Picture Steve Martin on an airplane with a big old glass of white wine. And in the window behind him you see the aurora borealis. [Sigh.] That’s part of a movie I—that was on… I wasn’t really watching it. I, I saw a little part of it. The message seemed to be, “Isn’t it great to be rich?”
But he’s also lonely.
I’m—this is fragmentary. I didn’t see much of this movie. [Throat clearing.] It’s based on a novel that Steve Martin wrote. And he’s getting Claire Danes to take off her clothes a lot, which I couldn’t tell: is it supposed to be creepy? Because it’s creepy. I mean does the movie think it’s creepy? The movie seems to think it’s creepy. But the movie also… wants to… indulge in it. And on the other hand I can’t really tell whether the movie thought it was… creepy.
I didn’t watch the whole thing, which… that’s my [short laugh] cross to bear. [Laughter.]
In a work meeting yesterday we were talki—Maisie was saying that she mostly likes movies about rich people. Forgive me if that’s… if that’s inaccurate.
But I think that’s what she said, and I know she loves Nancy Meyers, for example.
And I wondered how many—what’s the percentage of movies that are about rich people? A large percentage, I would think. The ones we love! From the thirties. Where… uhm… you know, Dinner at Eight.
Oh! We have a Samsung smart TV, which [laughter] I suppose is listening to everything I say! I mean why would the CIA be interested in me? They wouldn’t, uh… but… that’s one of the devices… it just came out in the newspaper that the Samsung smart TV is one of the devices that… uh… the CIA has figured out how to hack in order to spy on people.
I only mention it because I’m sitting in the room with it and I hear sort of a [stifled laugh] high-pitched—now I sound like a real maniac. I hear kind of a… an electric hum.
But by no means am I yet crazy enough to think that it means the CIA is… you know… checking my conversation for hints of sedition.
[Short throat clearing.]
I just feel…
No matter how comfortable your life is, you can—and maybe this goes back to movies about rich people, all these rich people and their problems. Will they ever find true happiness? Moans the rich person.
No matter how comfortable—and look. I couldn’t be… more… I couldn’t be luckier. Sure, our furniture is a wreck. The cats have seen to that.
[Long pause. Breathing.]
I’ve got nothing to complain about but for some reason… I don’t wanna have a meeting today! [Laughter.] How petulant.
There’s not much to… tell. Our friend Tex stayed for more than two weeks. And…
He became so much—you know. Just part of our… like the [laughter] son we never had.
He knows all of our… secret… failings.
You know, night descends. There’s one cat that won’t stop meowing unless you walk into the other room and acknowledge that he’s carried his toy rat into the kitchen.
So Tex got to hear just how much that cat meows.
And has seen our catering to this cat’s every whim.
And has heard me asking, rhetorically, “Why didn’t we just have a child?”
Then when, uh…
I had a lot of thoughts right after Tex left, about how it feels to have a visitor for a long—I don’t think I’ve ever… we’ve ever had a visitor for such a long period of time.
And after… a visitor leaves, there’s a… oh! I can take a nap whenever I want and Tex isn’t gonna knock on the door.
But there’s also… well, you miss that person, obviously.
And maybe there’s a… an increased…
I was scratching my head. In case that… that sound… I was scratching my head with the same hand in which is being held this… monolith of… [bird tweeting] inarticulate… [bird whistles again] repression. This digital recorder.
I think I was going to describe… the feeling of stagnation, perhaps, that accompanies the… departure of a good friend. Oh, I’m gonna keep doing the—the—this day is gonna happen over and over. When my friend was here at least he was a witness to it.
This… I’m just babbling. I’m not quite… I haven’t grasped the… the feeling I’m trying to get across.
[High bird whistle.]
And this isn’t it.
The day at least served as a form of entertainment for this outsider. This… uh… person that we… love… this… being. Is a visitor like a… like a god? Is a visitor like an angel?
I mean a—angels are always walkin’ up to people [laughter] in the Bible, like, “Hey. I’m just a guy in a robe. Uh, can I have some of that mutton?”
