Monday, October 31, 2011

"Alex Forrest"

Remakes are now the norm. Do overs. Redo’s. Some of them don’t need to happen, but they happen anyway. I’ve been rehearsing for a remake of Fatal Attraction, retitled Obsessive Attraction for 2011. Glenn Close gracefully handed the role of Alex Forrest to me, but there’s a problem. I’ve been living in the character’s skin outside of rehearsal. I’ve been having a hard time separating fantasy from reality.

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There comes a time when you have to look back and see yourself; learn from your actions.

I have to see my past and learn from it. Those aren’t just words. I mean them. I really have to learn from my mistakes. I have to move beyond the regret of my actions into the growth of changing them by realizing what I’m doing when I’m doing it. Different outcomes are possible. I just have to make the effort.

Let me tell you a story. I fell hard for someone who didn't fall for me. He's a good guy, but not the right guy for me. I became obsessed with him. Sometimes the obsession didn't affect me negatively and other times it became a debilitating existence with a whiff of desperation.

My connection to Ms. Forrest ends at the obsession. Her obsession was fuel enough for her to push further down an emotional, impulsive path of self-mutilation. I isolated myself and drank. I listened to sad music. I took sleeping pills and slept. What I didn’t realize was that I was making him uncomfortable. Things weren’t normal anymore. I knew it, but I didn’t know he knew it. I play like I’m not that transparent, but I am that transparent.

I recently wrote about changing my pattern by staying friends with someone after realizing he didn't want me the way I wanted him. (Wow, he didn’t want me the way I wanted him. Wish I had paid attention to my own story. I would have begun to heal sooner.) Well, here's another pattern: I change my true self to fit what I think the other person will like.

I realize that means the person will be falling for a fabricated individual and that our relationship stands no chance of surviving. I don't know why I do it except that I must think I'm not good enough or desirable enough as I am. What bullshit!

There comes a time when you have to believe that you are good enough.

I'm scared to be my truest self for fear that whoever he is, (a) he will run away when I say my first off-color comment in the middle of some story, (b) he’ll be unimpressed with my hair one day, (c) he won’t like my sense of style, (d) I’ll be too effeminate for him. Blah, blah, blah, fear, blah, the list could go on, blah.

Well guess what? I'm off-color and I like it. I like my sense of style. I like my choices in music and television programs. I like my hair (most of the time). I can be a big girl sometimes, but I’m also a guy. I don’t walk around with my wrist limped out in front of me. I may not be the butchest man on the bar stool, but I am a man. I don't need to compromise who I am and what I want in order to make myself more appealing to a guy that doesn't want me anyway! When am I going to learn that lesson? I know relationships have to be based in truth so why am I altering myself? I realize that if the guy is truly attracted to me and wants to get to know me, all of my “stuff” will be part of my charm, not a deterrent.

I don't need to go out, and stay out, later than I normally would in order to impress someone. I take responsibility for my life and require of myself the utmost in being responsible. So what if I want to go to bed at 11 pm? I’m not a stay-up-until-the-wee-hours kind of guy. That doesn’t mean I can’t throw caution to the wind sometimes because I can; I just don’t want to throw it to impress when the impressing gets me nothing but a lonely cab ride home.

Expectations are a bitch, too. I’ve been told they only lead to disappointment. I can say, with some degree of knowledge that is the truth.

I went to parties I didn't want to attend because this person asked me and I saw it as an opportunity to hang out with him. Hindsight: he was just being nice. I was misreading. Yeah, maybe he genuinely wanted my company as a friend, but boy did I see those invitations as openings.

I bought music I knew he liked thinking it would impress him and give us something to talk about. Hindsight: thankfully I liked the music, but it was a dumb move on my part nonetheless. Music holds memories; emotions connected to time and place. When I buy a song or album because of someone else, that memory is eternally connected to it. Most of that music I can now listen to, loving it because I love it, not because he loves it. The memory is now more of a vapor of smoke than a thick cloud I can’t get through. Why do I do it to myself?

I've acted more stupid lately than I care to really admit! Checking my pattern: the frequency is nothing but white noise. This isn't the first time I've acted this stupid and probably won’t be the last. Hopefully, I will detect my behavior sooner next time.

Honestly, I'm embarrassed and I feel foolish!

I write stories. Stories that I sit at my desk and make up – people, places and instances that I create in my brain and transfer to typed word through my fingers. It's not such a leap to believe that I would create fantasies in my head about a real person that I like. I'm aware when fantasy and reality collide and fizzle in front of me. I usually keep the spark of hope alive though and think that if I try again maybe the fantasy and the reality will ignite. Pattern detected.

No bunnies were harmed during this experience.