Monday, November 8, 2010
the movie of life
in our lives, we are the star of the show. let's face it. we see the world through the lens of ourselves. we only have our perspective.
there are other important people, however. i call them costars. there are usually 1 to 5 costars at any given time. these are the people around whom our thoughts and actions revolve.
then there are the secondary characters. this group consists of most of the people we know. they play a pretty prevalent role in our lives, but aren't really the central consideration.
the last group before "extras" is the comic relief. these people have no real meaning to us, but they pop in every so often and do ridiculous things. like, you know, the fruit vendor below your apartment. or something like that. they might even have a speaking part.
and the rest of the world serves as extras. background characters.
they do rotate over the years, which is sometimes strange and sad but also necessary in the progression of the movie. because movies without conflict are hecka boring.
the difficult thing about moving to a new place is that i have relinquished any starring role i may have had in anyone's life. i am a secondary character to most people i know, perhaps even the comic relief. and to everyone i meet, at least at first, i am an extra.
an interesting occurrence in life is when two people cast each other differently. like you suddenly realize that you are someone's costar, when they were at best a secondary character to you. this is conflict.
and the crazy, insane thing is the realization that we ALL have these movies. extras are not just extras. they are each the star of their movie, with friends and family and drama and humor and everything else that exists in your spectrum of existence.
and all of our costars (except family) started out as extras. just people. we meet people every day, and we usually have no idea which ones will become a part of our life movie, as most just pass through, never to be seen again. when watching movies and television, it's a fun game to guess which of the extras will become relevant to the plot. on a particular episode of the x-files, mulder and scully are standing at a desk talking to someone, and in the background a woman is vigorously shaking her pen, trying to get the ink to come out. this is not typical extra behavior. i instantly knew she was going to play a part in the story. she then turned to scully and asked to borrow a pen, upon which, if i remember correctly, she planted some sort of listening device. correct me if i'm wrong.
in life, however, these people are harder to spot. there really is no "typical extra behavior," as these people are real and therefore are allowed to shake their pens vigorously without raising suspicion. are there ways to tell? is this just another meaningless meeting, or will this be the story of how you met your spouse? will this be the person who later moves into your apartment and mooches off you for a month? will this be the friend whose cat you accidentally (or otherwise) poison?
this movie is the most unpredictable movie of all.