So visitors are like angels, perhaps. And then when they leave, the… ex… [bird whistling] the… radiance [bird whistling] they impart… to your… [coffee being poured] humblest activity…
You know! Your everyday life is a… treat! To a visitor.
It’s exotic and… uh… amusing, and…
And with the departure of the visitor there goes the heavenly accompaniment.
Also the feeling…
Also the feeling that… uhm…
I mean, eyuhhh, is there a smidge of envy for the person who can vacate this space…? Look. I realize that I’m not… smart. But the ability to move between spaces, to… oh, look, is this Anastasia comin’ back? Or is that a tree again?
You know, I keep…
That’s the second time I’ve looked at that tree and thought it was moving.
Well, this is it, people.
I guess that’s my new… thing.
Trees are gonna start…
I guess that’s the way it all falls apart.
Jack Pendarvis has written five books. He won two Emmys for his work on the TV show Adventure Time. During a period of light employment, he spoke into a digital recorder whenever the mood struck him and transcribed the results, accumulating the two thousand pages from which this column has been extracted.
Popula is 100% ad-free, reader-supported journalism accountable only to you. Every dollar of your subscription goes straight to our work. Thank you for supporting Popula.
Hmm, looks like you don’t have MetaMask activated!
If you know what MetaMask is and have it installed, activate MetaMask and refresh:
If that doesn’t make sense to you, click here:
The MetaMask window should have popped up and asked if you want Popula to have access to your MetaMask. Click the ‘CONFIRM’ button.
Don’t see the MetaMask window? Click here to request it again:
You have an old version of the MetaMask extension installed. Before we can continue, you must install the latest version.
- Uninstall (don’t just disable) the existing extension from your browser.
- Restart your browser.
- Go to metamask.io and re-install the extension.
- Come back here and try again!
We know this step is inconvenient, but it’s necessary to make sure this all goes smoothly!
Your MetaMask extension is running, but for privacy purposes you have to allow us to connect to your MetaMask wallet.
You need to connect to the Main Net before you can actually tip. Click on your MetaMask icon so the window pops up, then select ‘Main Ethereum Network’ from the dropdown.
How much do you want to tip?
You can adjust either amount to see how much ETH or USD you’ll be sending.
You can adjust the tip amount in the MetaMask popup window before confirming the transaction.
Popula’s authors contribute 5% of their tips to Popula to help with the overhead of running the tipping system.
Author participation in the Popula tipping system is optional; if an author declines to participate in the tipping system, your tip will be refunded to you in full within 60 days.
Your MetaMask window has popped up now, and you need to confirm the transaction.
Hit that ‘CONFIRM’ button to make it happen!
Did you reject the transaction by accident? Want to adjust your tip amount? Click here:
Maybe you’re not quite comfortable with this yet?
That transaction didn’t go through for some reason.
Try clicking on the MetaMask button in your browser bar (looks like this: ) and see if you have any transactions listed at the bottom of the popup. If you don’t see the tip you just tried to leave, then try again:
Or just want to ask us about it? We’ look into it personally for you.
Thank you so much for your tip, and for your direct support of journalism. The author will appreciate it a lot, and so do all of us at Popula.
To see your transaction logged in MetaMask, click the MetaMask button in your browser toolbar—this one: —and your transaction will be listed in the popup.
You can also track the transaction on the Etherscan website. It usually takes under a minute to process, and you’ll get a notification from MetaMask when it’s done.Track on Etherscan
If you have any questions at all, please let us know!
All set?Home to Popula, please!
We know this cryptocurrency stuff is new and weird. We’re here to help you understand. Ask us email@example.com
ETH is Ether, a popular cryptocurrency generated on the Ethereum blockchain.
You’ll need some Ethereum cryptocurrency (ETH) in a MetaMask wallet in order to tip an author. Currently it’s not possible to tip in other cryptocurrencies, or in dollars or other fiat currencies.
For a comprehensive FAQ to help get you started, please visit our help page, “How to Tip Your Favorite Authors with Cryptocurrency on Popula!”
If you have any questions at all, please let us know!