chasing frequencies


The most recurring question I ask myself when I’m watching something is “Why that shot”? Chased in frequency by “What’s that shot trying to tell me?” Especially if there’s no dialogue in it. That means I have to access the visual text, and in the case of this scene from Hope Springs Paternal (4.08) Ian’s facial expression.

Why did I need to see an MS followed by an MCU of Ian’s face here? (That’s a camera Mid Shot and Medium Close Up for you moving-image-convention noobs) His standalone expression is a little inscrutable to me. But placing it in the context of the scene—Mickey pouring coffee that he offered Ian at breakfast the morning after their (sober) reunion—I can project a sense of disbelief and uneasy delight. It contrasts nicely with the expression of nonchalance on Mickey’s face. It makes you want to tell Ian: dude, it’s just coffee, why are you looking at him like that? But of course, it’s a big fucking deal.

In the scene Mickey drops his guard. Actually, he done been dropped his guard for a while now, walking around the Gallagher house like he’s always been here. Comparing this moment from the one in the dugout two seasons ago, I see a more emotionally mature and secure man. He’s stopped sweating so hard over the little things. And the not so little things. He’s beyond being bothered if his actions read as tender or romantic. Like wearing Ian’s boxers. (Which means he had the opportunity to take his pants off. Which means they had sex last night. While everyone was home. Kinky. Full disclosure: in my mind midway through getting his dick sucked Ian probably pushed Mickey off and pulled him onto the bed. Ahem.) Don’t tell me Mickey doesn’t think the boxers mean anything. I told you he’s highly perceptive. He could have put his jeans on. But no, he put on Ian’s boxers. Isn’t that like, the punk rock equivalent of the clichéd sex shirt? 

Let’s sit on Ian’s face a little longer. (OMG that’s what she said. Wow, that came out wrong… THAT’S ALSO WHAT SHE SAID! Okay, I’ll stop.) Delighted disbelief aside, there must be something else going on…

Hey. Wait. Does his expression also seem a bit sheepish to you? Like maybe he’s thinking he didn’t have to come on so strong the night before. Like maybe he was wrong about having to be so conditional about their renewed relationship. Could he just be sweet again? Mickey’s being sweet. Quietly so, and not out of character for him, but definitely sweet. He didn’t have to give him coffee—he’s not his keeper—but he went out of his way to offer it. “Hey, want some more?” That’s not really a question. Mickey was already walking the coffee pot over. He’s already decided Ian could use a refill. That’s phatic communion, and it speaks volumes. 

Ian is adjusting to all this. The air hanging between them is still a little awkward because it’s been such a long time. He’s always wanted Mickey to want him like this but it’s a little surreal that he’s getting it. Does this mean he can kiss him whenever he wants now, wherever he wants? Does this mean they can be together in public? That Mickey can come out of the closet? In his head he’s probably thinking it’s finally happening. It is happening. 

For discussion:

1. Discipline is not punishment. It’s training. (Training for what?).

2. Remove temptation. (Temptation usually leads to pleasure. If no pleasure, then what’s the point).

3. Do all prep work the day before to make the difficult task easier on the next day when you start. (isn’t this working hard instead of working smart?).

4. Eat regularly and eat healthy (Won’t I get deprived and bored if I am always doing this?).

5. Always check if you are in a HALT state and rectify. HALT = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and/or Tired (I’m not sure I can recognize when I feel those things?)

6. Don’t wait for it to feel right. Forcing yourself to do what is logically right (instead of what feels right) will eventually get easier as the logically right behavior is repeated. (So punish myself until it no longer feels like punishment? But See No. 1 above).

7. Forgive yourself and move forward. (Doesn’t that just give me room to always be a fuckup ma g?).

8. Schedule rewards and breaks and celebrations of your progress. (What exactly is a reward? What exactly is a break? What is a celebration?).

Attempt No. 298441:

The grind is real and I’m deep in it.

In other news, I recently learned that I have major anger issues. I’ve always dismissed my anger issues as a minor inconvenience in my life, but I now see it as a major problem. The decisions I make from anger can’t possibly the “best” ones. Anger clouds my judgment, which makes it impossible to think with a clear head (even if I see my thoughts as clear-headed). Guess it’s time to face this beast. Maybe one day. Just not today.

Good night. See you bright and early tomorrow great one.

Attempt No. 298433:

Had a good day today. Got all my meetings and appointments done. Got some work done. Signed up for a fitness class. Started praying again and even found a small mosque. Ate healthier than I normal do. Went to see the eye doctor. Looked into some classes I want to take. Didn’t get into any altercations or arguments today. Was nicer than I was yesterday to everyone I met today.

But there are areas in need of improvement. I smoked a few cigarettes, which is bad. And I didn’t read a book, work out, wake up as early as I wanted, or finish all the work I had today.

It’s okay though. Tomorrow is another day. Just gotta keep focused on these day-to-day habits. Stay focused and in a year, I’ll be much closer to where I want.

Good night and stay focused.

Attempt No. 298432:

I’m going back into full grind mode again. Gotta secure a bag by Nov. 30th.

As part of grind month, I also have a few appointments this week. Personal development and shit.

Exercise on the weekdays and Friday night is also part of grind month.

I’m a little terrified to be honest. I haven’t been in full grind mode since 2015. But it’s time to get back to living, back to trying to be the “best I can be”, back to securing the bag, back to searching for that thing that’s missing.

Life’s funny man. While you’re having nervous breakdowns and trying to turn your tragic, mediocre life into something you can be proud of, it just keeps ruthlessly chugging along. Past couple of years have taught you that life gives no shits about you or your problems or your search for that thing you can be genuinely proud of. I don’t know exactly what or where it is, I just know what and where it’s not. It’s not in that job you hate or the music you love or the fashion you can’t afford. It’s not in your heroes or your lovers or your friends. It’s not in your dysfunction or your depression or your anxiety or your laziness. It’s not in the art you wish you could make. It’s not in paintings or sculptures or clothes or travels. It’s not in books or movies or shows. It’s not in pussy or children or bank accounts. It’s not in trinkets or vacations or showing off or parties or museums. It’s not in alcohol or coffee or drugs or food…

And if you think there’s a nice end to this journal entry, there isn’t.

See you tomorrow.

It's Not Time to Go into the Dark yet

if you close your eyes

and wish with all your heart

you would make reality go away

but fairy tales are for bed time

and you can’t remember when was the last time

when night came

daylight won’t go away

and traffic won’t stop

but your eyes are growing tired

and all you want is to curl into a ball

find a womb and fall into a bottomless sleep

but your feet and hands can’t stop moving

there’s so much to have and so little time

so no matter what happens

you never turn off the lights

because it’s only when you are awake

that the world will keep spinning

stars will stay on course

and God will keep His throne

but when you nod off on your way home

you can hear nurseries in the background

but you keep saying:

it’s not time to go into the dark yet

it’s not time to go into the dark yet

it’s not time to go into the dark yet.