“There are moments which are made up of too much stuff for them to be lived at the time they occur.”

Tomorrow I’m going to go sit in a movie theater before noon (because the first film before noon is surprisingly inexpensive, even on the West Coast) and I’m going to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy for the second time.

Because it’s really, really good.

I had too many thoughts the first time around, and every time I try to write about it, they still haven’t settled into words. I’m hoping the second viewing will change that.

My main emotional reaction, one that’s still with me, is an intense desire to sit in rooms full of old furniture and natural light, rooms with few to no electronics.

It might not look it, but this scene was tense in an utterly delightful way.

I’m prone to panic attacks. I have “anxiety issues” which is another way of saying I worry about stupid things. I occasionally put notes into a really long, rambling blog post about anxiety and the different ways it manifests and how annoying and pointless it is when it’s not warning you about an oncoming train or telling you to cut the blue wire. I have anxiety attacks about overdue library books. My brain is fond of waking me up in the morning with a hand-shaking, hot & sweaty shot of adrenaline. I’ll find my fists clenched around bits of my pillow, my teeth grinding in my head, and my brain will go through the mental file of All The Things and come up with a reason for the panic attack.

Reasons my brain woke me up with anxiety this week:

1. YOU HAVEN’T PAID THE RENT.
(I had, in point of fact. It still took twenty minutes to calm down, and going back to sleep was out of the question, but at least there was no grain of truth in the anxiety-fest.)

2. I KNOW YOU WENT THROUGH ALL THE BOOKS YOU GAVE TO THE THRIFT STORE, BUT WHAT IF YOU MISSED THE ONE THAT HAD SOME CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT IN IT? YOU KNOW YOUR UNFORTUNATE HABIT OF USING CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS AS BOOKMARKS.
(I’m 99% sure this particular fear hasn’t a leg to stand on. If it does, well, I hear identity theft is very common. Wide-awake me says we’ll deal with that when we get to it.)

3. YOU DON’T HAVE A JOB AND YOU’LL NEVER FIND ONE YOU LIKE AND YOU’LL NEVER MAKE MONEY FROM WRITING.
(This one, unfortunately, starts with a truth, which gives credence to the two terrible predictions that follow. The only way I know to shut that one up is to get out of bed immediately and go do something productive, like job hunting or, if I can quell the rising tide of panic, writing.)

4. YOU’RE PREGNANT.
(I have no idea why my brain hates me so much.)(In related news, did you know the Dollar Tree sells pregnancy tests?)

5. YOU FORGOT TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH LAST NIGHT. YOUR TEETH WILL FALL OUT SHORTLY.
(I do, in fact, have a lot of cavities that need fixing. I like to remind my anxiety that a pair of pliers and a bottle of whiskey are still available to any brave soul without dental insurance.)

(Look Ma, I’m writing that post after all.)

In short, every morning I have to cross the bridge between sleeping and waking, and every morning my anxiety comes out from under it swinging a club, ready to eat me, and I have to tell it something that makes it let me get over the bridge to the rest of my day.

I’m not saying the MAIN reason I enjoyed Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy SO MUCH is because it’s full of real, knife-to-your-skin tension, slower than honey in winter and hued with all the colours of your ordinary life, but then, I might be over-adjusted to everyday anxiety. Sometimes it’s really nice to worry about something worth worrying about, like whether or not someone you’ve known for years upon years is a traitor.

Also it really is a very good film.

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