Saturday, April 6, 2013

unrequited loves 
we all have them.  all of us.  and don't ever underestimate the power they have over our lives, these unrequited loves.

i often wonder, when it comes to unrequited loves, if perhaps the "one that got away" may actually carry more influence over our lives than the ones that stayed at home.  if i were to experiment on myself, i would then have to assess which category of experience i carry more frequently in my thoughts.  hmmm.

there is a way of thinking that goes like this:  we want most what we cannot have.  many would argue that the best example of this is shakespeare's romeo and juliet.

viewed through a modern lens, the love affair in this play seems almost silly to me now--i mean who could take seriously the "love" between two teens (romeo was 16, juliet was 13)?  and yet, in its time, the characters were very much able to experience passionate love.  hell, in its time most people were married by the age of 16 and dead by 50, but i digress.  where today you would simply have a crush between two young schoolkids, back then it was life and death love.  what made the difference?  for me, the difference is that the love of romeo and juliet, unlike a modern schoolkid crush, was forbidden.  and didn't proust say "rejection is the greatest aphrodisiac"?  not exactly the same thing, but close enough.

of course, for teens, love is most always super-duper passionate, and that seems to be the case no matter what age we are in.  now that i think about it, a good cinematic example of passionate young love surfaced during the last century, and since i recently re-watched this film, it is freshly present in my mind.  i am referring to "endless love", the brooke shields vehicle from 1980.  though not a romeo and juliet per say, it is a portrayal of a very passionate love, or at least a very obsessive love.  it starts out as a lovely snapshot of the times--free love and permissive parenting--beautiful young people exploring passion for the first time.

but then it takes on the romeo and juliet factor:  the love becomes forbidden, and all hell breaks loose.  by the end of the film, parents are divorced, a house is burned down, one father is dead, and everyone is fighting.  but you know what?   the love between the two teens endures.  very much unlike shakespeare.

but back to unrequited loves.  love can certainly be unrequited because it is deemed forbidden, but that is not the only cause.  love could become unrequited because it is unattainable due to distance, culture, or age.  love could become unrequited because the object of love does not return the affection or share the feelings.  love could become unrequited because of self-denial, such as a married person not acting on a work crush.  or love could become unrequited because someone decides that it would not be in his or her best interest to pursue the object of affection.  this last instance is the circumstance i want to comment on in this post, since that is how i view my relationship with san francisco.


my decision to not move to san francisco broke my heart just a little bit--even with the relief and the confidence that came with my choice to stay in los angeles.  the decision has been on my mind a lot lately, because had i gone through with the move as planned, i would currently be negotiating the last weeks of my los angeles life.  i would probably have made the move in april or may at the latest, and by all accounts, i would probably be freaking out.  but i also would have been excited, a bit.

now i have gone over the decision to stay in los angeles in other posts, so i don't need to cover that territory again.  but i do realize that by not moving to san francisco, i may forever hold the city by the bay in my heart as an unrequited love.  and maybe that is not such a bad thing.

the city of san francisco has a mythical appeal to many, including me.  my favorite myth is that it is where the lost souls of atlantis, reincarnated as current folks, gather to reconnect with one another.

Atlantis by Chris Diston
Puddle Jumper by "Antiker"
Rendered in 3d Max 7
Clouds made in Paint Shop Pro 7
i like that myth, even though i don't believe that atlantis ever existed, or that we have souls that can be reincarnated.  but i digress.  i enjoyed thinking of myself, even if only in my imagination, as a wandering holdover from a long deceased advanced society, and that my move was merely me finding my way home.  haha. i do love san francisco, i do.  but i also wonder if i would continue to love it had i consummated the relationship with a move.  would the mythology hold up among the reality of making a go in a new (very expensive) city?  would the sheen begin to dim as i became more familiar with the annoying crowds of hipsters or the violence in the east bay or the ridiculous cost of living there or the cold damp weather?  would my love become tarnished as i arrived at the realization that i had left behind my entire support group and all my cherished friends?

when i moved to los angeles, it was not because of love.  i moved here because i wanted to make it as an entertainer.  there was no illusion that i was going to love the city. i guess you could call it a "marriage of convenience", devoid of passion, but not unbearable.  los angeles and i used each other.  over time, i have grown fond of this city (and hopefully it has become fond of me), or at least certain aspects of it, perhaps in the same way that one becomes fond of their partner in an arranged marriage.  you deal with it, because that is where you are.

san francisco would have been a move for love.  but would it have stayed that way?  well, i may never know.  but i do suppose that i would continue to love it, maybe in a different way.  it is a great and beautiful city after all, and there is so much to love, and it is so right for me.  but this is not the first time that i have made a decision against passion in the name of good sense, and i have accumulated very few regrets along the way.  one might say that my life is littered with unrequited loves.  perhaps yours is too!  and that, in my opinion, is a good thing, as long as we have some requited love right from time to time. it is possible that i love san francisco more because i am not moving there, but that is not the only shift that is happening.  i also find that i can no longer hate los angeles--because i have chosen to stay here.  so i get to uncover myths behind my being/staying in this city, and along the way, who knows, i may just fall in love.  i just may.