Jøhnny Fävòrítê (johnnyfavorite) wrote,
Jøhnny Fävòrítê
johnnyfavorite

a certain kind of face

halloween, must have been around 1986 or so. i was living with my girlfriend, and she had this friend that we spent the evening with. mostly at the friend's boyfriend's house, kind of big but old and worn. the house probably cost next to nothing, because it was in wichita. you'd be hard-pressed to find cheaper real estate anywhere in the country.

the boyfriend had a full-sized gorf arcade machine. you lj-youngsters probably won't remember gorf. it was programmed by jay fenton. he had a sex change and became jamie fenton. i liked gorf, so i played a few games. not very many, though. i was kind of surprised at myself. as a teenager, i was a fanatic about video games, but by this time i was in my twenties, and i guess my ardor was lessening. i was expecting my reaction to be "holy cow, this guy's got a video game in his house," but instead it was "eh."

close to midnight, my girlfriend's friends took us and several other people to an abandoned house. it wasn't out in the middle of nowhere, it was on an ordinary street in an ordinary neighborhood. there must have been some strange circumstances though, because it was a huge mess. the walls had gigantic, gaping holes. trash and household implements and broken furniture scattered everywhere. some of the floorboards were missing.

the place was filled with cheesy pulp paperbacks from the sixties and seventies. there was one room that was almost knee-deep in rotting, water-damaged paperbacks. it was dark, i couldn't see, but i rummaged through the paperbacks looking for one that wasn't a total wreck, and took it with me. i bet i've still got it, in a box somewhere. i started to read it once, but it was just too cheesy.

going to this "spooky" house on halloween was supposed to be just a stunt, but i was genuinely creeped out. i tried to imagine what had happened there. whatever it was, it definitely wasn't good. i've thought about it a lot over the years, and i was sorry it was too dark for me to get a good read of the place. i guess i'm not the only person who sees something in urban decay.

there's an early scene in the grifters. annette bening has been evading her landlord, and we're led to suspect it's because she doesn't have the rent. he finally catches her at home, and they have a tense conversation about it. she dismisses his concerns, tells him to wait right there, and she'll go get the money. some time passes, she calls him to her bedroom. he opens the door, she's lying on her bed naked. the landlord deflates a little. "no. definitely not, not again," he says. "i've got the money, it's right there," annette says. "it's on the table. all of it. count it, if you want. go ahead. take it. what are you waiting for?"

cut to the next scene, and the inevitable is happening. we see annette's face, the rest of her body obscured by the portly landlord, humping away at her. she laughs to herself, then she looks a little distracted and distant, then laughing again. did she "win," because she conned her way out of the rent again? or did she "lose," because, well, look at the way she's living.

yeah, i tend to make a lot of decisions that end up like that.
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