Matt Damon is a guest columnist at the Chin Music Press Blog. He usually writes articles about chafing prevention techniques for the prestigious hiking/outdoor magazine: Granola and Kale Love Each Other Very Much. His other achievements include an Academy Award for Best Screenplay, a world class lover and a participation ribbon he got for his water color painting in third grade.
I remember the first time I came across Chin Music Press. It was one of those temperate unfeeling days in Seattle, when the wind rushes past you and you don’t know if it said “I love you” or “You’re going to eat this spoiled lobster and I’m going to watch. hehe” I was shooting a movie called Shawshank Redemption II: The Revenge of the Shanks. I was taking over Tim Robbins part, apparently he didn’t return because he didn’t get along with Morgan Freeman on the first movie. (Funny thing though Morgan Freeman decided not to do the movie right before production started so I called up my buddy Benny Affie and said ‘Yo, you should totally do this movie and be Morgan Freeman’ ‘Choice' he said. Yes, there was a bit of controversy over my main man’s casting, but when I pitched the idea of doing a Cloud Atlas-esque type deal where it was hey-different-people-but-we-definitely-have-the-same-soul-blah-love-blah-existential-Thoreau-bullshit then everyone was fine with it).
It was my break, so I decided to take a walk through Pike Place. The ocean breeze made me feel right at home in California, but I was damn frustrated. Frustrated because I couldn’t very well get into character. See, I was playing an older white man, but in actuality I was a younger white man and couldn’t grasp that stretch. Would I eat oatmeal for breakfast instead of having my usual Egg McMuffin with a side of beans? Would I eat organic vegetables rather than non-organic? It was so hard to think so I walked through the market. Get lost, thought I, it be good to immerse myself to not think of these hard hitting existential concepts.
I looked at all the bright stalls with their beads and fish and those crazy vegetables but that is when I stumbled in that shop full of wonders. I walked in.
“What kind of store is this?” I asked the blonde girl behind the counter.
“Why, it’s Chin Music Press, sir.” She said cheerfully. “We sell books!”
“Yes, books! Wonderful books! Splendid books! Beautiful books! Look at the designs, the covers, the colors and wonders.” She brought a stack of the books from under the counter and they seemed to overflow onto the table. Colorful titles I wanted to throw into the passenger of my red convertible as I drive along the Pacific Coast Highway
with a “Just Married” sign pinned to the back.
“My god.” I held the books in my hand. These books were a pleasant surprise.
“Ah, Lizard Telepathy, Fox Telepathy, that’s quite a good book. All the cones and shapes make you feel really--”
“Existential...” I turned around and saw, “TexMex Richards?”
“Tis’ I!” We shook hands. “and you are Matt Damon, Oscar Winner and ‘World Class Lover’ deemed by Oprah’s Book Club.”
“Well…” I was a red tomato at that point ready to burst. TexMex stood in front of me in all of his unadulterated glory.
“Well” TexMex put on sunglasses and pointed at me with both his index fingers. “What brings a Hollywood hotshot like you here?”
“Oh, me? Well, the thing is TexMex…” This tomato was already well-bursted now. “I just have trouble with this movie I’m in.”
“Yeah, I just can’t get into…”
“No, I meant Oh!” He handed me one of Chin Music Press’ books. It was a hardback gray book with a watercolor-like painting in the middle. “Read it. There’s a part in the book where a character writes a poem and it helps him.”
“How does it help him and why does he need to write a poem?”
“Ummmm” TexMex started to look out the window and shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“But you reviewed this book, didn’t you?”
“TexMex, have you been drinking?”
“Hmmm” He stared at his shoes, then he dug into his pocket and tossed me a McNugget covered in lint and a paper clip. “There ya go, Honey! Stay beautiful!” And just like that another man abruptly left me--that’s a story for another day. I stared at that dirty McNugget in my hand and sat on the floor. As strange as my interaction with TexMex was, I thought maybe he was right and that a poem could stir up some creativity in me. So I sat and stared at the McNugget in my hand. I stared and when I could stare no more, I wrote this:
Love is a blonde girl dipping two chicken nuggets in two different hands
The right one is dipped in the buffalo sauce
The left is dipped in ranch