78. Gun Crazy (1950)

Directed by Joseph H. Lewis
Written by MacKinlay Kantor and Millard Kaufman
Starring Peggy Cummins, John Dall, and Berry Kroeger

The ultimate heist starts with getting a day job. A shared gun fetish only escalates desperate love, as it does every situation. Oh fuck, it’s back: that overwhelming meta-desire for the big emotions of youth. While shelving books at work yesterday, I listened to “Want” by the Cure and got chills when Robert Smith sang:

I want the sky to fall in!
I want lightning and thunder!
I want fire instead of rain!
I want the world to make me wonder!

The list of unreasonable demands continued unabated. I slid a William Zorach exhibition catalog in between a half-dozen others on the shelf. I’m calling it: winter is over. Only two days have passed since Philly’s fourth nor’easter and the snow is almost all gone. So ends another season of listening to Disintegration on repeat, a cold, downtrodden album with still-surprising moments of sublime contentment — songs about the joy of simply being near someone, and then the weather turns, and the coming storm makes everything feel so finite and thus more significant. I remember when I was seventeen and spring had finally come. One day when school let out, I skipped to the parking lot while belting “Mint Car”: The sun is up / I’m so happy I could scream! My friends were used to this by now — exuberant outbursts occasionally breaking through my long depressive spells. The day was magical and everything I did felt magical: taking off my uniform tie, lighting that first afternoon cigarette, driving with the windows down (except for the driver’s side, which was jammed in place) to the used CD store downtown. I drank black coffee on the balcony of the cafe and watched college students flit by. Is this really interesting? Maybe telling the same stories over and over again is a kind of stagnation. Or maybe it’s just a way of settling into yourself. I’m sure I’ve written this exact blog post before. X says I’m more me than I’ve ever been, which I think is true, if only because I give fewer fucks about what other people think. But several fucks still remain, hoarded and ungiven. We all need to cling to something.