Part of a Conversation on Martin Scorsese’s The Departed — SPOILER ALERT

The movie won four Academy Awards. It’s dark, but it’s funny in the right places. It’s vulgar, violent and bitter. It’s not for viewers who like blatantly happy endings. Or even subtly happy endings. If you like rats, though, this is for you.

The following is an online chat about the movie. It has been edited for clarity. Skip the rest of this post to avoid spoilers.

person 1: you watch de-potted?
person 2: yiss
person 1: whatchoo fink?
person 2: he shooted him!
  they all shooted!
person 1: he shooted weo in da heed!
  did mawk wahboag and awick bodween meek you waff?
person 2: yiss
person 1: they funny–but they say the f wodes and the c wodes a lot
person 2: wots of bad wodes!
I don’t know why these people chat in baby talk. They seem pretty darn cute, though. And insufferably awesome.

Because the World Never Ceases to Amaze Me. Because You’re In It.

And I’m too lazy to write anything. But, I’m feeling sappy and nostalgic, so here’s a chat. Or a few. I’m just grateful some of you out there can take advantage of my waking hours. It’s nice feeling helpful. And in touch with the outside world. Just know that I love talking with you guys.

Also, sorry about all the brackets and vaguenesses.

ONE
Friend
: lol

  oh, here’s something else to get outraged about
  so you’ve heard about the verizon strike
 me: ok
 Friend: the company makes a profit of 108 billion a year.
they currently have a health plan that gives free care to their retirees, and their current employees get health care but have to pay copays.
they are on strike because the company wants each employee to contribute $20k a year for the health plan.
  this will save the company $1 billion. So they can make $109 billion a year instead.
  their top 5 executives make something like $525 million.
how freaking ridiculous is that?
 me: holy what
  okay, i like capitalism for all its good qualities
  but this
  THIS
  THIS
why??!!!??
Friend: i know.
  i’m thinking vancouver might be a good place to move to.
  i’ve heard it’s pretty.
 me: me, too
  maybe i’ll see what’s there in terms of grad schools
Friend: you can scope it out for us. cuz this country is too stoopid to survive. i read something today that half the reason the economy sucks so badly is that the majority of people don’t have money to spend, so they don’t. the few who do have money (the top 5%) have too much money to know what to do with.
  so no jobs, etc.
  fun, right?
well, now that i’ve gotten you all outraged, time for me to run. talk to ya later!
 me: jerk
  thanks a lot
  😉
***
TWO
me: hi
Bro-friend: Heya. You’re up late
 me: i am
  you’re up as usual
Bro-friend: Indeed.
me: i can’t sleep
  but i have to
 Bro-friend: Did you drink Mt Dew again?
me: a little
  🙂
  but i’ve had problems before that
 Bro-friend: Hmm.
 me: it’ll be fine
  i’ll get to sleep soon
Bro-friend: I’m going to exploit it first.
  Question:
me: yes
Bro-friend: From what you’ve read of the writing project, what do you think the impact would be, either good or bad, of inserting a section [here].
In this hypothetical section, the reader is privy to a long conversation with very little scene-setting [here].
me: do you want that kind of a shift?
 Bro-friend: Well, it’s coming one way or the other, question is does it belong there or after.
me: you’re building toward something. will the section continue that build or interrupt it in a way that may or may not work
  the description sounds incredibly intriguing
maybe keep [here] continuous
  OR break them up
  the effects of either would be very interesting
Bro-friend: I think they need to stay continuous but going from [here] has always seemed a bit quit to me.
  There’s an implied passage of time but for the reader its immediate.
  So advantage to moving up the mom talk is providing a time lapse.
 me: right
Bro-friend: Disadvantage is breaking up flow.
 me: but if it’s sans setting …
  right
Bro-friend: You were pretty exhausted by it though. This would at least provide a section where [something happens].
me: will readers see the conversation as part of the chronology?
  or an aside?
Bro-friend: I think it would fit the chronology. [And here’s why.]
 me: then picks back up with the next chapter?
[this] would definitely add a different perspective
 Bro-friend: This section ends with [this].
I guess you’d need to read it to provide a detailed opinion. I’m trying to keep a big picture view of where it belongs.
 me: that’s fine
 so with the new section we have a better understanding of [this]
i worry slightly about a gentle unrolling into the conclusion
 Bro-friend: Makes sense.
 me: but, like you say, i’ll have to read it
  it’s an interesting take
 Bro-friend: Here’s the thing –
 me: and i’m curious
 ok
Bro-friend: I’ve approached the project overall as two halves. First half is what you’ve read… [this]. Part two is supposed to be [that].
  This section [accomplishes this].
In reality this process was not A to B, but a gradual process taking place all through the events described in part one.
 me: ok, i understand
  i see your intent
  it can be very effective
Bro-friend: I think of part one as one long crescendo and you’re right that it would be disruptive to interrupt that.
 My idea for starting off part two though feels a little disjointed.
 This section is one element. There are [ . . . ] others. [Like these.]
And it all seems like a bit much to just through together.
  But I may be overthinking it
 me: well, it only makes sense that chaos builds proportionally [here]
  it may seem like a lot, but realistically, even in a narrative context, it sort of has to be
 imo
 Bro-friend: It’s a question of [this]
me: how much magic do you want to do?
Bro-friend: How do you mean?
me: well, i don’t know.
Bro-friend: I want the experience for the reader to be immersive and genuine, while also maintaing reasonable fidelity to actual events. I can fudge some of the chronology or find other ways to work around those problems if it makes the read more smooth for the reader.
  I ask a lot from the reader in keeping track of stuff already so it’s not so much a stretch
 me: i understand
 you pretty much answered your own question about how much magic you’d be willing to do
 Bro-friend: Just wanted to see if that’s what you meant. I get where you’re coming from. I’m not resolved on it one way or the other yet, but it’s good to talk it out. Thanks.
 me: glad you’re back to thinking about it some more
Bro-friend: It comes and goes.
 me: 🙂
***
THREE

