Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

History vanishes

In the summer of 1979 I stayed in NYC because I was planning to go to Graduate School at NYU, in film. But I had an attack of attitude and turned them down and moved back to Texas to go to UT.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  But while I was still thinking about it, I was staying with a friend on Spring Street...and I think it was #25.  It was a hideous basement loft at the corner of Mott and close to Little Italy, that had a tiny shower and toilet area, a hot-plate-style kitchen and NO windows, so when the lights went out, you were in complete and total darkness.  God, I hated that place.

Well, it's gone.  A big, bland, blank, brick apartment building sits there, now, and the area is partially gentrified, with high-end shops and restaurants mingling with funky places and cheesy little bars and food joints.  I suppose I could have taken pictures of the area...but it was boring in an odd way.

And painful.  Because I got caught up in memories of how shitty I was back when I lived there.  Seriously, I ruined friendships with my actions and obnoxiousness.  Like with Mark Rublee, a really sweet guy who was nice enough to let me stay with him and give me support, and I repaid him by being a complete jerk -- ungrateful and demanding...and stupidly enamored with his gorgeous brother, who was as straight as any guy could be.

Poor Mark; he didn't deserve me being such an asshole with him.  I hope he did well.

Sometime I wonder how different my life would have been if I'd stuck it out and attended NYU...but of course, I'm finally at the point where I can see that instead of becoming the next Alfred Hitchcock I'd probably have done a massive crash and burn, mentally and emotionally.  Because the fact is, NYC was WAY overwhelming to me.  Going from sleepy San Antonio to the city that never sleeps shattered all sensory protectors and I was close to freaking out when I got a job doing storyboards for "The Exterminator" and got dissed by the director.  You see, I impressed one producer, bigtime, who actually said he wished I was directing the film thanks to the boards I turned in, something dittoed by the stunt coordinator thanks to the diagrams I gave him for the motorcycle chase and crash.  The director took one look and said, "That's not my movie," and refused to use them. can see what movie he turned out.  On top of it all, they didn't give me credit...but at least I made enough money to move back to SA.  And I got a very nice Thank You note from Robert Ginty (the lead) for helping on the film.

It's embarrassing to think about that I left and wandered down Mulberry into Little Italy and had dinner then came home to rest.  I've done more physical work in the last 2 1/2 days than in the previous month.  There's still more needing to be done, but it's almost over.

So tomorrow I may go to the High Line to see what that's all about.  If my feets don't mind too much.

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