mardi 30 octobre 2007

I'll never forget today.

Someone committed suicide at my metro today.

On my way to school, my metro was closed. Blocked by police. I thought nothing of it, and I did what any logical person would do: walk to the next metro station. I descended the stairs at Place Monge. No one was there except for three other people. Across the track was an empty train.

I looked down the line, towards my metro station, Censier. It's a straight line from Censier to Place Monge. There were people standing on the tracks in front of the train that would be headed towards Place Monge. A man on the intercom came on saying that the service will be interrupted due to a suicide. I wasn't sure if I heard right, did someone actually say that? Then the intercom came on again saying that there was a "grave accident".

I left the station and crossed the street to wait for a bus. I boarded a bus so full that I stood side by side with the driver. I had full view of the street. It felt like being at the front seat of my parents' RV. In cinematic terms: it was the perfect wide shot. The best seat in the movie theatre. Life in high-definition. The sky was blue, sun shining. A total surprise to me since it was raining the day before. How can you wake up on a beautiful day like this and say to yourself, "Let's end it today"?

As we headed down the street, two ambulances came toward us, blue lights flashing. But they were slow. There was no need to rush; there were no sirens; the person was already dead. And it was so beautiful and cinematic, and I hated myself for thinking how beautiful this all was. I wanted to cry. I wanted to vomit. Someone died today. Willingly. I felt sick.

Below is a post that I had written last night and was going to post today. But it all seems futile now. After what happened this morning...I don't know what to think. Maybe it'll all be clear to me later what the post below and what today's suicide should mean to me. Maybe later I'll know the answer.

"ugh...another small crisis"
This isn't happening, this isn't happening...Ugh another identity crisis.

No, not really. But, I am sort of having a mid-student life crisis. I was home asking myself why I wasn't trying hard enough in my classes. And I know part of it is the senioritis thing and not wanting to be in school anymore, but there had to be more, that wasn't a good enough answer. And I was looking at my homework that I left to do the freaking night before, and I just felt like such crap for procrastinating. I closed my eyes, and this is going to sound so lame, but I looked inward for the answer, breathing in and out. I asked myself, "Why don't I care anymore about learning French? Why am I not trying hard enough? Why can't I just stick to these classes, it's really not that hard, all I have to do is study and I don't even have a job. Why?"

And my internal voice said: "Because."
Me: "But that's not good enough. Why?...Why?...Why?"

And finally the explosion, the huge fireworks finale. The voice fought back at me, "BECAUSE, BECAUSE, ALL YOU CARE ABOUT IS CINEMA!!!" Then this fog suddenly lifted. And all the reasons just spilled out,

"All you care about is cinema and writing and being creative, and you like the idea of living here and writing here, but not studying here, and in fact, you'd probably be trying harder if you were doing cinema back home. Remember 310*? Remember how hard you worked on that first project, the image continuity project? Remember when you actually loved, and I mean loved a class? Remember the feeling you had when you turned in that final screenplay and the day you got it back? That was one of the best days of your college life. That semester was hard, juggling 310 and screenwriting and a freaking job, but you did it, and it was hard but it didn't matter because you loved it, and it was worth it. And look at you now. What are you doing? You're not doing your French homework, you're not studying French, you're writing, for pete's sake. In your free time, you're thinking about the next movie project or writing in here. On your metro ride, you're thinking of dialogue, shot lists, the events that are going to become you're next written post or you're next movie idea."

"Don't you get it? Coming here was never about the French major. It was always about Cinema."

And that was it. It was over. After looking inside, I finally found the answer. Coming here was never about learning French. I look at these French words in the dictionary, but I feel like they will never mean anything to me. And it's all beautiful and wonderful, but I never needed it. And I thought I wanted it, but now, I want Cinema more than ever, and I want English. I want to be in screenwriting class getting mentored by Prof. McBride. I want Prof. Holmes to give me editing notes. I want to be glued to the Macs in the Creative Arts lab working on my next big thing. I can't believe I had to come to Paris to realize how much I loved cinema and not French...All the Cinema graduates are always saying, "Find your focus, and hone it in. You can't be a cinematographer and director. Find your focus." Maybe Cinema is my only focus. I thought I could do both, have a life separate from Cinema, but maybe I can't. Cinema will always play some part. I can't escape it. If I had to choose between French and Cinema, I know what my answer would be...When this finally dawned on me, I couldn't even bring myself to cry.

Oh my God, I can't go through with this degree. I just don't know anymore. I can't believe this is happening. My parents are going to flip out. Mom, Dad, I'm so sorry. I also can't tell if this is one of my regularly scheduled freakouts or if this is for real. I could feel different next week, I don't know.

*310 is a film production class which includes a lab. It lasts all day.
P.S. I swear, my internal voice isn't Holden Caulfield or Buddy Glass or even Zooey Glass--but probably a combination of the three.

2 commentaires:

Eli a dit…

It's nice you have passion for something, no matter what you do you'll have that!

I dropped out of college one day my freshman year, it just wasn't where I wanted to be (and I had a full paid tuition from an honors scholarship), while I've never really regretted it I do think it would have been easy to have just made the minimal effort to stay and get the degree. My advice would be to stick it out, but you'll have to follow your heart and if you do then it'll just have to be the right thing whatever you decide.

Good luck!

elaine a dit…

thanks eli!

yeah, i'm gonna stick it out. no matter how much i hate it.