this is a totally indulgent post. please indulge me.
as the duke gets older i find that he is beginning to enjoy the things that i enjoyed at his age, the books the movies the music. not all of them, but some. and this is an odd little deal. because on the one hand i am happy to enjoy these things again, some of them never forgotten, some of them i'm enjoying again after decades. but on the other hand it feels a little strange. like whoa, where did all the time go? who is this young man with the deepening voice beside me and why does he keep calling me mama?
we watched 'stand by me' together the other night. and every kid (all of those 'kids' now my age) who came on the screen the duke wanted to know who he was. what was he doing now? did he stay acting?
oddly, he was particularly taken with corey feldman. he was also taken with, not so oddly, river phoenix. what were they doing now? did they stay acting?
i know every generation produces their own troubled child actors. the ones that burn bright and then out. the ones that just burn out. but why does it seem my own generation has produced so many? does every generation feel that way? is it the excess of the 80s? which is a silly notion that it would be any 'worse' than any other decade because you needed the late 60s and all of the 70s to produce the 80s.
and i remember loving these stars, too. but having to scrape up money to buy the magazines for information or wait for mtv news breaks. because it was their first time around there wasn't anyone who 'knew.' and there certainly wasn't google.
i wonder if the fascination with my youth and its entertainment will stick with the duke? i don't know much about the books and movies and music of his generation because we are just starting the journey. but if it's anything like the youth driven and generated for youth entertainment of the past 10 years i'd just as soon tell him to take a pass and wait for something better. god i sound old but that's the truth.
i'm nostalgic more than usual lately. it's a gift and an affliction. but there was a lot to love about my generation. they don't make music like that anymore. the movies had a sweeter edge to them. the bullies were more buffoonish than actually dangerous, and the girls still wore clothes.
oh don't get me wrong, there are a couple of recent 'teen' movies that come to mind when i think about good ones. 'superbad' for instance was superawesome. but why do i still think of that movie as being made for people my age? says the girl with a mclovin' id in her wallet. i know, don't be jealous.
but i suppose this happens to all parents. this nostalgia mixed with the ever happening moving forward present. this isn't anything new or even particularly interesting. it's just one more step on the path. but a step nonetheless.
all that being said, the duke looked up corey feldman and learned he's not really acting much these days. briefly touched on his pal, corey haim and his recent death. while i know the top stories of the two coreys, i took up the research and was surprised to learn that corey feldman had 15 #1 movies in a row. weird. he's also some long time recording artist. and here i just thought he was one half of the two coreys. i think when he was enjoying his movie star fame i was just too old to care by then because the movies were still for teenagers. though we are only 4 days apart in age.
the duke learned that river phoenix died. which is such a simple gathering of words for what that really meant at the time. all the subtext of his death is lost on him at this point, though. it's a bit like kurt cobain. he loves nirvana and obviously knows kurt died, but unless you were there and conscious of it happening, well you just don't get the impact. i did. living in seattle i remember it like it was yesterday. he asks me about it, like a it's another one of my stories to tell. but telling it doesn't come close to what i remember feeling about it.
river phoenix was a far far different actor than corey feldman. in a whole different orbit. and i appreciated everything i saw him in. and he impressed me. and i wanted him to fall in love with me. and i was sad when he died.
i wonder what the duke's generation will bring? certainly it seems filled with the two coreys of the world, less so anyone of river phoenix's caliber. but i wonder. he's 13. the world is open to everything right now. anything could happen. and, it usually does.
so it is in this spirit i bring you this installment of your moment(s) of zen. i know, you must indulge me yet again. but it's worth it.