I watched SherryBaby last night with The Daver and I hated it. Even the often-seen shots of Maggie What’s-Her-Last-Name-Was-In-Donny-Darko boobies (which were, I need to tell you, fantastic hooters) couldn’t save it for me. It was one of those dreadful character sketch type movies that always make me want to claw my eyes out. Like Napoleon Dynamite, which was only good because he did a wicked dance at the end.
I’m not a movie person, I’m not a theatre person, and I’m certainly not an shoot-yourself-in-the-face-boring art-house movie I’m sorry film aficionado. Given the choice between punching myself in the head and watching a movie, I’ll often choose punching myself.
Put down your pitchforks and your Blu-Ray copies of City of the Lost Children in it’s original French and hear me out.
I didn’t hate SherryBaby because nothing fucking happened besides seeing her boobs a lot, admiring the 80’s French Impressionistic crappy art they dug up for the set, and watching her have sex with everything that walked near her. No, I hated it because her attitude; her story; her ‘I’m obviously uncomfortable in her own skin’ behavior, they all hit too close to home for me.
They reminded me of the last couple of times I saw my friend Steph.
Steph died a year ago this past February. The official cause of death was “natural causes” and at age 27 they only put that stuff on there when you’ve abused your body so badly that it can no longer function. It gave out one night as she slept, a week or so out of rehab for the second or third time. She left behind two young sons.
The person that she died as was not the person that she was. Steph, MY friend Steph was one of the few people who stood up for me when I needed someone to. She was self-assured enough to chew a couple of people who had hurt me a brand new butt hole, something that not many people can do. Steph and I would play “Summer Car” and crank up the heat in my old del Sol in the dead of winter, strip down to our tank tops and pretend it was summer. She co-threw me my first baby shower.
She was one of those people who seemed to have a permanent light shining on them, maybe from within, and she was my hero for many years.When I think of Steph, I smile, because that’s what she would have wanted me to. Not a single day passes where I don’t think of her, my heart clenching up when I remember that she’s gone.
And she is gone. She’s dead.
I went to her funeral with all of my her our friends in tow, all of us red-eyed and sniffling and nervous, wishing we were anywhere else. I cried so loudly during her funeral that I was afraid people were going to stare. When her eldest son said “Look at my mom, she’s all dead and hard,” I nearly lost my cookies on the lilly-scented carpet. The only thing that saved me is that I was in front of her mother, talking to her mother. When her youngest cried after being taken away from viewing his mother’s body, screaming (just as mine does for me) “Go see MOMMY!” I felt like I’d been slapped.
But I didn’t connect it in my head. It was like my brain couldn’t accept the two events as related.
1) I had a friend Steph.
2) I went to a funeral.
Two mutually exclusive events.
The cold waxy person that was laid out in that coffin wasn’t the same person who taught me how to take a Camel Wide Light, empty the tobacco and pack it carefully with The Ganj. She wasn’t the person who smelled like a garden with me. She didn’t prefer “Waiting for my Ruca” over “Scarlet Begonias.”
But it was.
She was two different people, and in the end, it’s what killed her.
It’s taken nearly a year and a half, but I have accepted it. My friend, one of my oldest and best friends, she’s dead. She’s gone forever. There will always be a hole where she was, like a lost tooth. I don’t have to like it, but I do accept it.
Gone but never forgotten.
Angels beating all their wings in time
With smiles on their faces
And a gleam right in their eyes
Thought I heard one sigh for you
Come on up, come on up, now
–Shine A Light, Rolling Stones