I bought this copy of Requiem For A Dream at a thrift shop in Lewiston, Idaho some 16 years ago.
I'd bailed on Los Angeles (the fallout from that leap of depression still cropping up regularly by mention of any Wayans brother, Don Johnson, Oliver Stone, Waldenbooks, Larry Flynt, Richard Dreyfuss, Meredith Brooks, Hole, Matthew Sweet, Adam Duritz, Winona Ryder, Sean Penn, Lawrence Block, Gregory Mcdonald, Matchbox Twenty (and on-and-on-and-on...)).
My parents put me up. Every morning I'd drive to the local college library and work on a novel. For recreation, I kept driving from eastern Washington to western Idaho to visit a friend, an attempt to get my head straight.
You try moving from a population of 3.7 million back to wheat fields and single-lane roads and the disconnect and sense of alienness is on high heat. In fact, in many ways, it never heals. What pain time dulls is dwarfed by a persistent ache, a realization of the infestation of the never-ending what-if?, a distorted limb refusing to extend or adapt to therapies in ways the young won't comprehend until their very own trip through the mangler.
There was a female employee at the thrift shop (because isn't there always one in male-driven fiction or memoir-narrative?). She was so darned attractive it fluttered in my mind to move to Lewiston and I could get a job at the thrift shop. And she'd get to know me. And like me. And cue the happily ever after music and fade to black.
I bought the book. I never went back to the thrift shop. I never even read this copy of Requiem. When I finally went through a Selby-reading frenzy, I read the movie-tie in edition with Jared Leto on the cover (yet another cue for skating the thin ice, sourcing from watching Fight Club at LA's famed Cinerama with Jenna Elfman and friends sitting in the row right in front of me).
I've got too many books. More books than comic books. At least staring at the comic books doesn't ignite sad-assed copulation with days that used to be. More and more that's a wrinkled, dust-limned lady, her lungs drowning with detritus, walking slack every waking moment.