Over the weekend, we hosted a small family birthday party. We had chosen the movie Edmond for the post-dinner entertainment, confident that none of our guests had seen it, since no one has, except for us and some disgruntled reviewers.
As we watched the movie, I began to regret choosing it. Maybe the guests weren’t in the mood to watch someone kicking the shit out of a pimp while screaming “Nigger! Coon!” or stabbing a waitress with such gusto that the squishing sounds are even worse that the images. I felt guilty for imposing such an ordeal on six innocent (or at least, fairly innocent) people. The movie is a bleak and punishing exploration of White Male Rage, but my husband and I find it hilarious.
My nephew and his girlfriend watched with wide grins on their faces, so that was a relief. I’m not too sure about the others. At least I found a reviewer who regards Edmond as a black comedy. See it at your own risk.
After the movie, we continued to eat and drink. The conversation turned to music festivals and LSD. I recalled a guy I knew who took some acid at a rock festival and never returned to his normal self. His blue eyes remained bugged out with paranoia and who knows what.
Now my nephew took issue with my description of tripping as a psychotic state. He argued about the meaning of psychotic. He denied that the patterns you see on LSD are hallucinations. The argument became increasingly energetic. Others joined in to try to define the word hallucination. My husband got our nephew to agree that if you saw a talking cow, it would be a hallucination. Unless there really was a talking cow in the room, then no.
The nephew’s adorable girlfriend gave an improvised performance of an acid-induced anxiety attack brought on by needing to pee. Her body language was perfect. It reminded me how grateful I am to not be tripping.
Now we started to argue about using the word ‘read’ as a noun. I find it unbearable. Don’t ask “Is it a good read?” when you mean “Is it a good book?” or “Is it a good essay?” Our nephew strenuously defended this usage, just to be annoying, but complained about using ‘gift’ as a verb. Voices were raised and dictionaries consulted. The word ‘curator’ turned out to mean something so broad that if you buy into the Merriam-Webster definition, you can rightly call yourself a curator of anything you’re in charge of, like nail polish or goldfish. Fuck that. I need the OED definition, or something else that I can agree with.
The guests stayed until around 2 a.m., but I couldn’t help feeling that somehow I had failed miserably as a hostess. But maybe tormenting people is preferable to boring them? I don’t know. However, that’s been my assumption and operating procedure for as long as I can remember, and I’m too old to change.