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September 24th, 1999

Whiskey In The Evening
Walked up the hill thinking scattered thoughts, got the mail, climbed the stairs, said hello to Wuss. Time enough now to start poking my head up every now and then as I'm walking to look around and sample the sights instead of this stare at the sidewalk routine, one step after another, keeping pace, winning the race. To work. The excitement, the excitement.

I finished off the Glenmorangie with water and ice as I watched Trainspotting, a movie The Solano Stroll parade about art, life and heroin: Four young Scottish lads larking about in a Lou Reed - Iggy Pop time continuum followed by The Firefly, a curiosity from the MGM vaults starring Jeanette MacDonald without Nelson Eddy. Why this particular combination? Well, the Trainspotting acting is good and the acting in The Firefly is bad, the Trainspotting script is very good with nice crisp Scottish accented dialogue, the The Firefly script was bought for US $17 at a flea market, BUT (ta! da!), both have hopelessly happy endings (for those who choose to imagine happy endings under the influence of alcohol). Actually, I played The Firefly because I wanted to hear The Donkey Serenade and I was just lubricated enough to do it. Every now and then when you're home alone and drinking, it is good to hear The Donkey Serenade as it clears the mind and makes your remember older days and younger women.

Trainspotting is a good film not only because it debuts new formidable talent, but for its moving of the marker in the treatment of young lads on heroin. Great big wide screen motion picture art has never depicted heroin in quite the way Trainspotting does. It has always been some god awful humorless angst and death treatment originating, probably, with The Man With The Golden Arm. Here it's a hiccup in the life of young men not quite ready to take their rightful place in prime time Europe-American culture. Does it treat heroin as a fun interlude in a long day? No. Nobody's going to think that. But it gives a vision of the who, the what and the why.

Heroin as an life antidote, a protection from the storm, resulting, of course, in dead friends, dead baby and a fucked up drug deal, but a protection from the storm, none the less, and a protection from its own consequences. Baby dead, shoot up, it all fades into the sunset. Kick the habit and dead baby returns to crawl across the ceiling as a Kafkaesque cockroach, swivelling its head like a little alien monster to meet the eyes of the hero. Diving to the bottom of a toilet in search of lost suppositories. A delicate balance between laughter and vomit, but not, strangely, horror. Shoot junk, get high, steal stuff, die. One of life's little stories.

And, as I said, with a happy ending. The hero betrays his comrades and steals the loot, heading off into the sunset to join with those of us who possess wives and mortgages and large screen television sets. I'm in favor of happy endings. The Firefly had one as well with Jeanette and The Donkey Serenade tenor riding off singing together, the audience buying the proposition that the Spanish didn't take him out, put him against the wall and shoot him. Actually, nobody thinks that: You listen to the songs and you like them or you don't, but you skip the story line altogether. I am willing to believe that the Trainspotting hero similarly did not take his swag and buy skag instead of joining life's larger adventure, but I'm not willing to bet the rent on it. (Still, double crossing his friends is a good start.) I'll buy happy endings for the both of them.

The banner photograph was taken on the way to lunch with a group of coworkers. The building was taken on the way to work in the morning.