On this week’s edition of Mental Health Mondays (yeah that’s totally gonna be a thing now watch out) we’re gonna talk about the anxiety-ridden existential crisis I’m having because, no joke, I watched a funny movie this afternoon.
First off, I don’t set an alarm anymore and went from awaking at 4:40 every morning to whenever now. Sometimes its six, sometimes it’s ten, more often its somewhere in between. Anyway, I rolled out of bed around 9:40 and drank coffee outside and felt weird, and decided to go for a walk but the walk felt weird. By weird I mean kinda pointless. Like, why wake up at all? I have nothing to do today.
Or any day, actually. I have dropped out of my life and am just chillin’ right now. It’s really weird.
I got home and before even showering or eating or anything I found a movie I’d wanted to watch by virtue of it starring Gary Oldman.
I really, really, really like Gary Oldman.
Like, if True Romance was just a two-hour loop of the six minutes of Drexyl Spivey screen time I would watch it. Twice.
Anyway, this movie, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, claimed to be hilarious and witty and star Gary Oldman etc. so I turned it on.
And you can read reviews and character analysis yourselves (as I’ve been doing) but basically it’s the story of Shakespeare’s Hamlet as told by the two childhood friends the King coerces to find the cause of Hamlet’s “affliction”. The title is taken directly from Hamlet and it is, indeed, hilarious. I laughed out loud on multiple occasions.
But what’s obnoxious is that, and spoiler alert, Ros and Guil do die. And all this after hours of the Guildenstern going on and on about life, meaning, reason, art, death, etc. It just set the whole thing up in such a way that I was really hurt when they died. It felt, as it was intended to make you feel, like everything is pointless and sad and blank and redundant and silly. These are minor characters, right? But everyone’s the Main Character in their own lives. And its an interesting film because they are the most passive, indecisive people. They don’t do anything, they just think and talk and things happen to them or in front of them. They are hapless onlookers and the story really earns its genre as tragicomedy.
So I’ve been scrounging Tumblr for gifs and Google for history and analysis’s of the play, and my head is spinning and I’m suddenly too anxious to eat or go climbing as planned. Seriously, I’ve got a group of girls at the rock gym expecting me and I’m curled up on the couch replaying the hilarity and sadness of that film. I just ran up the hill behind my dad’s house and wept and now I’m here trying to explain it, but I’m too sarcastic to give anxiety disorders the credit they deserve, and this is getting too long anyway. I just feel like…shit man, all I wanted was to see Gary Oldman be funny in a Shakespearean comedy. I didn’t expect all the existential dread.
It feels like being dehydrated. And I’ve been gulping water.
And do ya wanna know the worst part? It’s not that I’m missing rock climbing or that I cried or any of that, it’s that I was triggered (god do we have to call it a trigger?) by a line The Player says, almost in passing. He’s mad that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern left his performance, and he says,
“You don’t understand the humiliation of it – to be tricked out of the single assumption which makes our existence viable – that somebody is watching.”
That somebody is watching.
The Player is talking obviously about the Audience. He’s an actor and his works are meaningless unless someone sees it. But it really got to me.
Because I often feel alone, and I find myself asking the rhetoric, what is the point if no one knows me? At the end of the day I don’t actually want to be the only one who bears witness to my life.
I think the Player views his audience as some might view God; a being to give meaning, who watches and cares. We all wanna be loved and known, right? Unless you’re a fucking sociopath you probably want there to be at least someone who knows you deeply and loves you anyway.
So I’m living “alone” in California with no friends, none of the lifestyle matters I’ve built around myself for the last six years or so. It is a stripping of everything that gave my life meaning, be it the farm, the Neighborhood kids, my friends, “fighting” for change in Phoenix, my go-to coffee shops and bars and places of respite. I’ve got nothing, and certainly no one watching now.
And is that why I believe in God? Is that why I write at all? Because I’ve gotta have someone there who knows or I will fall apart? And what about you?
So yeah. No climbing tonight. Yes loneliness and angst tonight. Probably gonna sit outside and weep or watch random bloopers on Youtube until I decide to go to bed.
How do you cope? Have you seen this movie or the play? And were you able to watch it without a breakdown?