I like the kind of movies where nothing really happens. I don’t mean that literally, obviously some things happen. King of California, for example: 16-year-old girl lives in a gorgeous old house that used to be surrounded by orchards, which is now surrounded by a brand new cookie-cutter suburbia, all on her own for several years because her mom left and her dad whose name is Charlie is insane and in a mental hospital. Insane dad named Charlie comes home from mental hospital no less mental but now vastly obsessed with treasure, which he then drags her along to find buried under a Costco. Also there are funny parts.
So, yes, things happen. But compared to all of the superhero movies where entire planets are avenged and billions of dollars of CGI-damage is caused in landmark locations, my movies can seem pretty uneventful. You usually have to turn up the volume at times in order to hear the dialogue. Lean in a bit. Focus. Consider. Walk away with ideas to discuss in the car. (“But guys, is Charlie crazy? Or are we crazy??”)
My movies take their time. My movies are simple and they are quiet and they are beautiful in a way that sneaks up on me and causes the breath to catch in my throat.
My taste in movies seems to match my taste in life. I’ve never been all that ambitious. I don’t like loud places or competitions or leadership positions. I’ve never been involved in a car chase or witnessed a large explosion. Many of my old friends have stopped talking to me because they prefer their lives to resemble The Bachelor with all of the scandal and scheming and confrontation, and I’m just standing there saying, “This makes me tired, how about a burrito?”
As some might say, a real party-pooper.
I’ve been taking pictures recently, because I enjoy it. Like any medium, the better you get at it, the more effectively you are able to use that medium to express your perspective. And, I’m not positive, but I have this looming suspicion which seems to suggest that this whole expressing perspective thing is the key to the universe. It is fundamental to a wholehearted existence. But more on that at another time, maybe.
Taking pictures, as I said, has been great fun. People have even been asking me to take pictures for them, and I’m going, What? And looking for the person standing behind me who they must actually be asking because who would want me to do this for them? Probably just people who know I’m dirt cheap, but, as stated previously, it’s been great fun.
But also it’s terrifying and bringing on a sensation of suffocation. Because, you see, the pressure. I can’t handle it. I don’t enjoy it. The minute you develop a shadow of a skill, people will ask you, What are you going to do with it? Where do you think this will take you? How much are you charging? How are you going to use this skill (for monetary gain)?
And it’s when these questions come up where I feel the urge to pull the covers up over my face and breathe in the cool darkness of my bedroom until it’s been silent long enough for me to feel it’s safe to come out again.
People like to ask you, ‘What’s new?” And what do you usually say? Well, I’m not sure. But what I usually say is, “Nothing.” And I’m smiling. Because isn’t that great? I have nothing to report and no matters of which I feel the need to complain. When people ask you, “What’s new?” they want to hear about that Master’s Degree which you’re currently going into further debt for. They want to hear about your new job or when you’re planning to make more humans. They want to hear that you’re working your way through the same chaparral they did.
They don’t want to hear, “Yeah, I’ve been really into peanut butter lately.”
But that’s my life.
Peanut butter phases. Laughing with Drew while we make weird accents at each other from our pillows. Sore legs from a 30 day booty burn challenge on YouTube.
You see, because things are happening. Obviously. Things happen. Just not the car-chase-big-explosion-oh-look-at-my-major-accomplishment things. Not that those are bad, but those aren’t my life. My life is such that, if you really care to understand it, you may need to lean in a bit. Focus. Consider. And find that it tends to take its time. It is simple and it is quiet and it is beautiful, maybe not by your definition, but certainly by mine.