me: Friendy, i’m talking about marching band memories with someone

  can i recount the time [this happened]?
 Friendy: of course!
  when did [this happen]?
 me: i always think [it] did
  10th grade. azalea festival
 Friendy: hmm
  I don’t remember [it]
  I did get mad at Mr. Rood
 and it was my 15th birthday
  and Myron Hall squashed a toad in his marching shoes
  but I don’t remember [that]
 me: okay
  good thing i didn’t tell it, then
 Friendy: that guy who played trombone threw up before we went on the field
 me: oh yes, that
 you have different memories than i
 Friendy: that’s because we were on different sides of the field!
  weren’t we?
  I was by Mike what’s-his-name
 now I have Trooper Salute in my head
 me: excellent
Friendy: yeah, that was last year
  they were all over the news 🙂
  the channel 4 news, that is
 me: it’s impressive
 Friendy: i don’t really think they’re all that good….
 me: oh?
 Friendy: but hey, they won
  they’re okay
 me: standards have gone down?
 Friendy: oh yeah
 me: that’s just too bad
 Friendy: well, they’re not terrible
 me: so, we were better, then
 Friendy: way, way better
  they’re adequate
 me: SWEET
 Friendy: but nothing special 🙂
  we were pretty special
 me: indeed
 sigh. the memories

Some More Things About Safety

dr. friend:  so i don’t think i’m particularly cool with this whole not being able to chat with you

