So let's start off with my Daily Picture. Today's pic I've had on my hard drive for a few months now. I didn't take it myself, I snagged it from the Guardian UK. I thought it was beautiful and I stashed it away in a file on my computer that is specifically for things that I want to use as subjects to draw and paint.
Stephen Gately on the set of Credo.
For those of you who don't know, that is Stephen Gately and as of last weekend, he is very fucking dead in real life. He died at 33 years of age, left behind a pretty successful musical career as a boy band heart throb (called Boyzone! LOL!!), a civil marriage, a fledgling theatrical career, and an unfinished children's book.
Before this weekend I never knew his name, nor had I ever listened to him or his band perform, forgot about his movie Credo about 10 seconds after I saved this image to my hard drive last May. In fact, I even forgot about this picture itself until about 2 hours ago when I stumbled across it looking for something to draw.
So why post it today? Well, for someone I forgot, and to be perfectly honest, for someone I never cared existed, Mr Gately's death has managed to hit me in two unexpected ways. Who knew!?
The first way. Mr Gately, as he's aged, looks very much like someone I care dearly about. There are pictures of Mr Gately that are downright eery in their similarity in facial expression and structure to my friend.
Normally this sort of thing wouldn't really bother me. I've dated a lot of people and after the relationship is over I really don't give a shit what happens to them. I don't really want to talk to them anymore. They're gone. So what. They, themselves, could die tomorrow and I really wouldn't give a shit.
But this Ex is different. This Ex is still a friend of mine. It's a situation that I'm not used to and, to be honest, it's heart rending to me. I would love nothing more than to be done with the whole thing just to save myself the pain of it, but the thought of hurting this person (usually not a concern, to be honest) is something that I don't think I could ever forgive myself for. And, in a more selfish light, dating this Ex was like being in the sunlight, and without him it's very cold. To be without him completely, I'm afraid, would be very dark indeed.
I could go on and on about The Ex but it would be pointless. I can summarize it pretty easily. The whole relationship was doomed and it was one of the healthiest things to happen to me and probably one of the least healthy things to happen to him. Different religions, different interests, different groups of friends, different needs for the future. Not even different, conflicting!
I knew that the relationship was doomed right from the start. But it was a very different relationship for me than it was for him. Where I was soaking up the positive influences, he was drowning in my negative influences. Where I was willing to fight through, compromise, and turn a blind eye to irreconcilable differences; he was being haunted by them in his own heart and with the help of his friends. Where I was really happy, he was not.
So since the bust up it's been in a weird state of limbo. We're not quite friends. I don't have to dance around subjects with my friends. I don't want to hear about his girl friends, I don't want to tell him about mine. I see him so rarely that when we DO spend time together I feel incredibly pressured to make it a fun experience.
I feel like I poisoned him and I don't want to continue the process. And I feel like I owe him for all the good he's done for me.
I can talk to my friends about how I've been struggling lately. I can't talk to The Ex about it because I want him to be free of me. I'm heavy. He flies.
So, I try to avoid him. Ya, not healthy, but whatever! When I'm happy I don't have a problem. But when I get bummed out all I want to do is go whining to The Ex so he can make me feel better, like he always does. It's unfair to him because I'm unhappy so often. Even I get tired of it.
I'd been doing pretty good lately. I've been bummed and stressed, I've been very good about spreading out the heaviness to unsuspecting close aquantances and carrying my own weight. Then the Gately pics started to pop up. SO much like the Ex.
It ate at me. I'm usually so desensitized, but THIS bothered me. Soured my whole mood, in fact. It's been rough. I had to text The Ex to make sure in my irrational mind that he was okay. LOL!
It's just proof that I'm loosing my edge. ;-)
So that's one way.
The other way has to do a little bit more with THIS picture specifically.
I love horror. I love horror movies and literature and art and EVERYTHING! I love gore, both real and theatrical. My favorite sites are Liveleak, Rotten.com, and Arrow In The Head.
