The Velocity Of Gary
Yes, to write even on the dirty page, the page besmirched with prints of black and darker black, fingerprints and newsprint and my hoped for dreams finally more than a vision, my fantasies taking center stage and people around me, through telephone wires, saying yes, yes, yes!
And that is exactly it, is it not, dr. k? That is exactly what nourishing connections teaches us. Hard solid sturdy foodfiber and chicken and potatoes and fruits and vegetables, they fill us up because they are hardy sturdy stick to your ribslike Vincents touch. For some reason I was not excited by Brokeback Mountain, quite honestly, after the comic strip and Riley and Huey and Grandfathers take on it I knew Id never be able to sit through the film with a straight face: Id be thinking about Grandfather and his friend going to see a good ole cowboy movie andoh, Id be in the center aisle thinking of MacGruders strip and laughing my head off.
I do not laugh at The Velocity of GaryI am moved touched disturbed by the film. Vincents talents ignored again, savagely. I know Velocity was long before Brokeback and has to be a much more stirring, startling, and necessary story. How many times have I looked at a prostitute when I knew exactly what I was seeing and did not want to see, to touch, to know? For all the sympathetic, think we understand short stories and teleplays about hos, no one gives them honor as does dan irelands film. What I find fascinating is Vincents emergence from that into Law & Order: Criminal Intent. My God, Goren must be a perpetual straight jacket for him. He must be going fucking nuts.
A man who risks Thumbsucker and Velocity could never be happy, permanently, with a Goren role in perpetuity. Uncomfortable long term as butt sweat or that special chafing fat women get only in the summer. Yet Vincent risks ithe makes a real bisexual romancea real story of sex workers, transvestites and their loversmy hopes for Hollywood somewhat Kid Joeysbut like Kid Joey I have enough sense to take my ass to New York, not Tinseltown. I watch The Velocity of Gary and no, it is not Valentinos (DOnofrios character) story, yet he is its raison detre. My week of big blond oafs. Peter Weir Gerard Depardieu African music aboriginal flavoring and Green Card another essay. Enough to say that the filmmaking careful there. Andie MacDowell expert at playing the repressed proper privileged well brought up guerrilla gardener dilettante who wouldnt know what to do with a real penis between her legs. Gerard as the Frenchman composer unafraid and unembarrassed to admit he is an oaf, but hurt by the epithet just the same. His snort like a pig too effectual, too accurate, and one of the things Bronte (MacDowells character) comes to love about him.
License. It is license, you see, that was lacking. License to tell the real story of bisexual New York sex workers dying of AIDS. Every time he coughed I thought consumption, asthma, until they just had to keep knocking my head against it and I had to say AIDS. Velocity of Gary brave to make me see them, love them, care about them. The overweight Black nurse and the tattoo artist the only two to truly see them and risk loving them in all their foolish, desperate choices. The Dracula overlay heartbreaking, his little girl the castle, all that is left standing at the end.
But a family created: a street hustler, an HIV positive former doughnut hostess, the baby of a dead porn star, she, the last, named Hope. What other option for a mother brave enough to love a man whom she must share with a man and Vincents character brilliant enough to see the storm coming and make himself large enough, powerful enough to love them both, insist that they make nice.
Uncomfortable as they made me my best scenes, my favorite scenes, Vincent kissing and being kissed by Gary. Sensual power rating: 563,000. Kinetic sexuality rating: 729,000. Portrayal of real love, naked honest lust on screen: numberless. dan ireland and his star risked making those love scenes the most sensual, the most powerful, the biggest turn on. The way Vs character lays his head back and lets Gary kiss his faceIve never seen V that tender with a woman.
And why do I write all of this to you, dr. k? dr. k of healthy wholesome nourishing connections? because we too are outlaws, dr.k, we too are bandits, complete with mask and black hat. you stand before the massive, trillion dollar diet self help twelve step industry and say, feed yourself and your body will tell you what to feed yourself. Cassendre Xaviers Pink Ediccione confirms that. I for the first time sit and watch a film bare-breasted, water cracker crumbs dusting my breasts from the peanut butter and crackers I nibbled as the film began. Soon the intensity took over and yes, dr. k, I was thinking about freedom, liberation, license. I will feed my body, my consciousness, what it asks for and find that way to health.
And I will watch The Velocity of Gary one more time, perhaps this time totally naked because what comes next for me, dr. k, what comes after giving my body what my consciousness wants is giving my consciousness a healthy, happy, sensual relationship with my own body.
Copyright August 2007
Niama Leslie Williams (www.blowingupbarriers.com), a June 2006 Leeway Foundation Art and Social Change Grant recipient, and a 2006 (July) participant in a Sable Literary Magazine/Arvon Foundation residential course in Shropshire, UK, possesses a doctorate in African American literature from Temple University, a bachelors in comparative literature from Occidental College, and a masters in professional writing from the University of Southern California. Dr. Williams masters thesis at USC earned her an honorable mention in the Universitys 1991 Phi Kappa Phi competition. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, she currently resides in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Williams has participated in several writers conferences, including the Squaw Valley Community of Writers (2000), Hurston/Wright Writers Week (1996), and Flight of the Mind (1993). Her work has appeared in Poets & Writers Magazine, Dark Eros: Black Erotic Writings, Spirit & Flame: An Anthology of African American Poetry, Catch the Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African-American Poetry, Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century, Mischief, Caprice, and Other Poetic Strategies (Red Hen Press), A Deeper Shade of Sex: The Best in Black Erotica, and Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees. Check the Rhyme was nominated for an NAACP Image Award (2007).
Her prose publications include essays and short stories in MindFire Renewed, P.A.W. (Philadelphia Artists Writers) Prints, Midnight Mind Magazine, Amateur Computerist, Tattoo Highway #6, Obsidian II: Black Literature in Review, and Sojourner: The Womens Forum. She has 7 titles available for sale on Lulu.com (http://stores.lulu.com/drni), an online print-on-demand publisher based in the U.K.
Dr. Williams hosts Poetry & Prose & Anything Goes with Dr. Ni Friday afternoons from 2-3 p.m. EST on BlogTalkRadio (www.blogtalkradio.com). The show originally aired from February to April of 2007 on Passionate Internet Voices Talk Radio, but was forced into hiatus by fees. Dr. Williams short story The Embrace was selected for the 2006-2007 Writing Aloud series at the InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia, PA.
Of her purpose for writing Dr. Williams says: ‘I frequently do not err on the side of caution in my writing, but I believe in the purpose of it: to speak to the things others do not want to speak of, with the hopes of reaching that one woman, or her lover, or her friend, who refuses to deal with her pain, who hides from it, who doesn’t think she’ll survive it. That’s the audience I hope to reach.’