When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Friday, October 5, 2007

Cry If I Want To

Alternative side of the street parking suspended? Check.
One roommate in Timbuktu, or it's geographic equivalent (in other words, Not Here)? Check.
The other roommate departed way before I awoke? Check.
Lay in bed until I dang well felt good and ready to move? Check.
Surfed channels to watch Kella Ripa, Matthew Perry in a horrible comedy, the news, Robert DeNiro in a horrible comedy, the weather, an infomercial on how to make more money than God, the traffic, snippets of the movie "Fame", and Cher as a trashy mom trying to raise her facial/cranially deformed son? Check.

Things were going well.

Then my left eye dropped a tear, and the right eye--not to be outdone--dropped its twin with cinematic perfection.

At first I was going to title the post, Shouldn't Be Crying This Early In The AM. But then I thought, nah.

See, Rocky Dennis was getting his awards in the ceremony at his Jr. High. And his trashy Mom, along with her biker boyfriend and their crew, were on their feet, all loud, being embarrassingly encouraging for the boy with the big, bloated head. And one of the bikers, who I will call Big Sad, looked especially choked up--almost tragically so.

So afterwards, when Rocky watched the girl of his dreams go off to Summer with Blonde Hunk, and his family gathered around for a second round of rowdy congrats, Big Sad biker steps again to the forefront to lay a special one on Rocky. He's fat, he's hairy, and he's got tears in his eyes.

"I'm ... v-very ... p-proud ... of ... you ... R- ... R-Rocky."

Seems the Big Sad has a Big Speech Impediment, and physical defect was something he shared with Rocky. So he saw Rocky achieve something despite his "handicap" and Big Sad decided he would achieve something too. Tears were in Cher's eyes and they were in Sam Elliot's eyes as the scene was shot. They were in Big Sad's eyes, of course, and then they were in my eyes too.

Did I cry because I was moved by that sudden, unexpected bond between the two struggling outcast characters? Did I overidentify?

And why did the actors in the scene get choked up? Were they just commanded by the director? Or do most people know what it's like to be the Big Sad guy, watching a hero triumph and then feeling the personal victory of it because the hero represents the person inside of you. The person that you want so badly to be. Especially when that hero has flaws--it brings you that much closer because they know, like you do, what it means to struggle. And when they win, not only do you win--but everyone like you wins. Everyone who has ever known what it means to be alone and lost and hopeless and scared. Everyone who ever asked the question, "why me?"

Which, actually, is everyone.

It's all of us. Why do we hide it under layers of fashion and muscles and bravado and shallow sophistication? Why do we segregate ourselves into cliques of Better Thans? We're every one of us alone. We're all inside these skins alone.

And that makes us Not Alone At All.

Tonight I go to see My Hero. I've written my expressions of admiration and gratitude in several different ways so that he and others can read, but every time we're in earshot of one another I only usually manage to say surface "Aren't I Clever, Please Don't Hate Or Leave Me" things. Treading water to keep him in my life.

Tonight, the way Big Sad did to Rocky Dennis, I'm going to stammer out my appreciation. Even if it kills me. It just feels like something I should do.

Oh, that, and get a haircut.

Last night at B&N, I made the mistake of telling Jabberjaw that my birthday was on Monday. She asked how old I was going to be. Me, thinking I had made perfect peace with it through the last series of posts and comment responses, went ahead and told her.

"No way," said she. I watched the muscles in her face systematically fall, cord by cord. "Well," she said as she attempted to recover, "You look great!"

How did my age become equivalent to brain cancer that she thought I needed consolation? "Jabberjaw. She's mostly harmless too." My ass.


Anonymous said...

Alan! (Yes, I'm actually POSTING a comment for once)

I've enjoyed the B&N updates and I think you should consider shopping your second job to the networks - they can't do much worse than what's already on the TV these days.

I'm also wishing you a happy birthday early, since you'll still be 'In Oz' mentally come Monday.

Tell Our Hero I said hi and on the off-chance you see Amber there give her a hug from me as well.


Little Wing said...

One of my fav movies, that one......it always reduces me to huge sobs......
but I go back for more.

Alan said...

Steven, don't post my birthday back at the HQ? Thank you for the b-day wish, though. Moody bugger that I am, I'm not up to multiple floss. One or two good ones is about my limit.

LW, I went to ViViVoom's blog through your place, after your award, and I just have to say dang. Now that's some living, ain't it? I'm so intimidated by her very real and visceral life, that this is the only mention I'll ever make of her. So here it is. Wow. Just ... wow. I'm amazed by her strength.

So where can I go to start passing out some awards of my own?

Who Me? said...

Give me one!!!! I want an award!!! ;)

As for the crying.....I cry during movies all the time....that one included. Is it called Mask?

I cry watching the news. I cry reading blogs!

But I laugh too. I laugh alot....so that's a good balance I think.

You poor old dear....nearly 43? I'm kidding!!!

Isn't it funny....when you're 20, you think 30 is old, when you're 30 you think 40 is old and so it goes on :)

Shall try to remember to pop in and wish you well on your special day....although I will be 'on the road'...

GrizzBabe said...

LOL! What Jabberjaw really meant was, "You look great for being almost dead." At least that's what my warped mind would have interpreted had she said that to me.

In all honesty, you should consider it a compliment. It means you look deceptively young. And who doesn't want to do that?

GrizzBabe said...

Oh, and you are such a softie! Of course I'm not one to kid. I was balling like a baby at the end of "Bridges of Madison County".

GrizzBabe said...

Like a baby.

Alan said...

HAHA! Women are allowed to let it go. But I saw (or heard, can't remember) a commercial where the gal was embarrassed in the movie theater by her blubbering date. And I read a gal's blog who named the same trait in an ex-boyfriend for doing the same.

So ladies of the world beware! This guy drips. Although after a tear or two escape, I can usually keep it together.

I do know my triggers, however. If it has anything to do with kids, their parents, couples, or siblings and they are experiencing loss of one another be it through death, divorce, or any other reason for separation -- then I'm a'cryin. Clearly, my inner child still mourns.

But hey! One or two tears and I should be good to go!

Eliel Mamousette said...

A little perspective here, Alan: 2 weeks ago my love brought the kids in to see my new office (working in the Empire Plaza, now, more on this later) and as I'm taking the twins outside, the woman what serves me coffee in the morning sees me and says "Oh, such lovely grandkids".

So you wanna talk old? You talkin' to me!?

Alan said...

Eliel, no wayyyyy. What was she, twelve? Hey, in this day and age, heck in our parents' day, it wasn't unheard of to be a grandparent in your 40's. Get jiggy at 18, and when you're 36--blammo! Your 18 yr. old makes you rocking-chair material.

I can tell you though, having kids to be mistaken as a grandfather for is more highly favored than having no kids nor a love what birthed them for you.

So, yeah--Empire Plaza? Is that even in NYC anymore? What gives?

Who Me? said...


akakarma said...

MMMMMmmmm.... Sam Elliott!