This guy in his early twenties decides he wants desperately to become a great, illustrious writer. So he spends many hours at his desk thinking, ruminating, and pondering about pondering. He toys with crazy ideas. He bounces random words off the air. And yet, despite his many great efforts, this guy, let's call him Jimbo Narginwot (because that's his name) comes up with nothing good and nothing usable.
One night, with a gut full of hopelessness, Jimbo rests his wearied eyes and falls fast asleep on his computer keyboard.
The enormous weight of Jimbo Narginwot's newfound longing to create is enough to keep him unawakened in this unusual position for days on end.
Upon reentering wakefulness, Jimbo finds his body in a state of utter freshness and his creative drives wholly reactivated. With his hands scanning hungrily over a field of keys, he glances up casually and notices that the letter T has already been emblazoned on the monitor screen. It seems that during the course of his awkwardly posed slumber, Jimbo actually and accidentally wrote the first letter of his first piece as a writer... with the tip of his nose.
Jimbo bites his lip and contemplates the significance of such a bizarre happening. Was this the answer to the great question of everything? Was this art? Jimbo shakes his head in painful unknowing. Then, something occurs to him. Perhaps this freak episode is indeed a spectacular accomplishment. A sure sign that Jimbo is becoming.
With his fragile writer's hand suddenly poised in the unsuspecting atmosphere, Jimbo swears aloud on his life and all that is holy that this symbolizes the beginning of something tremendous. "I vow," he says, "to remain in this sacred chair, strictly stationed at this bless-ed saintly desk, until the day that my work is complete or until the day that I fall dead!"
Firmly, Jimbo enters an unfamiliar mode of deep, deep thought because he knows that the letter T is the first letter of many wonderful constructions. For an entire week without blinking, Jimbo recites every word he can muster that begins with the letter T, words like Tuna, Television, Torque, Travel, and Thorax. Overwhelmed by the endlessness of his options, poor Jimbo finds himself suddenly drowning in a murky pool of people, places, and things. He thrashes his way through barbed thickets of nasty adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and pronouns.
The intensity of all this deliberation is too tough on Jimbo's unconditioned mind, plus he no longer feels fresh. So he decides that a bit more rest is well deserved and, once again with his face flat on the keyboard, naps for a period just shy of a month.
After four long weeks of T-filled nightmares, Jimbo's eyes shoot wide open and he gasps. To his extreme delight, in a shiny black typeset, he finds the glorious letter H standing gallantly next to his first, and now less thought of, entry. By this, he re-pledges that he will continue to do all that is necessary to finish something of grandeur.
You should be able to imagine how the rest goes for old Jimbo. You can probably guess that after a whole year of hibernation, our hero returns to the awakened world to discover a crazy, overgrown hairstyle, a malodorous beard in need of a trim, and best of all, another unstoppable urge to create. "Look," he says, pointing awestruckedly at his computer, "A third letter, shining new on my page! Behold a vowel, the special letter E." Jimbo touches the high part of his cheekbone, the area responsible for this magnificent addition.
Jimbo rejoices in his chair and, oh, the joy is fruitful and plenty. Jimbo is so pleased with his progress that he starts to sing all words that come to mind with prominent E sounds. Throughout his wild crooning, he exhorts so much energy that after suddenly waking up a decade later, he doesn't even realize he had fallen asleep and continues to party on.
But then he gazes at the evidence before him and it all comes rushing back. Time passing can be an evil, sneaky bastard, he thinks.
Because the screen has given birth to a space and another letter that now marks a whole new beginning. This letter is indeed a precious item because it, like its predecessor, is an E, and Jimbo really likes E's. "Twins!" Jimbo calls out, "These children of mine are the greatest forms of creation on earth! Look at them!" he demands, "They are gorgeously the same!"
Gorgeous they are, but such gorgeousity is far too great for a man of Jimbo's delicate profession. With an excited mouth still agape, Jimbo faints and does not return again for a long, long time.
The moving parts of life maintain their mechanical responsibilities without Jimbo's influence until the day he finally regains consciousness and stands up to stretch for the first time in forty years. A mirror on the wall tells him that his hair has turned white, his beard, now reaching his waist, still smells foul, and his back aches like no other. Still, these negative elements of nature are not enough to stop old Jimbo. He sits down again, puts both hands in the air (for old time sake), and begins re-reciting his vows to himself and to the world.
"Something will come of this," he promises to all of us listening, "Something praiseworthy and laudable!"
The rusty gears of his brain begin their old, familiar turning. Then once again, with a thwarting jolt, Jimbo realizes the enormity of all possibilities before him. What in the world will it be? And how the hell can a piece of art, invested with over a half of a human life's efforts, be aligned with a passing moment in the present of trying to think of what's next?
Everything from everywhere begins rushing into Jimbo like many heavy stones into a soggy paper bag. He simply cannot take it. Inescapable quiescence fills his soul as he falls, once again, hard on his face.
At some point in the following years, Jimbo lifts his weighty head and finds that his left ear, through skillful tosses and turns, has furthered his masterwork the letter N, but the exhaustion that plagues his body is still far too great and he collapses without recollection.
These dormancies continue with obviousness until the day of Jimbo's ninetieth year. But this time, when he opens his eyes, it appears that he is stuck in place. "Am I dead?" he whispers, his lips cracking and falling apart.
The only response is the low hum from his trusty computer monitor, its blurry screen now flickering and overrun by dust particles. Jimbo's eyes feel as if they each weighed a pound in his head. Even so, he shifts them upward and makes out the final element of his masterpiece. From the small distance between himself and his life's work, he happily reads the letter D.
Jimbo lets go of his eyes and focuses all remaining strength on his mouth so that he may read the entire piece aloud. In an old man's haggard voice, as if in front of an audience that's been patiently awaiting for seventy years, he rasps proudly, "The End."
engaging death with staggering intimacy, shifts his entire face so that
his nose slowly depresses the save key and, right before tuning out forever,
slams his brittle index finger into the print button.
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LET IT BE WIDELY KNOWN THAT
Eyeshot, something having nothing much at all to do with eyes,
is happy to provide the following announcement for the cinematic premier
of an eye-intensive experience, which you are invited to see this sunday evening,
appropriately entitled "StareMaster," about which Rick Moody once said, or possibly wrote:
"The film is about watching, what watching means, and as such, it gets to the very heart of cinema.
It's also very funny;" see below for more information, or simply visit the official StareMaster home.
STAREMASTER -- THE MOVIE
Will have its New York big screen premiere Sunday April 6th 10pm
at CC Village East (2nd Ave/12th St) as part of the New York Independent Film Festival!
The festival will be throwing an after party and your ticket stub will get you in for free!
StareMaster: The Movie (65min documentary, 2003) dramatizes to absurdity
the final night in a
weeklong tour by the StareMaster project÷a live-action game show in which combatants
attempt to stare one another down through a barrage of distractions. The action unfolds
in the sleepy Southern town of Pensacola, FL, where the filmmakers follow eight
participants as they compete against one another for the title of StareMaster2002.
With a deadpan sense of seriousness and purpose, the film delivers a
riotous critique of popular entertainment. Without resorting to
heavy-handed polemics, it calls into question the
increasingly arbitrary distinction between
spectators and the spectacle.
For advanced tickets,
PEOPLE OF ATLANTA & THE SURROUNDING SOUTH!
jamie allen, ben brown, and neal pollack
got this going on come friday