I was right. I knew this was going to be interesting, doing this little diary thing. It’s funny, though, how it begins to grow in different directions after even a single entry. Let me explain. I checked out the online version yesterday, but not in a lame, egotistical way—well, sort of like that but not completely—and was very interested to find a link to various responses to the piece. Apparently, people not only take time to read these things but to also jot down nice little comments, hateful remarks, and clever retorts. That kind of deal. It was fun to see how the general Internet audience reacted to the work and my various ramblings. I’ll enjoy keeping an eye on that along the way. There was even a thought in there from a reader about the scrap of monologue that I presented which said, in effect, “Hey mister, why don’t you quit being such a potty mouth and see what happens?” I think (in theory) that it’s a valid notion, but I fear that in this particular instance the dialogue will lose something if I do that. The character that I’m working on here—an idea for a film (shot in “real time”) concerning a pregnant woman who is rushing around a city, trying to get to her lover’s cell phone before he reads a sweet text message to her husband that she accidentally sent to him, sort of an American Rohmer with a ticking clock—is using the word “fuck” to shock her partner as much as anything, and to soften the word and/or the repetition of it might damage the whole. But it’s a sound idea that the reader presents and worth trying. I’ll give it a whirl later today.
This diary has also grown in another direction; I received an unexpected e-mail from a member of the critical community—a film critic who expressed interest in my diary entry and offered some additional dieting advice! What a great thing, to get this insight for free and from someone I respect, also saving me that trip I was threatening to Barnes & Noble. I don’t exactly feel slimmer yet, but I think I’ve got a good jump on things.
And now for the truth—which doesn’t come easy to me, so be thankful when you get it. I thought about starting in earnest yesterday, even went so far as to have an extremely high-protein breakfast at Hugo’s on Santa Monica Boulevard. Great food and a nice spot to sit and read the L.A. Weekly. A good start to the diet, I felt, but I quickly spiraled down from there. Like Icarus himself, I touched the sun and plummeted earthward—in other words, there were some interesting movies on TCM (Roberto Rossellini’s Stromboli and Fritz Lang’s Rancho Notorious), and I immediately opened a bag of Chee-tos and went to work. Now, I’m a bit of a black-and-white thinker—odd since I’m so drawn to characters who operate in the gray zone—but once I hit the carbs during those films, I figured it was open season.
A salad for lunch (sounds good but it was filled with chicken and rice and crispy crouton bits) and a nice helping of pizza from Jones on Santa Monica and Formosa for dinner. OK, let’s be honest, an entire pizza from Jones on Santa Monica and Formosa. I ate the whole damn thing. Plus, as many snacks as I could carry throughout the day and into the night. And that brings us right up to this morning, this minute.
I haven’t ruined it yet, haven’t taken a bite of anything. As mentioned, my natural tendency is that “all or nothing” way of thinking—see Ibsen’s Brand for further reading on the subject—eat nothing today to make up for lost time. Starve myself as a fresh start, and to teach myself a good lesson. But somehow I know my body won’t buy into that and will simply shift into “crisis” mode. So it goes. I’m stuck. If I’m going to do this dieting thing, I’ve simply got to buckle down and get on with it. As with most things in life, the doing is far more straightforward and simple than the thinking/agonizing over it. Does that mean I’m ready, that I’m going to shut up now and just go off and be a man about it? Hell no. It means I’m dying to drive over to McDonald’s and beat on the doors until they open. But I’m going to do my best not to. I’ll let you know tomorrow how I do.