Since I registered quite a success with my last post, I thought that maybe it’s time to f*** things up. 🙂
Yesterday I watched the movie Almost Famous for the 20th time. Yesterday was a good day, yesterday was the day that would remain in my personal record as the day I made a fool of myself. Somehow the timing was almost perfect. The plot of the movie is built around a boy raised by his single mother, a mother like mine perhaps (one that encourages you to be all you can be, even if you’re only a kid). She sent him to school at 5 because in her opinion the grade dissociation is overrated. So this turns him into a rather young adult at 15 when he decides to follow a rock band on their tour. So, by this age, he was only a geek with a passion for rock music.
I know how it feels to be a geek and I also know what it means to fall in a love with a song. As I would later find, music really transcends language. I started listening to Michel Telo, eager to understand the lyrics. I listened nearly to obsession one of his albums. I searched for the English translation and then tried to mime the words. Still not enough! So I began to practice Portuguese. On my own, let’s say for fun. Later that year, when I bought tickets to his concert I realized that I turned into a groupie!
So this fun with learning a new language is the fun that I always knew. As if you’re the only one that has fun when hearing a word association that the subtitles cannot highlight. Like snorting when you laugh. And pretty much like finding a special place for yourself in between your headphones. Feeling you hide a dark secret when listening to Justin Bieber’s “Baby” and hoping no one reads something in your humming.
Yesterday I had my first conversation in Portuguese and it turned out really bad. As in me reaching for words in Spanglish and trying to build a phrase out of little vocabulary. I thought it would make me feel bad about myself, that the inner geek would formulate all sorts of regrets. But it didn’t! It was just a release of tension! The welcomed release of not doing everything right, of not being the smartest and feeling OK with that. This Portuguese thing was my secret, the only thing I did with no expectation of a reward. And it paid off! I will leave some quotes from the movie, they are in the line of “funny ’cause is true”!
Lester Bangs: Aw, man. You made friends with them. See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong.
William Miller: Well, it was fun.
Lester Bangs: They make you feel cool. And hey. I met you. You are not cool.
William Miller: I know. Even when I thought I was, I knew I wasn’t.
Lester Bangs: That’s because we’re uncool. And while women will always be a problem for us, most of the great art in the world is about that very same problem. Good-looking people don’t have any spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we’re smarter.
William Miller: I can really see that now.
Lester Bangs: Yeah, great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing and love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love… and let’s face it, you got a big head start.
William Miller: I’m glad you were home.
Lester Bangs: I’m always home. I’m uncool.
William Miller: Me too!