Films have the ability to move us like no other medium. I watched one last night and it made me cry. It wasn’t the cheesy romantic ending where the girl rides her horse alongside the train and the boy pulls the emergency brake so he can gallop off into the sunset with her. It was because said young man was choosing to stay in Italy and pursue his dream of becoming a writer. Why would that make me cry?
One explanation is that I have lost my mind. Those of you who have known me for a while have probably long been witness to the unravelling of my sleeve of sanity. Why else would I keep going back onto dating sites? It is only a foolish person who repeats the same behaviour, hoping for a different result. That is why I am no longer on one. Since yesterday.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… Actually, when you stare at me blankly like that, I have no idea what you’re thinking. But yes, I joined a dating site a few weeks ago, more out of habit than desire. And no, that is not the ‘quiet desperation’ in the title. What I found on the site was a whole lot of nothing. Everyone on there is missing something – for some it’s their hair, for some it’s muscle tone, and for some it’s a personality and the will to live. Seriously, when you get to mid-fifties, don’t look for love online!
Back to the film and why it made me cry. A more plausible explanation is that I too had dreams of being a writer. I could empathise with the blank paper behind the typewriter ribbon and the fingers poised mid-air. And the dull ache of scared eyes. And the voices asking who you think you are. And the light fading through the shuttered window.
How many of us actually get to do what we really want? How realistic is it to forsake a promising career in foggy London and live off cheap wine and dreams in sunny Italy? We get so caught up in the maelstrom of living, having, earning, spending, that we push frivolous pursuits aside. We might dabble, but not seriously consider them. We say we have no time for them, or no talent. We stumble towards the finish line with Thoreau’s words as our epitaph. It is this thought that saddens me.
I don’t want to go to my grave with my song still in me. I want to find the melody even if I have no one to share my tune. I don’t ever want my desperation to be quiet!