Compatible Neuroses

On the spur of the moment, I rented two movies to watch last night, Solaris, which I mentioned in my previous post, and The Secretary. Each was recommended to me by a different friend. I saw both available at my local Hannaford, where I can rent movies for a buck each, so I got both of them, not realizing how relevant each was to current weblog conversations about relationships and compatible neuroses.
There was a secondary character in each movie who, coincidentally, was played by the same actor, Jeremy Davies. And the two characters he played were practically interchangeable. It was kind of spooky to have, at the same time, rented two supposedly totally unrelated movies about which I knew practically nothing and see the same actor in both looking and acting exactly the same.
Synchronicities like that make me pay close attention, and, darn it, if both movies didn’t serve as echo chambers for the conversations that prompted my last post.
“And Death Shall Have No Dominion” is the Dylan Thomas poem that reverberates through the love/attachment theme of Solaris. Love conquers all, even death. It’s fantasy, of course, on all kinds of levels, including the kind of romantic fantasy that keeps us dreaming of a Prince Charming with George Clooney’s butt.
Naked butts, the love/attachment theme, fantasy, and of course Jeremy Davies and his nervous hands, are all fundamental to The Secretary as well. Now how coincidental is that? Now I’m really paying attention.
The leitmotif for The Secretary is by Leonard Cohen, not Dylan Thomas, but, I’ll be damned, the message is the same.
Dylan Thomas:
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;

Leonary Cohen:
If you want a lover
I’ll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I’ll wear a mask for you
If you want a partner
Take my hand
Or if you want to strike me down in anger
Here I stand
I’m your man
If you want a boxer
I will step into the ring for you
And if you want a doctor
I’ll examine every inch of you
If you want a driver
Climb inside
Or if you want to take me for a ride
You know you can
I’m your man
Ah, the moon’s too bright
The chain’s too tight
The beast won’t go to sleep
I’ve been running through these promises to you
That I made and I could not keep
Ah but a man never got a woman back
Not by begging on his knees
Or I’d crawl to you baby
And I’d fall at your feet
And I’d howl at your beauty
Like a dog in heat
And I’d claw at your heart
And I’d tear at your sheet
I’d say please, please
I’m your man
And if you’ve got to sleep
A moment on the road
I will steer for you
And if you want to work the street alone
I’ll disappear for you
If you want a father for your child
Or only want to walk with me a while
Across the sand
I’m your man
If you want a lover
I’ll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I’ll wear a mask for you.

James Spader is no George Clooney, but he does have that screwed-up bad boy dark-erotic (in contrast to light-romantic) magnetism.
Romantic fantasy is compelling, but so can be its neurotic-erotic shadow.
Psychosis, pathology — attachment, obsession — dominion, domination. It’s all about love.
Everything is always all about love.
And pain.

1 thought on “Compatible Neuroses

  1. I agree with you. It’s taken me a long time to realize this about my father, that he also just wants to be loved, because he was such a hateful and cruel person. The book I’m reading right now touches on that universal yearning everyone feels, and that narcissists aren’t excluded despite outward appearances.
    On the other hand, it’s hard for me to feel sympathy for him in a way that would allow me to attempt to repair our relationship. Every time I’ve tried that in the past, it becomes a struggle for control over my life, and ends up leaving me feeling more lost and lonely than before.
    So although I better understand his feelings, I’ll have to sympathize with him from afar. I really do wish him the best, but I have this feeling that he’ll never find what he’s looking for.
    Coincidentally, I’ve been wanting to see Secretary for ages now, and Alan and I were planning on renting a film tonight. Hopefully it’s out on video over here, but I’m not sure. It came out in the cinemas a lot later than it did in the U.S.
    I really enjoy reading your blog, and I’ve also always been somewhat “witchy.” So we’ve got the maiden and the crone; now we just need to find a blogging mommy!

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