me:  yeah, no kidding
i’m a jerk
 dr. friend:  you should really work on that
 me:  hell no
it’s your problem
 dr. friend:  lol
 me:  😉
 dr. friend:  i mean, no texting or anything
 me:  i know, right?
 dr. friend:  sheesh
[top secret stuff]
 dr. friend:  ahhhh
so when do you return?
 me:  [shh]
 dr. friend:  okay.
 me:  don’t worry, it’s before your birthday
 dr. friend:  brb…i gotta tell the dept of homeland sec “something”
;-)lol
 me:  haha
i’m going to bring a longform birth certificate from senegal
it was never kenya
 dr. friend:  hahaha
  me:  i bought some dramamine and pepto
 dr. friend:  imodium?
 me:  no
 dr. friend:  buy some
 me:  yeah?
 dr. friend:  if you get the traveler’s diarrhea, imodium plus the azithromycin
 me:  i like doctor friends
 dr. friend:  seriously.
lol
and you know not to brush your teeth with the water too, right?
 me:  yeah. keeping the mineral water by the sink
using that for washing hands before contact lens insertion, too
 dr. friend:  good
and i don’t know that i’d do much wading in streams barefoot
 me:  you can look at all my parasites when i come back
 dr. friend:  hahahahah
[a friend] showed me a pic of a dude’s parasites once.  dude had brought them to the office
 me:  what
 dr. friend:  yeah
people bring weird crap in
like their bedbugs in a jar
 me:  why?
 dr. friend:  so i can see them
mucus too.  it’s an awesome job
 me:  you love it!
 dr. friend:  lol
most of the time
 dr. friend:  hey, good news
the worm i was concerned about, the guinea worm has been eradicated from senegal
 me:  did they put it back in guinea?
 dr. friend:  lol
 me:  i’m glad i don’t have to worry about that
 dr. friend:  yeah
me too
it’s pretty gross
 me:  would you be okay signing for a crate with a monkey in it?
it would be for your birthday
 dr. friend:  oh sure
 me:  what color?
 dr. friend:  it would need to be trained as a butler first
we’ve always wanted a monkey butler, you know
any color, as long as it’s trained.  i’m no racist.
 me:  do you like cufflinks for the monkey tux?
 dr. friend:  it would be nice, not necessary though
i’d be happy to dress the monkey
 me:  okay, that works
 dr. friend:  so do you have to wear a head scarf or anything?
 me:  no, but i do think we have to dress special for when we visit a mosque
 dr. friend:  probably long skirt/covered arms/head
 me:  yes
i should pack those :)
 dr. friend:  lol
 me:  do you like mangoes?
 dr. friend:  omg yeah
you should send me a bunch
 me:  i’m afraid the monkey will be easier
 dr. friend:  lol
you could um, smuggle them in your clothing?  ;-)
 me:  i could risk growing a cup size or four
 dr. friend:  hee
 me:  [la la la]
 dr. friend:  [confirm la la la]
[husband] says you’re going to get lots of marriage proposals
 me:  SWEET
 dr. friend:  in senegal.  they seem to enjoy foreign women
 me:  yeah, i KNOW not here
 dr. friend:  lol, not what i meant
 me:  (i know 🙂 )
 dr. friend:  lol
of course, with the whole muslim thing, you might be looking at quite a different life for yourself
 me:  maybe i can find one who practices animalism
 dr. friend:  there ya go
 me:  or one of the 4% of the catholic population
 dr. friend:  see, now you’re thinking
 me:  haha
 dr. friend:  so you leave [cuckoo!]
 me:  true
 me:  did you turn down your invitation [to the royal wedding]?
 dr. friend:  yeah…decided on iceland instead
 me:  priorities
 dr. friend:  yup
 me:  do you play portal?
 dr. friend:  no
 me:  okay, just wondering
 dr. friend:  what is it?
oh crap, have i gotten old?
 me:  it’s a video/computer game
 dr. friend:  oh
 dr. friend:  so old
 me:  i hear ya
 dr. friend:  woops
 me:  ha. huh?
 dr. friend:  i accidentally got off this page
 me:  ah. okay
i’m so flattered that you’re going to miss me
 dr. friend:  totally
 me:  will you say hi to björk when you go to iceland?
 dr. friend:  lol of course
i’ll send you one of her outfits
 me:  i would LOVE that
i’d wear it every day until the eggs hatch
 dr. friend:  unless you’d prefer that fermented shark’s head thing
lol
 me:  haha. eww
are you going to try to buy iceland?
 dr. friend:  not right now.  we need a fence.
 me:  HAHAHA
priorities
 dr. friend:  yup
i heard a rumor that you designed kate’s dress
 me:  if it’s a cross between modest and yip-yip monster, then yes
 dr. friend:  that’s wild.  so you’re going to senegal to avoid the press, right
 me:  yes. and to find a royal husband of my own
 dr. friend:  okay, i’m lame so i’m off to bed
 me:  good night lamey
 dr. friend:  have a good night!  [dum dee dum dee dum]
me: thanks so much
 dr. friend:  get some imodium
 me:  yes’m
 dr. friend:  gnight!

