Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm a Mess

(I Used To Love You, Reminiscene, 2008, 30x40 inch c-print)

Just after all the searching, everything was looking great…what happened? Well I can’t really explain it. Wait, sand on hands expands…or rather, have you ever tried to hold two handfuls of sand with your hands forming a cup, no matter how hard you try that sand will find its way through your hands and fall back to the earth. And so, here I am, in a swamp with all kinds of dangerous things floating, flying, and swimming by me, ready to strike any minute. I have little to say but to form my final words here. I should explain the history of my disposition that I haven’t just created a scenario that will never be explained but it is hard right now to do so, I am in immediate danger as I told you. I would like to thank my mother and father for the creation of myself, and for the talents and good genes to have gotten me this far. I feel sad that I haven’t made a legacy; that my condo in Florida and the 1987 Toyota Camry are all I have to leave for my daughter, who has lived with her mother her whole life and will only truly know her father after his death. I would like to write to her for a moment.
I am sorry. So sorry. I was never there, I know, I cannot tell you this and mean as much with me saying this to what I feel inside. I am nothing without you. And I am sorry. To hear all of this on my tape recorder I bring with me everywhere, something I should’ve done with you, I am glad that you will hear my last words.
When you were born I was not allowed to be there, nor visit, you were given a name that was not my decision, and you went to a school I didn’t decide on. And it was my fault. When your mother finally replied to my endless letters she sent me a Polaroid of you in hopes it would shut me up, it did the opposite of her desires as I started sending triple the amount, like an obsessed fan. I was your greatest fan, Claudine. And soon your mother had moved you somewhere else, somewhere without my permission or say so, and didn’t tell me. And I didn’t realize this until all my letters posted on the week of August 14th to 21th in 1991 returned to sender, me in this case. I didn’t know what to do, and so I went searching for you. I moved to Florida when the private detective told me you now lived there with your mother, Roxanne. She knew I hated Florida, how I didn’t like the elderly that much, and hated Disneyland. But I moved to be closer to you. And soon the private detective was discovered by your mother; maybe she hired a hitman to whack him. I hadn’t heard from him in weeks and then one day in the mailbox I received a box. Inside the box was an entire hand with exception the middle finger was missing. I stopped my search immediately for a long time. And I hid the hand in my neighbor’s yard (Bill, if you ever hear this, I am too, very sorry, it was four years ago before I knew you and if you’re curious to see the remains of the hand, behind the tulips underneath the gnome, dig for two feet).
Then after the search for you was lying dormant for three years I decided to come find you again. I didn’t care of the fears of death or having my hand cut off because at that point I forgotten the reality of the fear of those things. I just wanted to find you. And so I hired another private detective and told him to be extra careful since we were both on the line. He and I both bought guns and didn’t sleep much for days. Surprisingly it didn’t take long, just three and half days to find your location. The only thing the private detective wasn’t able to actually come close to the whereabouts, just locate them. And so I was left with just a location and little less. I thanked him very much for his bravery and his trade, and I should probably thank him here since he put his life on the line. Thanks Lucas.
When I search on map of the location I discovered why Lucas could not have possibly have made it to your location, you were located in an old castle in the middle of a swamp. A swamp in the Everglades that was notorious for alligator attacks and poisonous snakes, not to mention swarms of virus-bearing mosquitoes. And after I make it passed the swamp I still had a hitman or two, maybe even guards in black suits wearing black aviators waiting for me to come out of the waters. But I didn’t care anymore, I had watched the end of Apocalypse Now 30 times by now and even had the war paint painted on my face, you were the only thing I cared and lived for, my only purpose was to reach you.
I made it a few miles until I ran into alligators and realized I wasn’t Captain Benjamin L. Willard, nor Martin Sheen, I was me, Jerry Civilian, a nobody weighing 150lbs and standing 5’9’’ against 400-600lbs killing machine, a beautiful and misunderstood, killing machine. And at first clear sight of an alligator from 8ft away my heart raced, my left arm when numb, and I struggled to breathe feeling lightheaded and lost. I cursed all those happy meals my mother fed me as a child, I cursed all those adult-size “happy” meals I bought myself when I was too big for a child-size one, and then I just cursed at everything in general. I just wanted you to know that I will and always have loved…

And the lights fade, and the last thing I can hear is the sound of my body hitting the water then the water filling my ears and how sounds traveling through water are rather relieving.

Now for the non-story related talk on a blog about ma photography...I'll try to make this portion worth your time.
First, the image, it's a reshoot of the same installation, done at a different time and composition, and express the mood and atmosphere better. The title is of a short story I wrote going off of the words, I Used To Love You. The reason why I didn't decide to include that short story to the image inspired from the story and memory, well I tend to be very absurb and arbitrary, like my writing.
And secondly, the fact of the week:
Apocalypse Now took 200 hours of footage to film over the course of 16 months, and was originally supposed to be film as a faux documentary taking place in the actual Vietnam War, which is the plot to the recent war (comedy) movie, Tropic Thunder. Martin Sheen had a heart attack during the filming of Apocalypse Now and Sam Bottoms was on drugs during his performance as hippie-gone-soldier and surf legend, Lance B. Johnson, who was also on drugs as well, method actor? It took Francis Ford Coppola three years to edit after several close calls with suicide, and is probably the greatest war film ever made to this author.

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