Movies interrupted

When I was out of high school, I clerked for a trader at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Not going to talk about him because I don’t feel like weeping uncontrollably today. Well, not going to talk about him at length. I met him when I was working at the video store. It was the mid-nineties, pre-DVD, and he’d watch the movies in his office on a TV/VCR combo. He’d watch a little in the morning, a little at lunch, maybe a little before he went home. Sometimes it would take him days to get through a movie. After I became a stock clerk, not working for him (but he got me the job), I sort of did the same thing. I mean, I tried to stay up through the whole movie but it wasn’t going to happen. Early mornings meant earlier nights. So I’d have to pick it up later. In college, I tried not to have to take any extended breaks in movies. I remember watching Angel Heart but stopping halfway to go see another movie with friends. I think I started it over when I came back to it. I wasn’t writing about film back then—I probably hadn’t even started thinking about writing about film (it never occurred to me to use the Internet for publishing movie responses, though I’ve always thought if I’d started out on Usenet back in the mid-nineties, I might’ve been able to sell The Stop Button). I just didn’t like the concentration interrupted. Of course, back then, I tried not to waste my time watching bad movies. Now, I sort of enjoy it. And, of course, there’s always Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which I had to stop every ten minutes or so to go outside into the sunshine and watch children happily playing so I had some sense of joy in the world, even if it wasn’t my own.

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