Just Add Art


Regardless of the economic status of the characters in a film or the struggles they face within the context of their stories, things always look good on screen. A tenement apartment becomes a place to call home, and someone's pain can resemble a favorite Bob Dylan song from your youth. This happens of course because of the crew supporting the internal and external lives of the characters. Someone has given thought to each thought, feeling to each feeling, positioned a camera toward a foot in a tub, and placed the resulting image under the magically altered sound of ordinary bath water--a sound that somehow makes what's real, realer. Before the cameras roll, someone has spent days searching for the pale yellow sheets used in a scene's carefully lit, desolate room, and after the cameras are packed away, someone is writing music to tell the story even better.

Last night after watching a movie, Cristian brought my mattress into the living room so we could both sleep by the open window. As he dragged the heavy bed from one room to the next, I lay on the sofa and appreciated his tenacity. It was the eleventh day of his visit and the fourth day I'd been homebound with a fever and swollen glands. This was not what I imagined or wanted, this was not the way it was supposed to be.

I opened my eyes in the morning--my throat was still raw and I was still weak, and I knew it would be the fifth day I would not partake in all we had planned. I thought about the tickets we had for tonight, I hoped I could go. I wished I felt well enough to make breakfast or boil milk, anything other than this. Then I saw the fan spinning above me, and my red painted toes tangled in pink sheets. I heard a siren, a passing truck, a disruptive flute and a coughing man--and beside me lay a visitor from the other side of the world.

This is my life, I thought. But this could be a movie.
July 23, 2009