New York: Day 15

Last night was stay-at-home-alone night (Jyoti had her Suicide Prevention Walk, which actually walked by us, near the cathedral, a half-block away; along the way she made a new friend, from Long Island); tonight was movie night, and the movie was called Schopenhauer. It’s a recent, short (65 minutes), Italian film of the artsy variety … something I liked.

Who knows whether it will ever get distribution in this country, or even a DVD release. Two students seek out a reclusive famous author. He won’t see them the first or the second days, but on the third he will, so they stay around in the spare bedroom. The author’s assistants play ping pong and make fresh food for lunch/dinner. There is bread and soup. Roast beef one day. The visitors play ping pong, too, eventually. The female visitor either seduces or is seduced by one of the live-in assistants; her male traveling companion “comes out” in a sense to the other live-in assistant by admitting — and this is the first time — that he doesn’t want to go home, that he’s been taking hormone pills for weeks, and that he wants to have a sex change. That is, there is some rearranging going on: the two who visit and the two who live there interact, pairing up in a way. There is a brief visit by the “third” live-in who no longer lives there, but stops by and complains about life “out there.” Eventually the male lead gets to see the writer, but it’s a terrifying experience for him and he flees. Both his life and that of the girl go downhill. His crisis is of identity; hers is of purpose or future, and in both cases their visit to the author undoes them. And in that regard it is a sad, sad story, as one of the audience members pointed out, but it’s a liberating sadness, for had this not happened their lives would have remained well-structured, but fundamentally unhappy and un-free.

Afterward we stopped by a nearby diner, Deluxe, which is down the street from Tom’s Restaurant. The food was good, and the service was great. Enthusiastic. Doting almost. I guess that’s one way to go for the big tip … others would argue that it’s overkill and causes one to tip less. I don’t have an opinion on it at the moment.

A Dresden Codak comic

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