That night I bought an AC adaptor cord that plugged into a car cigarette lighter and made a reservation for a moving van with Penske. I planned to leave the next morning at 9:30AM, but by 11 I was still inside my bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror, in abject emotional pain.
Had it really come to this? Was I really going to encourage strangers to get into a moving van in midtown manhattan? And what did this say about me, at 28? That I was desperate, that I had failed as a filmmaker? As an artist?
I was fixated on my brother’s response to the Chinese dry cleaner, and my own, “if that was my life I would probably kill myself.” A classic, a total classic, negative, fuckheaded remark. What did I want? Money? Or was it just to be free. Here I was, free but ineffectual. With nothing to do with my freedom. Isolated day after day in the apartment I shared with Lauren, who spent all of her weekdays at work. Was I a kind of pimp? A gentleman of leisure?
My father was always telling me I had to learn to “play the game” a little. But I felt totally incapable of sucking up to anyone. I refused to act happy if I was not happy (and I was not happy almost all of the time). I’d made out fine so far. Not fantastic, but fine.
There, in the bathroom, I thought about my brother, the entrepreneur. He had recently become the MC of a biannual mining conference in Vancouver, where we grew up and where Tommy still lives. The industry, or “the sector”, or “the resources sector,” seemed to be flying high in the wake of the financial crisis. Operating a laundromat would be fun, he had suggested to me. This casual remark really affected me.