The Movie in My Mind

Sometimes we see in people only what we want to see. Reality has no place in this state, only hopeful delusion.

One of my dearest friends, Beverly, is dating an absolute psychopath. Worst of all, he’s an attractive, manipulative psycho who, because of his job, knows how to use a gun. Sometimes Beverly sees this jealous, accusatory, pompous, controlling ass for what he is. Sometimes she knows that there is no future with him, and knows that she can’t lash herself to a dangerous, obstinate, un-medicated, bipolar person. Occasionally, she looks at all the heartache and fear and frustration involved and says to herself, “Jesus…I haven’t even been dating him for three months. GTFO, psycho!”

However, most of the time she sees him for what she wants him to be. She sees him for the attractive, charming, strong male who wants her and only her, who says nice things to her after they fight (which is often), who tells her that he accuses her of cheating because he cares so much for her and doesn’t want to lose her. Beverly got wise and all but totally extricated herself from the situation, but something in her — her tender heart, her desperation to be loved, her delusional ignoring of the facts, or her genuine kindness — didn’t sever everything. Not quite. Now, she’s going on dates with him. She’s spending the night at his place. He can’t come to her place, but everything else is on the table. It’s only a matter of time before she crumbles totally.

In a similar strain, my ex was once a kind, caring, sweet, somewhat stupid creature. He was weak and would resort to lies so he could cover his own ass, but overall he was a deeply flawed, not terribly bright, sweet, caring mamma’s boy prone to self-sabotage. We went to move in together and, rather than tell me he had lost his job, he lied and lied some more to cover it up. When the truth came out, our relationship ended, but a friendship remained.

After the breakup, he started drinking heavily, lied more, and eventually composed a huge lie that landed him living with three other people in a two bedroom apartment in San Francisco. In that time, his drinking morphed into the compulsive smoking of weed which turned into a crippling meth addiction. (This is the path he went down; I am not saying this is a logical or expected progression for anyone else). He spent the better part of a year being high and a slut (sometimes literally whoring himself out to people he normally wouldn’t touch just to get more meth). Eventually, he hit the bottom and moved back to his mother’s house. The lies, the drugs, the sex, and the diseases followed and continued until he hit the bottom again…and began scraping his face on the pavement there.

My roommate is a wonderfully kind, generous, older man I met through my ex when we were still dating. Since my apartment was getting too expensive and I planned to move out of state in less than a year (a random injury delayed that more than I ever could have expected), my ex suggested I move in and rent a room. When my drugged ex came back, he started hanging out here again. My roommate, who never wants to believe ill of almost anyone, doesn’t see the bad. He believes the lies. He pretends not to notice the weed and the chemical smell. He believes that my ex is really constantly borrowing his truck to go hiking…for seven hours. He believes that my ex is going to see his mother (with whom he has a love-hate relationship). He believes that my ex all but moving in here has nothing to do with getting away from someone who will question him and hold him accountable (mommy). He thinks the late nights are just insomnia. He thinks my ex is still the good person who occasionally lies about small things. Few people are sadder than me that this is not the case.

Tonight’s title is from my favorite song from Miss Saigon. It’s a sad song about hope and determination and leaving reality behind to live in a dream of fulfillment. As anyone familiar with the musical knows, it doesn’t end well. The movie in her mind is just that. A dream. A falsehood. Hope without substance. That is Beverly and my roommate. They pick and choose the good parts, what they want to see, and they ignore reality to their detriment, and the detriment of those around them. These toxic people take advantage of them because of their desperation or hope or kindness or determined blocking out of uncomfortable facts. I prefer Movie in My Mind without the context of the musical’s ending. Then it can just be sadness and determination to find that dream, to make that movie a reality.

This reality leaves me sad. I used to think that deliberate delusions were misty, easily blown away. This has shown me that there is nothing flimsy about them when life’s paths are traveled with eyes closed to reality and to those who would intrude on the delusional dream with some much needed objectivity.

“…so no one comes at night…to blow the dream away…dream…the dream I have to find…the movie in my mind…”

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~ by Darren Endymion on June 6, 2016.

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