As many readers of this blog know, since my brain surgery I've lost the list-making compulsion that was central to the way my mind worked all my life.
I would lay in bed at night after I turned the lights out and to help me fall asleep I'd make up lists with certain specific requirements to focus my mind so intently it would help me fall asleep.
But I made them all day as well, walking around, in the shower, anytime I wasn't reading or focused on a particular task or conversation that demanded all my attention.
Usually one of the requirements would be to make a list for which each item began with a different letter of the alphabet so that I could remember them later to write them down, often in this blog after I started it.
As a boy and young man I had a pretty terrific memory, and even in later years had accumulated an extensive stockpile of information in certain areas, mostly the arts (and politics), so that I could give myself the task of coming up with an alphabet of favorite poems or more specifically favorite poems with one word titles, or favorite movies with two syllable titles, etc. and fill it from A to Z.
Sometimes I would make trinity lists, groups of three that made sense to me, if no one else. Or couplets in which the connection between each name or title in each couplet had deep significance in my mind either linguistically and/or meaning-wise etc.
I don't do it anymore, because the need to, the compulsion to, was gone when I came out of the operation, and hasn't returned.
But I still love lists, so after writing the last post I thought I would make one about movies I've seen since the operation that struck me as worth seeing—some for the first time, most I'd seen before.
I started with the idea of an alphabet list. I thought of some I'd seen in recent days and weeks and even months, but had to go back to old posts to get most of them (my old lists came strictly out of my mind, memories and a kind of searching of my mental files).
There weren't any for some letters, and more than one for most letters, so I decided to break them into alphabetized (by first letter not second or so on) couplets and discovered they created connections that were completely unplanned but were often surprisingly apt or humorous or original.
You might agree or not, but here's what I came up with:
THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES
THE BLUE DAHLIA
THE DEVIL’S DOORWAY
DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE
A HARD DAY’S NIGHT
JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK
LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN
THE LAST STATION
THE LAST EMPEROR
ON THE WATERFRONT
PRINCE OF PERSIA (hey, I enjoyed it, what can I say)
THE QUIET MAN
A SINGLE MAN
THE THIN MAN
THIS IS IT (some fascinating and/or impressive moments)
VICKEY CRISTINA BARCELONA
THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY