Maybe I'm Not Tyler Durden, Maybe I've Been The Narrator All Along
We all have those movies that hit us where it hurts. Maybe your issues surround your family, or relationships. You probably end up watching things like "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Godfather" or "The Notebook" over and over again until your eyes dry up and fall out of your head.
When we look backwards and forwards at the things that bother us most, the things that haunt us when were' just nodding off to sleep we can see them in our favorite things.
Never being enough, choosing the wrong profession, never living up to my potential. All of these themes are explored from a distinctly masculine perspective in the 1999 David Fincher film "Fight Club", which follows the renaissance of a hapless corporate drone without a name.
I've read countless film criticism about this film, I've studied it for school projects and delivered monologues from it for acting exercises. I know it like the back of my hand, and somehow each time I watch it I get something new and different. That's the mark of a good film. This time I just happened to turn on the TV in my aunt and uncle's beautiful Sacramento home during a boring Sunday afternoon. I had just finished doing some half-baked core exercises on the bedroom rug because I was feeling bloated. I was mildly out of breath, and had no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my day.
"If our fathers were models for God and our fathers bailed...what does that tell you about God?" I heard over the noise out the open window of my room.
During this viewing of Fight Club I find myself at a crossroads. In the past two weeks I have sent out over 200 job applications in places from Los Angeles to Barcelona and everywhere between.
I have no idea where I will be tomorrow, let alone next month. For the past two days I've been watching House Hunters, you know that show where the rich yuppies have a realtor pick out three perfectly good houses for them to nitpick and fight over in the service of moving out of another perfectly good house? Yeah. I've been watching that every minute of the past two days. As if somehow, the act of watching other people settle down and get their lives on track would somehow make me do the same.
It's like the Ikea nesting instinct by proximity. Their homes made me feel like I had one of my own.
When you move five times in 10 months you can start to feel your skin deteriorate off of your bones. As soon as you start to feel comfortable in a place, you start to hang things on the walls and organize closets...the floor drops out from under you and you're back in your car. Your belongings (growing more and more cumbersome every month) are stacked to the ceiling of your new car.
They've been moved all over the country, and the world. Your suitcases keep getting packed up no matter how much you want to unpack them for good. Nothing is permanent, not even where you sleep at night.
It can take a toll on you. It can cause you to recede and become completely untrusting of your surroundings and even your friends, because you never know when you're going to lose them both. Anyway, Fight Club became a welcome reprieve of being jealous of all the things I can't seem to hold on to: namely a job and a home. Two things that most people have...or at least are working towards.
I listened to all of the bar stool philosophy offered by Tyler Durden, except this time different things stuck out to me.
For some reason the Narrator (or Jack) as many film critics refer to him became the identifiable character. Most of the time, when I am at my height I appeal more to the edge-of-life Tyler. But now, feeling low and confused, trapped in a world I couldn't choose...it was the Narrator who embodied me.
I found myself completely distanced from the chaos, and toward the end of the film when the Narrator is running through the streets trying to stop himself from blowing up the credit card buildings I was rooting for him.
I rooted for him to stop everything that Tyler built. I rooted for him to get his life back, to return to his condo with all of the beautiful, hand styled furniture. I was rooting for him to settle down and return to the race of millions who were trying to get the peace of mind of stability.
I guess when you spend enough time in the Tyler Durden state of mind, you start to long for the opposite. I flipped off the TV and sat in my bed after the last notes of "Where Is My Mind" by The Pixies rang out. I started to cry. I'm not sure what hit me, or why it hit me but something hit me. I wasn't hysterical, I wasn't short of breath. It was one of those cries where you understand what has happened to you, and you decide to move on from it.
It hit me that yet again, I'm flying without any purpose or direction. I think this will be my last entry in the AfterLife, for now. This might be the closing of a chapter and the realization that no matter how much you put into something...you never know if you'll ever get it back.Not even the chaos of enlightenment could move me. I'm hoping, that in the coming months something stable comes, so I can feel free enough again to disrupt it.