There's a portrait of Vitto hanging in the Groundhog Cafe that, amongst the never-changing patrons and their quotidian routines, does change every time I look at it, I swear it gets uglier and uglier, as if all of Vitto's angst is offloaded upon it. His face is all screwed up like he's having a broom-handle shoved up his arse and every day the broom handle twists and splinters further in, his face growing ever more agonised whilst sitting below it the Real Thing blithely knits his endless woolen shroud, for all the beasties flocking thru the door, he becomes more beatific.
I found yet another gift waiting for me on Vitto's cluttered table, a DVD copy of my bete noir film "Virgin Beasts", brought back from America by a friend who found it on the Cult shelf of a video store in L.A. Troma, the trashy New York company who I signed my life away to for peanuts, not only never gave me just recompense but were so tight-arsed they never even sent me one copy in the twenty years they've had the film. I've moaned about this supposed rip-off before, it's a good thing THEY can't rip one's soul from one's heart as that's all I've got left and am enormously chuffed at having retained it. But I must say, for all my bitching, Troma did a great digital Master, the film is crisp and clear, looking as good as the day it came off the press in 1990.
They also packaged it beautifully, my artwork on the cover, the disc and the menu. My trade-off for never getting any money for the 10 years of hard work is that it has shown all around the world and, for all its trashiness, is still pertinent and cutting, but fame is vacuous when you're starving in a dumpster! I did feel pissed off that Lloyd Kaufman, the originator of Troma, did an introduction that seems to put me down. He's done it for all other Troma releases, (everybody wants to get in on the act), but it's demeaning to have him scoffing that I'm his favourite director even tho he can't remember my name and I've only ever made one film and am actually a nobody when seen against his illustrious stature. There are good reasons for never getting any further in the grand quest of "MOVIE MAKING: firstly They ripped the money and you rarely get a second film up if your last one shows zilch earnings on the books, and secondly I gave a punk critique of civilisation, especially the Godists, (Christians), and They rule the world and are terribly unforgiving.
But still I did it, a poor boy from the wrong side of the tracks pulling off a feature film full of wild animation, the whole thing like a moving painting set to music. Many of my paintings have been destroyed but this one will live on, in cyber-space if nowhere else, till THEIR "End of Days" comes about. These days I stay holed up in my apartment painting big canvases that are just as good at story-telling as any movie or novel, without anyone dictating to me, and that keeps me happy, telling stories is my high.
There's been a shit-storm at Northcott Suicide Towers where I live, Cursula has accused the gay guys down the other end of the verandah of stealing our electricity from the laundry, she showed up with a Housing Dept. official, a nice fat guy with a huge bolt-cutter, demanding to know if I was aware I was being robbed and could I replace the lock they were now about to cut off of my connection. I blathered on about how I couldn't believe such nice fellows would do such a mean thing, (tho they've probably been doing it for years), as I'm trying to mediate between the antagonists to keep everyone on side, I want them all to leave me alone and not mind my business, just to be left alone to contemplate and study and bliss out, NO BULLSHIT!
Sad-sack Cursula wanted to stir us up so she could have drama in her life, I told her to keep her trap shut, thankfully she now lives up in the towers with her new boyfriend and is no longer disturbing me with endless racket and jabbering nonsense, my nights are tranquil, my home-front quiet, I can walk away without a qualm. And at the Dorian Gray Cafe Vitto had his 75th birthday amidst much acrimony and grumpiness, he got a luscious fancy birthday cake which he snootily presented to someone else, ignoring me, sniggering at my frustrated drooling, me whose life has been ruined by cakes. He's a hard one to keep happy, maybe the cursing is what keeps him alive, letting it all hang out, and I dont mind being his whipping boy.
And my new best friend Felix, who I met at the Pick Your Bum Cafe, has confirmed he is a keen, angelic mate, tho he runs about with a posse of young Tomcats rutting and yowling on the rooftops he was brave enough to take me to a gig of these teenage rocker friends, I felt like Grandpa from the Munsters at a kindergarten, glad to see the white hot fuzz of electricity exciting the next generation, amused by their longing to grow up quicklyand join the adult's mess. I felt uncomfortable, a battle-scarred Attila the Hun saying nothing, but I'm not going to worry about any social contretemps, the road is calling to me, I'm going walk-about soon, flying free, attachments will be left to untangle themselves. Yes, it's true that I'm an irresponsible runaway, born-again virgin and deranged beast, and I love it.