Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Sacred and Profane

I remember that my grandma and my cat died and 9/11 happened all in about the same few years. I really never lost anyone important to me as an adult up until my grandma died. She lived with us from my freshman year of high school up till my senior year of college. She is the single most influential person on me and why my family is the way it is. She was paranoid schidzophrenic- just like that guy in "A Beautiful Mind". She got that way in her late 20s/early 30s- it's frequently not something you are born with. Now her role and her story is a lengthy one and I can't put that all here. It's not even why I brought her up. It's because of the intense presense she was in my life and my home.

And in a smaller way, the cat dying affected me too. We got him when I was about 2 or 3 years old. We only had one cat, one pet my whole life. He was great and he lived until he was 18 years old- a long time for a cat. It made an impact on me because with a cat or any pet- they are something that is always there when you get home. People go on vacation but the cat is always there, waiting for you at the door, always there to sit with you in the best of times and worst of times. I loved that cat, I couldn't even remember a time when he wasn't around.

And post 9/11 New York City really spoke for the whole feeling I had about their deaths. Growing up outside of New York City- it's this place you get to visit on special or good times. You go there to celebrate or see a great show or a great museum. Going to the city meant something good was happening. It's easy to be sentimental about it. And I flew home the weekend after September 11 (on a memorable flight where I got to meet the Clintons). Somehow I expected to see destruction- bloodiness, chaos, ruins. But that's not what you saw when you saw New York. The towers just simply weren't there.

And that's when I came to know what missing is and what death is about. It's about emptiness, absence, vacancy. When I looked at the skyline I just found it so shocking to just look and see that empty space in the sky. True desctruction leaves no ruins. It's just about endings and emptiness and therein lies the pain.

I almost want ruins, to see blood, to see the remains of something. Like if you break something on purpose, there is something satisfying about seeing the broken peices. I guess in movies too- we thrive on seeing destruction. The best part of a tornado or volcano movie is the smashing and the grandeur of the demolition. When someone gets their ass kicked in a movie or a video game you want to see the blood- the damage. These are remnants of pain. They solidify that pain has happened and makes the pain tangible and real. That's largely something I wish I had with this whole breakup. Rather than his absense I wish I could have at least seen him during the breakup. I wish there could've at least been one ugly fight. Maybe that he could see my face, I could see his. I could see the end- the pain- the ruins. That would be fucking fantastic compared to this.

But that doesn't seem to be the nature of pain and death. I gather that it's truly emptiness that we are left with. Absence cuts like a knife. Emptiness is just so damned . . . barren. Hopeless. Permanent. The lack of something is a huge motivator. In more subtle ways too- like when you are into someone- you want them a lot when you can't have them or haven't had them yet. Sometimes after you (or at least I) hook up with someone, you lose motivation and interest in that person.

And tonight's episode of Six Feet Under was fucking unreal. God that show is so good it drives me nuts! One thing that is so good about it is that they focus on moments in life that are so freakin real. I found myself able to relate to so many of these story lines, thinking about things in my life that have happened that I forgot about. Anyhow this one character says "Life is pain get used to it". Now that's something I can stomach. I mean yeah, a lot of the time life is pain. But we all go on living it, at least those of us who are alive. And I saw at this picture of Hiroshima today. Something about that gave me a deeper appreciation for whatever the fuck "life" is. The world could be exploded a hundred times over. No one wants that to happen. Everyone so deeply is not ready for the end of the world. We all seem to want to live. That sense of god no- anything but that- kind of captures that spirit of human desire and survival all in one sentiment.

And finally, two more thoughts about actors in Six Feet Under. Michelle Trachtenburg plays a slutty pop star. I loved her in Harriet the Spy. That movie ruled. Anyone see it? And then there's this guy Justin Theroux. He's extremely sexy although Peter Krause is a bit sexier. And he was in some crazy great stuff for a guy who's just starting to get noticed. He's been in American Psycho, Mulholland Dr, I Shot Andy Warhol, and he played a sexy cowboy in Romy and Michelle, and he's in my most favorite show. Oh yeah, and you can check him out as a topless villain in Charlies Angels 2.
That's him.

And per the request of an annoymous commenter- here's him in American Psycho.
He's in the middle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what part did he have in american psycho