The Experimentalist Writing Submissions: Entry 005 / by Brandon Mitchell

,"If these are the dumps then people have been over selling this shit for years" -- Ogle B Straight


Maybe there’s people who have it all figured out. Maybe I’m one of those people and I’m just screwing it all to bits. The tricky part is honesty. You want to be honest with people. People tell you you should be honest. Honesty is the best policy. If that is true, it would take so long to break through all the bull shit to get to the point where it is beneficial. No one wants to hear what I actually think and feel. That’s the honest to God truth. No one wants to hear that because it triggers some feeling of guilt in them. They may be able to push through that for a quick minute and get to going about their day. A lot of people, however, will let the guilt win for a second and they’ll say, “No, I do want to hear. . .” That triggers a feeling joy and belief that they are being honest. Even though down beneath that reaction is the truth that they don’t really give a fuck. So, a meaningless conversation is born.
    I know that no one cares. I want people to care. I tell myself that I have to find the topics that will make people care. Once I find those topics, I have to figure out a way to bring them up in an interesting manner so I can keep their attention. This is already so far out that it seems impossible.

JUST FINISHED watching ‘Altman’, the documentary based on one of my all time favorite directors. It’s average for a biographical doc. Maybe above average. I’m thinking though of ranking it in my top ten for the year. How would it rank? Typically for this type of film I would (and I did) say “It’s average so it won’t make the top ten. It’s good and I enjoyed watching it, know”. But, I love Altman. I don’t say that lightly at all. I wanted to get blazed on a joint to write that but I didn’t. I don’t even know at this moment what that means. The movie covers ‘Prairie Home Companion’, Altman’s last movie. It covers it right. The movie ends in a cliffhanger with an angel coming in to take away the next person to die. The angel walks directly at the camera which is positioned around her midsection. She basically walks right into the lens causing the fade out. With that scene, Altman concluded his whole film career and his professional life. The entire movie is light, funny, heartfelt, and sad. It was disliked by most critics and audiences.
    I thought about Paul Thomas Anderson many times while watching the movie. He shows up in the last few minutes of it and says one word. “Inspiring”. I turned off the movie wanting to write, wanting to drink, wanting to watch “MASH”, “McCabe and Mrs. Miller”, “Nashville”, “The Long Goodbye”, “Secret Honor”, “The Player”, “Tanner ’88”, “Short Cuts”, “Gosford Park”, “The Company”...I neglected to add “Dr. T and the Women” because I’ve watched it a few times recently and want to give that one a little break. Plus, I’d like to add some others that I haven’t seen. Also, I want to mention that I still haven’t seen “The Long Goodbye” but it looks dope as fucking shit.
    Altamanly, the documentary made me feel, for a brief moment, LOVE. For fucking real mother fucker! I was pumped and wanted to do shit. I wanted to get up and write a script. I wanted to pace around and sound out dialogue between characters that I could make up in my head. Then, I thought about Ang. She was sleeping in the next room. I just stood there for a moment like a living statue. Thinking.
    We had the day off together and I was looking forward to it. I’m not working corporately anymore so in a sense I have most days off. Ang is working more than usual to cover. I have just quit my job to become an artist. How wack is that sounding? The most important word there beside ‘quit’ is ‘become’ because I am not an artist. I have never given up anything for my ‘art’. I am 37. I am lazy most of the time so having time off is a fuck head. I watch a lot of TV and movies. I love watching stuff for “research purposes”. What the helmeted dick hose?! And Golf?! I’m into that now with no income. Are you god-the-fuck-damning kidding my shit?
    Anyway, I did that and Ang supports it. So, I thought about her in the next room. We had a day off. We went to lunch. Then, she went shopping and came home and went to bed at 6pm. I worked on X2: The Experimentalist 2 for a couple of hours then I watched “Altman”, then I felt love for two seconds, then credits were rolling. I was in the dark. It was quiet everywhere except for the closing music coming through the sound system. I was like, “I should turn this off ‘cause Ang is sleeping.” I thought that if Ang wasn’t there, I could do whatever I wanted to do. I could move at a regular pace. I could make noise. I could run up the steps and start working. I could act out these wack scenes. But, I was stuck in a pose for a second and then I turned the TV off and tiptoed around the house.
    It was all a dumb thought, because I can still do whatever I want. I’m not held back by Ang or anybody else. If I am held back, and I am all the time, it is by things within myself and they are deeply rooted. They are covered up by decades of moss and ivy and things I have lived with so long that I often forget that they need to be cleaned up. That’s what I’ve got to do now. A lot of cleaning. The start of it is visible and right in front of my face. My office, all of the rooms of my house, the garage, the porch, the yard, my car, the mailbox, my computer. I’ve got to do all of it quick so that none of it gets out of control again and I can move in closer. Get inside and see what the fuck’s going on. The same old dilemmas. That same strife.