I Took A 5-hour Nap Yesterday

friend: how is my friend May?
me
: i’m sleeping a lot
friend
: hmmm
why is that?
me
: i guess i’d rather sleep sometimes than be awake
life is easier
friend
: ugh
I’ve been there
but I hate that that’s where you are right now
me
: i get up for work and class
just not much more than that
friend
: oh no
I really hate to hear that
anything in particular weighing on you, or is it just life in general feeling like a slog?
me
: just general
friend
: yeah, I hate to hear that
I mean, I understand
I wish I could help….but you know things will turn around and look brighter soon
me
: yeah
thanks
friend
: I know that’s not encouraging
me
: i don’t really expect it. you’re fine, really

I think I’m still okay. I can have fun chats with friends, and I can be social sometimes.

My dreams are crazy, though.  I told someone I dreamt that Prince died, and I spent much of last week consciously believing he was dead. And I have bizarre French dreams.

I wonder if this semester ending will help at all. There are still a few weeks left.

The sunshine should help. I hope it does.

But for now, it’s bedtime.

Relationships

This past weekend, I spent more time on the phone than I have in a very long time. I can’t describe everything here, but it was eye-opening, and I’m grateful for all that I learned.

The following chat is with a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while. I’m blessed to have her around.

My mind is drawing a big blank. I didn’t really sleep last night, and I won’t get any real sleep until Saturday night. I can’t muster the energy to form a complete thought right now. I guess … life is hard in so many ways. It comes at us from so many directions. I hope all my friends out there find what they’re looking for. You’ll see I don’t give awesome advice, but it’s nice just to be there for them.

friend: May, I lost my voice (writing) and I’m finding it, but the way it’s coming through is in the corporate bs kind of writing and it’s stunted and stifled and choked.

So…
10:08 PM   I thought of you, and all that writing you started doing in NYC, and the blog, and the classes and how you’ve been like a dog with a bone
Never letting up. And I admire that.
me: friend, that’s really kind
friend: So I realized, I have to write for myself if I want anyone to appreciate/value my gift.
I can’t wait for organizations to affirm what i
10:09 PM ‘m doing and then get all bent out of shape when they want something else.
Instead of sitting there crying and wondering if I even have a gift at all.
10:10 PM And my mind kept returning to you..and your determination and your persistence iwth it.
10:11 PM I want that, but fear I don’t have it. Or that I’m too afraid to really try. I keep myself in a no-win situation, that way I can always blame so many other factors and secretly think “they just don’t know a great writing voice when they read it”
I thought I had somethign to offer, but tonight I realize, [company] doesn’t want it.
10:12 PM it hurts. But it’s good to know. and like I said. There’s a choice before me. The truth is there to seize or not.
Thanks for being patient with me. Encouraging my gifts, seeing them, etc.
me: you know i’m there for you. whatever you need
10:13 PM keep up the patience with yourself
friend: Thanks May. That’s amazing to me right now. But true, if you say so.
Does any of this resonate with you having “watched” me for years?
10:15 PM me: yes, it comes and goes for me
phases and such
i went through a time last semester when i was wondering constantly if i’ve forgotten how to write
friend: I guess what I’m asking is does it seem that I have gifts I don’t know how to let out, or seem to squander
?
10:16 PM me: i think it’s important to find appropriate outlets for your gifts
which can be hard to do
putting feelers out there
and risking rejection
10:17 PM knowing how those gifts manifest is quite the process as well
you just have to keep writing
letting people read your stuff. getting feedback
10:18 PM get with other creatives who are actively engaging in a community
find out where they’re submitting
get some positive comments, ride on that momentum
10:19 PM you have talent
but we can’t feed our own fires all the time
we do need people
and writing is about reaching out to an audience and touching them somehow
i know you’ve heard all this before
10:20 PM but if it’s what you want, it’s worth repeating
friend: I so need to hear it all again. thanks.
10:21 PM I feel like deep down I have a voice, a fire, a spark at least but it’s so hard to believe sometimes when all you get is non-affirmation.
But I guess tonight I realized I’m looking in the wrong place for it.
[omitted stuff]
10:24 PM me: well, now i’m nurturing the talent in an academic setting
expanding horizons, testing ability
friend: does that feel liberating and affirming?
10:25 PM me: it does. but that’s inherent of a university setting
friend: true true.
10:26 PM Anyway, I just wanted to share what’s hot off the press. And that I feel like I’m made for something different, but can’t actualize.
10:27 PM And yet, I’ve seen you consistently pursue, pursue, pursue!
me: keep creating
just know [company] isn’t permanent
friend: I’m proud of you for that (and slightly jealous that I didn’t join you in the journey)
10:28 PM Right. true.
me: you’ve had an impressive journey yourself
friend: oh geez, these last couple have been a bit rough.
10:29 PM but, are they spicy for all the dicy? yes. have they held lessons, yes.
expensive lessons. tonight feels like an expensive lesson. I feel like I’m finally squaring with something I didn’t know I was trying not to square with.
10:30 PM I feel like I’m finally back where I was when I first started writing and yet I’m like 20 yrs older.
10:31 PM me: that shouldn’t matter
you’ve hit a wall professionally, but you’ve got a second wind creatively
that’s great
friend: true. I believe that in theory, but it feels behind to walk out.
10:32 PM I mean I feel behind in the walking out of the concept.
10:33 PM Thanks for the encouragement. i should prolly go to bed. it’s way past my bedtime.
me: chin up
friend: What time is it there? 10:30?
me: yep
10:34 PM friend: yes’m
Thank May-may.
me: anytime
i’m glad you’re you
friend: I look forward to phoning, seriously.
me: take your time

