If there is a movie to go with our book club selection I also like to watch it. Sometimes my prejudices toward infidelity or drinking change how I view a character. Watching another’s interpretation of the same character, I see the story differently.
When I read, I am much more apt to internalize and become the protagonist. I co-mingle my past with theirs.
Watching, makes me more subjective and my focus tends toward the dynamics of the relationships.
Reading The Soloist I identified with the author/journalist. I was intrigued by his research and horrified at Skid Row. I could be that person writing those stories.
Watching The Soloist I could only feel – There but for the grace of God go I. The ability to become homeless is such an easy line to cross. A few wrong steps, and it could be me.
I watched with my 16-year-old. He wants to be an actor/writer/director/cinematographer. He was interested to see Iron Man act in a different role. We talked about how people can end up on Skid Row; mental illness, PTSD, drug and alcoholism, autism.
I said that my book club will meet and discuss how we felt about The Soloist. My son said he would like to come too. He felt connected to the homeless man. How keeping things routine made him feel safe. Needing his belongings to be in a certain order. He wants to help the group understand why it was so hard to come inside.
Oh my heart.