Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Deep Thoughts In The Middle Of The Night: Rhys On Love
Yes, yes, okay, this IS a double post, taken from my personal blog. Many apologies if you read both. But I haven't done that in a long time, and a lot of the readers here don't read my personal blog, plus this entry belongs here just as much because it's all about MOVIES. Movies, glorious movies. So I'm totally justified. Read on, my scribing homies...

You HAVE seen the two best movies about love ever made, haven't you? You better have. And no, one of them isn't Say Anything, even though I love that movie so. But I love it because of Lloyd Dobler, who is the IDEAL MAN and all. But the two truest, most amazing love stories ever made are sweet and sad little gems from the great Linklater: Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

The first has the characters meet by chance in Europe. He's American, she's French, and they are both so very young and full of romantic ideals. I think for the movie to have its full impact, you would have needed to see it when it first came out, especially if you were at that stage in life when all things glorious and romantic seemed possible. (But you'll like it no matter what.) Anyway, Jesse and Celine spend one night walking around Vienna, just talking, mostly, and fall in love and make a grand romantic gesture to meet again at the very same spot 6 months later...

I won't ruin any of the movie for you in case you haven't seen it, but its magic lies in how the whole thing is mostly dialogue, no real action required, just two people talking for hours, and by the end, we're in love too. And even though it's so full of bright and happy promise, there's an air of heartbreak to it because you know that there's something magical about that one night that likely can't be repeated, even if you are a believer in true love. Do they keep their date to meet? Do they get together and stay in love forever and forever? The movie leaves you not knowing, and it's perfect.

Here's a scene from the first one, of them all young and sweet:

And then, nine years later, my wildest movie wet dream came true: a sequel. A tiny part of me dreaded seeing it, because I was so afraid of it being bad and spoiling the magic of the first one, because how often do sequels work? But nothing could keep me away from it, and I finally found it about a year ago, and...holy crap. They did it again. The same characters, with the same formula, simply spending a short period of time together talking, and talking some more...and it's beautiful and amazing and oh so heartbreaking. Because they're older now, and we've waited along with them for this meeting, and their faces and their experiences are shadowed a bit by time and true life, and it's just so damn true. There are movies that resonate with you, that affect you to the very core, and these will do that, folks. You can catch them both in chunks on youtube if you can't find them to rent. Everyone will find something to relate to and now, where I am in life, the sequel is the more powerful one for me. Check out this scene here, especially the first two minutes. The things Celine says...you'd have to substitute a few words here and there, but damn, in that moment, she is SO ME. Exactly how I feel and well, just watch it. Watch the whole damn movie too, because you'll find something in it meaningful to you.

And there's the last scene, where Celine plays a song about that night nine years ago, and it leaves you with the promise of something, that maybe it isn't hopeless after all. I always get misty eyed here because of the song and what it means to both of them. Here it is:

So anyway, that's a whole lot of babbling to get to the point of what I've been thinking about in the middle of this night that has finally silenced down from all the firecrackers and drunken gleeful yells: the possibility of being loved.

Do I think it will happen for Jesse and Celine, finally? Hmmm...every sign says it's right, but they are both in life circumstances that will make it mighty difficult...but it's possible for them. Do I think something like that is possible for me, with anyone, ever? Hell no.

I guess I've been doing a lot of thinking about love lately, and I'm tired. Like Celine, I'm just numb. And right now, that's how I want to be.

I had it hammered into me by constant cruelty as a child that I was an unlovable being, and no matter what the logical mind, or your mom or sister says, some concepts never stop shadowing you. And I've been hurt, unloved, and/or without affection for such long periods of my life that it's most likely a concept that can't be changed. As the clerk in my current favorite movie, Juno, (which you also better damn see) so sagely puts it: This is one doodle that can't be undid, Home Skillet. Oh hell. Here's a clip of Juno too. I can't resist. I'm learning to play that song on my guitar, btw. I'll sing it for you at your wedding.

(Getting back to the Other Awesome Movie, there's a scene where Jesse talks about the lack of affection in his life and how he feels if someone ever physically touched him, truly touched him in a loving way, he'd dissolve into molecules. It's an amazing scene, and there's an amazing follow-up later in the movie where Celine tests that theory out...but anyway, he couldn't say more perfectly how I feel. Just the thought of someone placing their hand over mine is enough to make me think I'd bolt from the room. Or completely freeze up. Or dissolve into molecules.)

I'm not saying I'm not totally awesome, because I am. But do I honestly believe I'll ever have true, steadfast love, or at the very least be able to feel that I do? No.

And just in case somebody out there thinks they'll be all noble and try to take me on as some sort of charity case, let me just say I PITY THE MAN who ever tries to convince me otherwise, because he'll end up tearing his hair out and stomping away. Or maybe crawl away all bloodied.

But I don't feel sad about it or sorry for myself or anything. Not anymore. It's just the way it is. I won't deny there's a starry-eyed optimist lurking within me that won't ever quite go away, just enough to make things painful sometimes, but a person can be happy without love. And still enjoy it for other people. And of course, fall in love with movies that are filled with the heartbreaking, glorious truth of the unbelievable beauty and ugliness of the whole love thing. So anyway, you better watch Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, or I'll kick your ass. They're too good to miss.

