Saturday, August 29, 2009

It’s just a movie

Ok, we’ll go see the film, but I think it’ll make me cry, so we should pack some tissues.  Remind me, ok?  You know what, I don’t want to go, it’s too far and I’ll have to get dressed since they’ll be people there…pizza, we should have pizza tonight, since Monday is fried chicken night.  Umm, yeah, the pizza’ll take at least 20 minutes and since we’re taking the subway, we have to leave soon, so…I guess it’s pizza!  Yeah, pizza!!! Ok, just kidding you warm something up in the microwave and I’ll go get dressed.  Fuck, fuck, fuck!!!! Ok, calm down we’re really going so…fuck I gotta look indian, what do I have to look indian?  Damn…Ok, there’s these cheesy dream catcher earrings my mom just sent me (snicker) what self respecting indian wears copper etched silver earrings?  I guess they’re cool in a futuristic indian  of the 21st century way, oh, I could wear the shell earrings the kids from camp made me with the shells?  I wish I had more turquoise.  I’m gonna wear a scarf, because I may get cold, that works since I don’t have any necklaces except the two bone chokers and that would be too much.  Oh, there’s this one, the tan/bone looking beads that look normal but could pass for indian.

 

 

So Vic, tell me about documentaries? You went to film school right? I mean what's the point when you follow your subjects around for a day, then cut that down to grueling hour and a half. I rather not name names, but the title rhymes with "the SCHM-exiles". The program said it was released in 1961 and nothing much came of it's director afterwards, and it was filmed in the mid 50s when he, the director, was still a student. Not that I am a cinefile by any stretch of the imagination, and I can't or don't, wax poetic about a film..."oooh it was beautifully shot...the chemistry between the actors was unbelievable..." I am sure that I should have seen some cinematic greatness in the film, but to me it's just like a really bad home movie.

While watching it I am reminded of the weekend drives to the rez, when I would visit my boyfriend. I couldn't call him to tell him I was coming, because they didn't have a phone. So then I would worry sometimes when the cab dropped me off and drove away, what if no one was home? I'd have to then hope the store was still open, so I could call for a ride back to town. My walk through the snow, on the worn path between the houses was long and cold. I'm not sure why I never got dropped off in front of the house, maybe it was because I didn't want to pay extra or that I didn't want the cab driver to know where I was going, because then my dad might find out, then I'd be grounded again for another month. He didn't grow up on the rez, neither did I, but I did have contact with it and he didn't really like that. Looking back, the secret trips made me sad. My boyfriend was the middle child, 17, and he and his brothers pretty much fended for themselves. His parents worked out of town, and for all the times I'd been there I'd never met them. Their uncle, who was strung out most of the time, was supposed to keep an eye on them, but he usually brought the people over to party. It was sad, there was rarely food in the house, the fridge didn't have food, but a few beer, I always had to bundle up, because the heat was rarely on.

intro to pooley

hey Vic, you went to film school right?  tell me the point of the documentary, b/c dude I don’t get I mean if it’s supposed to bore you for two hours by telling you what the fuck these people have done for the past 12 hours, then it sure as fuck did that for me.

yeah yeah yeah old man, I hear you.  Just go get him what he wants, I’m cool.

 

Hey Victor!  Wanch’a set me up again? yeah yeah the usual, A SHOT OF WHISKEY AND A BEER. I come in here ever’y day how can you forget that?   So like I was telling you about the casino money, ummm, the check didn’t come in this week, so I’ma gonna have to put this one on my tab ok?  yeah i know I owe you some money… I know, I know this is my last drink.  ok enough victor, I’ll drink real slow, watch.  thanks man.  hey little one, what movie did you see?  was it into the west? where they show all them indians coming across or was it dreamcatcher or weaver, where they had all mystical and spiritual shit and why is it when they make a movie they have to make it in 5 parts, seriously they’re only telling the one story, the same god damn story every time.  these white people they don’t get it little one, like dream catcher or keeper or whatever the fuck that one was supposed to be.  they’re sharing our stories but but you think the white man saw anything in that?  I don’t think so…so anyway little one, tell me this movie you saw.

um well its a documentary based here in L.A. in the 50s some film student hung out with these indians for a night and he filmed them, and I didn’t grow up on the rez, but I went to school with them it was just and it was just I mean if thats what they wanted to show, they didn’t have to waste 2 hours of my life showing all we do is drink beer and figure out who we’re going to mooch off next, those were the indians I knew and the fights and hey lets throw in some traditional dancing and drumming I think  for the time 1950-something, yeah it was good, but really it was just sad and pathetic.  it was just another day on the reservation i think, that’s what you do.  I guess it’s kinda nice to see no matter where you go, that’s your life you know you don’t change, you don’t assimilate.  you know, i just, I wanted to know…more about the people, what it did make me think of was the presenters and what they talked about before hand, and it’s not just this particular movie, but I think it’s people in general they always make this assumption of what this movie is supposed to be, ok my first problem, dude, they’re indians they’re not native americans that term was not even in use at the time of the movie in the mid 50s.  people should know that at this period in american history we as a people where being forced into submission, treaties that had given us some dignity were now being taken away from us because it was good land, everyone being p.c. i’m just fn indian.

