Saturday, February 04, 2006

Matt and a strange phonecall


I had an experience this past week that really stuck out.
In order to understand it, you have to understand Matt. I will try to make this concise in order to get to the point here. A big part of this is for you to understand fragments of what I understand of Matt.

*Matt is this guy I used to work with back when I was trying to get out of teaching. I would teach by day and slang pizzas with Matt at night at the Sodexo spot over at CSUMB. Those were some hard days. I was broke, broke, BROKE. Plus at the time it was for 95 bucks a day for substitute pay. PE was the class that usually needed the sub. I would rather lose a hundred bucks than teach a PE class. It is that simple.
*Matt is a good guy. One of the best-natured individuals that I have met on this godforsaken planet. I mean this. He has struggled with aspects of life, and has come out with a cocky smile and an attitude that you have little choice but liking.

*Matt is a San Diego kid. He is a high school dropout now getting his degree. He is one of those success stories. Matt is also quite probably the only human being who I know who can keep me in check on modern film. I mean keep me in CHECK. Now this is a heavy statement, and it comes with a qualifier, and the qualifier is that Matt and I pretty much see eye to eye on stuff when it comes to film.

*Matt knows his technology. Or at least, homeboy is up to date. He was asking me the other night if I had a Bluetooth in my cellphone. I replied that I have no idea, and I still don't. We were swapping MP3s and moving film clips and files/warez back and forth quite a bit when we worked together.

*Matt is hungry for the HERE AND NOW. When the Taliban executed that guy and his sawed off head footage was online, we were on it. I tell you this, because it plays into the point that I am slowly working towards. Yes, Matt and I swapped the violent clips. We knew where to go to get them too. So the guy who got his brains blown out in Vietnam? Yeah. Vic Morrow dying on the set of the Twilight Zone Movie? Yeah. Some guy committing suicide on local television? Yeah. I am not going to defend this stuff. There was a lot of trash that I opened my mind up to. And there is a recent clip of Pajarita the bull jumping the stands and plowing through the audience at a bullfight in Mexico. I hustled up the clip and sent it to Matt recently.

*You also need to know that Matt breakdances. His group is called THE FREAKSHOW. They break alright, but they aren't your standard Nas-worshipping headspinners. No. Every time Matt shows me a video of his crew, I am amazed at how punk and homeless they look. These guys will not only out-pop you, but they have the look of the kind of people you would see panhandling at a Greyhound station. It is some other level stuff. Matt wears it like a badge. I am sure that the other crews that they go up against really choke back the WTFs when the Freakshow takes the floor. Because Matt is breaking, I think it helps his understanding of 80s hip-hop. He also has a strong understanding of 80s new wave, and basically 80s music in general. He knows his Duran Duran and his Depeche mode. Matt 80s film too. He knows his classics. He also knows what is going on right now, and what is coming (which we both agree is NOTHING).

*And lastly, you need to know that Matt speaks a level of slang that is something to behold. Some of it I have outright stolen from the boy because it is so damn funny. An example of this would be the word "slutty". Like "We ate some slutty tasting pizza last night". Or, "That is the sluttiest looking car on the road". Or, "Yeah, I took that slutty class". OUTRIGHT GENIUS. I can't ascribe the origination of the term to him, but I give him his props on dropping it like a pro. There is more, a lot more, but I will leave it at this for now so I can get on with the general idea of this blog and stop gushing about this guy named Matt who you will never meet.

So Matt calls me at work. Leaves a message, tells me to call him back. I am under the wire with a bunch of stuff that really has me considering a career change, but I find his number amongst the legion of yellow post-it notes I have on my cabinet. I dial it. This is what went down.

Matt: Hello?
Me: What the hell are you doing answering the phone with "hello?" You should be answering it the way you usually do, guy.
Matt: Yeah, I didn't recognize the number.
Me: That's cool.
Matt: Hang on, I am going to put my Bluetooth in.
Me: Alright.
Matt: I am back.
Me: Hey man, you watch that bullfighting clip yet?
Matt: Heh, yeah.
Me: Hey man, you got a cold or something? You sound off.
Matt: Yeah, I have something in my chest, it hasn't gotten to my head yet, dude.

This is how the conversation went. This is how we conversate. Smooth. We talked about how he was getting double shifts, and how he didn't like the boss much anymore. But there were clues. One was that it sounded like he was driving. But I dismissed this as a possibility that he was driving his girlfriend's car. The other clue is that the whole conversation was going nowhere. I mean, the boy called me up at work and told me to call him back. I was waiting for him to get to the point, and it wasn't happening. Then he said something that threw me RIGHT OUT OF ORBIT.

Matt: My girlfriend is thinking about buying the company.

That was when it started to get weird. I Dig Gabby, but she doesn't strike me as the girl who is out buying companies. So I point blanked the guy.

Me: Hey, I think I am talking to the wrong guy.
NOT Matt: Oh yeah? Who is this?
Me: This is Peter. DAMN. I thought you were someone else!
NOT Matt: I though you were someone else too! You talk just like a friend of mine!
Me: Yeah, and you talk just like a friend of mine!

The conversation was totally weirded out at this point. This guy had been talking. I had put in close to 10 minutes on the phone with a TOTAL STRANGER. Why did he agree to having seen the bullfighting clip? Was that just one of those conversational nuances that make people agree when they have no idea what you are talking about?

I told the guy to say what's up to his friend for me and then I bailed out.

But the whole thing got me thinking. Here I am, I think that I am all original and stuff, and I sound like some random guy's friend. Furthermore, I just broke Matt down to you, and I don't think that he is run of the mill, but this random guy I misdialed had the Matt delivery down. His voice was off, but I was sure I was dealing with Matt.

This is no doppelganger stuff, this just helped me to realize how trivial it all is. How little I know and how unoriginal it all is. I have had whiplash moments like this in my life before. When I thought I was totally onto something, and then I meet someone who is deeper into whatever I was onto. When I was listening to Skunk Aninse wayyy back when and then all of a sudden the band is in STRANGE DAYS, my lid popped off for a second. That was my revelation that there were a LOT of other people into what I was into.

Me Me Me?

Who am I, does someone know me? (that is a lift with a twist from James Caan in THIEF).

I'll tell you who knows me. Apparently some random guy whose number I randomly dialed, that's who.