Thursday, February 08, 2007

The opening

I have now reviewed and logged all of the tapes from my trip, and some things are starting to take shape. The clearest thing right now is the opening. As I speculated a couple weeks ago, I think I might begin with excerpts from the conversation I had with Jeff when we met up in Boulder City. I've pretty much transcribed the whole thing and strung together a reasonably concise recap of what happened between Ohio and Utah. To accompany my Boulder City "narration," I have plenty of on-the-road video footage from a lot of places between Ohio and Utah.

I don't think my storytelling is exactly what I would have hoped for. There's some excessive use of "dude" and "I was like," but I think it will functionally introduce viewers to what everything is all about. One thing that may make things difficult, once I begin editing the stuff, is the music in the bar where we talked. It's not overpowering or anything, but it is very present, and it may cause my story to seem very fragmented. Hope not.

Anyway, here's a transcription of the story I told Jeff. It was a little tough to organize the stuff into paragraphs because it wasn't spoken in paragraphs and because I don't exactly speak how I write. I think it sounds better when I hear it than when I read it. (There will probably be a short pause between most of the paragraphs.)

* * * * *

[Video begins with Jeff in the bar. Don operates the camera, making for one of the very few moments where I am in the picture without pointing the camera at myself.]

Jeff: "...So back up. When you called me a couple weeks ago and I was in Maine… Um, what started this journey here, out west? Details, because I didn't get all the details."

Me: "I was helping out some dude I kinda know, I met in Yellow Springs in June. Not a friend or anything like that. Just a dude I knew.

"I was basically doing this guy a favor. He called me up, and um, he said he has this trip, that he's going to California. He buys old theater chairs and church pews and refurbishes them and then resells them. I think that's what he does, but y'know, he doesn't do shipping; he does it himself.

"So he calls me up, says he needs somebody, asks me if I can do it basically now: 'Can you do it now? Can you go to California with me NOW?' And I'm like, 'Let me get in the shower; let me put my clothes in the laundry. And while I'm doing that, I'll think about it.'

"I had to drive to Cedarville, which is about a 40-minute drive. He said he wants to leave tonight. Well, we didn't leave tonight, so I ended up having to drive back home that night. Should have been an omen, I guess. Then I drove back down the next day and met the two other guys.

"So we headed out I-70... Dude didn't tell me shit about what we were going to do, so I have no idea what we're doing. Basically we're going to... eventually San Jose--first LA, then San Jose--and then back to LA, down to Texas, and back to Ohio, with some stops in between.

"We get to Colorado--we get to the other side of Colorado--I take over driving in western Colorado. And I'm driving, we're barely into Utah, maybe an hour into Utah, which means we're in the middle of fucking nowhere, and we stopped at the rest area. One of the guys who was in the back of the truck came up front. He's someone that I guess has driven a truck before.

"Dude was really judgmental of my driving. And it wasn't like I'm a crazy driver or anything. He was watching my foot on the pedal; he wants me to flip it into neutral when we're going downhill to try to get better gas mileage... So he's like watching every little thing I do. And you know, even if that is a legitimate kind of thing, I don't feel safe doing that. I don't drive like that when I drive, and it's just not natural for me.

"So dude's getting all on my ass and shit, acting like he's the man and I'm just stupid, and I just didn't need it anymore. And eventually I started to say, 'You know what, dude: When we get to Richfield, I'm just gonna get out of the truck, get my stuff, and I ain't getting back in the truck.' And I don't think he believed me [laugh].

"We got to Richfield. I drove down the road looking for a truck stop where they could go to get gas while I get my stuff out of the truck. I didn't see anything like that, so I ended up driving to the other end of Richfield and parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot. That's the only thing I'll do at Wal-Mart.

"I'm gathering the stuff I had up front in the cab, trying to make sure I had everything… And then I got out of the cab and I went and I gathered my other stuff that was in the back of the truck… And when I jumped out, Patrick was like, 'Hey man, what's going on?'

"I said, 'I don't need this shit,' and I walked off. And that's the end of that."

* * * * *

So I guess you call that the opening or introduction or something. Somewhere before, during, or after all that stuff, there will be some intro music and road imagery. Then, after all the intro stuff is over, the story will begin with me along the side of Interstate 70 outside Richfield, Utah. Plus I'm sure I'll end up cutting a lot of the dialogue I've included here.

I've said too much. Goodbye.