
GUINNESS: Did you drink enough alcohol to drown a giraffe?
MATTHEW: No, I wasn’t feeling that well on Saturday.
BRANDI: And you stayed out till 8:30 Sunday morning?
GUINNESS: Jesus, if this is what you do when you’re not feeling well, God help your liver when you’re healthy.
MATTHEW: I only had three drinks. Two beers and a rum and coke.
GUINNESS: You were Camera Boy, weren’t you?
MATTHEW: Point to the lanky brunette with the wicked jaw. I took about 200 pictures.
GUINNESS: Dude, that’s nothing; so you were actually partying, too?
BRANDI: As in talking to people?
MATTHEW: Yes, I do that occasionally, even when I’m being Camera Boy.
BRANDI: So was it fun?
MATTHEW: Oh yes.
GUINNESS: What kind of fun was it? Observer fun or participant fun?
MATTHEW: You know me too well. Participant fun. It was one of those easy conversation nights. Talking to new friends as if they were old friends. Looking around at midnight and then five minutes later it’s 3 in the morning, and you spend the next hour trying to think of places to go to that don’t close at 4, and then wind up at someone’s apartment and you have to make an effort not to speak above a whisper because there’s a roommate trying to sleep around the corner, and it’s, y’know, 5 AM, an hour at which you should be sipping coffee, and not a rum and coke. That kind of night.
BRANDI: So you were out with twenty-year-olds.
GUINNESS: As usual.
MATTHEW: They are the only ones who can keep up with me.
BRANDI: Your inner 19-year-old must have been in heaven.
MATTHEW: He usually is.
GUINNESS: So how does it feel to be the oldest guy in the room?
MATTHEW: It’s just chronological. God knows it’s not emotional, right?
GUINNESS: No comment.
MATTHEW: They did pull the age card on me, though; and when they found out that I was as old as any three of them put together, I couldn’t tell if they looked at me like I was an inspiration or an arrested adolescent.
BRANDI: I'm sure it was inspirational. In a weird "He was born when Truman was President" way.
GUINNESS: And besides, you’re not really an arrested adolescent; you’re more like an adolescent on probation.
MATTHEW: I’m totally stealing that.
GUINNESS: Just like a 19-year-old.
BRANDI: So what did you talk about?
MATTHEW: Art. Life. A photographer asked me if I ever got depressed and discouraged about writing, and when I said "Oh God yes, about once every three months I just want to give up because it's never-ending," she was, well, relieved, I guess, to know that she wasn't alone in the world. That's the kind of night it was. The kind where people afraid they're alone in the world get to talk to people who feel exactly the same way, and the world looks a little brighter and feels a little less burdensome when you wake up in the morning. If you ever go to sleep.
BRANDI: So what did you want to say that you didn't get to say?
MATTHEW: That it's the work which matters. Although I think I did say that at one point. That when you create for an audience, you are at the mercy of someone else's opinion of your talents, so you have to create for yourself first. A piece of advice I always forget to give myself when I'm bitching about how nobody gets my stuff.
GUINNESS: There are people who get your stuff?
MATTHEW: Throws beer in friend's face.
BRANDI: I still can't believe you got home at 8:30. What did that feel like?
MATTHEW: It felt exhilarating.
BRANDI: You must have slept like a log on Sunday morning.
MATTHEW: Actually, I didn’t go to bed until about 9PM.
GUINNESS: You’re kidding.
MATTHEW: No; see, here’s the thing about all-nighters. If you do go to bed when you get home, your body clock wakes up on Australia time, and you’ll be tossing and turning till 5 AM trying to get to sleep that night. Which, when you have to get up at 5:30 like me, is the equivalent of playing Russian Roulette with a full revolver. So in order to survive, you have to stay up all day and go to bed at a reasonably normal time; and the only way to do that is to (a) eat light and (b) keep moving. No movies (you’ll fall asleep), no heavy meals (you’ll pass out like it’s Thanksgiving), and no sitting down for more than fifteen minutes. Drink water and walk everywhere.
BRANDI: So how did you stay awake all day?
MATTHEW: I kept singing the Marmoset Song.
BRANDI: The Marmoset Song?
MATTHEW: Yeah. “Marmoset there’d be days like this.”
BRANDI: Throws beer in friend’s face.
GUINNESS: Followed by pint glass.
BRANDI: So your inner 19-year-old went to bed happy?
MATTHEW: He did. Except for the fact that by going to this party I missed a friend’s show at Rockwood. I feel bad about that.
GUINNESS: Well, you can’t do everything.
MATTHEW: Why not?