Behind the Curtain


shutterstock_339516182Why are you here?

By J’Mel Davidson

In a tribute to the Thin White Duke (something that my close friends understand is the opposite of what I dig, haha!) this entry into the annals of history may ask more questions than it answers. But that’s OK! We’re all friends here!

I was recently hanging out with one of the two people who occasionally check in to make sure I’m still alive when the mood struck me to flirt with our very attractive waitress. Somehow, the fact that I’d attended a fancy art school came up and she exclaimed, “So, why are you here?!”

She wasn’t surprised that I’d wandered into a restaurant with pictures of the food on the menu; she desperately wanted to know why a smooth, handsome, chocolate artist was living here in the “magic” city.

Lord, the answer is long and complicated. Much like the Tale of Forrest Gump: full of tacky coincidence, regretful sex, and people with severe learning disabilities. So the short answer? I’m blocked.

You may not know this, but when I’m done blessing you guys monthly with tales of the pop culture underworld, I write screenplays. Recently a friend asked me to write a horror picture for him, which I’m oh-so-happy to do, but I think too hard. I know how I’m going to kill all the horny teens, but I’m overthinking the reason why they’d be there to get killed in the first place.

Now, for decades, I’ve been a film fan and a fan of film writing and the one thing that holds true is that the general public doesn’t want anything new. They may say they do, but when you look at the weekend totals, there isn’t just a lack of diversity at the Oscars—there’s a lack of anything new, exciting, or different.

While I slave away trying to come up with a clever and poetic way to deliver my fictional victims to evil, all the successful people are building houses of lies from their profits of mediocrity.

And yet, I don’t learn! I’m blocked, trying to figure out a way to do things my way but also in a way that will please others but not come off as lazy.

Too clever for my own good.

And you chase your tail and chase your tale and before you know it…you’re 40 and hitting on the gorgeous 23-year-old server while trying to make paying with a coupon seem cool. In Birmingham. On a Thursday.

Of course, there are people who say stuff like, “If you don’t get it, you don’t want it bad enough,” which is the empty spurious type of logic that leads to college lacrosse teams all going to prison.

Working for something day in and day out is no guarantee. After all, we’re only promised the pursuit of happiness, not the actual happiness. All the race, none of the finish line. So, why am I here?

I don’t know. No one knows. We all just pick a goal and head towards it at varying speeds. If you’re lucky, you can feel successful—and even better, loved—before the sweet, sweet embrace of death. That’s why I’m here. To try and make as few stupid memories as possible, try to occasionally wake up smiling, get them to bring back Chocolate Soldier (because it’s better than Yoo-hoo!), and figure out a way to kill (fictional) teenagers in a way that pleases both me and the public.

I’m doing the Lord’s work, people: running in a circle until I die!

Be good to each other.

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