I got a great message from G-Mac giving me a sound scolding for not taking up the chance at a gang bang (see previous entry for an explanation of that...sort of...Macarena came up with the whole gang bang thing, not me. You gotta love a girl who leaves a message from that. So I decided to call her cute lil' ass at midnight and scream Happy New Year into her ear HOPEFULLY after waking her from a sound sleep but the ho wasn't home. That's okay, Macarena. Enjoy your wild partying ways.)

Anyway, no. I am not at all interested in dating. The whole concept freaks me out, and anyway, the caliber of man who has approached me lately for anything leading to something romantical has been way less than impressive. (Hello, take off your wedding ring first, asshole. Or better yet, don't ask people out if you're married! Shitheads.) I'll explain that more in an upcoming entry, in which I discuss my adventures in pedicures and singing karaoke...two things I swore I'd never do. It's all my sissy's fault. More on that later. Except to say that being asked for your phone number in a grocery store is freaking creepy. Some things just shouldn't be done over a bin of frozen pizza.

After another one of my mom's joking-but-not-really-because she-does-it-an-awful-lot attempts to get me married off the other day (this time to a pharmacist, I'll explain that in another entry...oooh....the suspense) I firmly informed her I would never have sex again. Because really, what's better than sex talk to shush a mom? Didn't even FAZE her. She just calmly informed me that I would. Um, first of all, AS IF. I think I know better than she does. But more importantly, what the hell?! When the day comes when you can't shock your genteel Southern mama with a little sex talk, one of us must be getting way too old. Or way too young. I can't decide.

I'm going to bed now, in a lame attempt to sleep. You go watch those movies.

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posted by Rhys at 3:30 AM | Permalink |


  • At 1/3/08, 5:33 PM, Blogger ~Macarena~

    I probably told you already, but I do love the hell out of the poem, though I'm sore it wasn't written for the movie. Almost daily, I think, in the street poet's accent:

    Don't you know me?
    Don't you know me by now?

    And that's as good a love quiz as you'll find, never mind what fucking brand of cream she uses!

    Sometimes other lines come to me, but those have been there all these years. The poem haunts me, and now, I can blame your narrow behind. Your love for that fucking movie is keeping it enmeshed in the universe!

  • At 1/3/08, 8:09 PM, Blogger Rhys

    And that's as good a love quiz as you'll find, never mind what fucking brand of cream she uses!

    Truer words never spoken, my dearest Macarena! And nice dig at Greencard while you're at it!! (Dumb movie. That face cream thing always bugged the shit out of me too. Hell, I don't even remember the name of the moisturizer I use, let alone someone else's. Stoopid!

    Here's a little more to haunt you:

    Sweetcakes and milkshakes

    That's the line I always think of :P

  • At 1/19/08, 5:22 AM, Anonymous Rory L. Aronsky

    Anyway, no. I am not at all interested in dating.

    Amen. I'm sitting here at 2:15 a.m. when I should be sleeping, because my family and I have an early start to Hollywood to stop at this clog shop so my dad can pick up the ones he ordered, and for my sister to order ones to wear for her culinary classes, and that leads to lunch at the best Cuban bakery in Southern California, Porto's. I'm seriously considering standing in line again after I'm done with lunch, and ordering all over again.

    Anyway, what I really can't wait to do once I finally peel myself off of here is to go to my room and page through the 50+ New Yorkers my sister picked up from the local community college library for me, stuffing her backpack full of them, to the point where I thought the zippers and then the entire backpack might break.

    I also want to look at the book of monologues I have, figure out my playwriting projects, which one I want to do first, sift through the stacks of books I have and be excited again about all there is to read (I have a copy of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" I didn't know about. I checked it out of the library as part of a four-novel book that includes "Around the World in 80 Days," "The Blockade Runners," and "From the Earth to the Moon and a Trip Around It," and was completely psyched when I found that copy in my makeshift bookshelves), worry about how I'm going to write a half-decent review of "The Stunt Man" for my Netflix Queue column for the weekend Escape section of The Signal, the newspaper I work for, and hopefully write some more, at least enough to finally decide what play to start on. As you might expect, every idea I have for a play, be it a monologue, two people, or even seven, takes place at night.

    With all of this, why would I want the worry about what I should do on a date, how I should start a conversation, what signs I'm supposed to look for? There are times when I'm frustrated with my attempts at an artistic life, but I've got everything I could want in it and that's enough. Plus, I can still sleep in my own bed, falling into it whenever I want, with my stuffed dog Henry that I've had since I was a baby. That's the way I like life.

  • At 1/20/08, 2:40 AM, Blogger Rhys

    You said it Rory! Props to you! A stuffed doggy, your own bed, and an artistic dedication is amazingly fulfilling. If only I could get my own bed and my artistic vision back...it will come...

    Rock on. :)

  • At 2/12/08, 11:07 AM, Blogger Digitalis

    I saw Before Sunrise way back on Cinemax, and it totally affected me then. I haven't seen Before Sunset yet (I know, shame!) but in "Waking Life" there was a small scene where Celine and Jesse were laying in bed together expounding on existentialism. I almost thought that was the end, then the sequel came out. I am still holding out for the happy ending.

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