I have to get off this crappy movie kick. After work and the wake, I wanted some mindless entertainment, and I stumbled across One Hour Photo on cable.
It's not a horrible film. It's shot with incredible precision; the sets are all astounding to look at, especially since they're all supposed to be normal places. The store in which Robin Williams works is shot as such a sterile, soulless environment, it's creepy all on its own.
The same can't be said of the plot. You get what's going on from frame one, and the buildup (such as it is) doesn't amount to much of anything. There's a vaguely unnerving incident at the end, but the movie really pulls its punches.
Robin Williams tries way too hard and thus telegraphs every intention.
So far I've seen three films this week, and didn't like a single one of them. I started watching The Glass House with Leelee Sobieski, but it appeared crappy in its own right, so I gave Mom the remote control and she watched a repeat of JAG while I surfed the web.
Maybe tomorrow night Laurie and I can go to the actual cinema and see a really good film. Or not. I still sort of want to see Mindhunters.
I thought about Jayce's wake through most of the day, and then ended the day with the wake itself.
I went to the wake, and Jayce's family seemed to be holding up as well as they could. His father looked the worst; I can't imagine what he is going through right now. His brother and sister both told me that the wake helped them get through today. I know what they're talking about. For some reason, the formality of a wake or a service or whatever your tradition may be puts your mind in a different place. Even though nobody would fault you for losing composure whatsoever, the fact that you talk with everyone associated with the one who's gone puts the focus back on his life, rather than his death.
Jayce's mother, who I'd never met before, was extremely gracious. She told me how much Jayce looked up to Chris. She used the term "father figure," and I can totally see that. When my Dad died, Chris sort of took over the role of "dad" to the rest of us.
Sean and Heather and Chris and Susan all came early and stayed later than I did. I think Chris showed up at the beginning of the wake and he stayed until the end.
I think Chris and Sean are taking it very hard, but they don't show it too much. Both my brothers hold back their emotions for the most part, at least in public. Jayce was someone I knew through the both of them, but I didn't see him all the time like they did (Chris was his boss, and Sean played hockey with him). They're going to feel his absence much more than I will.
After I came home, Mom talked about how hard this must be for Jayce's mother. He lived with her, and she will now be living all by herself, under the awful circumstances that led to that arrangement. Listening to Mom made me realize how thankful I am that I didn't go through with my own suicidal thoughts, because of what it'd do to my whole family.
It's so morbid and awful. I'm not going to the funeral tomorrow; I'd feel like an intruder. I hope the ceremony of that can give Jayce's family some element of closure. I don't mean that they'll be any less sad or will foget Jayce, but I think it ushers in a new period of mourning, where you need to keep living your life, and ajusting to a life without that person in it.
If there was anything I could do to help them through this, I would. But families get through these moments as they can, so all I can do is wish them some peace right now.
It's odd that during such a sad day, I wrote a very funny script. It's another ten-minute piece, and I wouldn't call this one a "play" as much as a "skit." That's fine; a lot of 10-minute plays I've seen are basically skits, and if they work well, it's a great thing.
I'm not sharing this one because I'm getting more protective of my work lately. I may have it read at the playreading group to see about reactions, but I think it's tight enough to submit without too much tinkering. It's a riff on the thought of the "gay agenda," and would have made an excellent piece to perform with Naked Brunch back in the day.
I'm only noting it here because I found it good to write something as pure comedy, without any subtext or deep characterization. It's not a twee "Patrick play" and it's not dark, like the full-length and the one-act I've been writing.
I used to be very good at comedy, and I think I can get back to it if I want to. It was a joy to think about nothing except what would get a laugh. With a longer piece, I'd definitely create a real story arc and interesting characters who just happen to find themselves in funny circumstances, but still, pure comedy is a real joy to write.
I might not say that if I try to write a full-length comedy, because 10 minutes of funny is easy to sustain; 90 minutes of it needs a lot more work.
Right now, I think I just lost my funny card by writing about comedy so dryly.
The weekend is supposed to be nice, weather-wise, which means a lot of yardwork. I don't know if we'll open the pool this weekend, but the backyard grass is so high it looks like Skottie was lying down while he was standing in it, so I'm going to have to wrestle with the mower. It's not so good with tall grass or wet grass and no matter how dry the day is, the grass will be sort of wet. Maybe I'll bring out a pair of scissors and cut it by hand; it might be faster.
I didn't run today; I used the elliptical trainer at the gym and was going to run tonight, but my knees are feeling a little bit tight right now (more stretching and a better pair of shoes are essential), so I'll do the double-circle around the lake tomorrow morning.
As for the rest of the weekend, I have no idea what I'll end up doing. It's the first weekend in months I've had with no plans at all, so I think I'll concentrate on figuring out some fun and/or productive things to do.
I'll start by ending this entry. Damn, but I'm dull tonight.