Star-Crossed and Omni-Present: Catching David Lynch

January 24th, 2007

David Lynch is floating fifteen feet above my head, while I am sitting cross-legged between Saturn and the sun, surrounded by people who are three-feet-tall, squealing, and throwing books at me. All that’s missing are a few severed body parts, a red velvet curtain, and someone throatily murmuring “fire walk with me.” Although, with all the squealing, I think a resounding “Silencio!” would be more appropriate.

This is the second time I’ve missed a date with David Lynch. The first time was back at grad school, when Lynch appeared on stage with a neuroscientist for a conversation about quantum mechanics and Lynch’s films – a most unlikely combination of some of my favorite enigmas. Alas, something happened and I wasn’t able to attend – though I remember driving past the church where his talk was held and goggling at the people waiting in line – they stretched out the door and around the block.

Tonight, a few years later and on the other side of the continent, Lynch is appearing at a Borders Bookstore to talk about his new book Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity. Again, an impossibly clever juxtaposition of people and concepts I find fascinating. Though I planned for this lecture well in advance, I forgot that it takes an hour to drive three miles in Los Angeles – if those three miles are anywhere in the vicinity of the 405 at rush hour. And so, I arrived after the talk, but in plenty of time to witness a very strange phenomenon.

The second floor is overflowing with people. They are milling around, eating slices of cherry cheesecake while standing up, doing their homework in the café. But most of them are assembled into five distinct lines which snake all around the store. There’s a line of people in the Computer section, and another in Travel. There’s a line in Fiction and Literature, and a particularly thick cluster of people in the vicinity of JAG and The Golden Girls in the DVD section. There’s even a line by the Musicals.

I thoroughly examined each line; they all have a beginning and an end, but none of them are connected. Could it be just one line, segmented to facilitate the flow of traffic? Logical, but I never once saw a person from one line move up to join another. No, these lines are discrete, self-contained entities. And everyone is holding a copy of Lynch’s book. The only conclusion is that David Lynch is omnipresent (is anyone surprised?) and simultaneously signing books in five places at once at the Westwood Borders.

Too excited to wait, I immediately looked for a place to set up my computer so I could live Muse to you all, and share some of the excitement of being in the same place at the same time as five David Lynchs. Of course, the masses of fans who apparently rented helicopters to get over the 405 before me have already filled all vacant seats and benches. And that is how I find myself sitting downstairs, cross-legged on the floor of the children’s section.

I’m getting closer to David Lynch. Last time I missed him by a city block, this time by a storey at Borders. Next time, he’ll probably be talking about chaos theory, anti-materialism, and the pleasures of public Musing – and I think I’m destined to be in the front row. But I’m starting to wonder… will catching David Lynch be as much fun as chasing him?

Entry Filed under: Film

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