far too much writing, far too many photos

Yesterday: went to see a film that’s gotten good notices here in Madrid, a German feature called “Against The Wall.” About two lost souls who get into a marriage of convenience and then, despite some wonderful possibilities the marriage produces, go into a downward spiral. Both of Turkish descent, her with a Turkish father and brother of such relentless assholicism that I found myself letting out occasional barks of surprised laughter at the dour, murderous, self-righteous stupidity (a spontaneous reaction on my part, me the only person in the place laughing — or barking — far as I could tell). Matters became messy. Then they began seriously going off the tracks. From there, the situation became truly dire. And then things REALLY went downhill. At the hour and a half mark, when the young woman was actively pursuing her slow destruction (after hubby has been tossed into prison for murder, for which everyone blames the woman) and any hint of hope had long evaporated, I got up and left. Only the second movie I’ve walked out on since arriving in Madrid in the summer of 2000. Only, I think, the third film I’ve ever walked out on in my little life.

There’s a lot to appreciate about this production, including good acting and a great mix of rock ‘n’ roll numbers and Turkish tunes in the soundtrack. But bottom line, if I ever want to suffer as much as that filmmaker would like us to suffer, I don’t need to take a bus across town, hand over a few euros and sit in a dark room for two hours to do it. I could find a sharp stick and poke myself in the eye a few times. Or gargle with ground glass. Or watch a ‘reality’ show.

Honestly, I put in my suffering for this lifetime, in earlier years. But you don’t want to hear about that.

It felt just fine to step out into the evening — lungs filling with cool air, the murmur of conversations in Spanish between people waiting to get into the theater. The sound of distant traffic, become louder, more distinct as I wandered closer to the main drags. Hands in my pockets, collar up around my neck, my feet moving along the cobblestone street. The knowledge that I have a life, that the evening lay ahead.

Simple stuff. But good. Especially compared with the horror show back in the movie theater. Whatever those actors got paid, it wasn’t enough.

Madrid, te quiero.

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