by Steven P. Velasquez
March 26, 2012
there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it. And
my heart is just going to -- cave in." -- American Beauty
To describe my past day or two, one would have to combine two great American movies into one film, starring me - of course.
days ago, an online discussion with someone I hold in very high esteem
led to a difference of opinions and a bit of a social media clash. This
happens often when one has the courage to put their ideas, thoughts and
convictions into text and publish it for all to read. The person I
offended was someone I valued highly and not someone I wanted to lose as
a friend over said differences.
The day-long debate
finally ended in a phone call to discuss our differences/ideas verbally
where we had the added benefit of tone and inflection; two things often
absent in text that can lead to conflicts and larger problems. We
talked, explained, heard each other out and mended fences. While doing
so, she quite unexpectedly paid me one of the largest compliments I've
ever been paid by a woman, man or beast! She said, "Steve, do you know who you remind me of? Have you ever seen the movie "American Beauty?" "Yes" I replied "of course I did. It's one of my favorites." She continued, "You're the guy in the movie who's paralyzed by the beauty of the world around you; the one who filmed the dancing garbage bag. You see things that others don't. I see it in your words, your writing and your photography."
conversation ended in both of us seeing what each other meant on the
opposing sides of the original argument. My heart was overwhelmed
however with the kind compliment she had bestowed upon me. For someone
that I don't spend a lot of time with, or know incredibly well, I felt
that was a rather high compliment and my day, my week has been changed
as a result.
Today, I left the New Brunswick area of NJ
and headed north to my home. I traveled the Garden State Parkway, more
affectionately known as the "Garden State Parking Lot" especially
during rush hour. I was tired and eager to get horizontal before having
to report back to work tonight. As traffic slowly coiled through the
Newark area, I came to a stop. I glanced at the tall buildings, saw the
tree tops swaying with the increasing winds and the weathered head
stones in the aged cemetery on my right.
on the side of the road was a discarded ball, a volleyball I determined
after a closer glance. It was dirty, half deflated and rolled slowly
to and fro, dancing in the wind, beside the busy roadway.
the loudest voice I could muster, and not realizing my passenger window
was down, I yelled, "W I L S O N !!!!!!" I startled the ever loving
shit out of the commuter beside me, then shrunk down in my seat laughing
hysterically to myself.
Sometimes it's not easy being
me, seeing the world as I do, often separate and apart from those around
me. And sometimes, it's just a lot of fun. You laugh alone a lot and
with others on occasion. You feel like a "Cast Away" and a beautiful American all balled into one.