I’ve been trying to get over a romantic disappointment.
In the past, I just lost myself at the movies. I moodily swam laps at the public pool, just like Juliette Binoche in Krystof Kieslowski’s , “Blue.” But European art-house flicks can only get a woman so far. The heroines are far too chic even when they sulk. Who can be despondent in Paris?
So this time around, I rented John Carpenter’s remake of “The Thing.” Kurt Russell is a hard-drinking helicopter pilot in an isolated Antarctic research station. An alien Thing dug up from the ice and brought into the research station infects every life form it touches, from the sled dogs to the station personnel. Although the special effects were circa 1982, they were still revolting, as the monster tried to reproduce itself in all sorts of disgusting and slimy ways.
Perhaps the original Thing had to do with the spread of the Red Menace of Communism. Or maybe it was the fear of nuclear war. The remake was produced about the time the AIDS epidemic first started spreading into public consciousness.
I think the meta-message of the movie was “be careful what you bring home.”
The thought of dating again is pretty scary.
In the movie, Kurt Russell realizes that he is going to have a very bad day at work. He has to incinerate all his colleagues who are tainted by alien contact. Then he has to blow up the research station to preserve civilization. As he revs up his flamethrower, Russell snarls in disgust, “I just want to go up to my shack and get drunk.”
I called my younger sister for encouragement.
She said, “If I were a guy, I’d date you myself.”
I dismissed her, “You’re just saying that because you are my sister.”
“There will always be barriers between us,” she sighed, “Listen, you might just want to go up to your shack, but what you really need is a guy who will bring the six pack. Somebody who will want to do things with you.”
I started swimming at the public pool again. The other day the chlorine level dropped too low. The water was turbid and swampy.
Somebody who will want to do things with me. The first step is to track down, “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” A woman has got to start somewhere.