Wednesday, August 17, 2011

notes for essay: now in screenplay form



Between April 15, 2009, and August 9, 2011, I have written 108 messages.
Each message leaves me anxious but hopeful. I am full of wait and want.
I am constantly on the brink of something.



Each message is an imagined future, the beginning of a story that -might-
happen. I have written myself one hundred and eight different lives.
(Music begins- “Friday I’m in Love”)

None of the montage images are clearly focused on the couple, and Angela IMAGINARY BOYFRIEND's faces are seldom visible in the frame. Imaginary Boyfriend changes in every shot.

--Angela and Imaginary Boyfriend walk across campus, holding hands. They stop and kiss.

--Angela is in the same place, holding hands with Imaginary Boyfriend.

--Angela and Imaginary Boyfriend walk into ice cream parlor, Angela walks out with a different Imaginary Boyfriend.

--Angela is with a group of people at a bar, they are talking and laughing, and she is half-sitting on Imaginary Boyfriend's lap.


Each message is a different version, not only of my future, but of myself. I have
written to one hundred and eight different people, and each one of those one
hundred and eight people have seen a different me.

--Angela and an unidentified person are snuggled on the couch watching TV.

--We end with Angela and Imaginary Boyfriend making out in bed. It is night, and the room is lit by the computer screen and a small lamp on the desk behind the bed. END MONTAGE


We are seeing through Angela’s POV. The bathroom is bright. Angela washes her face and brushes her teeth. She takes medication. (Occasional fade to black, such as when washing face.)


I am confident. I am optimistic. I am happy. I am short, fat and half-asian.
Some days I'm also funny and intelligent and cute, although I don't know if I
ever manage all three at once. I am often entertaining. I seldom kill people.
I can't drive somewhere 2 hours away without wanting to keep driving for
another 6. Sometimes I yell at cats. I’m totally frazzled and anxious. I’m neurotic.
I’m way too old. I do not live in St. Louis. I am not reading a book while riding
a bike in a library. I have never been to a roller girl match, and I’m not quite
sure why. I haven't ever made a prank call. But I did once call every dirty 1-800
number I could think of, to see if they all actually were what they sounded like.


Still through Angela’s POV, looking through the closet, picking out clothes, trying them on. The view in the mirror is blurred or far away.


Reading them later, I sometimes can’t believe the things I've said, out loud
(sort of) to total strangers, although I know that really, this is only possible
because they are strangers. They aren’t real people, not yet. Until they write
back, they are only the people I want them to be. While I write, I am the
person I want to be. And every time I write to someone new, I have a
new chance to try again. Every message is a first message and a new start.



I’ve actually tried to quit, more times than I can count. But I can’t stop.
I need the waiting, and the hoping, and the wanting. I don’t know what to
do with myself without it.

No comments: