Wednesday, December 9, 2009

20, 40 years from Now

I sit in the kitchen, stupidly barefooted and freezing, drinking hot cocoa (fat free, here's looking at you, Sims!), and thinking of the years ahead. It is something I do on occasion when sleep evades my weary mind and teases me with yawns that lead to more browsing on youtube or reading through the books I've yet to finish. I should also be writing a reply to a friend but that can wait until tomorrow.

So I sit here, shivering slightly (my iPhone told me it is currently 40 degrees Fahrenheit) thinking of many tomorrows. Time is a fickle broad. I can remember walking through a red bricked amphitheater, dressed in white and carrying red roses, thinking time should speed the hell up and let me get on with my life, let me be who I am meant to be, let me experience all I have yet to experience. I was fresh faced, having virgin hair that had no dye near it, my skin unblemished and clear of the tattoos that I would get six months later, my nose and eyebrow were still whole, no metal gracing such features. I certainly do not miss that girl. She was laughed at, good-naturedly mind you, about three months later in an Irish pub in Las Vegas by the waitress and people who would become extremely good friends. If you want to know why, it was because I was a non-risk-taking 18 year old who was served an alcoholic drink. The nervousness I felt as I sipped the forbidden treat would leave me by the end of that weekend. I had heard horror stories of underage drinkers being thrown out of the buildings, my mind creating the image of two hulking Italians with obvious mafioso ties, grabbing my arms and throwing me right on my ass in front of a bus full of tourists, camera's poised and ready for the perfect shot of humiliation.

Thanks to three cups of coffee, my imagination is as good as ever.

I laugh at that girl now, also. She's no longer as shy as she was. The only thing she fears is spiders and being thrown in front of celebrities she loves, doing an excellent impression of a deer about to be slaughtered by a semi truck. She's a lot more trusting and more cautious at the same time. She's happy and that's all that really matters.

From the age of 18 to present, 22, I've done so much, seen so much, read so much, that it baffles me how life will be in twenty years. Will it slow down to a crawl, drudging along at a snails pace, letting boredom and monotony invade a once vivid life? Should I savor each day instead of each moment, balancing out time?

In all honestly I don't know. I'm a bloody optimist who always has hope and views the silver lining.

I bring all of this up because it had me thinking of an older actor I admire. No, it isn't the dashing Mr. Rickman nor the ruggedly handsome Mr. Laurie. Let's just say that I know only 3 of you reading will know who I am talking about so to put it out there, it is the ever-bumbling yet charismatic Mr. Jonathan Frid. ["Really, Alex, pick actors from this or last decade.... not from four decades ago!"]

I've met Mr. Frid three times. My first experience in his company is the memory in which my racing mind has me thinking of at the moment. It was a 40th anniversary dinner held in his honor. The anniversary was celebrating his first appearance on the small screen. It took me two hours to get ready and work up the courage to walk downstairs by myself in a silver and black tube dress, which was very short to me, and strapy silver high heels. Thank you, Chaffey College Swim program,, for allowing me to wear such a thing. I needn't have worried. I sat at a black baby grand piano, waiting for a new friend, watching the fellow attendees walk in with jeans and t shirts on. To be fair, it was about 50/50 with people dressed nice and others like slobs. My friend arrived and we were seated in the front of the ballroom. Mr. Frid was sitting diagonally to me, not five feet away. His hair had turned from jet black to iron gray. He stood slightly bent, the arthritis evident in his long fingers.

Before they served dinner, they showed a montage of all his greatest scenes between 1966 and 1971. My eyes flickered between him and the screen. He sat there, smiling and watching calmly. The audience knew all the scenes shown by heart but gave the appropriate applause and gasps when necessary. He was watching himself, 40 years younger, back straight, handsome in a Charles Bronson kind of way. His voice was even different (smoking explains the change). I wondered what he was thinking. It was a sure bet it included how marvelously awful the dialogue was and about how he forgot his lines and tried to ad lib with little success. Did he think of what he did those days and nights when he wasn't on set? Did he sit reminiscing about the difference between his screen and stage career? Or did he sit there thinking of himself as a young man, enjoying all the pleasures of New York City in the sixties?

He seems like a very no-non-sense type of person so he would likely cuff me around the ears if I suggested he was basking in days long past.

I wonder, with all the technology present, if 40 years into the future, I'll be able to look up photos and video and suddenly remember what was going on during that event, trapped, frozen by time and gigabytes.

I once wrote that I would be fully content when I was an old woman, surrounded by old friends, sitting on a porch, telling stories to a generation that would never know a time when there was no television, no Alan Rickman [the man is that unique], no internet, and whatever else they create in between those 40 or 60 years. All the stories would be adventurous and exaggerated to epic proportions though they would be all true. Hell, I tell stories now and people do not believe me. I would sip tea (with maybe a pinch of brandy included), laugh, and think "I don't regret anything." There is something so freeing in that line of thought.

It's probably the end of this year that has me thinking about this topic. 2009 was a pain and a pleasure [School (ugh), books (yay), Hugh Laurie (three cheers), stress (boo!), injuries (oh bloody hell), Hugh Laurie ("Didn't I see you last week?"), photography (woo hoo!)]. 2010 is the freshest start I have had in a long time with no school breathing down my neck and new employment I'm dying to start. May we all enjoy ourselves immensely, help Cindy catalog and distribute the 5,000 random photos she will take throughout the year, get over the fear of embarrassing oneself in front of handsome people (wait, no one else has that fear? damn it!) and remember and cherish all the events that will come.

I'll make sure the next post will be full of sarcasm, comedy, and fiction instead of more of this soppy mess. I'll be back to reviewing old, obscure, terrible horror films in no time.

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