The first image from Sin City 2 were just released and while they’re really annoying me (Chris Meloni, really? Josh Brolin as Dwight? And do we really have to have Bruce Willis back again, Hartigan is in jail the entire run of the series, and then dead) it’s also reminding me of Boys, Binghamton and more bad hair.
In never knowing what to do with my hair, I always just pointed to someone prettier than me and said “I want that.” When I was living in NYC the year after graduation, “that” was Carla Gugino’s sleek Sin City bob. I was working for MaxSpa, which was the worst, most-stressful job I ever had, where even the free manicures and haircuts couldn’t make up for the stress I endured from the insane people who ran it.
Sin City was my life for the better part of two years. I saw it four times at the Lowes Theater in Binghamton, once with Ian, once with Catch, once with MDS and once with Anthony. Two of those shows were in one weekend, which caused me to dream in black and white, which is the coolest thing in the world. The only good thing about working a summer at the now-defunct Movie Gallery was that I got it before anyone else had it, and watched it twice the night it came out. It was the first time I could imagine myself into the role of a glamorous dame, a femme fatale, a beautiful, deadly woman. It was also right around the time I was getting into Tom Waits and Raymond Chandler, luring me into this world of gorgeous decay.
Movie buffs that Catch, Mike and I were, we inserted ourselves into that world. Mike and I were Marv and Wendy, cool-headed partners in crime who would always back the other up in times of vengeance. We still are, to a certain extent, although age, distance and circumstance have weathered most of our revenge-worthy causes. But I know right now if I called Mike and said, “Grab a shovel and meet me out past the airport,” he’d be there AND remember to bring Hefty bags, because Mike is practical and always prepared.
But Catch and I were Dwight and Gail. The Catch I knew could brood like nobody’s business, but he only did it in front of me. Noble and dark-minded, Catch also had a spot-on Clive Owen inflection. And I was sharp-tongued, mean to his girlfriends, loyal to a fault and could absolutely rock wedges and a black halter.
More importantly, the two of us had a fire. A fire the world had no place for. We were young and brash and terrified at the world that was open to us. And when that world didn’t want us, we built our own. We wrote a crime novel together. You can still find pieces of it online and around, a couple issues of Hardboiled, some anthologies. The character Jack was written for him (Roderick was written for Mike). It was a fire that carried us through hunger, fatigue, long hours at crappy jobs, breakups, good movies, bad wine and the relentless crush of a world that just didn’t get us.
But as deeply as we felt the movie, the Carla Gugino haircut didn’t exactly work for me. I have cocktail waitress hair that flips out unless it’s held down by a series of steamrollers and two left hands which usually ends in me stabbing myself with either the brush or the hot iron.
Bu I only had one picture of it in it’s perfectly curled glory. Catch’s parents took it at JFK just moments before he got on a plane bound for London. I’m wearing a Morbid Threads wiggle dress that doesn’t fit great and he’s got on a red v-neck tee-shirt. We’re both smiling despite the fact that my heart is shattering like a Tiffany Lamp dropped from the top of the Library Tower. He was gone for what seemed like an endless semester and every night for the first two weeks I watched “The Big Fat Kill” and cried myself to sleep in a shirt he had lent me just for that purpose.
I’ve since lost that photo. And I haven’t watched Sin City since.
Catch and I lost touch a while later. “Lost Touch” is kind of a nice way of saying we broke each other’s hearts in an act of violent emotional murder/suicide. You know how in action movies there’s usually a scene where the hero and the villain wind up with their guns pressed against each other’s foreheads? That was Catch and I, only the guns were aimed squarely at the other’s hearts. It was an ugly, sordid thing and I regret it every *expletive deleted for Lent* day.
There really was no place in this world for our kind of fire. But that didn’t mean it ever stopped burning. And I hope that wherever he is in this world with whatever new face he’s wearing, he’s seeing that same Sin City 2 news and remembering me the same way I remember him.