OCTOBER 9, 2019: “SOLITARY: Life Behind A Mask” …

Arthur

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, because 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? Absolutely! But within seconds of the opening scene, I began to wonder, “Do I stay, or do 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 walked until that moment had cost him the connection to both the outside world and him. Yet, I was still compelled to sit and watch this six degrees separated version of not only Zack’s story, but at times not just my own, but 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 BIOTCH!

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.

darkness

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 eventually lost connection with not only himself but humanity as well. 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 fathom. Like The Joker (and many of us), my husband wore two faces: The very happy “I’m okay” mask he dawned each day while secretly living inside the invisible prison where he wore the other “sick, dark, tragic one” that led him to his fate.

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 could NOT bring myself to leave the one movie I probably should NOT have seen in the first place. Last night, sitting through that show like the ROCK I know I’ve become? I DID NOT CRUMBLE! I DID NOT CRY! I only became further convicted in my desperate need to touch as many “Joker’s” lives as possible with what time I have left here on Earth. Self-pity, sorrow, screaming and “fist shaking” will accomplish ZERO but “reaching the unreachable” just might.

Can