Mike Cameron: I don’t know you very well, you know, but I wanted to ask you. How’d you get Diane Court to go out with you?
Lloyd Dobler: I called her up.
Mike Cameron: But how come it worked? I mean, like, what are you?
Lloyd Dobler: I’m Lloyd Dobler.
Mike Cameron: This is great. This gives me hope. Thanks.
The conversation above is from Say Anything, the film that stars John Cusack, an actor I’ve always been fond of, thanks to the cool roles he’s played in movies, like the particularly briliant Grosse Point Blank. Four years ago I wrote a valentine post about how I like his offbeat style, and quoted a statement made by the character he played: “I’m looking for a dare to be great situation.” Coincidentally, my first crush at 12-13 was also named Lloyd.
Anyway, the recent crush upgrade to the hunkier Henry Cavill was quite a bolt from the blue for me. I didn’t at all expect to feel like a giddy teenager when my friend Fran told me she is a friend of his former girlfriend. Turns out that three degrees of separation was enough to encourage a fever.
That I typically and impulsively told a story about my desire comes as no surprise to those that love me and truly know me well. I relentlessly chase creative ideas and write about them. I didn’t quite anticipate that it would receive a great deal of negative reception.
“This whole thing is a bit O.A. (overacting), like an adolescent crush on mega steroids.”
This was the comment from my cousin who also happens to fancy Mr Cavill. Quite possibly, if my emotionally charged post was perceived as ‘unnecessary exaggeration’, this could explain why my friend reacted in a similar manner by being upset at me. The difference however is that my cousin’s candour was not laden with resentment, and I acknowledge that her observation is in fact very relevant.
I was amused that she used Filipino vernacular about being ‘dramatic’, especially considering that my crush concerns an actor. Wikipedia funnily enough defines being ‘O.A.’ as ‘commonly used in comical situations or to stress the evil characteristics of a villain’. Quite the incidental nod to my midget moniker I would say, and indeed there are farcical elements to this plot.
‘Overacting can be excessively dramatic to the point where the performance becomes awkward or unintentionally amusing to the audience.’ People who have read my posts and tweets about HC are indeed divided into two camps. Those entertained by the circumstance of a cute girly emotion, and others who have found it rather ‘creepy’.
“I’m a creep. I’m a weirdo.”
I don’t understand why a crush has become so disturbing. Then again, perhaps people thought Ducky in Pretty in Pink was creepy for being so in love with Andie Walsh, declaring that he lives to like her, and would’ve died for her.
Yes, I said I’d write HC a re-imagined and modernized ‘fan letter’, and considered sending him a CD of a supercool band I love, neither of which I have actually done. In any case, it has remained just a harmless crush! It baffles me that people seem to think this is crazy or somewhat unhealthy because it’s a fantasy. I get told instead to get a 'real guy' or just date like everyone else does. Really? The option of fucking around is healthier than having a crush on Superman?
I am glad that though an 8-year relationship ended two years ago where I had to cancel my wedding, I have not become a jaded 31 year old, but retained the hopeful and playful spirit of a 13 year old.
“I want a perfect body. I want a perfect soul.”
It’s uncanny that I end up liking ‘Superman’, when my top heroic character is still Batman. I used to watch Smallville regularly complaining about Clark Kent’s lack of Machiavellian intellect. It’s too damn easy for him to be near perfect because he doesn’t have to try so hard. I prefer characters that pursue to better themselves to harness the fullness of their potential.
Yes, Henry Cavill is Hollywood Hot, and that he isn’t short of adoring fans. I’m not so stupid that I don’t recognise how women are throwing themselves at him, nor am I entirely foolish to expect that I will really meet him and that he will automatically fall in love with me on first sight. More importantly, I myself may not actually like him beyond his looks!
You see, this is really not about 'Chasing Cavill'. Why should I not place a priceless tag on myself? He is Henry Cavill, but I am Lloyd Dobler. Of course there are thousands of women more beautiful or more alluring than I, but equally, there is only one of me. I dare to dream. I dare to try. I dare to affirm my own worth.
