Hello, America

It’s wind. It blows all over the place.

I wore a blue blazer today. I got a raise. And a bonus. I had lunch across from the Sony lot, got a colleague onto the “War of the Worlds” set (Speilberg! Cruise!), made a deal for a major Hollywood A-lister to blog for MTV.com, and saw a screening of Nic Cage’s next coming-of-middle age film, “The Weather Man” on the Paramount lot.

Driving west on Melrose after the screening, listening to the perfect slow-motion KCRW soundtrack, I stopped into a liquor store for a six pack. In the parking lot behind the store, I paused with my hands at nine and three o’clock on the steering wheel, stared out the window a minute, and wondered just who I’ve become, and just where I’m headed.

I’m not sure whether it’s geography or chronology or current events, but for all today’s highlights, I still don’t feel like myself. In fact, I’m not even sure who myself is.

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in my rental car of late. It’s not impossible for a mile of car travel to take fifteen minutes here. So there’s been plenty of time for “Fresh Air” on NPR. Yesterday, Terry Gross interviewed “Housekeeping” author Marilynne Robinson. I loved “Housekeeping” in college. I remember the book’s distinctly feminine, slightly broken, almost ghost-like tone. It felt like home. Terry asked her if it was easier to imagine that she’s the character she writes, or herself. “It funny,” she said, “It’s seems easier to comprehend who other people are just by watching them do the things they do. But it’s pretty difficult to know yourself, to be yourself, even though you you’re in your own skin, and you can’t be anyone else.”

“The Weather Man” is a patient, little film, despite it’s Hollywood wattage (Michael Caine, Hope Davis, plus the kid from “How To Be A Boy”). In the film, Nic Cage doesn’t know who he is anymore. He spends a lot of time walking down snowy Chicago streets in slow motion. He looks forlorn, and sounds it in his voice over. He has a great soundtrack. And by the end of the film, he seems to have found some sort of clarity. The audience is left smiling, knowing full well that his tomorrow will be just a little brighter than his today.

But what about the day after tomorrow? My hunch is that he might stumble again. Then maybe figure it all out for a second more. Then fall again. ‘Cuz life is like that, minute to minute, day to day.

Like wind. There are prevailing patterns. But it’s impossible to predict where it’ll be from one second to the next. It just is.

So, heck, I dunno’. I’m 3600 miles from home, watching television alone in a strange hotel room. I’m crossing my fingers that I feel like I belong in my own skin tomorrow. But I don’t think I will, ‘cuz I don’t it works that way. I think there are times when we are becoming more than usual. There are times when the weather is less predictable than others. This is one of those times. I can feel it. And I can feel that it’s going to be ok tomorrow, and the day after, stumbles, falls, and all.

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