40 IS a bitch. Man, don’t I know it! I think it was Martin Amis who said—and I’m paraphrasing here—that turning 40 is the most fucked up thing ever for a guy, because it means, for all intents and purposes, that the first half of your life is over, and like, what have you got to show for it, right? You are never going to get that first half back, it’s all downhill from here, you’ve stopped growing, physically, and you’re actually starting to putrefy. You’re on your way to death. Things start going away, right away. In this film about you, Uncle Kent, you start having some problems with your sight—you’ve got to look at certain stuff on paper first farther away, then nearer to you, in order to read. Wow, I’m relatively lucky—I didn’t start getting eye issues when I turned 40, and I still don’t have ‘em, but man, beyond that…well, I gotta admit I was a little surprised and shaken at how much the story told about you in the film Uncle Kent had in common with what I was going through when I turned that age.
The affinities started hitting me pretty early on, as I watched you hunching over your work easel, doing that animation stuff—you apparently work as an animator, whereas I work as a writer, they’re both kinda solitary occupations. And then there was how you live by yourself, and how you drink a lot, and how you smoke a lot of pot, and how you hang out a lot with your cat. See, here’s you, with your cat.
And here’s me, a long time ago, back in my 40s, with my cat.
And my stupid fanboy Akira t-shirt. And my double chin. And my nose hair. Sorry about that. Gosh, how embarrassing.
Now I was never that much of a pot person—until this one period where I got so anxiety-ridden and insomniac that I started smoking it very intently…but I’m getting ahead of myself here—but I definitely had this routine back then of working and drinking and just sort of wallowing in loneliness. And you’re clearly not taking very good care of yourself in other respects. “Check” on that, for me, when I was your age, too. You live in L.A. , so you have a car, and you’re letting that go to shit; I haven’t owned a car in a while (an advantage of a certain mode of urban living, I’d say), but I dare say if I had, well, what’s happening to your car would have happened to mine.
And there’s even more, and here’s where it gets kinda weird!