Saturday, December 29, 2007
Oh, and writer's block sucks.
Friday, December 21, 2007
So yes, I did get to go see it, and yes, it is quite good. Depp's pop-y voice did not bother me nearly as much as did the girl from Phantom of the Opera, and frankly speaking, he was born to play that part (along with Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovitt).
Burton's direction was infringing as usual but it worked perfectly for an overblown, operatic story with its overblown, operatic visuals. Three things stood out in particular: Sweeney running through the streets offering shaves to those who cannot hear him (from the trailer), Johnny Depp's expression throughout Mrs. Lovitt's visions of a happy future, and of course, "A Little Priest", where the loping visuals and blocking matched perfectly the loping, overlapping voices Sondheim dreamt up.
As I said before, Four and a Half Razors out of Five.
I was going to write an amusing "Exes weigh in" (double pun!) feature today but I got a message of condolence from a good friend who wrote that she was visiting family, including her great-grandmother, who was getting ready to die, because she deeply believes this is her last Christmas.
That put everything in perspective for me. There's a lot of cliches to be said: Life gets a little better every day. Enjoy what you have before it vanishes. God only gives you what you can handle. M*ch*g*n sucks. But cliches get said because they're true.
So this holiday season, go out, be happy, enjoy time with family and friends, let old wounds heal up on their own. You never know how many you're going to have left.
Merry Christmas, E.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Some of you, after reading my previous blog post ("Day of Infamy, Part I (Now)"), may be under the mistaken impression that what E did to me was the most heartbreaking thing that I've ever experienced, and that I'm broken, desolate, lonely, and on an island. The truth is, young grasshoppers (and I do mean grass -hoppers) that it's been so long since I've experienced *real* heartbreak that this numbing pain I'm feeling right now is just a shadow of what once was. (Real pain won't come until she starts dating someone else in a month or two).
Settle back, young children, and I'll tell you the story of the Original Cold Hearted Bit...ter Lady.
A History Lesson
Once upon a time, when I was a mere lad of sixteen or seventeen years of age, there was a young lady to whom I had taken a fancy to. Regular readers of my correspondence will recall her name, but for tonight we'll simply call her Ms. K.
No, no, kindly reader, not *that* Ms. K (of her we do not speak), but the "extremely small" one.
After some time of courtship (about three months, if my aged memory serves me correctly) we went on a small date that was supposed to be a little mini-reunion after about three weeks of not seeing each other or talking to each other much due to the stresses and portents of our outside lives.
(Does this sound familiar, dear readers?)
And of course my gentle parents were uncomfortable with us being alone together in an empty house, so at my behest Ms. K sighed and entered my automobile for a countryside drive and a long conversation.
I don't know entirely why I forced her to do so; perhaps it was trying to capture the zeitgeist of our very first date (my first real car date; longtime readers will recall the magical tale of that Clifton evening) but suffice to say, things did not go well.
It took me some time in our conversation, parked in front of the flower shop, perhaps about an hour, before I realized the ultimate design of Ms. K's hemming and hawwing- the end of our relationship. And then of course, because I am a gentleman of the old breeding, I gave her an uncomfortably awkward ride home, keeping my back rigid and a neutral look on my face.
I dropped her off at her house, gave her a light peck, and let her go. (And yes, Virginia, this *was* the inspiration for Ashley's final line from "Love Burns").
Then I drove around the corner, to where I was sure she couldn't see me from the vantage point of the house. My eyes were blurring from bitter tears. I stopped the car, put it in park, turned off the lights and now it's just me on that hillside crying, all-out, my entire body wretching itself again and again, the car slipping backwards sympathetically, my ears burning with shame and revulsion, the entirety of it crashing down upon me like a tidal wave of fear and angst and loneliness and insecurity, my acidic tears burning away what happiness I once had.
I screamed and pounded the wheel and mouthed obscenities and clenched and unclenched every muscle in my body like some twisted, demented yoga relaxation exercise and blanched and finally, began to moan out, every word carving a deep, acrid wound into my soul: "Not as I will...but as You will....not as I will...but as You will..."
I know that had I not prayed that, had I not torn myself apart to beg for His help, I would have driven my car right into a wall, right into a river, tried to kill myself and end the misery right there. But somehow (I can't remember how), I managed to make it back home to the cradle of my family, and to comfort.
Eventually, even to peace.
So there. That's the worst it could get. That's when I dug in my heels and decided that it would never happen again.
So, if it makes you feel any better, my latest ex, you weren't as bad as that.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Sunday, December 17th, a little after 1:00 pm. That was when all the dreams and hopes and fears and loves and lusts and jealousy and desire and wishfulness and relaxedness came to an end.
From an intellectual standpoint, I knew it had to end someday, but "someday" had always seemed so far away. But nonetheless, I kept up with the mental drills, envisioned the end coming a million times over in a million different scenarios, and thought I was prepared for the worst when she and I sat down for a brief "serious chat".
This time, it only took me about two minutes to figure out she wanted to break up with me. Her reasons were pretty simple: this relationship isn't worth the effort i'm putting into it; i'm happy when i'm with you, but not when we're apart; i feel like i'm in a relationship with all the responsibilities but none of the rewards.
