Frank City Film Club – Episode Eight

Brian Snuff – Wearing his sleeve on his heart

I was listening to old Boards of Canada albums and trying to sulk my way out of procrastination in order to phone that bloke. The vaguely important one, who said he’d take a look at the project. It’s really hard to sulk your way out of procrastinating. I’ve tried so many times.

I hate phoning people who I’ve spoken to, that won’t remember who I am. Sure there was all the glad-handing and gentlemanly enthusiasm, but the fact is, he’d had at least three beers. Knowing those types he’d probably done a line, which actually meant probably more like five beers and a whiskey chaser. That fills anyone with the kind of friendly enthusiasm which creates false hope in the hapless geek-trying-to-make-it generation.

I’m not cut out for networking. In any group project there is surely someone else in the group who would be better at this. But I’m pro-active. And they’re stoned. Short straw by default. The thing that pisses me off the most is (…)

My phone is ringing. Flashing up my ex-girlfriend’s name. This can only mean one thing, she wants to talk about boy-problems. Sure, she’s twenty seven, but they’re still ‘boy-problems’. We are boys until we prove ourselves men. Until we lose our commitment-phobia (like a hastily disposed of comfort blanket) and ‘get a real job’.

SNUFTY: Hey Marie.

MARIE/PHONE: Uh, hi. You okay to talk?

SNUFTY: Yep.

MARIE: You don’t sound sure.

SNUFTY: I’m alone, just listening to music. Go ahead, knock yourself out.

I’m always a little surprised by how passive/aggressive I can be with Marie. Like someone else is speaking for me. Her tone of voice isn’t complimenting Boards of Canada.

MARIE: Do you think I’m too honest? About my feelings?

Yes.

SNUFTY: Sometimes you could do with a little more subtlety.

MARIE: When?

When you completely destroy all the mystery of a new relationship in the first week by telling the other person where you see it going. Not is a crazy-broody-wanting-to-get-married way, but by saying, “I think we have five months tops. The chemistry is good, but I think I’ll get bored once the initial spark wears off.”

SNUFTY: You don’t have to draw a diagram of your feelings. It’s not an equation – you don’t have to show how you worked it out.

MARIE: Stop mixing science and maths metaphors.

SNUFTY: They crossover.

MARIE: Isn’t it best to be honest?

SNUFTY: When people ask you to, yes. But romance is whimsical and you’re clinical. Half the excitement is not knowing how the other person feels.

MARIE: If you’re so wise to it, how come you’re single?

SNUFTY: You asked my advice. Go phone someone in a healthy relationship if you think they’re opinion counts more.

There is a quiet pause, during which I enjoy the unsteadiness of You Could Feel the Sky.

MARIE: I don’t know anyone in a healthy relationship.

I imagine I’m spinning around in a field of electric grasses. I imagine I will be able to put off phoning that bloke forever.

MARIE: Brian…?

SNUFTY: Marie…?

MARIE: Can’t you be honest with me?

SNUFTY: I would rather not be having this conversation.

Marie hangs up the phone. I sit gazing at the wall for a bit.

(…) The thing that pisses me off the most is actually my inability to be the person that gives up. It has stopped feeling like the easy way out, I set the ball rolling and now I’m trapped inside it. Rolling. Rolling. Rolling.

Postscript: Where did my twenties go?

Cue 8mm flashback sequence of me trying to sulk myself out of procrastinating for a decade. Soundtrack intermittent laughter and electronic voices fading to music and then to static.

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