I'm not afraid of dead people and I'm fascinated by death. I love watching autopsies and crime scenes and violent cinema. I know the difference between the two. I know innocent people die and they have families and they deserved much more from life.
I want nothing more than to send people who inflict the things I see to prison for the rest of their lives. I want to see what happens when someone gets shot in the head, and I want to make sure it doesn't happen again.
What I DON'T DO is get any sort of sexual or weird kicks out of seeing gore. I'm desensitized but I have morals and values. I donate what little spare money I can to feed and provide medical care to the poor and abandoned, both human and animal. I don't even eat animal products!
When I look at horror I look at it as a kind of roller coaster. It's scary and fascinating and fun when no one gets hurt. It makes the really scary things in life less scary somehow and it makes me appreciate how nice and wonderful I have things. And the kind of horror I like can be very beautiful. Like today's daily picture.
I have seen some very terrible things. I have been the victim of terrible, horrible things and have done horrible things myself. My whole life is a mix of incredibly beautiful and terrifying. To me, they are essential to one another. I guess it has seeped into my sense of aesthetics.
Which brings me to the 2nd way that Stephen Gately's death caught me off guard:
I love Rue Morgue Magazine. I used to have a subscription. The artwork was beautiful, there were movie reviews, literary reviews, music, games, artwork. It's a stylish, beautiful, and thoughtful horror magazine. It can also be a very sexually charged magazine. Horror and sexuality are incredibly interrelated and getting one without a healthy dose of the other is nearly impossible.
The combination of sex and horror is not really my thing. I don't find 'sex' all that attractive. I don't look at handsome men and get turned on. I don't watch sex scenes and get worked up. It bores me. It's not what I find attractive in real life. I'm a sucker for nice, wonderful, intelligent, innocent people. Totally different ball game.
So when I would read Rue Morgue I would sort through the sexual chaffe for the content that I loved and found beauty in. Today's daily pic is a key example of what I like. Stephen Gately was beautiful. In my eye it's an incredible mix of genuine niceness and horror. It's beautiful and breathtaking. It's play! Like he's about to go scare teenagers at the local haunted house. It makes me smile back at the pic and for me it takes the bite out of the real horrors of the world.
Well, I had a big stack of Rue Morgue magazines on my coffee table. It was something that I usually kept away from The Ex because I knew it was something that he would find unsettling. I forgot this time.
When I came back into the room I found The Ex flipping through the magazines. I almost hoped he would find it nothing more than 'interesting'. He then said the most painful and hurtful thing I've ever had said to me:
"This is porn."
Coming from someone who is very Christian, anti porn, anti sex before marriage, this was a slap in the face of the worst kind.
To be disapproved of so harshly from someone I love so much.
Then, after that sting faded, I realized I'd been hurt in another way. Someone I cared so much about. Someone that I learned inside and out, turned my life upside down for, spent hours a day learning new things about. He didn't know me well enough to know what I was looking at. The same thing that made the Rue Morgue paletable was the same thing that attracted me to him. The beauty, intelligence, virtue, and innocence. Even in horror there is moral guidance.
He assumed I was looking at the sex, because that's all he saw. I spent so much time looking at things how he looked at them, but he wasn't capable or interested in doing the same.
I still haven't forgiven him for it. He never asked what it was I saw and I was too hurt by it to even try to explain myself.
That Gately pic reopened that nasty old wound. It still stings.
So, the death of a random stranger who happens to be fairly photogenic has managed to create some interesting inner turmoil.
All that aside, I hope that Mr Gately is resting peacefully. I hope that, even though he was a public figure, the public treats him and his legacy with care and repect. And I wish the best for his friends and family.
I ran for an hour yesterday and then sparred and, somewhere during that adventure, I picked up a cold.
I woke up today feeling like I'd been hit by a bus. I was able to do a little footwork and I was able to run 3 miles at 6mph (FINALLY!! WOO HOO!! I'm up to speed!!) but after that I was pretty spent.
I may only run tomorrow, I'm not sure. If TDS comes in I will hold pads for him as well and possibly I will lift (legs).