Yesterday, totally depressed and hopeless-feeling, managing only 3.5 hours of freelance stuff at home before feeling the urge to get into bed at 4pm. I'll only nap 'til 7 or so, then get up and do some more, said I. Nah. I just kind of lay there channel-surfing 'til midnight or so, dozing only fitfully, never feeling any burst of energy that would propel me out of bed.
But at least, after hours of desultory surfing... THE MAGIC OF CINEMA!
First, "Cool Hand Luke" was on TCM. Maybe one of my Top 25 movies of all time. Yes, because I identify with the "anti-authoritarian individualist self-destructive god-wishful loser" that is Luke! :) "Sometimes Nothing is a real cool hand." Of course I cried about my own pitiful life while watching it, but it also made me feel kind of cleansed and heroic and Christlike in my Nothingness afterwards!
And then, better yet, "The Graduate" followed (one of my Top 10)! (Thanks to former Indian Pacer Reggie Miller, of all people, who was TCM's guest programmer that evening.) While "Luke" was a cleansing downer, "Graduate" was/is the opposite: Every time I watch, I feel a huge surge of HOPEFULNESS and of the LIFE FORCE! Which is actually odd because the movie is a pretty dark commentary on both society and personal relations...but done so cleverly and humorously and with such understanding. Maybe I love it so because I first saw it at college when I was 18 and could completely relate to Benjamin's dismay/confusion at the world's phoniness and his inability to do anything about it except to half-heartedly attempt to join it. And then, probably even more importantly to me... I, still a virgin when I first saw the movie, was just dying to be seduced by Mrs. Robinson (and remain hopeful about her to this day): That leopard fur! That hair! That cigarette! Those stockings! How she ordered her drinks. The deadpan, "Art." Her not telling Benjamin that she didn't want him to see her daughter because she'd be hurt and jealous. The look on her face in the hallway after she'd chased Benjamin through the rain back to her house... I LOOOOOOOVE her character! She's maybe my second-favorite character in movies after Scarlett O'Hara.
So, by 3 in the morning, I was in a GREAT mood! (Next in line on TCM came "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," which I always find annoying and cloying, but still watchable enough to go to sleep to...)
When I woke up this morning, I felt completely refreshed, the opposite of the day before. With a weird sensation: There was someone very warm lying next to me. Not really, but, with eyes still closed, I was imagining/feeling a woman lying on her back next to me to my left, with a bracelet or arm-band on her right wrist, emanating body heat, with no intention of going anywhere else that morning. And then I, eyes still closed, started thinking about how else I'd woken up with real people, and then I thought of something I'd read in a bio of James Dean, about the time he and a male friend of his had had a 3-way with a female friend and how Dean later told the male friend how the female friend had been literally radiating heat, how sexy he found that... And then a line came to me:
Everything begins with her in bed.
Which is the to-be-famous first line of SOMETHING.
And I had to jump up and write it down. And the day's been a good one ever since.