My crush on that country down under began when I first visited Sydney when I was about 12. The shores, the amazing opera house, and the great people.
Then the movies. I saw Jindabyne yesterday at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Based on the short story So much water, so close to home. Even though it was rather disjointed, it spoke so much of the country, the culture. The isolation perhaps? And the disconnection among the immigrants and the fishes out of water.
“Our advice was to choose people who would support us during our marriage,” a friend said about how he and his fiance chose their groomsmen and bridesmaids.
Almost by instinct, people often choose people who they have known the longest. A friendship stemming from childhood—the preschool days. And rarely do they choose people they have met recently. But why bestow the honor to stand next to a friend at the altar when you have barely spoke in the last few years—because you’re involved in your own lives? Because you’re on the other side of the country? Because you have little in common anymore?
We often like to think that we are always there for people, to support them in every way. But like everybody else, I admit I falter too.
What is friendship when it’s only based on duration and not knowing that the support is there? To receive such an honor?
Every day, I take the BART to the Powell station where street musicians are setting up shop. Usually it’s too early in the morning for them to play, because the Westfield mall isn’t open yet. However, when I finish work around 5:30, I walk in to be welcomed by musicians of all sorts. A guitarist. A man crooning, echoing in the halls of the BART. A Chinese pianist. Today, it was a Mexican samba. I never really do stop though. Yet every single time, I smile to myself. There are a few reasons why I have stopped listening to my ipod on my commute. I hate missing the sounds around me.
It is intriguing to me. Being human, one of the worst feelings to endure is to be ignored. To be forgotten. I often choose to continue in my journey, somewhat drenched in guilt, because I have been taught never to pull out cash for a casual purpose. And yet, I would gladly pay for a prime seat in a concert hall to listen to music and yet not for the musician standing only 10 feet from me. I don’t stop because by stopping, I feel obligated to flatter them with money. But that isn’t the purpose right? And I walk away, almost as if to escape the obligation, wrenched with guilt knowing that on my ipod too, it’s really not…bought music anyway…
So what is it? Recently, there have been many movies on the feeling of being ignored, being forgotten. That if you stand in the middle of a crowd unmoving, you might not be noticed. I always found that idea to be odd, because I believe I do notice. I like to stand in the BART station as people walk by me, eavesdropping on their threads of conversation. And as they leave, my imagination creates the stories of who they are and where they are going. It’s the couple going to their kids, unhappy with their state of marriage. It’s the two Chinese friends, exhausted from work, sharing their stories of raising kids. It’s the guy who found a great deal at the mall, telling someone on the phone about it—sounding like it was someone who wasn’t listening but he didn’t notice.
But to be forgotten or to be remembered as insignificant perhaps is the worst feeling of all.
There’s no more trying to meet people at a bar or parties. No more randomly finding a great restaurant. Less phone calls and random appearances at the door.
Are we so connected? We share photos and video so easily. At what point, is it information overload? And when is it appropriate to upload an hourlong cellphone video—citizen journalism? When are we supposed to leave it to professionals? Video and photos is like being there, but not. And that’s almost how we are with our friends’ lives…almost.
I asked him while I was writing my entry on Saturday, “Why don’t you read my blog? Is it because you want to respect my privacy? Or is it because you really aren’t interested in what I say…that I can keep talking and talking about something that really doesn’t matter?”
He laughed. Whenever he spends time on my computer, he goes through all his blogs, mainly blogs about celebrity gossip, tech stuff, sports, tv stuff, movies—techcrunch, the superficial…
We both know that like many of the male species, he doesn’t really hear everything single thing I say. “Really though, it’s the former,” he replied.
So when people seem to steer away from me, I think I finally figured out why. As I was walking down Valencia with a friend, I spoke about why I thought I never really was hit on despite being in a predominantly male field.
He stopped and said, “You’re someone who just gives TMI.”
And I tilted my head to agree, “Yes, I am super-TMI!!!”