Tuesday, April 19, 2005

L.A. Beauty on a Saturday Night

Most people see L.A. as some big, disturbed, and God-awful place. Some people see this also, but choose to see the diamonds in the rough amidst all the smog and 7th-grade-work ethics and the force that is the film industry. Last Saturday, I saw more of the first and tried my best to see the latter---but it wasn't easy.

The whole concept of bars and dance clubs and bars within dance clubs seems to mirror most of what's wrong with human existence. Occasionally, you'll go to a place like "A Clockwork Orange" on Hollywood Blvd., and believe there is still hope for the world of dance clubs after all. But most of the time, should you be such a person to visit these places even on occasion, you will see hundreds and hundreds of people trying their best to connect with someone. At the club I visited with some friends Saturday night, I had never seen such an overtly "I want you, do you want me?" atmosphere. It was in 99% of people's eyes and half the time I was freaked out by it, while the other half I couldn't help but giggle at the entire ridiculousness of it. But it should be noted that generally, Christians and the Church don't pay close enough attention to what's going on at these places and that, in some sense, is unfortunate. As I looked across the room last Saturday night, with nearly everyone holding at least one drink (some people had two--one in each hand) and with nearly everyone making wicked glances and lame passes throughout the crowd, I couldn't help but think of how relevant Jesus' whole emphasis on sharing wine and sharing bread in community really was. Here, we have a community of people made up of individual people trying to connect to other individual people for one night, and perhaps two at best. So, if and when they "hook up" with some perfect stranger, they experience a small taste of this promise of Christ; they experience how it feels to temporarily fill this human need that craves intimacy with others. For one night, they are no longer alone, no longer lost in the sea of L.A. faces. They believe they matter and believe they are now valued, and in some sense, they believe someone is loving and approving of the real them.

Now, I'm not trying to sound humble or anything, but at that moment on Saturday night---when all of this came flooding into my head---I actually felt grateful NOT to be one of the more attractve people in the room (possibly for the first time in my life). I actually was content with being OK looking physically because frankly, it seemed like all the really attractive people just had too many people wanting their attention and no one who really wanted them for anything more than how they looked under the dim, trancy lights. And I thought of how most of the time, we think the most beautiful people have the luckiest role in the world, and of how we all gawk over magazine covers and sexiest-person-of-the-year stories as if that's all that mattered. But really, I don't know if I'd want to be them---not even for a Saturday night. I have a hard enough time letting people love the whole me. I can't imagine what it must be like to have this distractingly beautiful physical self that would prevent people from ever wanting to even get to know the real me. This is why I think it must be hard to be so pretty.

So to all those people I saw on Saturday night---now safely at home in their own world of thoughts and inhibitions and fears and frustrations---I think maybe, it's not so bad just being me. I have enough problems to sort out in me without wishing I was somebody I'm not.


Chalupa said...

3 cheers for good thoughts. i've never been into the bar/club scene myself and usually just get annoyed with the whole thing. i rarely ever really think about how some people that frequent those kinds of places are lonely and just looking for human contact or interaction or friendship or acknowledgement.

Stephen Becker said...

i thought i'd share that you're right. as one of the more attractive specimins of the human race, it is hard to have them look past my bod and into my heart and soul.

Neville said...

I'm so glad you understand disko.