Brown Bunny Memoir


I was lonely, bored, depressed. It was 2003, a Saturday night. It was raining — or maybe I just think it was, like a false memory of it raining, convenient droplets forming a cinematic veil in front of me, like aestheticized atoms forming a friendlier universe, which is what lonely people tend to do, try to make beauty out of sadness. Without the memory of people, one settles for nature. Without nature, one settles for the mind. It doesn’t work.

I had heard, from the listless and lanky whom propagate this city, or from some NPR person with an ultra polite and calm voice, I really can’t remember, about this Brown Bunny movie and its very “special ending” in which Vincent Gallo receives fellatio from Chloë Sevigny, like actually in real life. There had been films in the past with controversial ostensibly actual sex, like Wild Orchid or The Lover, but the actors/directors had argued — in a gleeful way of course — that the prick yielding gentlemen, as a mark of true acting, were actually flaccid at the time. One squinted through their bushes on pause, but could not tell.

But this Brown Bunny scene, as I had seen, was not comprised of allusions or illusion. One clearly saw Gallo’s veiny erection rhythmically disappear inside Sevigny’s bobbing cheek, the latter displaying the former’s contour as its host closed his eyes into the smooth universe. This will not be about film vs. porn, or if the film was “good,” or the conceptual provocations of the film’s somewhat passive-aggressive nothingness. This will not be about aesthetics or beauty (besides my imaginary rain, I won’t let that go). This won’t be about drug addicts with long oily hair who probably play guitar. This won’t be about blond girls with agile jaws and serious issues. But this might be about the young woman sitting in the ticket booth who handed me an “admit one” ticket, red I recall, like the capillaries in her eyes.

Her eyes looked at me with sad disgust, and I was aware that she was aware that I was aware etc. etc. that I — a lonely neurotic creep who had arrived 35 minutes early and had passed said booth 5 or 6 times — was patronizing her proud independent employer simply to see “the scene,” with the same impulsive and unsophisticated inclination of an adolescent in the face of his first stolen Penthouse; and it was true, in a way, that sans rainy night. I got on the bus, the intellectual-douche move of a fat Pynchon on my lap, and looked at beautiful faces going to or coming from apartments whose orange lit windows I could see, just to get out of my own orange lit apartment. Each orange light is a falling shape, a Tetris game you always lose. And I thought this, perhaps, that night, or I’m just thinking it now. It was Saturday night. I wanted to see a cock in a mouth.

I meekly swallowed, bowed my head, and accepted my “admit one,” admitting to her eyes, with mine, in one final honest moment, that I loved not the small ripped red piece of paper her thin pale hand was offering me, but rather, simply, her thin pale lovely hand.

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