A stick figure throwaway gag

The end of the world is in fact coming

A stick figure throwaway gag

This piece appears in my book A Creature Wanting Form.

I was at the Oscars and I ducked out to a bar nearby that I assume that they still have somewhere around there. A dive bar but it’s clean and they have good beer and everyone there is nice to you but not too nice.

I wanted to check on the Celtics score and I noticed Kirsten Dunst was there too taking a breather from the ceremony and then next thing she and I were talking about Marcus Smart as Defensive Player of the Year.

She was born in New Jersey then grew up in Los Angeles but she thought that the Celtics were really cool she told me. She always thought guys from Boston were handsome.

I asked her if she remembered when she was in that one movie Melancholia and she laughed.

I figured I was killing it already and that this was basically my shot. I had just watched it last night.

What is Lars von Trier like I asked and she said he was a big Celtics fan too then Jaylen Brown darted to the hoop and scored and got the foul and the whole bar was going crazy. Right there in Los Angeles.

Watching that movie felt like plummeting in an airplane for three hours straight I said. I never want to do it again but I will never stop thinking about it.

I slept terribly the night before because I kept worrying about the film and I thought two things which were I need to write something immediately and I don’t think it’s probably worth writing anything ever again.

My good friends had had a baby earlier that day at the hospital down the street I told her. This was the first time I would lie to Kirsten Dunst.

I have two children with my husband Jesse Plemmons from Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad she said.

Yeah I know who he is I said saying it kind of shitty.

I went to high school with Taylor Kitsch who played Tim Riggins I told her and she said oh that’s wild where was that and I said in Canada probably.

I thought you were from Boston?

I’m not sure if anyone else picked up on this but the movie Melancholia was supposed to be about depression. I’m pretty perceptive about cinema. I also thought it was nice to see what the end of the world might look like in a film where Iron Man doesn’t exist for a change. Would have been better for Kirsten Dunst and them if he had but you know what I mean.

Maybe even Iron Man would’ve been fucked with that whole thing I suppose.

The thing is the end of the world is in fact coming slowly and that is what is scary to me whether it’s the actual end of all earthly existence like in the film or just the end of your own life which is basically the same thing from a personal perspective.

When David Berman died I looked up everything he ever did like you do when someone dies and I saw a comic he drew once that was titled “At the End of the World” and in one of the panels there’s a happy looking stick figure sitting straight up in a stick figure hospital bed with a stick figure sun shining through the stick figure window and beneath it all it says:

The terminally ill perk up.

The terminally ill perk up is an ocean man. It’s an entire novel in a stick figure throwaway gag. The world was already ending for them soon but now it was ending for everyone and in that they’ve been made just like the rest of us. It might seem sinister in a way but it’s not it’s a sort of comfort in knowing that you don’t have to die alone anymore you get to die with everyone else at the same time.

It’s finding out you belong again.

You weren’t singled out to suffer after all.

I guess that is what happens to Dunst’s character in the second half of the movie. She is terribly depressed throughout so depressed she doesn’t even want to fuck Alexander Skarsgård anymore but the arriving apocalypse provides a salve of sorts and it proves her right too in a way in thinking that nothing mattered all along.

A gazelle in a nature documentary jumping up so high and so quickly sideways while the lioness lunges. So many beautiful useless jumps.

I looked up how to spell Alexander Skarsgård just now to double check and it showed a picture of him with his shirt off and now I don’t want to finish writing this story anymore or do anything. I shouldn’t have ordered me and Kirsten Dunst that basket of onion rings.

I just remembered that a couple years ago at a Tennessee Titans game they honored David Berman on the scoreboard due to he was a big fan of the team and it made me cry a little when I saw that. They wrote up on the board “Nashville (and the world) will always love David Berman! 1967–2019.”

A guy like that being honored at a football stadium.

The Celtics were up 20 in the fourth but Kirsten Dunst was starting to lose interest in me.

I told her the movie was excruciating and I somehow wanted it to end and never wanted it to end kind of like how I feel about all of this.

I told her about how I picked up my best friend from the hospital one time real late at night and he said sitting there in the pathetic little socks they give you he said you know the funny thing is I don’t even want to die and I said I believe you. I told him I believed him Kirsten Dunst.