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Escapism

The blanket wasn’t long enough to cover my entire body. I’d bought it in Tijuana in the early 80s for about five dollars. It’s held up pretty well over the years and the colors remain surprisingly bright considering I wash it perhaps once per decade.

I pulled my legs up and curled into a fetal position on the couch. That did the trick. The only parts of me not covered by the blanket were my head and right hand. My phone was on the couch cushion in front of me and I was wearing earbuds. I brought up the Netflix app and hit “play.”

I suppose I could have done this in bed. With the earbuds in, there was little risk of waking Becca. However, there was the sunlight to consider. It wasn’t an issue yet, but it was only a matter of time before I either had to turn away from the sun where my charger cord wouldn’t reach or pull the duvet over my head and breathe stale air.

In my makeshift cocoon on the living-room couch, I continued watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. A couple of days prior, I decided to watch all four Indiana Jones movies. We all need goals and that one was mine.

Temple of Doom is arguably the worst of the series, but the enormity of my hangover made its stupidity an asset as I was in no condition to handle very much. As a result, I wasn’t bothered by the white-savior premise, the annoying child sidekick, and the doubly annoying heroine and (spoiler alert) Indy’s eventual cock dock.

From a 2019 perspective, it would be easy to look back at the rampant stereotyping in the film as simply a reflection of the benighted 1980s. However, this flick and many others from that era were dated even then and purposefully so. Starting in the 70s, George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg took it upon themselves to save American cinema from the likes of The French Connection and Mean Streets (i.e. movies that were actually good).

They churned out these yarns where preconceptions were never challenged, good and evil had no gray area between them, and acts of derring-do were in abundant supply. They wanted to capture the essence of the old serials and because they had a lot of talent, they outdid them. OK, Lucas isn’t nearly as good a director as Spielberg, but he is good with a story as long as someone else tells it for him.

The moviegoing public, with a palpable Reagan boner, ate that shit up. The decade was not a time of innocence. It was just filled with people who wanted it to be.

Of course, these thoughts about the film and its context were beyond me that Saturday morning as I lay on the couch poisoned by last night’s scotch. It was all I could do to watch the colors and shapes on my phone and try to follow a plotline that was neither difficult nor necessary to enjoy the spectacle.

In a way, my hangover was just my own way of latching onto a simpler time. I really should have better things to do with a Friday night and at the age of 56, you’d think spending it perched on a barstool would have lost much of its charm. That said, I have never been one to act my age and if drinking helps the illusion of living a younger version of yourself, make mine a double.

If only I didn’t feel so goddamn old the next morning.