Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Soloist

Tonight I saw The Soloist with Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. It's a friendship movie about Downey, playing real-life journalist Jerry Lopez (was that his name?), who befriends Nathaniel Ayers, a black man/homeless person/musical prodigy. Aside from enjoying the difficult friendship between them, I enjoyed the look into Lopez' life in terms of how pretty much everything he encountered he turned over in his mind -- could this be a story, could that be a story?? He reminded me a lot of myself.

Today I sat on the 5 o'clock packed bus coming home from downtown and this kind of environment is rife with possibility in terms of material for writing. So many fascinating faces, bodies, personalities, from the bus driver who yells out "Ok people, you can either move to the back of the bus or we can just sit here -- I don't mind sitting here so it's up to you" -- he acted like he was a school teacher talking to his students, or a parent talking to their kid -- to the eighty year-old man sitting next to me -- he was so frail and tiny and I felt protective of him -- to the man standing in front of me with tattoos of birds all up and down his arms and around his neck -- and on and on...

I stare at everyone. It's hard for me not to do. I especially love looking at lips and eyes. There are so many beautiful kinds of lips on Asian people, big full pouty pillow lips, and I love looking at the mouths of down and out older folks -- how their mouths cave in and look like they can't support the rest of their face anymore -- and I love looking at bodies too. The bodies of young girls with attitude in their too-tight jeans. Or guys with all kinds of piercings and those special earrings where they stretch out their earlobes. Or big fat people with all their voluptuous folds, especially the beautiful black women who get on in the Western Addition with their shelf-bosoms and their wild hats.

I wonder what people would think of me?

Humph, look at her clothes -- she dresses like a teenager -- and what's with her big movie star sunglasses? Or, she's an interesting looking older woman... They probably aren't thinking anything. They just want to get home and eat dinner.

I was coming home from the museum. Today was the first time I ever went to a museum and couldn't find anything to like. But MOMA can be way out there. I guess the most interesting thing was the circles of ceramic black poodles looking in at the Christ child. It was pretty absurd looking, but maybe that was the point.

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