Since Sundance ended over two weeks ago, I have been holed up at my mother’s house, taking advantage of free food and laundry and the fact that absolutely no external distractions is suggestive of getting more work done. This ended up only partly being true, as you should never underestimate the power of satellite television when one has been denied that luxury – or even basic cable, for that matter – for well over a year… I have seen every episode of Ellen, The View, Oprah and Tyra Banks aired in the past 14 days.
The no external distractions part is mostly due to the fact that my mother lives in Trenton, Ontario, Canada… a gloomy, working class town of 18,000 that I, for 18 skin-thickening years, called home. So while the rest of the indieWIRE editorial team was living it up at Berlinale ’09, I’ve been writing roundups from my childhood bed and making big social splashes at the local Wal-Mart and Blockbuster Video.
For the most part, I don’t even like leaving the comforts of my mom’s house for those basic necessities (at one point I didn’t go outside for five straight days). You usually run into an average of 17 people you knew from high school or some crappy job you had whenever you leave the house (or just have awkward run ins with scary, hick strangers… teenage boys here all have this “I’m gonna get drunk and fuck you up” look about them). Hibernation mode usually puts me in a really bad position to run into people from the past. You (or at least I), always want to make a good impression in these instances, but for the past two weeks I’ve worn a rotation of two hoodies and the same jeans every single day, haven’t shaved, and have rarely showered. I also get so used to complete solitude save for my mom, aunts and mailman, I lose any social abilities.
So when my mom and I went to the mall in the town next door and ran into my fourth grade teacher, it was really awkward. My mom answered the teacher’s questions about what I’ve been up to for the past 15 years for me with that slight, motherly exaggeration I assume is universal (“he just got his master’s degree, works for this company in New York, and is going to LA next week to cover the Oscars!”). I just made a noise at one point that was supposed to mean hello. The teacher looked at me, totally unshaven and unshowered, wearing a stained hoodie and smelling like god knows what, and probably assumed this was my mother’s ill-considered cover-up story for the fact that I had taken up heroin, gotten Hep C, gone insane, and had been forced by law to move back in with my mother.
Anyway, the fun’s over now. I’m clean-shaven and shower-fresh and ready to return to a more urban homelessness (for those counting, I’ve now been without an apartment for six months, one week and four days and now am certain that this is the optimal route for any recent college graduate facing the recession’d workforce). And after you spend two weeks at Sundance, facing 24/7 socializing, networking, moviegoing, partying, working, etc…, I highly recommend shutting yourself off from the world for an equal amount of time. I feel totally cleansed and adventurous now, and after 40 combined hours of Oprah, Ellen, The View and Tyra, I’m also returning to life with many tips on how to please my man, save on my grocery bill, and get that natural look from my coverup.