Tuesday, April 26, 2011

American Beauty

I am American. And I am beautiful. If you have a problem with that, please see the big guy upstairs who put me here looking this good (or ceiling cat, if you please).

But beauty without brains makes you "ugly" and "ordinary." So, I used that little ball of goop up there under my luscious hair and I found a screenplay of American Beauty. (I'm not into watching rated R films, no matter how many awards they've gotten, or how many times someone tells me to. It's a choice.) I cruised through the screenplay a few times and then took time to read it through. It was interesting. Once I started reading, lightbulb after lightbulb went on in my head. I had enough lights going off to give an HMI a run for it's money. I probably had 2K watts worth of lighting going on. I'm glad I was basically alone so no one would be able to see my tonsils as I read in awe.

It wasn't that the writing was unbelievably amazing, because it was just writing. (In most epic writing it's the subtext that is amazing, and the subtext comes with watching the film...) The reason I was so in shock is because I had heard all of that dialogue before! Guess who from? Yes, Robert. As I read and read and read, I had to know what these characters looked like. Out came google and IMDb. That's when another 4K worth of lights went on in my head. I'm not sure I can fully describe to you the feeling I got seeing the pictures and reading the script.

All this time, I've been feeling a bit down because Robert kept telling me that I'm insecure and scared. Then, when I told him that he was being rude, he would tell me not to worry because I'm not "ordinary." I always thought that was a bit of an odd way to tell me I'm special, but I passed it off as Robert's way of talking. I also thought it was odd how Robert only wears slacks. It became a little more odd when he told me that he's moved a ton and that he's been to the mental institution. I'm not typically one to pass judgement really quickly (or at all. I'm too nice for my own good.). I figured that what he does is his business and as long as he doesn't harm me or the people I love, then good on him for living his life.

After reading American Beauty (his favorite movie of  all time), I understand him now. Before I thought he was just a prick who needed to realize that girls are not disposable toys. Now I see that he's so much more than that!

Let's try a list, shall we? Lists are so organized and easy to read.

1. The main young man, Ricky, in the film shows up and always wears slacks (or nothing at all). Robert always wears slacks. That's cool, if you're a businessman, but even businessmen get sick of slacks.
2. At the end of the movie, near the climax, Ricky tells a girl that she is ugly and ordinary. The theme of the girls' plot in the movie is the fear of being ordinary. Once I figured that out, I realized that when someone isn't ordinary, it means they aren't like everybody else.  (*facepalm* yes, I already knew the meaning of "ordinary" but I figured out how it fit into society.) When Robert told me I wasn't "ordinary" it meant that I am not like everybody else. Which is actually a compliment. While coming to this discovery, I also realized that Robert's biggest fear is probably being ordinary. I bet he feels like he needs to stand out to mean anything in this world. Sadly, that's exactly what ordinary people do. They feel this huge desire to change who they are because they feel that they, themselves, are ordinary. (Being ordinary is not a bad thing, being who you are is what you need to do, no matter how much you blend in or stand out. Be you.)
3. Ricky is sort of a creeper, he tapes Janey (his next-door neighbor and eventual girlfriend). He tapes her without her knowing it because he is "interested" and thinks she's beautiful. Robert used those words once upon a time...in the same sentence. Which makes me wonder how many girls he creeps on without them knowing.
4. Ricky was locked up for beating the crap out of someone...I just discovered that Robert went to jail in September 2010 for assault. Yes, I did grow concerned.
5. Robert has not moved a million times, even though that's what he told me when we first met. In fact, that's what I assume Ricky has done (his dad is a military man).
6. Robert explains that women are beautiful and that he's obsessed with them. He also says something about how beautiful life is and everything of that such. I bet ya $20 he got that from Ricky.
7. Janey is a brunette and is about 5'4". Oddly, I don't think I've seen Robert with any girl that doesn't fit that description. I know he has pictures of a red-head and of a blond, but I only ever see him with short brunettes.

If I'm totally wrong about all of this, then this is the 2nd most bizarre coincidence I have ever witnessed (the first being a dream event where Nathan and I dreamed the same dream at the same time...). I don't think I'm wrong though. I honest to goodness think that Robert is a pathological liar who feels the needs to live the life of a fake character in order to feel special. I only say this, because there have been moments when Robert hasn't seemed all that scary and fake.

When we took pictures at the lake. That seemed different than any other time he and I ever interacted. He was relaxed. There was this thinness in the air during that time. It was like this new person came out and was connected to the camera. It was almost magical and mysterious. I understood his feeling of standing at the lake with a camera in his hands. I get that. I feel it too. It's natural and it's beautiful. It's real.

When he's at school, when he's watching dancers, when he's telling someone about some theory (that he probably ripped off of the writer of American Beauty), he's tense. There is this gross, thick, rancid feeling in the air. It's off. It's heavy. It's not natural.

When he showed me pictures of his younger sister, the same natural feeling from the lake returned. It was so simple, so elegant. It was like he wasn't the same person at all.

The fact is: Robert is more insecure than me! Everybody has their insecurities. We all worry about being ridiculed, forgotten, hurt, or hated. We all worry about something. That's life. Living in fear daily, not such a great idea. Being constantly afraid of being "ordinary" to the point that we live in a false reality, that is insecure. Being worried about how much your professors care about you, not such a big deal. Living the life of a made up movie character, that is a big deal.

I knew this already, but he truly doesn't have any right at all to call me insecure and scared. I'm not. He is. He's the one hiding behind something that doesn't exist. I live my life, and my life alone. So do you, and you, and yes, even you. That puts us heads and tails (or is it shoulders?) above people like Robert. If he can't be honest and let the world see who he truly is, then he is nothing more than a slinky: Fun to look at sometimes, but only cool when you push him down the stairs.

They -- Robert, and all of those people hiding behind lies -- are the ones who never go anywhere in life. We -- you, me, and everyone living their own life -- are the true American Beauties.

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