Sunday, September 12, 2004

intensity in ten cities

From time to time I've obsessed about particular things. Often this has been a particular band, or song, or restaurant, or writer. Of course it's sometimes been a specific book, a smell, a pair of jeans or, indeed, a certain laydee.

Several years ago I was juggling a few obsessions. One was a twin obsession. No, not an obession with twins (although, frankly, anything is possible - ADULT CONTENT) but two obsessions that sort of ran alongside side each other. One was with Jami Gertz largely driven by her performances in Less Than Zero and The Lost Boys. The other obsession was with a girl who worked in the next department to me who looked quite a bit like Jami Gertz... except a nicer because I could try to catch her eye as she sashayed to the vending machine and then wait to lust after her on her return trip to her desk.

One evening when I was working late I went so far as to pop a cassingle of Sense by the Lightning Seeds in an anonymous looking envelope on her desk. Then before I left for home I removed it. To be fair, I was spoken for at the time and so was she. Morality got the best of me. I haven't worked there for many years but in my mind's eye she still looks like Jami Gertz on the back of a motorbike in Lost Boys, hair streaming behind her. The real Jami Gertz though put on quite a bit of weight and now plays frumps or frustrated gangster wives and it's just not the same any more.

Thinking about it, more obsessions were interwining around this time in my life. The song Sense, as already mentioned by The Lightning Seeds, but also by the wonderful Terry Hall. Less Than Zero's writers, Elvis Costello and Bret Easton Ellis. Oh, and vampires. Er... joking about vampires (although, frankly, anything is possible - ADULT CONTENT). Anyway. I'll leave Mr McManus alone for now, but Bret was a really cool writer at the time, along with the likes of Jay McInerney. I eagerly devoured their novels and assumed that everyone in America was rich and fucked up on cocaine.

A different writer, who I picked up on via a friend at the time was Nicholson Baker, who's caricature adorns this blog entry. His style is, to my mind, unique as it focuses in microscopic detail on an individual's life, or particular event. In effect I became obsessed with an obsessive. The Mezzanine was my first exposure to his mesmering style (footnotes ahoy!). Followed not long after by Vox and The Fermata, which combined this microscopic focus on absolute detail with, let's face it, smut. Since then he's published essays, chidren's stories and recently A Box of Matches, which follows a man's thoughts throughout the life of an ordinary box of matches. I have yet to read his latest, Checkpoint, but it's on its way.