A good friend of mine who I first met many years ago is someone I greatly respect and feel a lot of affection for but romantically her and I were far from right for each other. We both looked for vastly different things in a relationship, sure we got along, we were both perhaps terrible influences on each other and any night we were together, the party normally continued into the wee hours. I could confide in her and she could confide in me, a lot of people actually thought we were an item. I’m not saying there was never any romance but we quickly determined, we were better off as friends. She will remain nameless for plausible deniability’s sake. Maybe we were smart, perhaps we were stubborn fools and neither of us were willing to bend for the other. Just because you have admiration and love for a person, it doesn’t mean you have to fall in love with them. I feel like that about many things. I accept caviar and oysters are a wonderfully complex food but I’d prefer a New York slice any day of the week. I’d rather drink a Cabernet than a Pinot but it doesn’t mean one is better than the other and it certainly doesn’t mean I’m right. You get the point?
I feel this way particularly about art whether it be paintings, movies, literature or music. Art is subjective in terms of one’s own enjoyment of the medium but I can objectively appreciate certain art while remaining somewhat personally indifferent. For example, I was at LACMA and they happened to have a Stanley Kubrick exhibition. I’d be lying if I said I was a great Kubrick fan, but I paid the extra admission to go check it out, because I appreciated his contribution to cinema. The exhibition was awesome, I probably enjoyed it more than any of his movies, not because his movies are bad, they’re not. In fact his movies are quite brilliant and to see first-hand some of the work that went into each motion picture was somewhat incredible. I was in complete admiration. Although I’m still a little indifferent to his movies. While I was at the exhibition I saw a photograph of the exterior of ‘The Shining’ hotel, which took me back to being eighteen years old, when my friend and I were driving up through Oregon and wound up spending some time at the Timberline Lodge. It was quite accidental. He had some family near there who were going skiing, I didn’t ski but I figured a snow filled adventure through Oregon was fine by me, after all I was always a fan of snow ball fights. Once we arrived at The Timberline Lodge I was told this was ‘The Shining Hotel.’ It wasn’t, but it kind of was. Stanley Kubrick shot the exteriors of the hotel at the Timberline Lodge, but Stephen King wrote the book at a hotel in Colorado. It was technically one of ‘The Shining’ hotels. I’d never seen the movie or read the book, but I did after that trip to Oregon.
I feel much about Stephen King as I do about Stanley Kubrick. He’s a great writer but not particularly what I care to read. I’m not a horror fiction fan but his work I’d say is great. Simply not for me and I’m sure Stephen King could give less of a fuck about my opinions and rightly so, he’s a great author, I just preferred different stories. I did enjoy ‘The Shining’ and controversially I really liked the movie, maybe more so, but Jack Nicholson is what I like to refer to as a bad ass motherfucker.
I didn’t really give it much more thought but I found myself in Colorado. This time with a different friend, we’d headed out for a drive, y’know to check out The Rocky Mountains. Then he said he had somewhere to show me and we drove to Estes Park and there she was, ‘The Stanley Hotel’ in all her glory. The real, original, Stephen King Shining hotel. We figured we’d have to indulge in a beverage or two, because of the occasion we threw expense out of the window, I started making my way through a few glasses of Jeffersons Ocean aged bourbon as we chatted with the bartender. We checked out the dining hall, laughed at the cardboard cut out of two scary twin girls and I’m pretty sure we said Redrum close to too many times. I went to pay the bill when it was time to leave but my first card was declined, then my second card was declined and well, I only had two cards. I made my way to the ATM and I was shit out of luck. I knew my bank account wasn’t pretty but I also knew it hadn’t been decimated by myself, it wasn’t. My card details had been stolen. Now I was in Colorado, a place I didn’t live with no money and an unpaid bar tab at the Goddamn Shining Hotel, I was waiting for blood to start flowing like a river through the corridors and to wind up buried out in the snow, thankfully the outcome was much less dramatic as my friend had settled the tab and he lent me some money to tide me over till the bank repaid me.
Despite me not being the greatest Stephen King or Stanley Kubrick fan, I sure have ended up at a lot of places their greatest fans may seek out. Maybe people thought I was in love with both, like they thought I was in love with my friend or my friend in love with me. Maybe love isn’t something you seek out maybe it seeks you out. Maybe I am in love and always have been and I was too blind to see. In love with ‘The Shining’ that is.