Forgive me, my memory is rough.
A false promise of cinnamon buns evaporates as soon as the door to his apartment opens to a cloud of vape. He drops his suitcase next to Tomi’s food dish on the floor. Coat and shoes removed all within the small square of a placemat. Welcome Home. A Pure Leaf Unsweetened Iced Tea is taken from the fridge. Cap is removed and tossed into a pile of garbage gathering in the apartment’s barren corner. He moves to the living room.
None of his three roommates bothered to notice Andrew had returned until he plumped down on the couch. These three roommates were Ted Conway, Dave Harrison, and Sebastian Voss. Three-fifths of their band, The West-North Tomahawk Gang. There was an ongoing joke that when only Conway-Harrison-Voss were playing that they identified by the moniker, The Three-Fifth’s Compromise. Given that this was a group of white upper-middle class adolescent males, this ongoing joke was decidedly kept within the group’s members. They were a messy bunch with each never having been able to hold down a job for very long, yet somehow rent was always accounted for. It was a decent enough group to come home to.
Ted, the lead guitarist and the one currently vaping, was absorbed in Dave’s second run-through of Silent Hill 3. He held the silver tip to his mouth and pressed down the button. A billowing cloud left Ted’s mouth and dispersed outward, sheathing the room in an opaque fog. There was something unnervingly sexual and compulsive about the way Ted ceaselessly returned to the tip before exhaling completely. If the taste was lacking, why not go out and buy cinnamon buns to eat. They were far too deep into Ted’s residency for a complaint to be filed.
“Ay, Andrew, failed to notice you there. How was work?”
Ted and Andrew were old college buddies, having a friendship established on a mutual love for all things cinema. Andrew could still recall long nights huddled in front of their 24” Samsung, surrounded by empty cans of Red Bull, watching everything from Wes Anderson to Stanley Kubrick to Woody Allen to Werner Herzog to Martin Scorcese to David Lynch to Steven Spielberg to Ingmar Bergman to Charlie Kaufman to Quentin Tarantino to Paul Thomas Anderson to Francis Ford Coppola to Sophia Coppola to Roman Polanski to Coen Brothers to David Cronenberg to Alfred Hitchcock to Terrence Malick to Sam Raimi to Akira Kurosawa to Brian DePalma to Spike Lee to Sergio Leone to Darren Aronofsky to Alejandro Iñárritu to Denis Villenueve to Alexander Payne to Alejandro Jodorowsky to Fritz Lang to Robert Altman to Richard Linklater… This was during the height of the Binge Era of consumer entertainment. When there was a multitude of different streaming services to be taken into consideration. When one had to spend time investigating whether Hulu or Netflix had more films unseen. Though, they had a subscription to every service available; a respect for the art left torrenting completely out of the question, well that and the fact that wealthy parents can make anything possible.
“It was okay, a few leads came up dry, but tomorrow I expect things will change.” Ted was a Hunter S Thompson type.
Their old friendship had consisted of going to Barnes and Noble and just marveling at their Criterion Collection. They name-dropped and quizzed each other about anything from what Phillip K. Dick novel did Linklater originally sought to adapt to the ways the Fargo television series deviated from the Coen Brothers ethos constructed over the past several decades. Of course excluding Intolerable Cruelty, Burn After Reading, and Hail Caesar!, which they considered lazy and subpar for such masters of cinema. Andrew often argued that perhaps Burn After Reading was poorly received because it was released on the heels of No Country For Old Men and Ted often argued that Hail Caesar! was amazing if you ate an edible at just the right time before viewing. So that Channing Tatum’s dancehall scene coincides with the effects setting in. Andrew, himself, was not into the whole altered thinking method to watching movies. He actually rarely indulged and could be seen as the beginning of a rift in a friendship that was so incredibly dependent on one another. Almost five years later they still hung out nonetheless.