Really little one, what tribe are ya? 

Oh I’m ojibwe

oh nishnab

yeah I guess

what’sa matter little one?

look, i don’t…you know …ok here’s my problem, I don’t …I just…i hate being indian today, I hate having to prove myself everytime I turn around…

well why’dja gotta prove yourself?

b/c!!!! because I have to prove myself to all these other friken people who want to be indian. i want to understand why they want to be indian. there’s no glory to it, you know, theirs' no..no..we don’t get a parade on columbus day, oh our great festival is thanksgiving because the indians whatever that mythic story is…it’s a joke to be indian i don’t get it.

so ahhh, so why do you want to be indian then?  why do you walk around with your all your silver and junk, bone chocker, it’s a nice one btw

ok look, i want…i just want ppl to know i’m indian, i don’t want ppl to think i’m mexican, i’m not fn mexican.  and you’re mexican you’re not indian, native american, you have your own country. fine! fine you’re indian from down there why do you want a piece of this shit.  i don’t  get anything, I get a motherfucking headache if anything oh i get to have a pow wow yeah!, i get to have frybread, you know ok dont get me wrong i love frybread, i know…i get to cry everytime I watch an indian movie b/c of it’s simplification and you know people don’t know even we exist!  you know maybe that’s it, that’s why i have to walk around and be indian, to show people we exist and we’re still around.  I EXIST.  I don’t live on the tiny little patch of land, this glorious spread of land that the government has so kindly given to me, in my huge mansion that i can buy with my casino money, i don’t, i don’t live that life, i don’t talk the talk.

why don’t you learn little one?

b/c i don’t. you know i really really want to know more, but I wnat to know more for the right reasons, i want to know more b/c i want to know, not b/c i have some point to prove that I’m indian, so i can out indian the wannabees, you know, dude ,there is a tiny little indian in my head.  you know most people have an angel and a devil on either shoulder, well I have a little white person, and no, we’ll just call him neutral, if neutrals a colour and on my other shoulder is my litle indian.  she’s all dressed up, she lookes like a little cupie doll of an indian, her little braids ,her tiny buckskin dress with fringe, the single feahter at the side of her head the long braids just brushing her shoulders…that’s the little indian in my head that talks to me.  i’m not sure if you had to equate the indian to, the angel or the devil, i’m not sure which one she would be

really little one, you wanna be indian?  hey victor, set her up with my usual.. see that shot there in front of you?  drink it. then come back tomorrow and drink another, and the day after that another, you know what, welcome to my being indian, oh then maybe later we’ll go to the doctor, so he can me what a fat ass I am and how i oughta be eatin better, and that if i don’t get my weight down, i’m sure to get diabetes like everybody else in my family.  i’m the last one who doesn’t y’a know.  my older sister had to have her leg amputated cuz she had diabetes you wanna know what it is to be indian little one?  come home with me to the reservation when I visit people when i visit my family, come home with me and drive down the unpaved roads that have pot holes that will swallow your car whole, when we get outta the car, the dogs run up to you looking for love, who do they belong to? who knows? and they just run around free.  we’ll bring some groceries to my mother who’s still there we’ll bring her some milk and vegetables, we’ll pay her bills so that’s what my being indian is little one

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

10 min. writing prompt – Headache

Wanda scrunched her head into the pillow, her arms wrapping around.  “Just make the pain stop, I hate being sthick” she muttered through a stuffy nose.  It was the middle of summer and Wanda wanted to be outside with her friends, but grandma wouldn’t let her out of the house.  The only thing that made the day pleasant was being able to get cozy on the couch, a big no-no usually, but here she was fluffy comforted piled onto of her tiny frame, Wiggles her faithful pig tucked under her arm and the t.v. remote in her hand.  A tiny t.v. tray sit next to her, covered in a variety of drink concoctions her grandmother had tried to make her drink in an attempt to make her feel better.  But every time she brought the glass close to her lips for a swig, she was magically able to smell the putrid mix, she shouldn’t guessed it smelled like that considering it’s green, chunky appearance in the glass.  Cartoons played in the background as she read her latest issue of Archie & the Gang that her mother had picked up for her at the grocery store.  But right now she just wanted the throbbing to stop.  She wanted to get up and go look in the mirror, because she was sure she would see her brain pulsing, since that’s what it felt like.