Friday, September 05, 2008

Moments Lost in Time

"Why is it I get my best ideas in the morning while I'm shaving?"
-Albert Einstein

There's a scene in American Gigolo where the Richard Gere character has lost everything. His true love is out of reach, his lifestyle destroyed and he's been framed for murder. There's nothing left of his support structure and he's completely alone in the world. Renting a car because his own is hunted by the police, we focus on a scene of a soulless, spinning Hertz sign with a backdrop of melancholy music. To me it's one of the most surreal moments in movie history. I don't know if some special cinematography was used or not but something made that scene seem completely unreal. The plasticity and the impermanence and the coldness of the world laid bare by a literal sign of the times.

A man without a world.

"I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
"And stops my mind from wandering
"Where it will go."


Boy, do I know that feeling. I've talked about this before, this feeling of sitting on the edge of the universe. The times when I'm riding along in a work truck or sitting at a Sonic or taking a break in the middle of a day labor job. My mind loses its ability to stay convinced I need to play the games of the world in order to get by. I have to admit, in those moments it's an exalted and infinite feeling of life to think that possible. It must have been a feeling John Lennon carried around with him throughout his life. But as I'm wiping the sweat off my forehead and resting my chin on the end of my shovel's handle, to think I do this all for nothing - that it never had to happen - is devastating to the point of madness.

Where, in fact, is the true world?

"Searching in the darkness
"Fading out of sight
"Love was here and gone like a thief in the night...
"Stone cold..."


The sunset tonight reminded me of the American Gigolo scene. God used the same cinematography to outline the skyline. Skyscrapers morphed into watchtowers for unwanted night crawlers like me. Friendly trees during the day receded into distrusting strangers in the dark. The more time passes the more isolated I feel. I wanted to hop aboard my private jet and chase the sun across the curve of the earth. But such a jet belongs to another life, another path.

Yet had I taken that path I wouldn't feel the need to extend this dying day anyway.

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