After my sister’s birthday dinner last night, she wanted to go see The Joker. We’d both assumed it was just a Batman prequel, and in a roundabout way it was, as it was set in Gotham City and the Wayne’s were front and present. I haven’t been to the movies much lately and was completely uninformed as to the plot, but I’m a “Batgirl” at heart, so we went with it.
This was no superhero commentary. Was there a connection? Of course. But within seconds of the opening scene, I began to wonder, “Should I say, or should I go?” Every alarm in my psyche was homing in on the fact that it could potentially level me. He was painting on a mask, but behind his eyes you could clearly see that the road he’d been walking until that moment had cost him the connection to both the outside world and himself. Yet, still, I was compelled to sit through this six degrees separated version of not just Zack’s story, but at times my own, and so many others I’ve known.
As we cringed our way through Joker’s “Hell on Earth”, I watched him bring a gun to his head six times, and if that weren’t bad enough, though we’d all anticipated him blowing his own brains out in the end, brains indeed were blown on the screen. And I just sat there like an iron wall. I could see my sister panic every time the gun went to his head, and she’d lean over and ask if we needed to leave, but I kept assuring her I was okay, because I WAS! I don’t know what in my own “Hell on Earth” this says about me, but actually, I think I do …
I AM ONE STRONG FUCKING BITCH!
I truly am a “Warrior. Motivator. SURVIVOR!” The longer I sat there, the LESS I wanted to cry and shake my fists up to Heaven screaming “WHY?” I know why ALL too well, and no amount of screaming or fist shaking will change this plot line or erase the things I’ve “gotten to learn” so far. Do I still cry? Every fucking day! I’m am only human after all. But I believe that every single tear I shed is being counted by a Power INFINITELY higher than me and I trust it. So, I welcome them, then let them go, as my most effective form of therapy.
So, with that, here’s my takeaway from both the show and my visceral reaction to it …
Much like my husband, who often felt isolated in even the most crowded spaces, The Joker had lost connection with not just himself, but humanity. He’d been stepped on, overlooked, and bullied by life in general, all of which led him to a psychological madness that most people couldn’t even fathom. Like The Joker (and many of us), my husband wore two faces: The very happy “I’m okay” one he dawned each day while secretly living inside a prison with the invisible monster where he wore the other sick, dark, “tragic truth one” until the day he died.
Perhaps one of the most poignant scenes in the movie found the mentally ill Joker sitting in front of “a system” letting him down, just as pretty much everyone he’d ever known had done, and he said something to the effect of …
Have you even listened to a SINGLE thing I’ve said? All these times I’ve sat in front of you – have you EVER really seen or heard me?
… and such is the story of so many of our lives, then we, too, “slip to the void” of our own darkness. Which is why I think I couldn’t bring myself to leave the one movie I probably shouldn’t have seen in the first place. Last night, while sitting in that theatre like the ROCK I know I’ve become? I DID NOT CRUMBLE! I DID NOT CRY! I only became further convicted in my need to touch as many “Joker’s” lives as possible with whatever time I have left here on this Earth. Self-pity, sorrow, screaming, and “fist shaking” will accomplish ZERO, but “reaching the unreachable” just might.
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