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TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER

an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
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09.09.12


Last night the din of the crowd downstairs seeped through the floorboards as I sipped hot chocolate and watched A Single Man. Clothes tell as much as dialogue. A white angora jumper is apt for Nicholas Hoult's turn as an angelic mescaline-smoking university student. As Colin Firth's character contemplates suicide, life offers erotic possibility. Later, Harper is on. Paul Newman stars as a gumshoe negotiating the seedy underworld of Southern California. The film veers from the easy-going to the baleful in a flash, and I don't like it, despite Newman's charm and the Californian scenery. Not only is the ending shoddy, the film stinks of the time's stark racial politics. In one scene, Mexicans appear as mute, shadowy figures in the twilight of a cult's inner sanctum, "illegal immigrants" imported as cheap labor by a mafioso with a chubby former starlet girlfriend. A Single Man, also set in 1960s Southern California, is funny in that way too, as the sole non-white figure in the movie is a gorgeous Mexican male prostitute that Firth's character chats up in the parking lot of a liquor store.

Now I sit here, trying to organize the events of the last week. A new roommate, a wedding party in a castle, an electric picnic on a blue moon, my 35th birthday, a meeting with a supervisor for my dissertation, the imminent departure of Nina and Simon and little Tadhg. Stories give our lives meaning, but I don't know which details are more important to me. They are all useful, full of possibility, offering new angles to see the world, the people around me, myself.




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