Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mark Ruffalo Day

Molestation on the corners of Gotham City (Joey Kulkin photos 7/15/14)

GOTHAM CITY -- I can try to explain it or just appreciate it for whatever it is. A few hours ago on the E train uptown to 53rd I noticed one of the upcoming movie placards, and now I don't remember the name of the movie but I do remember that it is written by the guy who wrote Once, which means I'll watch his new one, and that Mark Ruffalo is one of the stars.

Stared at Ruffalo on the placard and thought, again, We do kind of look alike.

Soon as that little moment of schmaltz passed, my phone buzzed with a warning: flash flooding in Gotham for the next 3 hours. Reached 53rd and climbed and climbed. Step after step after step. Been in subway spots all over this city and never climbed so many stairwells to reach street level. Felt like a million steps if it wasn't a hundred. 


Or maybe it was just a humidity-induced hallucination. Gotham was sticky. My brain fried.

Exited thru the turnstile only to see a few dozen people standing on the steps on the final stairwell and looking up at the rain. Hard and heavy. Biblical. Didn't have an umbrella but trudged upward and onward from 53rd and 6th to 52nd between 2nd and 3rd -- a substantial walk -- in straight downpour. Liberating isn't the right word but feels like it. Cleansing maybe? My own personal Baptism. I wasn't the only one. Many others walked without umbrellas. Who's afraid of a little water? What's the worst that can happen? You get wet.

I don't know, but for someone who rarely vacations because that would feel like I'm being unfaithful to my job, total perversity, ambling 12 blocks in a deluge made this 72-hour excursion from Bennington worth the experience. Before the walking shower I spent 3 hours photographing the West Village, awash from the sweat of oppressive heat.

Get up to the room, undress and wring out my clothes, and happen upon a movie with Woody Harrelson and and Michael Caine and Jessie Eisenberg and Morgan Freeman and Mélanie Laurent (few things sexier than a French woman speaking English) and ... Mark Ruffalo. Come on now. Haven't watched a movie in a year, maybe even two, and now I'm knee-deep into one that stars a guy I was just staring at on the train? That's funny, right? A little?

Wanna know what's funnier? The movie that followed, playing as I type these words, also features Mark Ruffalo, with Julia Roberts, and it's a whole other kind of romp delving into the "gay cancer" that would become AIDS. There is zero fucking around in this flick. Intense. I'd definitely pay to see it at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

Not exactly "vacation" material but just as gripping as Ruffalo's romp through the magic eye.

Off to eat "vacation" dinner by myself, again, which is better than dining with someone who looks like she'd rather be anywhere else in the world and gloomily stares out the window, resigned, and far from the edge of wetness.