I held my mask pretty well; she even commented on how calm and in control I appeared to be. Appeared to be. It took me almost two days to break down, and when I did break down, I did it in the privacy in my room, where she couldn't hear me, late at night when there was no chance of interruptions. That breakdown- tears and all, mind you- was triggered by a well-meant comment from M (sorry man, you couldn't have known how much it hurt): "Hey, if it helps, you're the least likely person that I thought this could happen to over the holidays". I told him thanks, hung up the phone, and broke down crying and screaming and wrecking myself.
The worst part though, was that for two days afterwards because of travel arrangements, I had to stay there and pretend everything was alright. She even tried to keep up with it. She even tried to pretend everything was alright. But I could tell, she was itching for me to leave. Very slowly, she slid along the gradient of acting like we always had, to cooling down, to just ignoring me altogether. That hurt. It hurt even more because I could see she was trying to let me down gently, trying not to hurt me, but to be so close to her and yet so far...
The original analogy I used was that it was like my breakup with K (see below) but instead of taking three hours, it took 3 days, and I was sick as a ****ing dog the entire time. But with hindsight, I know it won't come out to be that bad. It's closer in intensity to how Kristin and I ended it: quietly, sadly, turning away in the rain. Oh, except my lungs were filled with mucus the entire time and her best friend/mother/other friends were there to see the entire self-destruct sequence in HD.
Besides the sadness and the numbing loneliness and the hurt and the pain, there was, of course, the rage at life and fate and God and E (a little) for the way this had happened:
-She said that KA's breakup with her boyfriend had sort of triggered the melancholy feeling that led to our breakup; of course, that event and mood coincided with the exam period during which I was most stressed and we couldn't communicate much, if at all.
-I almost broke myself trying to get everything done so that I would be stress-free and ready to be carefree when I reached E. The result of course was that I got sick and wasn't thinking or acting at 100%...
-There's the effort and planning in everything I did: the comic book, the money I was squirreling away so I could surprise her at college, the ideas I had stored up for her birthday and our anniversary (now stillborn) etc. etc....of course now it's all going to waste.
-If only we had more time...if only we had more time...if only we had more time...there's still a part of me that still holds out hope, that we can work through this, and so I'm all jumpy when the phone rings, but it's not going to be her. She's probably already forgotten me, but at least she had the courtesy to try to ease the pain by sniffling and saying things like "this might be a huge mistake" and "I just don't know what I really want" and "Lauren's going to kill me" etc. etc.
-She wants to explore and get out and find new options and blahblahblah...as I should have realized, a spirit like hers deserves more than what I can give her. If she was truly as miserable as she said she was, it's my duty to let her go free, no guilt, no pain. She deserves to be free.
And that's the part that hurts me the most. I know what the right thing to do is, and the right thing to do is to let her go. I can't call, I can't beg, I can't try to manipulate her (not that that ever works), and most importantly, I have to put aside my own feelings and hope that she finds someone who will make her truly happy. I was a shitty enough boyfriend when we were together, but maybe I can assuage it by wishing her well.
Mrs. Smith: "Love is just wishing another well."
Well (no pun intended), my thought on the matter is if E's relationship with me didn't hold water (har har har, I am such a Punster) I want her to find someone who will give her happiness.
That's the official line. It's going to take me a while before I can find the courage and the love and the maturity to truly want it. But I'm going to pray for her happiness, and I ask that for those of you who are religious, that you pray for her happiness too. If I pray long enough, I will find that I really do find the fierce Christian joy of loving another unconditionally, and this pain and meanspiritedness in me will be lifted.
So fuck you, Huck Finn, you *can* pray a lie, and it's going to work for me.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Once I Looked Into Your Eyes
Once I looked into your eyes
and the only tissue I saw through
was the tissue of lies
behind everything you do.
Once I looked into your heart
and imagined I could trace
the history of the art
of deception in your face.
Now there’s something more than a chance
of making molecules dance
I'm somewhat gratified to find
that by laser-enhanced
if nothing else, I may read your mind.
By Paul Muldoon
Monday, December 03, 2007
There are several vain, selfish, egotistical reasons reasons why I want to be a rich and famous screenwriter (soon!):
1) So I can produce an adaptation of "Fighting Faith" into either a pair of movies or a miniseries, with Evanna Lynch and/or Zooey Deschanel as Ellen/Ylleni.
2) So I can have Viggo Mortensen play Ivan in "Changing of the Guard"
3) So I can produce a correct version of "Stellar Dogs", complete with politically incorrect message and aliens who speak Chinese.
4) So I can have "Syncophant Dawn" made into a videogame by Valve or Bethesda (or *sigh* Bioware or Obsidian if neither of those companies are available)
5) So I can option the Fallout trilogy into a movie series. The first one would create a female protagonist ("Pat", of course) and be a deep, allegorical look at leaving a sheltered world and going into the rough and tumble outside (parallels to leaving home for college) as well as homophobia in small-town communities. Those of you who've played the game through to its bitter end know what I'm talking about.