Gun, with Occasional Music

I’ve began playing this game: find the guns. In books, movies, conversations, TV shows. Watch for the moments that stand out––the special glance, that mention of an incongruous detail––watch if it comes back. If it does, you win. It’s fun in mystery books, where guns are set around the living room, cocked and ready to shoot if kicked, but it’s especially fun finding them where you don’t expect: romances, comedies, work emails.

Like a neverending game of Bingo.

In that spirit, a list of eight things that are fun to watch & read, for the fun of catching those trip wires:

  1. The Other by Thomas Tryon, just out from NYRB. Great, juicy, snappy, scary.
  2. The dreams I’ve been having about having a flight in two hours and not being packed or anywhere close to the subway I’ll need to take to get there; the mouth guard my dentist says I need to wear if I don’t want my teeth to grind all the way down.
  3. Any of the This American Life episodes that Mike Birbiglia has been on, if only for that line, after the audience’s collective groan: “I know. I’m in the future also.”
  4. We Have Never Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. So good. [Although I am sorry that I almost wrote:We Have Never Ever Lived in the Castle.]
  5. Curb Your Enthusiasm. All of the episodes.
  6. The facebook message chain between my friend, K, and her ex-boyfriend, who has been sending her approximately 5 messages a day, telling her that she made a mistake because, according to him, she still loves him, she just doesn’t know it. It’s like a lesson in psychopathy.
  7. A Very Long Engagement: a movie full of reverse omens, the kind we all rely on: “If someone walks through that door in the next fifteen seconds, everything will be okay,” etc.
  8. And, finally, this photo of me as a kid, in which I anticipate my obsession with Maru:

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