The Cat and the Tree

Fall of 2005

I think about description and how I’m not very good at it, how I can’t do it.  I think about how Robin Williams tells Ethan Hawke that he can do better than just say “scary man.” Ethan Hawke gets up to the front of class and after some prodding from Williams he has a creative breakthrough and eventually says “sweaty toothed madman.” I wonder if that’s really any better than “very very scary man” cuz I can think of a very scary looking man when I hear “very very scary man.” I get distracted when I think “sweaty-toothed madman.”  I just get way too into the tooth when I think about it. Saliva on the tooth. Any moisture on the tooth is saliva, not sweat, am I right?  If it is sweat, who’s to know it’s not saliva?  I don’t understand. Not even close to being scared at this point.

I can’t describe. I’m on the phone with Amy and I explain that I don’t really need to describe a tree.  I argue that everyone knows what trees look like from TV and movies.  Writers don’t need to waste their time with that stuff anymore.  She wants me to describe a tree anyway.

“AaronChan, I want you to write about a tree.”  Away from the phone, she yells at Augustus, her roommate’s cat.

“AUGUSTUS!” She doesn’t want Augustus in her room.

I tell her that’s cute. She tells me I’m wrong- she wasn’t trying to be cute.  I say that it’s cute even if she’s not trying to be. I explain that I’m often funny when I’m not trying to be. I tell her about the time I watched Empire of the Sun with Tyson and Quinn. (convey how long it was and how they maybe didn’t want to watch it.) They know I love the movie Empire of the Sun. I give them this confused look, this pathetic look that says “Please stop making jokes at me.” And they laugh.  I explain to her that I’m not doing anything to be funny when I make those confused faces. To the subject, there’s nothing special about being funny if you’re not trying. At this point I’m trying to figure out what the hell I’m doing. I’m basically explaining to Amy that I’m often made fun of by Tyson and Quinn. I’m not making any sense. I don’t think she cares much…she’s not really saying anything.  She tells me again she wants me to describe a tree.  I tell her I’ll describe a tree on myspace tomorrow.

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