Friday, November 14, 2008

the dark at the end of the tunnel

editor's note: the following post is an excerpt from day 4 of the horrorshow diaries, the first volume of which is expected to be published this sunday.

this morning i decided that today would be a good day on set. i stated this to kristin the script supervisor, who promptly disagreed with me, citing all that we had to cover. i mentioned my good day intention to shantell the wardrobe girl and she responded in kind. i think the difference was that shantell had glitter on her face. finding my cell phone in my gear bag was a great was to get this good day off to a start.
at lunch i was sitting on the back of the camera truck (which is not a real camera truck, but an empty cube truck that reads "portland times" on the back) when shantell came to by, perhaps to see the footage that everyone else was watching inside. i invited her to go in and see for herself, but she politely declined. i assured her that it was ok, and she again deferred. her reasoning was that "the only girls who hang out in the camera truck are either drunk or [of questionable repute]." this left me speechless for a moment, until she asked about the confused expression. i explained that it had often bothered me that no girls ever came to visit me when i was a loader on the truck, but, on the rare occasion when i would be on set outside of the camera department, there were often one or several girls hanging around the camera truck, leaving me to wonder what was un-inviting about myself. she assured me that her statement was based on experienced observation, and i realized that maybe my character kept me from knowing about my own world. so i stayed seated on the tailgate and she stood beside as we cloud-gazed under a full moon (my favorite was, "a monster with no head, holding an umbrella") and discussed halloween costumes.
inside the mine, i watched my breath turn to steam in my headlight. the air was full of dust particles as it was, and i wondered if the much-more particled exhaled breath was simply water droplets, or if my lungs were really that full of dust.
as we were making the long stretch of cavern toward the exit this evening, i ended up walking with the grips and electricians, good guys and fun friends. tromping down a tunnel in a mountain, dirty and carrying gear, our path lit only by the lamps on our heads, i felt like a good old-fashioned proletariat. and there was something really fun in being able to enjoy that working class joviality. the night air was cool and fresh, the moonlight was strong, and the sky was clear and sparkled.
there's no cell phone reception in ophir; not until you leave the canyon does it come. after not having my phone for a day and a half, i was looking forward to a barrage of text messages from all of my friends; quips of daily observations, questions about how work is. as i turned on to the main road, the buzzing static interrupted my ipod and my phone ding tallied the incoming text messages one at a time.
and i figured one of them was a voice mail.  whatever.

i tried to pay attention to my david sedaris audio book, although i must have been more tired than i realized, because i couldn't coherently follow the essay. and, pretty soon, my phone was dinging again. then it started for a third time. evidently i was so popular that, like santa claus, i had more text messages than could be delivered before i left the pocket of reception.
my car was low on gas this morning, and i was becoming a little nervous that i wouldn't make it to the station before i ran out. but that was partially because i'd given myself certain restrictions. i noticed last night that, at the city limits of lehi, there was a gas station with $1.99 gas. i think i was a sophomore in college the last time gas was below $2.00. as i was watching my needle drop closer and closer to the red line this morning, i passed a station in cedar fort, but the were still ridiculously high at $2.39/gallon. so tonight i risked running dry in the middle of a desert for the chance to stand a pump that read "$1.99." i made it, and filled my car up with premium for $2.19. i looked at my phone: 15 text messages, 2 picture messages, and a voice mail from my sister. it was, indeed, a good day.

1 comment:

kwistin said...

i liked this little account of your day.

and my goodness, i'm glad that my unread text wasn't sitting lonely in your phone with no friends. indeed, there were 14 others to keep it company. :)