Ain’t Too Proust to Beg

So today I got to work from home. I went into D.C. for a staff meeting, had lunch with my supervisor in front of the White House, and came back home to write up a memo because we’re having some technical difficulties with my computer at the office.

While trying to be productive at home, I watched Little Miss Sunshine again. I love the writing for this movie. In this scene, Dwayne (15 year old played by Paul Dano who whose lifelong dream of joining the Air Force has just been shattered because he just found out he’s color blind) talks to Frank (played by Steve Carrell, a suicidal gay professor whose boyfriend just dumped him for another scholar) about sleeping through the hard part of life and waking up when it’s all over.

Frank: Do you know who Marcel Proust is? French writer. Total loser. Never had a real job. Unrequited love affairs. Gay. Spent 20 years writing a book almost no one reads. But he’s also probably the greatest writer since Shakespeare. Anyway, he uh… he gets down to the end of his life, and he looks back and decides that all those years he suffered, Those were the best years of his life, ’cause they made him who he was. All those years he was happy? You know, total waste. Didn’t learn a thing. So, if you sleep until you’re 18… Ah, think of the suffering you’re gonna miss. I mean high school? High school-those are your prime suffering years. You don’t get better suffering than that.


Within the scope of my life, I guess it would behoove me to look back every once in a while and appreciate if not celebrate the bumps along the way. They have shaped (and mis-shapened) who I am. All in all, I’m glad to be here. So next time I’m unbearably homesick, I’ll channel it into a song, poem, or story instead of call home 5 times a day and bug the heck out of my mom. That way I can look back and feel like I’ve gotten something concrete out of my suffering. Ha!

This is what I love about movies. They have emotional capacity. They frustrate you, educate you, stimulate you, and empower you by telling the same story in a variety of ways. This movie isn’t the first or the only one about a dysfunctional family, self-discovery, lost loves, half-met dreams, and downright failures. But we pay attention because it’s interesting and because the characters bring different chemistry to the screen. Then if we really pay attention we can get something more out of it too because of good performances and writing.

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Last night I had a dream that I launched rockets for a living. Don’t know what that means, but it was pretty fucking cool. I experienced zero gravity in my sleep. Does that count for anything on a resume?

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