Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Who The F--k Are You?"

"Do I know you?

One of my favorite bloggers Jon of "Lone Star Concerto" wrote a blog posting on the lack of spontaneity in his life.  He wrote about one of his experiences when living in southern California:

"Late at night in Hollywood it wasn't unusual to see streets blocked off while scenes for movies or a TV series were being filmed. One night I was walking home and the street I needed to access was blocked by a filming crew.  Annoyed and a little drunk, I simply kept walking - right through the set while they were filming.

The director said "Cut!" and then he yelled (at me) "Who the f--k are you?"

"I'm an unpaid extra," I told him."

The question the direction posed to Jon "Who the f--k are you?" struck home with me.  Isn't that question a great metaphor for our lives?  At least my life.  I liked Jon's answer: "I'm an unpaid extra."

That folks is the STORY of my life.  It seems that all my life, when I encounter someone I don't know whether it be from my childhood to my encounters here in Gayberry (Rehoboth Beach and environs) Land "Who the f--k are you?"  

Doesn't it seem to you (and you and you) that we constantly have to prove that we are somebody?  That we matter?  

Even my own father seemed to pose that question to me even though I was his the first of his three sons; sometimes the way he looked at me it seemed that he was wondering "Who are you?"  More than a few times he accused me of not being his son, that they got the babies mixed up in the hospital where I was born.  No matter that I'm almost the spitting image of him (especially as I grow older) and I have just about all of his physical mannerisms (much to my chagrin).  Sometimes I even wonder to myself, "who am I?"

Then there are to occasions, most recently at my job as the front desk "agent" (clerk actually, the schmoo who checks you in at the hotel) when I come face to face with "important" people.  I remember one such occasion.  A local, self important photographer stopped by the front desk to see the owner of the hotel.  As is my style, I attempted to engage him in small conversation while he waited for the owner to show up.  

I forget what I burbled but I said something innocuous to pass the time.  As the sound waves of my inane talk entered his ear drums and attempted to register, he slowly turned and looked at me with what could only be described as "Who are you?" or more accurately "Who the f--k are you?"  The contempt emanating from his narrowed eyes towards me could wilt a flower (yes, I am a gentle flower folks).  I quickly retreated back into my position of subservience and made a mental note not to ever again talk to this ectoplasm that purports to be a living, breathing human being.

Growing up poor, on the wrong side of town (literally), with a hillbilly (literally) father who didn't want children and who constantly belittled and demeaned me, I grew up learning that the best way to navigate my way through life was to keep my head low and not to say too much lest I offend "my betters"  by daring to speak unless spoken to.

Joining the Army after high school and leaving the negative environment of home was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to me.  Those three years in the Army matured me more than my previous eighteen years of walking and dodging on this planet.  For the first time in my life I wasn't denigrated for the way I looked (skinny, big nose, poor posture) or my humble family background (which is actually very noble once I researched into my family history, my first ancestor landed on these shores in the late 1600's)  

These days I sail through life as my own man.  Either you like me or you don't, that's your choice and if you don't like me that is your loss.  Actually, it really is your loss because I'm a damn nice guy.   

I never cease to be amazed at how many people dismiss me and others like me just because I don't have the pedigree of family or social connections and only consider me worthy of their attention because of my physical attributes (sex) or for what I can do for them (money).  

So to answer the question that anonymous director shouted to my friend Jon "Who the f--k are you?"

I'm somebody, that's who.  Somebody they will never be because never in my life have I ever asked anyone, "Who the f--k are you?"  I accept and judge people by their character and not their social pedigree, sexual conquest, or what I can get out of them.  And that folks makes me the odd man out.  But then I always knew I was odd.  

Welcome to my world.  


Jon said...

A very enjoyable post, Ron, and thanks for mentioning me. Ironically, there are many times now, in my advancing years, when I find myself asking "Who the f--k are you?"

I'll add one more thing about the incident I wrote about in my blog. . It was around 2:00 AM. They were filming an episode of the TV series "Starsky and Hutch", and it was on Ivar Street (just off of Hollywood Boulevard). And I really did piss off the director!

Ron said...

It's always good to piss of directors whether they be in the movies or the self appointed directors in life. I do it all the time.

Amanda said...

I don't know if it is because I work in "Hollywood", but frankly, I couldn't careless of what people think of me, who I am… Generally in my biz, everybody is nice (yes, even Brat Pitt) and very, very few, not nice. I also learned that time is money and every minute of production loss is equal to thousands of dollars. Night work is gruesome, particularly when you have done it the whole week with a minimum of 14 to 17 hours each night (day) so Jon shouldn't have taken it so hard and personally what that director said. But I do understand the point made here (I will check his blog later). I think only insecure people would care that they are "somebody" or not.

Jon said...

I didn't take the director's comment hard at all. In fact, I thought the entire situation was extremely humorous. Had I been the director, I would have been even more angry. I was fortunate enough to have been on the sets of numerous movies and I certainly understand the process of filming. I realize that time is money. This was merely one small, fleeting incident that I happened to recall.

Ron said...

All good points Nadege. Jon has left a comment that he didn't take it personally. I wrote the blog tongue in cheek. Do I really care what people think of me? Not now. I used to when I was younger but then I discovered that was "Fool's Gold". The only people I care what they think of me are people I like and respect. The others I care not. I've already wasted too much of my life trying to be liked only to find in the end it made no difference at all. What counts is what you think of yourself and I am happy with who I am. I wouldn't change a thing. I am one of the lucky few.

Tony said...

Directors are usually always pissed off, as well as everyone who works in the goddamn movie industry. That is why I am NOT in it. Where is that director now? Ron, I think most gay men learn to walk through life with their heads down, but not anymore. We are all of equal value, and those who disagree have more insecurity than you could ever have had. Nobody with a good sense of self has ever asked of another, "Who the f**k are you?"

Ur-spo said...

What a nasty vile question is this. As if one has to defend yourself and justify your being.