Monday, March 23, 2009

And I pretended I was sleeping

"Every time you leave me for a minute, it's like goodbye.
I like to believe it means you can't live without me."
~ Angela

Who'd of Known (video) ~ Lily Allen
Who'd of Known ~ Lily Allen

"Said tomorrow would be fun,
we could watch A Place in the Sun.
I didn't know where this was going,
when you kissed me

Growing up, I inherited a love of film and music, and nearly unshakable insomnia, from my Mother. I would find myself tossing and turning through the night, and I'd lean my head towards the door, straining to hear whatever film my Mother was watching in the wee hours between late at night and early morning, out in our living room. Quite often it was a classic film, black and white flickers on a screen with some of the classic Hollywood actors keeping her company. Sometimes I would creep out into the hallway, each step taken carefully as our hardwood floors were prone to creaking, and I'd try to remain unnoticed, craning my neck just so, in order to be able to catch glimpses of whatever film was playing.

Often she pretended to not notice me there, though I know now she was never fooled. But, after awhile she would shake her head and say, "just come in and join me."

Elizabeth Taylor was one of my early favourites. Her stunning looks and demeanor took my breath away. All dark hair and pale skin, and sparkling eyes that I would later learn were an unusual shade of violet. She had this air of melancholy about her, and a strange mixture of innocence and worldliness that seemed to emanate from every pore. I was fascinated by the roles she played, and by the way she carried herself in all of the varying roles I found myself devouring in those long, still hours of no longer night and not yet morning.

In my adolescence, when a theatre teacher told me that I reminded her of a young Elizabeth Taylor I was dumbfounded, and nearly burst into tears. I never saw myself as anything like her, nor would I again, but for that split-second I felt as if her mystique had slipped momentarily underneath my skin, and shone out of me, as those old films glowed out of our rabbit-eared second-hand television.

A Place in the Sun is about impossible love, bad timing, deception and loss. It is based on the novel, An American Tragedy, so I suppose there is no mistaken this for a Hollywood ending "they lived happily ever after" kind of number. And this definitely does not end happily, though I suppose there are moments "in the sun", and those stolen confessions in the moonlight when two people end up in each other's arms whether it should have ever happened, or come to be, at all.

Love ending at the electric chair, well I suppose that deserves the title of tragedy, doesn't it?

Odd then for it to be name-checked in Lily Allen's more hopeful song, 'Who'd of Known', right at the moment when two friends take that hesitant step into being something more. Was it simply chosen because it fit the rhyme and rhythm of a pop song, or is it meant to be some kind of foreshadowing? I suppose I have my own set of biases that colour such a question, though I think a part of me will always say love borne of friendship has the most amazing of potentials.

Even if your heart does end up electrocuted.

No comments:

Post a Comment