this place where i was felt so familiar, yet so distant at the same time. the sensations of déjà vu were omnipresent. for the first time in a long time, though, i didn’t ignore or deny them, but listened and saw the messages put there for me instead.
the face that popped into my mind surprised me. it caught me a bit off-guard as visions of memories past and intersections with my “now” came rushing in with it.
what i am doing here at all in the first place still feels like a big, overwhelming, looming question mark most of the time, i’ll admit. but a huge smile erupted on my face with gratitude — even a most cynical attitude can’t dampen the sparkle when i see the synchronicities around me sometimes. it’s pretty amazing to believe in the power of magic again.
images of dirty cars, jeans, heads rolled back in laughter, and the smooth shifting of feet that comes with confident driving flooded my mental camera roll.
over the years, he and i had spent hours talking about drives across the country, being young and having motor vehicle responsibility, and how simultaneously crazy and beautiful the world of the entertainment industry is.
like so many of the people in my life years back, i met him through work. he had told my boss about an embarrassing promotional appearance he’d made once. he wasn’t sure where the tension lied, he’d said in the meeting with his team, but it was holding him back professionally, and he hoped we could somehow melt the tension that remained.
separately, over months, i found out the full story. it had been egregious, but knowing the men and circumstances involved, it likely wasn’t nearly as fatal as he had concocted it to be in his head. where the tension lied and what needed resolve became more and more obvious with each resentment that spilled out, though, and soon we sounded like we belonged in a parking lot after an AA meeting.
names of movies he was in years ago are now alarmingly relevant. others he has made since are as poignant, if perhaps more personally exploratory. one particularly notable to me involves a monumental life transformation and unearthing hidden parts of oneself when the love of another suddenly takes precedence.
he brings a sense of levity to the heaviness of it all, and that lets us do the work, too. that ingratiating exuberance is in all he is. in all he does, in all he makes. even when he doesn’t know it. we are all so lucky.
he exuded in celebrity the rare desire to be better. not to be more famous, but to be more in alignment with what he found important as a human. that concept was foreign to most of us at the time, and he was seemingly the odd one out.
how silly the rest of us were. chronology was irrelevant. he had years on us having already started to face and accept his own demons while we attempted a business out of thinking we could hide those of everyone else.
the team of us eventually made his dream of an in-person opportunity at redemption possible. but what i ultimately remember is his curiosity. his beleaguered consternation at the obvious that was assumed around him. his confusion at most of life, and his simultaneous unflinching awareness of it.
as we grow and change, life rhymes i think to remind us of what we like. of what we find relevant, and of what lets us feel relevant. of what makes us happy.
and of how amazing it is to believe in the power of magic again.