Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

One Night Only

My favorite movie of 2008 was Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. If you haven’t seen it, it’s just a great movie, but it’s one of those movies about being young that happens all in one epic night. So it got me thinking, what is it about youth that provides us with those nights that just go on forever and stay firmly cemented in our memories?

A good friend of mine, one I’ve spent many epic nights with, and I were watching Nick and Norah last night and got to talking last night. She knew we’d had plenty of them, especially in high school and college (they still happen now, but they are fewer and farther between seeing as we now have jobs and some responsibility), but couldn’t remember what had happened when. When I reminded her of what nights were epic (Halloween made a big showing, nights before people moved out of town) we both sort of reminisced, shocked at how much had happened on each one of those nights. Someone (points to self) tried to lift up a bouncer who was loath to let four extremely intoxicated ladies into a bar, someone peed on her purse, someone slapped an ex-boyfriend’s asshole friend, someone started crying, someone got a piercing, everyone had to evade law enforcement and all of it was crammed into one crazy never-ending night.

I remember watching movies like Dazed and Confused or Sixteen Candles or Can’t Hardly Wait or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and thinking, oh, it would be so cool to have a night like that, where you just go from place to place and just have one amazing experience after another, but when I thought about it, these are some of the few movies that don’t glorify something as being better or worse than how those nights actually play out. Most of us don’t live romantic comedies like When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle, most of us don’t engage in boat chases like James Bond, even some of my favorite movies like American Beauty do tend to focus more relentlessly on the depression of suburbia. But the all-in-one-night movie tend to run the gamut of emotion, consternation, outright joy, stress, a quest of some sort, that seem to emerge in the wee hours of the morning on an active night.

The all-in-one-night movie also gives way to the mundane conversations that we all have. It’s odd, as a writer, I’m almost more interested in the monotony of people’s lives than a big overarching plot-driven story. Think about it, our favorite lines from movies or books or songs are about the tedious little feelings of life. Tarantino’s best speeches are two people talking about nothing, hell, Seinfeld made a whole show about the stupid small realities of life. Of course, in a movie, unlike in life, there has to be an overarching story, but by slowing it down and getting a movie as close to real time as possible, we are able to view the dumb conversations we all engage in.

I guess what I’m trying to get at, what I love most about this, is that these are the moments we never notice in the moment. They are small little bits of nothingness that stick with us, and fold into each other to become a kind of life. The memory of the dumb conversations and the epic nights stay, but in the moment, on the night, they are just that, a moment and a night. And I hope, as I grow up, and take on more, I can always have an up-till-dawn night that never ends and morphs into the iconography of my little life.

Peace, Love, and Never-Ending-Nights,

February 9, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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