Sunday. 9.22.13 6:18 pm
Thank you for all your warm welcomes to this community! I look forward to residing here.
This morning I watched 500 Days of Summer
, to get away from the sheer boredom of law school readings. I finished at 4am, and in the melodramatic afterglow, wrote a review dripping with all the black bile of a gutted child.
Slightly past midnight, in midst of September, a boy huddled in his blanket and pillows, turned off the lights, and was determined that this time, he would finish watching 500 Days of Summer.
The first attempt did not go so well. Summer’s whimsical antics and Tom’s frustrations were too much to bear, and the pillow and blanket served as a shield, suffocating laughter and preventing gestures that were reserved for girls seeing a kitten for the first time. It was far too much to bear for a light evening movie. So he tried again.
And it started once more from the beginning. But the determination to, this time, not bury his face into the pillow and hug it tightly was quickly defeated. As Tom listed the things he loved about Summer, an inexorable empathy welled, and additions flowed into the boy’s mind - the crinkle around her eyes as she laughed, the momentary leaching of colour as her lips pressed together, and the sudden flushing pink of it when they parted into a smile, the eyes of dark blue that glinted with amusement. The boy was sure that he was not attracted to Zooey Deschanel, who, despite her elegant choice of dress, playful gestures, and beauty surely exceeding that of Helena, was a dozen years his senior. An onlooker would have commented that at that moment, the boy was Tom.
Even before the karaoke party with the drunk wingman, a paradox sprung into the boy’s mind. If Tom ended up with Summer in those nearly 200 days of possible make-up, the world would be a happier place and dreams that night would be of summer scents and frolicking through its light warm rain, but only an end where the two part ways could this film be hailed a masterpiece worthy of the viewers’ offering of their hearts to be trampled upon. There was no good way out.
So the boy watched. Tom slowly gained Summer’s affection. The blankets nearly tore as lips met in the printing room. The spontaneous playing house in Ikea left a neat row of four crescents on each arm. Cheeks warm as summer hid behind palms, sore from smiling at the cheeks that brushed Tom’s shoulder in the car. As the splattering of water in the shower melded into the pattering of rain outside, the boy’s mind conjured thousands of drops against skin, cool winds made cooler yet by water on one’s back and warm touch made warmer still by breath in one’s arms. There were phantom scents of rain tainted with ozone, flowers mixed with soil, and delight tinged with delirium.
So the boy watched. Tom slowly disintegrated. Teeth sank into cloth as the pancakes were left uneaten. Punches thrown at the bar left fragments of broken skin under nails borrowed into flesh. Knees shielded the torso from the screen, embarrassed at the feeble antics of the malfunctioning sink. The weak smile at the rosy record clashed with the distant roar of thunder, and the boy’s psyche summoned mud at his feet, and an unsympathetic deluge at his back that forced him to genuflect, then kowtow. The air tasted of humidity unchecked by breezes, tears diluted by sweat, and sorrow coupling with despair.
When the timeline was once again linear, the boy’s metaphorical heart has been elated and deflated, and mutilated beyond quick repair. After the train ride where all bode so well and the wedding where smiles danced and promised the unsaid only to part reality and expectation, the boy could feel little more. The tattered Tom, or even the ringed Summer, brought little but numbness. And just when Tom’s fare improves, perhaps with a chance to court once again, the screen splits, and the heart is punctured to let out optimism that the brain no longer thought it had. Irrational pleading began, “Goddamn it, I don’t care if this turns out to be just another romance movie, give me a happy ending instead of a masterpiece,” to no avail.
Even as they meet again in the place of parking lots and architectural masterpieces, where Summer is supposed to fade from the perfection of the fair, eternal summer into temperamental sun and rough wind of untrimmed nature, the boy could recall naught but the heart-shaped birthmark, dark hair against pale skin, and a smile that could be sovereign over any man’s heart.
In the end, the movie was a masterpiece. It gave not what the boy wanted, but what should, and probably does happen. And that, is of little comfort.
Comment! (4) | Recommend! | Categories: Review [t], Ranting [t]