What am I?

October 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm (Life, Memoir, Movie Commentary) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’m the family oddball, you see. Not a Black Sheep, I haven’t done anything dreadful. They just don’t know what to do with me, exactly.”

(War for the Oaks/Emma Bull)

I search not for a prince. I long for no Prince Charming. This is not what I want.

I long for something other-worldly to walk up beside me and take my hand and lead me off to adventure, to life. Something other-worldly – slightly dark, more alive than me. To lead me, safely, through the deep, dark woods.

But I won’t go.

Inside me there is a goth, a bohemian and many others. This time of the year I celebrate Samhain and I plan my own El Dia de los Muertos traditions. I focus on my ancestors. I try to understand where I come from and who I come from. I travel through dark places and down dark, barely traveled roads. I aspire to be something else.

I watched Rent, last night, for the billionth time. I still love it. I still can’t turn away.

For those of you not familiar with the story, it is set in New York in 1989 and centers on a group of young adults rebelling against society and trying to find their way. Go read all about it here.

The film focuses on intellectuals, artists trying to be true to their art, their ideals and all costs be damned. They are willing to starve and to go without the basics of food and shelter. They trust that this new family they are creating will sustain them. There are drugs. There is alcohol. This is New York at the edge of the millennium. There is love. There is trust.

But I can’t go.

My spirit has always been too old. I’ve never completely abandoned reason. I’ve always been too responsible. All I need to be content is a cup of tea, a book to read and an occasional lover – three in the last twenty-five years.

However…

I’d rather be different than regular. People look at me and see nothing special, nothing different. I look like a normal, middle-aged, silver-haired spinster. I only come across as different when you take the time to speak with me. I am eccentric. One hundred years ago or more, I would have been persecuted for witchcraft.

I’ve always been different and as such, High School was Hell.

I traveled back there, emotionally, this week because of this news item and a movie. If you have not watched this video, you really should. Beware though, it will make you cry.

I was lucky. I wasn’t so much bullied as ignored. My younger brother had it worse.

The movie I saw was Let Me In. It is a remake of Let the Right One In which deals with vampires and bullies and intoxicating darkness. I saw Let the Right One In a few years back at my local independent theatre and have it on hold right now at the library because all the new version did was remind me that I needed to watch the original again.

Let Me In makes the time period obvious and starts in the middle of the story rather than the beginning which, for me, is when the two young twelve year old outcasts meet each other. The American remake reads like a hot romance and emphasizes more that religion and sex both center on evil. The boy’s bullying focuses on how his gender intersects with his sexuality and in the original movie, his dad’s homosexuality is what broke up the marriage not his mother’s extreme religious views as portrayed in this remake.

The American version is less subtle, the music is over-powering at times and the makers of Let Me In completely erased any positive homosexual subtext. Not just Dad, who is physically absent in the remake, but also in who or what this young girl may be.

To circle back to the beginning; to my search for an other-worldly being to save me. This post is for all my gay acquaintances, to the children watching me be different and thriving and to all who may follow in my footsteps.

Nobody else can save you. Sometimes all you do is survive.

I survived. I thrived.

Now, I live alone. I am usually happy in my space and in my soul. I contain multitudes (see section 51). I hope for all of you the same.

It gets so much better once you’re finished with school.

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1 Comment

  1. Kathy said,

    Eccentricity is the way to go, I think. At our book club last week, one of my friends pointed to me–and another friend–and announced that we were Weird. I can remember when that would have made me cry. Now it just makes me laugh. I love being different. But it always seems that you (I mean me) have to walk a line of acceptability too. Cultural conditioning, maybe. Like you, I look like I fit in. I look quite normal. But when people get to know me…they realize there is a lot more there than normality! I am glad you survived…and thrived.

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