Lynch, Borders, Garmonbozia


I wasn’t thrilled with Tuesday’s book signing of Catching the Big Fish at the Borders, two blocks south of Wilshire on the southeast corner of Westwood and Rochester. Parking under the store was not available and hunting for safe parking harbors is a foul peeve. (Not that I mind a walk through Blue Velvet territory just east of the store. Walk Glendon Avenue south of Wilshire and you’ll see what I mean.) Frankly, the signing wasn’t weird enough. Borders wasn’t the de facto Black Lodge because he was in residence. And I thought the whole experience would be much more like being in a film with one of his characters. Lynch had no time for detailed questions about his films. I had such a weighty urge for a one-on-one with him that getting his cursory autograph in was all that prevented me from screaming, “Don’t talk to me about meditation! What the fuck is the significance of the Boy in the Mask! Look, if you do well, you will see me two more times, but if you don’t answer my questions, you will see me three more times.” And then I’m seen out the store window inconspicuously two or three more times, depending.

The event was on the second level in the record store. Some poor parakeet in a cage squawked that tickets were sold out, tickets were sold out. Eh — who knew there were tickets. In the far corner of Borders, a small stage and podium (sans Bob, dwarf) was dressed at the rear of the record section where Rufus Wainwright had performed a few years ago. I’d say about five hundred people squeezed in for a glimpse, a backwards-forming shockwave of soft, hopeful misanthropes ringed out past the Country Music section to the distant bin where Combustible Edison performed in a radiator.

Yes, smart misanthropes — folks in their twenties and thirties looking to channel their inner John Merrick.

After reading aloud the introduction to Catching the Big Fish, a kind of allegory for fishing the deeper waters of the Self for better ideas by using the transcendental technique, Lynch opened the room up for questions. Most of them went exactly like this: “Hello Mr. Lynch. I like to go to book stores and ask questions, and I was just wondering…” But then a woman asked him to talk about 9/11, to which he said a flat and resounding “No.” Someone else asked him what current movies he plans to see, which mutated into, “Are you planning to see every movie that comes out?”, to which he said a flat and resounding “No.” Folks then petitioned for his ideas on creativity, meditation, casting, lighting, eating, and breathing. And he was very kind, and answered every single one like a true gentlemen.

Then he signed books. I had hoped my 2006 receipt could be used as a bookmark to pole-position past lummoxes, so I could get to him while he was fresh. The idea came to me in the form of a lie told by a staff member at Borders.

I end this writing in the embrace of a woman with puffy cheeks who represents death.