Here’s my conundrum: masturbating at a workplace bathroom is dangerous, yes, because I’d get fired if caught, and I desperately need the cash. I can barely afford this apartment loft, in a situation that replaced “the privacy of walls that connect to the ceiling” with “five roommates.”
I can’t do it in my bedroom because I share it with an Australian bartender who resents me for not being one of the women he brings home. I can’t do it in the bathroom, because someone’s always barging in during the part of my fantasy where Emily Ratajkowski enthusiastically signs the contract to simulate a love scene with me in the Gone Girl sequel (in my fantasies I’m also a great actor).
I work in “New Media”—an industry run by 20-year-olds who financially don’t respect people that have skills. And those 20-year-olds are fine with it, because the adults who run the company convinced them that’s their birthright. And isn’t it a privilege to be included in an open space office that stores craft beers in the fridge anyway?
But the perk I do like is that they have a bathroom for the differently abled (don’t worry, the 20-year-olds say I’m allowed to use that term, because “not being able” to live in New York with dignity is included). That’s where I masturbate—with the lights off, because I get distracted too easily. And right after Em (short for Emily Ratajkowski) writes “Hey just signed the contract, can’t wait!” in my DMs, Mark, in real life, texts me, “Hey, can you write up the new Star Wars teaser?”
“Sure,” I said. “But let me finish.”
A producer walked by the workstation, pointing to the camera on my desk.
“When are you going to fix that?” she said. “We have to get that video where jubilant Gen Z stoners make fun of ethnic people food.”
“I’m working on it.”
“No you’re not—you’re just typing.”
“I’m Googling how to fix this camera,” I said.
“That’s a real long search string, I’d say.”
She walked away, reminding me to not render the camera useless.
“It’s very expensive,” she added, meaning: “don’t make it as useless as you are.”
Anyway, the following is my “search string:”
The Star Wars: Episode IX teaser opens with a black screen, and someone breathing heavily (hey, just like when I masturbate at work!) and it turns out to be the main character from the new Star Wars movies, in a desert. A voiceover that sounds like Matthew McConaughey gives the same advice my father gave me when I asked if he can get out of bed so we can go get hoagies for lunch: “We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now, but this is your fight.” Then, at a distance we hear a familiar manic scream—that bad Star Wars spaceship sound! As the spaceship sails toward the main character, she leaps up beautifully as the Star Wars love theme crescendos (I don’t know if that’s the right term, or name of the song, but it makes sense, because I really loved that flip). The title of that Harry Connick Jr. song, “This Christmas,” comes on the screen, and then it’s a montage of clips from the Star Wars movie that’s being advertised.
Highlights include: a Star Wars spaceship heading to land in what I imagine is Denver, Colorado; the guy from Girls stabbing someone with the smallest part of his sword; someone building the new X-Box; some people on a hike; BB-8 with a Dyson hairdryer; Donald Glover in a fat suit; C-3PO dry humping a pole; the new Star Wars main character embracing Carrie Fisher’s corpse (which I think is in poor taste); an audio clip from the new Joker trailer; and the title of the movie being “The Rise of Skywalker,” from which I’ve inferred that they’re going to include a vintage featurette of how George Lucas built his ranch.
The teaser was able to achieve what actual movies rarely do: trailers move us, excite us, and inspire us to go out there and vote. I welled up in emotion—as part of their design—and birthed a new hope (wink!) for the film’s arrival.
These little videos stir us in less than two minutes, yet they’re tossed aside as a mere commercial for the main event. But if I were to shift my perspective, I would say that these useless things are the actual final products dredged from the multi-billion dollar well that created them.
Seeing the actual film is just watching an uncut trailer. What’s the use? Movies are never going to be as good as books, nor trailers.
The producer circled back to my desk and asked the question my father asked me: “Do you even like it here?”
“Of course,” I said. “I get a lot of use out of it.” I then turned to the camera and winked.