It Gets Better?


I mean, it does get better, right? Has to. I had to spend part of the night here, for Juno’s sake, with emerging filmmakers doing their new and wonderful things.

Poor me.

Art happens.

Art happens.


Poor, poor me.

(This is the condescending, self-centered conversation that I have with my brain. See, my brain can be a conceited ass that can’t see beyond its own sulcus/gyrus convolutions of pretend need and importance. )

Shut up, brain. Shut the fuck up.

It’s not really that bad.

Even that is offensive.  It’s not bad at all. Not even remotely close to resembling bad.

What do I need, line ticks, check marks, a tally marker?

Fine, brain. Have it your way.

I was at the mall today (1) where I was spending money from the job that I have (2) to buy Christmas gifts (3) for the people I am lucky to have in my life (4). After parking my car, that I don’t own but can manage the payments (5), I saw another mother shopping. Perched jauntily on my high horse, I judged her for letting her kindergarden-ish kid jump about outside the car in the busy parking lot. I couldn’t figure out what this broad was doing, bent and wiggling in and out of the doors and seats. Until I saw her unload the transport wheelchair from where it had been folded in that back seat. And then, I watched her fully alone, dead lift her teenage son from the car, and cradling him in her arms, transfer his to his wheelchair. I choked on the giant slab of crow that was caught in my throat. As well I should have. (Tally of things I was stupidly lucky and unworthy to have stands at 6 and carries through to infinity.)

Planted and locked in my own disbelief at her capacity, I held the door for this trio as she steered the chair into the mall. Meanwhile, she was just doing her daily life. I was agog and she was just handling Friday afternoon. (Run the world, girls.) She laughed, and so did her younger son as they misjudged the clearance and banged off the frame. And then her youngest and I had a game of hide-and-seek/monkey in the middle/musical doors where he and I debated on who was the official door holder of the day. He was better at the job, frankly.

Come to think of it, there are a lot of jobs I have mucked up in a magnificent way lately. Magnificent. Like, as good as the dialogue in His Girl Friday, magnificent. Jobs more important than holding doors. Now, I have yelled at my kid for spilling a drink, for getting peanut butter on a sweater, for not getting his shoes laced in time. I expect far too much from him, just to make the hours pass more easily for me. The irony of my own young man having an immediately eminent first penance is not lost on this usually guilt-ridden ex-ish Catholic.

It’s bullshit and I more precisely I am bullshit. Might blame my brain, and that’s fine. But someone here is definitely magnificent bullshit.

I was mortified at myself, watching that mother. The 20 yards from the pavement to the linoleum looked harder that anything I have faced in a long, long time. And that’s just my narrow, ignorant perception and presumption. I have no idea what that family’s days are like. I won’t pander to them and pretend to know their hards or easies. She handled her business and I walked in after them, feeling like a grade A schmuck. They seemed to feel fine. As well they should. Me feeling that things in my life should get better? That’s my bullshit.

Courtesy of this great team.

Courtesy of this great team.

Tonight was a premiere night. It’s always a kick to finally get to see on screen what so many people have worked on for so very long. I was thrilled for our director and producer (Both ladies. I won’t let that slide. Run the world, girls. ) A chance to be part of the thing I love. The artists involved were pleased with what I contributed to their project (Bringing to tally of good to infinity plus one)

This one was especially poignant. This was the film that I was in with my son. This was the one where, while the audience laughed at the humor of the script and the acting, I sat with tears in my eyes, watching my baby on screen. I watched him make a theater full of people laugh with a look. And, I melted.

I have this boy that I love. He’s fine. I have what I need. Every now and then I get to do the littlest bit of what I love. (There’s no meter reading for that tally. Infinity times infinity and then square that. Then do that all again.)

But things get better, right?

Oh brain. Go to sleep and get over it, already. Stop thinking and look.

Today was my reminder that things don’t need to get better.

They are better.

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