It's kind of tragic, yet fitting, that I quote "American Beauty", which I thought was one of the most overrated films of last year. But really, "all I want is something beautiful."
My car is beautiful to me. I love the late 1980s, early 1990s style Saabs. I love the interior, I love the exterior. I love the shape. I love how it drives. I love how the doorjab is just close enough that I can rest my left elbow comfortably on the window and still drive with my left hand. That, if I really needed to (not that I do ... often) I can steer with my knees, that the steering wheel is just in the right place for that. I love my car.
And now it's broken. They say it's the transmission. And the water pump. And the head gasket. And the oil seals. And the axel boot (rear right). And the headlight, which is really my own fault. But the grand total to fix - $4000.
I bought my car two and a half years ago for slightly more than that.
I (obviously) don't have that kind of money.
I just want my car to work. To be beautiful again.
It's the same with women. Bear with me here. Last Saturday night I hung around with one of the coolest people I've ever met. She's smart, funny, I think that she thinks that I'm funny, but even if she doesn't, she still laughs at my jokes, which makes her kind, and gentle. Oh, yeah, she's creative, too, she designs clothes. Cool ass clothes. Pretty much, this woman has everything. And she's tall and blonde and just about the most beautiful person I've ever met. (I have to say "just about" the most beautiful because a long time ago I promised 'Mychelle with a Y' that she was the most beautiful person I know. Ironically, I just got a new picture of her this week, just to add salt to an old wound. She's just as radiant as she was in April of 1996.)
Of course, I tried my hardest to charm this beautiful being last weekend. I don't give myself much leeway, but I know that when I want to, I can be pretty funny and pretty charming. I've honed my skills of the perfect Chandler from Friends, Xander from Buffy combo that I think works for me. Yeah, I admit it. Most of my routine is stolen. But it works for me, so what can I say?
Actually, I guess I can't say a whole lot. This routine really doesn't work that well for me. There's a certain point with the women that my imagination takes over. I don't know why, I don't know when. All of a sudden I'm reading into every glance, every gesture, every nuance. "She hates me because she looked away for a split second." "She loves me because she turned her head to the left." "I think she wants apples. Something in her eyes says, 'Get me apples.'" Well, okay, maybe not that last one. But I just start thinking shit up, and that's never a good thing. My mind races and I act on impulse ... I feel like Chris Farley in "Tommy Boy". Jojo the Idiot Circus Boy.
Needless to say, I royally screwed up things last Saturday night. There was this other guy, and I was tired and cranky and jealous ... it was a bad scene. I know, I was there. All of the while I knew that I was doing it, somewhere in the back of my head logic was yelling, "Hey, quit it! She's only holding hands with that other, burly, strapping young man because you were in the bathroom or doing something else or something!" But I'm no Vulcan, and logic does not win. Mr. Spock would be pissed. I let the raw emotions, mostly created by my own delusions, take over. I get angry, and storm out. She probably doesn't even notice, because whatever I think that she did probably didn't happen in real life, and she just thinks I'm crazy.
It's kind of like my car. Or my job. I have these odd delusions of grandure. "I'm Josh, I should be driving a nice car!" "I'm Josh, I should be dating this beauty!" I say in life that I'm a realist, but that's so unrealistic in itself. I'm a dreamer. No, worse than that, I'm freakin' delusional. I'm a worthless slug in the entertainment industry. Hundreds of people would sell their soul, or at least a body part, to get their foot in the door of this skanky, skuzzy industry. My degree is a piece of paper guaranteeing nothing. It's not like a degree in Physics or Nuclear Engineering or any useful occupation. As for my car, I'm lucky that I have one. Women? I shouldn't even bother.
See, I've done nothing to earn anything. I expect greatness to come knocking at my door. I expect a pay raise to $50 an hour. I expect women to drop into my lap and fall madly in love with me. I expect my car to be shiny and clean and have all five working gears. And none of this is just going to happen. I have to figure that out, accept it, and move on. That's the realistic approach.
So I quote "American Beauty" and laugh. Why does my opinion count at all? Who care if I thought it was a trite and emotionally overbearing film? "All I want is something beautiful." But I don't deserve shit.
Last Updated on: October 28, 2000
© 2000-2004 Joshua Paul Edwards
Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment.