Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tales of the Koko Lion, Part 19: Matt Dillon, Flash Gordon, and the Synchronicitous Magic Act

"An unexpected content which is directly or indirectly connected with some objective external event coincides with the ordinary psychic state: this is what I call synchronicity..."

"...experience has shown that under certain conditions space and time can be reduced almost to zero, causality disappears along with them..."
Dr. Carl Jung, Synchronicity, An Acausal Connecting Principle

Koko was not at all himself that evening, even though it was his birthday, a day when one hopes for a bit more self-awareness than the day before. It was either 1990 or 1991, which made him either thirty-four or thirty-five. It mattered little at the time, as he was living in a state of relative detachment from what most people would consider reality, and had been for some time.
Pamela was shimmying into a tiny black cocktail dress, into his eternity, pulling the hem down to where there was little room left for the imagination. She was like a clear-eyed lioness, slightly bent by substances, with legs up to his chin and a drop-hammer temper–and she was funny. Get her on a roll, and she could really entertain.
 They were getting ready to go out, to celebrate, so naturally he didn't notice that Time and Space were collapsing.

"What am I supposed to get you for your birthday when you already have all the tequila you can drink? She asked wittily.
"There's a new book out, a collection of comic strips by Alex Raymond, you could..."
"Write it down! Whattaya expect me to remember whatever his name is...jeez, can't you see I'm trying to get ready?" She was like that: passive/agressive with a vengeance (which made it just plain aggressive.) Besides, he didn't really expect her to know one of the great comic strip artists of the ages, Alex Raymond, the genius draughtsman responsible for Flash Gordon and Agent X-9. He wrote the name, Alex Raymond, on a small piece of paper and handed it to her.
"Do you see anyplace that I can put that?" He looked at her in her dress, a bare twist of black, barely painted on her slender body, like the girls in her own stylish urban illustrations. He concurred. She did not have a single place to put it.
"Put it in your own pocket, and give it to me later." He folded it up, and put it in his breast pocket. He often found life easier if he just did what she told him to do.

They settled into the bar at Merchants, the trendy saloon across the street from Barney's 7th Avenue, and began to celebrate his birthday in a manner indistinguishable from practically every other day of the year.
Heads turned first when Pamela had entered, a reaction he took for granted. Then again, when the actor Matt Dillon sauntered in a little behind them, looking wide-eyed and innocent.

"Oh my God!" Pamela crushed Koko's lapels and hissed into his ear, "It's Matt DILLON!  I've got to meet him! Get him to come over here and meet me!" He often did what she told him to, so he nonchalantly walked over and put his hand out.
"Hey Matt, I'm a big fan." The star smiled a bit and shook his hand easily. "Drugstore Cowboy was the Best Picture of '89, and you should of won Best Actor." Matt's smile opened wider. The trick was to mean it, and Koko really did. It was an excellent movie, and Matt was excellent in it.
"Thanks," said the star sincerely. "What do you do? I mean, for a living?"

Koko was surprised by the simple generosity shown, and felt that brotherhood one feels in a bar when one wants to settle in to a glass and a chat. He couldn't help but notice the actor's skin, his complexion, it was like sweet seamless alabaster. Flawless. He guessed that movie stars were a little different, in some ways.
"I'm an Illustrator, a Pop Illustrator," he answered. " Magazines, ads, newspapers, like that...and a comics artist."
"Cool!" Matt bunched his brows and looked up towards the pressed-tin ceiling for something. "My Grandma's brother was a famous comics artist..."
"Your Great-Uncle?" Koko clarified.
"Yeah, he was famous. He drew Flash Gordon for the Sunday funny papers..." said the actor.
In Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity, a unit observing another hurtling along parallel paths perceives the other as shortening in length as the two approach the speed of light and Time slows down to a crawl. Matt Dillon seemed a little shorter to Koko than he had the moment before as he reached into his breast pocket and pulled out the folded piece of paper. The actor watched with interest.
"And this..." said Koko mysteriously, slowly unfolding the paper at eye level," the name of your great-uncle!" Koko read the name, Alex Raymond, backwards through the backlit paper, and looked past it into Matt's widening eyes as he looked from the paper to Koko and back again.

"That's, that's...HOW DID YOU DO THAT?" The actor's chin approached the floor. "That was my uncle's name, my great-uncle... ALEX RAYMOND!"

Koko turned to meet Pamela's eyes and waved her over. She got up, pulling her cocktail dress down as she wiggled past him, mouthing "What did you say?" "Don't worry about it," he whispered as he turned, "Matt...this is my girlfriend Pamela. She's a big fan of yours too."
Pamela locked into the space in front of the movie star like dopamine clicking onto a receptor as Koko withdrew to a barstool and gathered himself in the vacuum of the synchronicitous collision. Apparently, everything had to be connected at a profound and unimaginable level. Pamela sparkled and twisted, and God, was she funny in front of the movie star.
Just what the heck is reality? He wondered. What if absolutely nothing at all happens by chance? He shuddered, and drank to that.

"Meaningful coincidences are thinkable as pure chance. But the more they multiply and the greater and more exact the correspondence is, the more their probability sinks and their unthinkability increases, until they can no longer be regarded as pure chance but, for lack of a causal explanation, have to be thought of as meaningful arrangements."
Dr. Carl Jung, Ibid.