Wednesday, May 7, 2014

ANOTHER SCENE 3 - The Collector 1

The Collector 1
Another Scene 3
By William Noetling

            “When you do a Quentin Tarantino movie marathon, do you start with Pulp Fiction or do you start with Reservoir Dogs?” 

“How is that even a question bro?  You go chronologically.  You always start with Reservoir Dogs.  What’s wrong with you Stevie?”  Kevin gave him a friendly punch in the arm.  Not hard enough to make Stevie drop the take-out bags he was carrying. 

“You say ‘chronologically’, you mean as in order released, but in the overall “TarantinoVerse” doesn’t Pulp take place before Dogs?”  The two continued their walk.

“Well, shit if you were going by that, you’d have to watch Django Unchained first now.  Doesn’t make sense to me.  You always start with Dogs.” 

“Where do you put in True Romance and do you throw in Crimson Tide?”  Stevie was a completist, someone who had to own or have seen everything from something. If Stevie liked something he had to have all of it.  He collected a lot of stuff that he displayed in his studio apartment in Koreatown, though he often told people that what was on display was a mere tip of the proverbial iceberg; that he had an offsite storage unit that held thousands of dollars worth of collectibles.  It wasn’t an exaggeration.

“Now you’re just being weird.  You put True Romance in after Pulp Fiction, and then you go with his segment from Four Rooms.  If you can stomach the entire movie then go for it, but you don’t have to.  From there you go straight into Jackie Brown, Kill Bill and Death-Proof.  If you can still keep going you do the two histories.”  Kevin was a pragmatist.  Deep down he knew that no one could possibly watch that many movies in a row without doing heavy damage to their psyche.  The over-the-top gore in Kill Bill alone usually made him squeamish. 

“Come to think of it, you know what I’d do?  I’d do all his main-verse films on one day, and then True Romance, From Dusk ‘til Dawn, and like throw in the piece from Four Rooms and Death-Proof.  Heck if I could find a good copy I’d even watch My Best Friend’s Birthday. 

“What’s that?”

“Oh that’s QT’s first short movie.  The final reel burned, but you can watch the first half hour or so.  It’s on YouTube.”

“Have you seen it?”

“Nah, not yet.  I keep meaning to get around to it.”

“What movie was that where he’s in the kitchen talking about how Top Gun is nothing but a homosexual fantasy?”

Sleep With Me.  One of the many films starring the king of Indies, Eric Stolz.”  That was the good thing about Stevie; his knowledge of film and actors was encyclopedic.  He was the IMDB before the IMDB existed.  “One of two movies that the King and Queen of 90’s Indies appeared in together.”

“The Queen of Indies?  Who’s that?”

“Parker Posey of course.  Where were you in the 90’s?”

“Getting laid.”

“So funny.” Stevie didn’t really have much of a sense of humor when it came to his lack of a sex life, and was pretty upset by that last comment.  They remained quiet until they reached their destination, Stevie’s apartment building. 

“Hey I thought of a great movie marathon, see if you can figure out the theme:  Blow Up, The Conversation and Blow Out.”  This was Kevin’s way of apologizing to Stevie.  Kevin only started a conversation about film if he’d previously insulted Stevie in some manner.  Since Stevie had a pretty thin skin regarding his various foibles, Kevin had become pretty adept at making amends via talking about his friend’s favorite subjects. 

“C’mon in, that’s pretty lame you know.” He opened the front door of the building with his key and they entered the shabby lobby.  “Lemme check my mail, I’m waiting for some packages.”  He disappeared into the alcove where the mail boxes were kept and came back holding two small and one medium sized brown boxes; one obviously from Amazon, it’s smile upside-down.

“What’d you get?” Kevin inquired sheepishly as they made their way to the elevator.

“The big one ought to be the Buffy Blu-ray set, and these other two are cards I think.”  He hit the button for the second floor.  The elevator smelled like insect spray and body odor, fortunately both men were well aware of the lingering scent and had prepared by covering their noses with their hands, a ritual that was repeated by many other residents in the building, often.

“Geeze man, don’t you already have Buffy?”  They walked over to Stevie’s apartment door and as he put the key in, he said:

“Well, yeah, I had the DVD, this is the Blu-Ray.  Besides it was really cheap.  I can sell the DVD set and recoup what I spent on this one believe it or not.”

“Jesus, look at this place.” Kevin said as he entered.  “You’re spending way too much money on this crap.  I mean, have some restraint.  I KNOW you’ve seen 40-Year-Old Virgin; we sat here and watched it.  Dude, that movie wasn’t a primer, it was a cautionary tale, and you my friend, need some caution.”

“What?”  He’d acquired a few new collectibles since Kevin had been over last, and maybe had added a few new art pieces on the wall.  He didn’t see the issue.

“I thought you were done with comics?  You said to me, ‘I can download every comic I want to read, I don’t need to be buying anymore.’  Didn’t you?”

“Well, yeah.  That’s true.  And I am, how do you think I’m able to buy all this other stuff?  Well, I’m SELLING my comics on eBay.  I take that dough and buy other stuff.  See it’s all cool.  I got this under control.

“I’m worried about you man.  You’re going to end up like that dude down the hall, the one who OD’ed and fell into the coma.  Remember when they pulled him outta there?  All that Robotech shit he had?  That’s you in a few years.”

“Dude, I’m way better than that dude.  I go out of the house.  I work.  I make enough money, what’s your problem?”

“I just, man, I wanna see you happy man, that’s all.”

“Whattya mean?  I am happy.  I don’t care about women right now man.  I’m fine.  I gots my stuff, my movies, and my freedom.”

“Seriously man?”


“Yeah, I’m fine all-right.  Siddown and eat your dinner.  Sheesh.”  He handed Kevin his take-out bag.

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