It's now 10:51. I read over what I've done and I checked email again. I hate email! I have thirty-eight minutes. I hope I can do it.
This scene takes place in a Lower East Side of Manhattan 19th century synagogue, now used for parties and things like that. In fact, in 1999, I had my first boxing match at Angel Orensanz. I fought as "The Herring Wonder," and came into the ring with a jar of herring. I saw myself as a reincarnated, turn-of-the century Lower East Side Jewish boxer, and bought my herring, which I love, even if it eats plastic for breakfast, at a place called Russ and Daughters, just up the street from Angel Orensanz. Russ and Daughters has the best smoked fish in the city and they catered my second boxing match in 2007. I really could go off on a tangent now, about my love for fish and the time I was in Alaska on a Greenpeace boat in 2003 and it was night and whales were about fifty yards away, feeding and bursting volcanically out of the water into the night sky, and along the side of the boat, reflected in the ship lights, like streaks of liquid silver, were millions of herrings, which whales love. I ate the herring to make me strong in the ring and I wasn't so dumb, since that's what whales like to eat and they're awfully strong.
And, God, there's lots I could say about this scene, but I'm really getting worried about buzzing my head and packing and calling a taxi...Anyway, I have George and Jonathan discuss how Jonathan always looks for Suzanne wherever he goes, because I once had that after a heartbreak. Wherever I went, I looked for this one girl and it was completely absurb because she was out of the country. But I so wanted to see her again. I touch on this in my graphic novel, The Alcoholic, and I've written about my boxing matches in my books, My Less Than Secret Life and The Double Life Is Twice As Good. What odd titles I come up with, especially when I see them side-by-side just now as I typed them. One title says I don't have secrets and one title implies that I do.
I have George wearing a hummingbird tie, because I have one and whenever I wear it, women always compliment me on it and often stroke it. In fact, I wore the tie the first day of shooting episode two, which was really the commencement of the show and occurred several months after we filmed the pilot, and so I thought I should dress up. So the morning of that first day, festooned with my hummingbird tie, I went into the hair-and-make-up trailer to run lines with Jason Schwartzman, and Nicky, our make-up mistress, commented on my tie and drew it out of my jacket and admired it. I had already written this same moment into this episode and so here was a case of life imitating art, though the art was already an imitation of life, since this had happened to me many times before, but it was great that it was happening again.
Nicky is the wife of the director of episodes 1 and 2, Alan Taylor, and so I told him later, to kind of razz him, "Your wife really liked my tie." This kind of teasing is perfectly fine, because we were a very loving and affectionate set and there was lots of flirting going on at all times, but this happens wherever people gather.
Back to the scene, 11:07, twenty-three minutes to go - Jim Jarmusch is great in this scene and I was honored to work with him. When I wrote the bit about Frank O'Hara, I hadn't yet met Mr. Jarmusch, but it turns out that he's a huge fan of O'Hara and has thought of doing a documentary about him. This was a bit of artistic kismet and the kind of thing that makes you sort of vibrate inside; well, it makes me vibrate - I love coincidences.
Vanessa Ray, who plays Claudia, was also quite wonderful in this scene, and I tried to put myself in a young girl's mind when I have her say, "With a man, you feel like you're being taken. And you like it. With a boy, you feel like they're taking something from you. And you don't like it."