Coming out of the closet: Beginners with Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregorPosted: March 30, 2012
Once upon a time, I found myself telling people that if I could have chosen another way, I would have chosen not to want–to need–to be a writer. I found this to be a pretty intelligent revelation and it definitely bought me some more time away from pen and paper and allowed me to hide longer behind the fear of writing, that writing was too difficult, too much of an undertaking, not happening for me. I met with friend Faye in a café last week for a writing session and the whole time that I scribbled away, the thoughts in my head were repeating just one line: “You’re a hack, you’re a hack, you’re a hack”. I still got about 5 pages done, but deep down inside I knew they were crap and I should just give up. Once again, the Doubt Demon had reared it’s ugly head. I didn’t linger long on these thoughts, though, because we had more pressing matters, specifically the buying of movie popcorn for the watching of The Hunger Games (it was okaaaay).
Jump ahead a few days and I find myself FINALLY watching Beginners, which I’ve been itching to see since Captain von Trapp won his first Oscar. I’m not ashamed to say that I heart Christopher Plummer, find him irresistibly handsome, kinda sexy, and don’t give a fig that he is in his 80s. In fact, I even like that. Whatever.
I was completely intrigued to see his turn as a man who comes out of the closet at the age of 75, after his wife of 40 some-odd years dies, after which he is diagnosed with cancer. Talk about a plot line! I loved this little film, and was pleasantly surprised by the main story line with Ewan McGregor (unfortunately having to disguise his awesome Scottish brogue) and Mélanie Laurent (who mercifully was not forced to speak with an American accent). I totally get why Mr. Plummer won the Oscar. He ever so subtly steals the show and I found myself wanting to see more and more of him, and less of the others, leaving me just barely sated when it was over. More than that, though, I was inspired (huzzah) and the message delivered by the teeny voice in my head hit me like a ton of bricks. Why was I continually trying to deny my writing? I am constantly finding different things to write to avoid THE NOVEL, reasons why today it is not happening, or why tomorrow the words won’t come, and always leaving room in the story of my life for “what will happen if it doesn’t happen”. 95% of the time I’m certain I am 100 % a terrible writer and should just give up immediately.
I have been in the closet about this for so long, wanting to be a successful, career writer, that I don’t know what it’s like to be on the other side of it anymore and just embrace whatever comes. But I think, if I remember correctly, the other side looks something like this: No one wants to publish me? Bah, who cares, I’ll publish it myself. You don’t think my book will find an audience? That’s okay, thank you for your time, and also, F U. Not marketable? If you can find a way to market J LO’s trillionth sub-par perfume, we can find a way to market me. And the worst case scenario: the only person that reads/likes my book is me, my family and a handful of friends? Well…Super! Great case scenario! Who the hell else am I doing this for anyways?
So I’m coming out of the closet now, rather than waiting for life to pass me by and especially because I do not want to wake up at 75 wondering what the hell I was scared of all those years.
All this is to say, go watch Beginners. You never know what a senior gay man’s coming out party will inspire in you.