Some Days It Don’t Come Easy

17 Feb

Yes.  Each of my interview installments will be entitled with a phrase of Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love.”  I can’t say why just yet (I have no plan).  But it feels like a fit.

As I was saying…

I had ordered a cup of coffee when I came in, and it turned out to be the straw that broke Maxwell’s brain (is that how the expression goes?  I forget).  The yelling – which, again, began before he opened the door, so at that point he was just another guy screaming at no one on the street – was about the superiority of hot chocolate. Maxwell yelled me in no uncertain terms that the interview was already off to a poor start.  I think he was trying for a funny, but the yelling really derailed that train.  I don’t mean loud talking, either.  I mean trying-to-stop-a-bus-from-creaming-an-old-lady yelling.  As in “REPOST THIS OR YOU’LL GO BLIND – ALL CAPS-4-LIFE!”

Maxwell employed a painfully gradual decrescendo as he asked me in rapid succession if I had seen any of the following films:

Sunday Party Ice Cream Show Down

Pants Reel

Boonmaze Blues

Cream Cheese Summer

The Green Hamper

Mrs. Shenanigans

Narwhals Uprising II

There are no links because these films are not yet real – the do not exist.  I generated this list in the same manner that I imagine Maxwell generated his – using nothing but my brains and a cursory glance around the room (please do not try to create a drawing of my bedroom based on this information).  Although, Maxwell only took a few seconds whereas this activity took me a shameful amount of time.  At one point, I contemplated lying.  “Yes!  I loved the script but the casting seemed weird to me, you know?”  This being a go-to move of mine (lying), I thought it might be a fun way to get the conversation headed in a different direction.  I was mostly just hoping for “away.”   In that moment, I had an inexplicable urge to be honest, though.  I’ve really only had a few divine callings in my life, but the most recent was when I received holy orders to be Maxwell’s straight man.

You can imagine Maxwell’s disappointment as I said “no” to each and every ridiculous title.  How would I ever expect to write for his estimable project with such a shoddy appreciation for cinema?  He had a good mind to march me to Blockbuster and force me to rent each of these films on the spot.  But just as he was really picking up steam, the baristo banged two cookie sheets together  like trash can lids while looking me right in the eye.  This seemed to function almost like a reset button for Maxwell, bringing him back to the matter at hand – hot chocolate.  It was incredible.  Strike two.

So I didn’t order hot chocolate and I hadn’t seen any imaginary movies.  But goddamnit, I have things to offer!  I wish I could tell you that I laid them out for Maxwell, but it was becoming clearer and clearer to me that this was not really a “talking and listening” kind of meeting.  This was a performance with some confused spurts of sweaty audience participation (and, the helpful sound scape and psychiatric stylings of my new friend the baristo).  I’m good with structure, so once I adapted to this information, things smoothed out a bit.

Maxwell began to tell me about his experiences in Film School.  When I inquired as to where he matriculated, his fluster-level spiked from orange to red.  No names were available as to institutions or geographical locations, but there were lots of other names dropped (many of which, again, bore striking resemblances to objects at hand as his eyes combed the room).  At one point he said “I mean, I’m a student of the world!  Where have I NOT gone to film school?  It’s the way my mind experiences my surroundings.”  He also said “Like, any movie you’ve seen or heard of?  I was part of making that happen.”  For a minute I thought maybe he meant that his presence in the world as a citizen in general made the film possible on some level.  Soon enough, however, it became clear to me that Maxwell pictured more of a name-on-a-chair/megaphone type situation.  This seemed amazing to me.  I, as one who often aspires to delusions of grandeur, influence, and wild success, had found my sensei.

Tomorrow I will tell you about the part where Maxwell cried.

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5 Responses to “Some Days It Don’t Come Easy”

  1. ryan Balas February 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    This story is amazing. You might have yourself a novel. so hilarious!

  2. lizjoyntsandberg February 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    I’m glad you’re enjoying it, Ryan! Some good needs to come of my functioning like a magnet for the mentally unstable. At the very least, people should get some kicks, you know?

    I think you know where I stand on any kind of book writing. Between this blog and facebook, I think I’ve amassed all of the outlets for talking about myself that I can stand.

  3. Sarah Long February 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Hi Liz,

    This chronicle has seriously left me laughing inappropriately loud at work the past few days! Love your writing! Would love to catch up soon and hear more about your adventures!

    -Sarah

    • lizjoyntsandberg February 17, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

      Hey! Thanks, Sarah! Right back at ‘cha! Except the part where I laugh at you at work – I’m not doing that.

  4. Rachel P February 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    “Like, any movie you’ve seen or heard of? I was part of making that happen.” This was my favorite part. Keep it coming 🙂

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