Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a test of my perspicacity

perspicacity - acuteness of mental perception and discernment; keenness of mental understanding

i had to look that word up.

i love Nick Hornby. it is his sarcasm and humor, apart from the fact that most of his stories deal about relationships, music, movies and books that make him so endearing to me.

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without interruption, i could've finished the book in one day, maybe less. now that i'm done with it, i don't have anything to read anymore. i never felt this excited about reading anything in a while and i am happy that i am reading books again.

the story is about domestic partners Annie and Duncan who have been together for the last fifteen years. Duncan is obsessed with Tucker Crowe, a reclusive artist who has not come up with an album in the last two decades after releasing an album entitled Juliet. when the record company sends Duncan a copy of the acoustic versions of the Juliet songs, aptly titled "Juliet, Naked" and Annie listens to it first, he gets pissed. he gets more pissed when Annie tells him how much she dislikes the Naked album, compared to the Dressed, so he writes a post on his blog reviewing Naked and praising it. when Annie posts a comment on the blog telling everyone how much she thinks the full scale band versions of the songs are much better, she gets a reaction from no less than Tucker Crowe himself and they end up being email buddies.

Duncan cheats on Annie with his co-worker Gina so she asks him to move out. Duncan found Gina more interesting simply because she agreed on his views on Naked but soon found her to be mad and boring and asked Annie if he could move back in with her. meanwhile, Tucker and Annie become really close through their correspondence, with Tucker even paying Annie a visit when he comes over to see one of his daughters who had a miscarriage. of course, when he and Duncan encounter each other, Duncan thinks that Annie stooped down too low by going out with an older man who disguised himself as Tucker Crowe just to piss him off.

i found this book both funny and weird. relatable in some way. being with Duncan made Annie realize how much time she wasted staying with him and regret not leaving him much earlier when she should've. it's weird that she has developed this high school girl crush on Tucker when, come to think of it, Tucker was her biggest competition for Duncan's attention. Duncan was never as obsessed with her or as enthusiastic, or as interested about the intricate details about her life (and this was a man she lived with for fifteen years) as he was about Tucker Crowe. imagine Duncan challenging Tucker Crowe to prove how much he knew about Tucker Crowe.

while i can be a little bit "artsy-fartsy", for lack of a better term, when it comes to music, because i like what i like and i do have a tendency to bash other genre for their lack of class or value, i don't think i would be that obsessed as to think myself more superior than others or to isolate the people around me, especially the ones who care about me. that's how Duncan was to Annie. he put Tucker on a pedestal and took her for granted. then he dissed Tucker's latest effort after twenty years when he (along with the other Tucker fans on the blog) thought that the record wasn't at par. i mean, who are these people to judge the man? to a certain degree, as followers, we believe or get accustomed to a particular sound that our icons come up with but if they start to innovate or veer away from what we got used to, it doesn't give us a license to declare that the new effort is crap. as artists, they are entitled to a bit of room for creativity and exploration of new sound, just to see which direction the music leads them. this is especially true, when in the story, the fans came up with so many speculations as to why Tucker stopped playing, they made up all sorts of facts, they set up so many expectations for Tucker. there was so much hype that the man would be better off if he hadn't played anymore.

i would also like to say that i am disappointed because i know guys who are like Duncan. Duncan who would rather stay with Gina even though he wasn't happy anymore just because he didn't have the balls to tell her off or have the money to get his own place. Duncan who would exert so much effort traveling to all the places Tucker had been, writing about his life, his greatness, his wonderful talent but couldn't even compliment Annie for the little things she has done for him over the years they have been together. while they mostly have intellectual intercourse (because apparently familiarity kills the libido) and Annie is a worthy adversary, he tends to belittle her because he always has to be the more knowledgeable one of the two of them. he always has to be right. personally, while i like getting other people's opinions as it is healthy exercise for the brain and i don't agree with them most of the time, i certainly don't think i am better than them. i try to absorb whatever i can get and learn from it. Duncan is a stubborn ass. but then most men are.

***

i miss you. i keep thinking about you but i don't want to have to be the first one to say hello. not that it's a contest i keep losing but i know you're busy. i know you need me to vent on and i also know you'll end up just calling me on Saturday to ask how i am, like you have been ever since i left, but it's different this Saturday. this Saturday is my birthday. i don't want to hope or wish that you'll remember (i'm working with Nathan again and even he tends to forget) and i don't expect you to surprise me like you used to. i don't even know why i am feeling this way. i shouldn't second guess you or i might just hear you say, "o ye of so little faith" so i'm just going to let things happen if they will.

but i am allowed to miss you, aren't i?