When I was four, my cousins and I were naughty children jumping on the bed, and I decided to make a more adventurous leap from my mother’s dressing table. My brevity ended up bloody with ten stitches on my forehead at the hospital. I survived and I live to tell this tale. Even Neo failed the jump test. The point is that one has to suspend our disbelief, then continue to believe, and just. do. it.
My good friend Monachus advised me never to doubt, for doubt breeds death. Doubt is indeed debilitating. The failure is not in failing, but in not trying, or trying again and again. Life is for the living.
Have you seen this insane but inspiring video of Ueli Steck ascending a mountain? It is incredible. “You are progressing on something, and that’s what it’s all about. You want to keep on moving having a progress in your life.”
There are many things in the history of humanity that majority thought was impossible. The1950s intro to the TV series goes: “...able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look, up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane! It’s Superman!” Are people no longer amazed that we can fly by airplanes? Or that we’ve built spaceships, a space station, and that man has landed on the moon!
Life is stranger than fiction, and reality is also broken. Why must we settle and accept a status quo of pain and failures? Why should we limit the endless possibilities because of fear? Why do people prescribe a template of bandwagon mediocrity? There is nothing wrong with seeking greatness, and humankind needs to improve our lot in this earth. We possess free will. We have choices. We create our own hells, and we can create our own heavens. We wield our own destinies.
I asserted I am Wonder Woman not just because I actually exclaimed this when I jumped and crashed, it’s that in spite of many fallen skies, I still find the energy to see a world filled with wonder. I am the explorer, the sci-fi geek, and the tomboy who wanted to be Indiana Jones.
At a recent wedding, I secretly smiled to myself as I gave the first reading from the Song of Solomon 2:8 - “I hear my Beloved. See how he comes leaping on the mountains. Bounding over the hills.”
You see, all this Chasing Cavill, is really about that. It is about my endeavours to seek real love without giving up on the ideal. The pursuit not of Superman per se or the actor that dons the costume, but of a super cool man.
Come and feel what it does to me, so much more than fantasy. Put your panic on hold, amplify your very soul, and keep breathing.
Roland Barthes wrote ”The Intractable Lover” as Affirmation - against and in spite of everything, the subject affirms love as value:
Despite the difficulties of story, despite discomforts, doubts, despairs, despite impulses to be done with it, I unceasingly affirm love, within myself, as a value. Though I listen to all the arguments, which the most divergent systems employ to demystify, to limit, to erase, in short to depreciate love, I persist: “I know, I know, but all the same…" I counter whatever 'doesn't work'in love with the afirmation of what is worthwhile. This stubborness is love's protest: for all the wealth of 'good reasons' for loving differently, loving better, loving without being in love, etc.
There is a bigger picture to this Henry Cavill vignette. The story is not about my obsessing about a famous celebrity, but a confirmation that some of us continue to look at the stars.
Dean Kansky: You are a jackass.
Jonathan Trager: Well, thank you.
Dean Kansky: You are. You…Y-y-you’re my hero, you know? You’re like my oracle an shit, you know? You’re out there, man, and you’re making it happen.
In Serendipity, another Cusack film, the character Dean says, “You know the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: Did he have passion?”
God is love they say.
No wonder so many do not believe God exists. People cannot see the wood for the trees, because there is not enough faith in something so powerful and abstract as true love.
People forget that Easter is not only about chocolate eggs and holidays.
People forget the root meaning of the word passion is suffering, and significantly enduring the hurt, not being, ahem, crushed by it.
One of the absolutely craziest and controversial stories revolves around a Jesus Christ, whose Good News was God’s unconditional love. Jesus suffered and died for this evangelical message, but he conquered death and was resurrected. Passion is the suffering of Christ in the Cross.
The philosopher Epictetus once said “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”
I repeat, the world is not flat!
Call me a crazy, a creepy celebrity chaser, a romantic dreamer, a christian.
The truth is hard to swallow, but Love conquers all, and Wins.
Oh, and should Henry Cavill decide to get in contact nonetheless, of course I'd still be interested. I have my only human moments all the same.