I have a fear of becoming crazy. Actually, sometimes I already think that I'm crazy. ...and I mean, truly, mentally crazy. But then I watch movies, like "The Aviator," and I think that maybe I'm not really crazy afterall. That's what I did one night this week. I was on what someone referred to as a 'work vacation.' This trip led me to a city where I could pretty conveniently hang out with my sisters after work, I mean, vacation. We settled in at Dub's apartment, ate carne asada fries, and watched "The Aviator."
"The Aviator" is a painful movie for me to watch. The depiction of Howard Hughes in the movie is enough to make me leave screaming from the room, and that's not just because Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the movie. If I were to put this movie on a shelf in a video store, it would go in the scary movie/thrillers section, pretty close to the Alien movies. When he repeats sentences over and over again, I am pained by it. The scene when he is scrubbing his hands and draws blood: painful. When his friend eats off of his plate: painful. When he is living, quarantined in his own filth (especially when he is nude): painful. The row of milk bottles filled with his tinkle: painful.
It was during the post-movie discussion when my sister Dub reminded me of an experience from our recent trip in Boston. We were there with another friend, RJ. It was a dark and stormy night. We had gone out to look for an appealing place to dine and had gotten sidetracked by a Barnes & Noble store. We were hungry. There was an interesting restaurant nearby. During our short trek across the street, the wind had become mischievous. It was the type of wind that you can see coming your way due to the pattern of the rain. We braced ourselves for the onslaught, but somehow, the lens in RJ's glasses came out. We were pretty close to our lodging, so he told us to go into the restaurant, and he would go up to the rooms and fix his spectacles.
When RJ came back into the restaurant, he informed us that Howard Hughes was in a room next to us (he didn't actually say Howard Hughes, but I referred to him that way for the sake of this blog). Apparently, there was a very ... unkempt-looking male (we will call him Ralph for the rest of the story) who was pouring a bottle of yellowish-looking, urine-scented liquid out of the window. Reflecting upon the experience, it would make sense to rid oneself of their stash of pee during a rainstorm because perhaps it would be washed away by the downpouring rain. I had not made this connection between Howard Hughes and Ralph until after my most recent viewing of "The Aviator" when Dub reminded me of this experience. I probably should have made the connection at the time because I watched "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" on that trip, which is also a Leonardo DiCaprio movie.
Actually, Ralph couldn't have been as hermitic as the depiction of Howard Hughes in the movie. I saw Ralph. At least, we think it was Ralph. RJ wasn't in the hall at the time to confirm it, but "Ralph" opened his door when I was walking down the hall, checked in both directions, looked at me, and closed the door. Also, in reality, we didn't actually confirm the source of the mysterious liquid that was poured out of the bottle. It could have been something else. We were drinking Guarana, and that's a suspicious-looking beverage. Or maybe Ralph's toilet wasn't working. They were, afterall, doing some remodeling in the hotel, and the power had been off for a few hours. Maybe the plumbing in his room didn't work. I am making excuses because I don't want to think that such a person exists that would have a need to empty their bottled number one substance out of a window on a rainy day. And so, I am forced to wonder at Ralph's action and just pray that it is not a frequent occurrence, and if it is, hope that nobody was walking on the sidewalk below.