Day Four

Yeah, four full days. With texting, I’ve found not too much of a difference. I’ve always texted more than received texts, but that’s because I’m pretty nosy and annoying. I understand that screening texts is far less guilt-inducing than screening calls. For me, it’s also considerably less offensive, just because the frequency of my texting can reach ultra-obnoxious levels. I’m very aware of this. Also, people have lives of their own and usually can’t be bothered. Besides, I don’t text more than a handful of people on a regular basis. If the news is urgent or important enough, an actual phone call will occur. Just last week I rang a couple of friends to tell them about the flash fiction contest. It was cool.

About a month and a half ago, I mass-texted a bunch of people I haven’t spoken to in a while, something like: “Hey, just checking in. Hope you’re well.” One of those people ended up calling me, and we talked and laughed for half an hour and arranged to meet for dinner later in the month.

Not chatting is a little more difficult, but it’s getting easier.  Before, I would click on a person’s name just to say hi, even though I have nothing to talk about. The brief contact is fun. The instant gratification has spoiled me.

Same thing goes, here: I’ll just send an email. If I’m not near a computer, I’ll call and leave a message.

If the person is busy, the email can sit. The phone call can wait.

If the person doesn’t use email, I’ll call. Or I’ll write an actual letter with paper and pen.

I’m reverse-plowing into the 20th Century: linear time can suck it.

I’ll ride out the rest of the week. Then I might consider cutting back with texting. Having entire conversations via my thumbs sounds more absurd every day. People don’t really need my texting as much as I’ve needed to text. But then again, this need is progressively decreasing.

Three weeks would change the habit. Hmm. If I can do one week, I can do two; if I can do two, I can do three. We’ll see.

I may resume chatting completely, however. I’ve dispensed/received advice and discussed papers/stories/etc. pretty effectively this way. Still, it’s nothing an email or phone call couldn’t achieve.

Am I alienating myself by doing this? No more so than usual.

Blurby Sparks of Inspiration

Hmm. What if I asked you to read the following and write a 100 word response to either/both of them? Then what if I asked for you to share with me? Who’d do it? You can also comment to tell me how chicken you are. I’m not picky. 🙂

1. GChat today:

me: the weather is gross here
like provo has ascended higher into the clouds

8:30 AM Alicia: or the clouds have laid their heavy bodies on the ground for a long rest
8:31 AM me: or like provo is its own puff of smoke
Alicia: ha
so many ways to take that one

2. My homework assignment contemplating jacket:

chalky white
long, rough sleeves
fitted tight
wrapped around
not a second too late
straps hold close
my jacket is straight