Today I was the victim of Up In The Air, the Oscar-ambling flick about a rugged, lonely man (aptly played by a rugged, lonely actor) and his empty relationships. I didn't cry--I didn't know I was supposed to--but I left completely silent. Nothing to say. Nothing to think. My thoughts had been read by some screenwriter, probably living in Williamsburg or Seattle, a few years ago, plucked by some ambitious producer in Hollywood, adapted and cast with my friends and thrown on screen for all to see. The emptiness of daily life is something we mentally push aside, like bills on the dining room table, eventually buried with Crate & Barrel catalogs, grocery lists, our extra salt shaker and possibly even a placemat, just to make sure the Offending Article is hidden. That Which We Do Not Speak Of. But eventually my hollandaise needs a pinch of salt and my grinder is missing, or I need to set the table. And there it is. IMPORTANT, written in red. (It's likely Helvetica, and if the Offending Article didn't involve me having less of something it might even be kind of pretty, in it's perfect proportion and red-on-white design.)
Up In The Air is a bill left on the table. Life is tough, love is rare--exceptionally rare. I learned that from both a summer in Paris and the film Before Sunset. And today, walking out of the theater, I was on autopilot. Movements were slow, deliberate. And deliberation does not necessarily mean there is caution involved. Changing lanes becomes an arduous, "I hope there isn't anyone in the left lane going 80" kind of action, but made without thinking.
If love is life, lovelessness is numbness. I wish I had a better word than "numbness"--it's one of those that seems to be a mistaken combination of syllables--but it's the most appropriate.
Today I was also the victim of bank fraud. I checked my account this morning, one day before leaving for Miami, mind you, to find that my entire checking has been drained. The bank says there's a 90% chance I'll have the money back by morning, but it seems like such a slap in the face on December 30th, 2010. I am love(r)less, penniless, and a bit hopeless. Hopefully the superficiality of Miami will remind me why we Americans live--to eat, drink, and ogle on the beach.