There was that time when I worked in a video store, and
we were allowed to borrow the preview-tapes and screeners.
These had the full movie on them, but they also had a message
that would roll along the screen telling you the name of the film –
which was fine, didn’t bother me and stopped me from forgetting
the name of the film. I watched a lot of these tapes. Almost any
kind of film. Every type of film. I’d finish a shift and just
come home with whatever was left in the box – to watch
overnight. And sometimes two or three. Maybe smoke
some weed, perhaps just a few beers – it was a good life.
Until it wasn’t. I was doing this as a way of escaping. I mean –
the money was paying the rent. Sure. But the job was there
to replace university. But the job itself never felt quite real.
A preview tape of a job. Just a screener. And every day I worked,
and any night too, I’d see the message rolling along the screen:
You’re a bum. You’re a liar. You’re a joke. Tell the truth.
Get out now. Get on with the real job. Get your degree.
Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a catchy title for this preview tape.
But it made me take notice – and I quit the job, went back
to school. And made more of an effort.
For a bit.