The hipster server sets Andy’s French toast and my bagel sandwich down on the smudged, marble-topped table.
The tabletop makes me think of the conversation I’d overheard between two marble craters days before we’d moved out of our Raleigh apartment.
And as Andy pours syrup over powdered sugar, I remember something else: sitting in that exact same spot months before the craters’ conversation in our quickly emptying apartment; retreating to the familiarity of a homemade mocha and syrupy carbs 3,000 miles away from my home state of seven years, from the man with whom I’d finally made a home; looking out into LA’s great vastness, and wondering where and how we’d fit into it.
But now, that mental noise has been quieted. I’m not staring into my brunch like a fortune-teller into a crystal ball.
We eat, laugh, and digest the morning, and all the mornings leading to it.
Later that evening, we’re settling in for a double feature. Revolutionary Road fades onscreen and I’m thrown back to the day we made our decision to move. And the torturous day after, and the weeks of wondering, hoping, scrimping, and pushing that followed.
The kind words and cheers to keep going.
A few days before I got my job offer last week, I’d read a blog post that detailed the difficulties facing today’s younger generations–specifically the drying job well and the market’s increasingly competitive landscape. But the thing that really stuck in my craw was the overtly negative tone–the insinuation that we’re completely screwed.
To be certain, we’re not exactly operating in an economic environment where we can easily rebound from job loss without having a developed contingency plan. But instead of dwelling on the gray lining, we all have to find that sliver of silver that’ll keep us pushing toward our goals.
Since getting to CA, I’ve been writing and applying for jobs and writing more to try and land a job that I find personally fulfilling, but doesn’t consume my life–doesn’t derail what it is that I truly love to do: write. We’ve been so conditioned to focus on one thing at a time and think that there’s no time to pursue one’s passions while working a full-time job. But with my new job looming, I’m feeling increasingly motivated to juggle more balls–to keep writing, to flesh out business plans, to look to the future more as an untapped well of possibilities rather than a dried desert.
Paris, Je T’aime queues up, and Andy and I get completely lost amid the competing storylines. I’m quickly reminded that life can be a general mess.
Just as I think, This movie is so weird. Surely, Maggie Gyllenhaal is in it, her French-speaking self skitters across the screen to buy a joint. But then Juliet Binoche chases after her dead son’s ghost and tips a glass to Gena Rowlands. And then, there’re mimes. Two mimes. Two. And then a blind guy gets dumped. Or so we think. And we feel bad because he’s really upset. But, oh, it’s just the struggling artist, Natalie Portman, kidding around. Silly Natalie Portman. But do we ever see the two hot gays from the beginning again? Of course not. But we do get to see Elijah Wood sort of kill himself in a tragic attempt to become a vampire’s lover.
The movie ends as abruptly as its first scene. We lay on the bed, watching the credits.
“So, I’m confused. How did the mime go from sad to happy?”
Andy gets up and impersonates, moving his hands over his face, producing a frown, then a smile.
“Up is happy, down is sad.”