“A SINGLE MAN”

I’ve been watching “A SINGLE MAN” again. I know I shouldn’t. Based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel of genius, the film manages to capture much of its brilliance. While on the surface it may seem to be about a lonely man, it is so much more. It is about the very nature of alone-ness, the absolute alone-ness in which we all live. Written by Isherwood when going through a difficult time with his much younger lover, Don Bachardy, the book is about the terror of allowing someone into your soul; the terror of recognizing a true connection of souls; the horror of losing such connections; the absolute, edge of the cliff, pain in the chest, unable to breathe agony of suffering the consequences of forging such a connection, only to experience the inability of one or both parties to cope with the connection; it’s about the rarity of finding someone who really and truly sees you and then losing that person; it’s about the awful, day after day, eviscerating loneliness with which one must live when one discovers that we are all, finally, alone in our own skins, in our own minds, and that is it is possible to love someone passionately, completely and not have that love returned. I should not watch it. I should not re-read the novel. I should not imagine that someone like Nicholas Hoult might still be out there, might awaken something in me again in a conversation across a table. I should not wish that I have the words like Isherwood (like Colin Firth in the film) to explain myself, ever again – or, having the words, the courage or faith or hope to do so ever again. I should not envy the Firth character’s ending. But, there are many things I should not do, should not have done, and yet, I do, and have done and here I am . . . going.

 

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