Tay’s review published on Letterboxd:
as of tonight, there are 500 of you.
back in middle school, i used to write letters to an online friend named ellie. her real name was laura, but she went by ellie. sometimes i called her larry, as a joke, and she called me tyler, as a joke.
she had so many names that when we started writing letters to each other, like bonafide pen pals, i'd address them "dear you" -- because sometimes, even when i was writing with her in mind, i wasn't really writing to her at all.
most of the letters i wrote to laura, to ellie, to you, never made it to her. i folded them up, stuffed them in my binder, and they never got read. they weren't meant to be read, i suppose.
in high school, i started a blog, which i've just dug up. it was in the same vein as my letters to laura. people anonymously submitted letters --
anonymous letters to say all the things we never said.
the concept of this is absolutely cringeworthy now. i mean, i'm almost 21, and looking back on something i started in 2013 kinda, sorta makes me want to cry.
but i also can't believe some of these things.
because here are letters about boys, girls, mothers, addiction, medication, falling in love, falling out of love, desire, and sadness -- so much sadness.
what else can you expect, though, from something run by a 16-going-on-17 year old? what is high school if not boys and girls and mothers and addiction and medication and etc., etc. etc., and sadness -- so much sadness?
i don't know why the 500 of you follow this silly account. half the time i don't really say anything about the movies i log. tonight's one of those nights. i'll be seeing CMBYN again next sunday, and i promise, i'll do my best to make sense of it then. for all of you, i'll try to actually say something about this movie.
but tonight i'm going to use you à la a confessional.
forgive me father, for i have sinned, etc. etc. etc., and sadness -- so much sadness.
i imagine most of you 500 don't know that before letterboxd, i used to most my """""reviews"""" (emphasize on the air quotes, please) on my facebook. i copied one of my high school best friends & during my senior year of high school, i started a photo album to keep track of the movies i watched.
but i've never known how to shut up, so what started out as a quick blurp-y opinion on The Lego Movie turned into me using films as a means to talk. i posted my opinions, as horribly subjective as they were, for all my friends & family to see.
my family as in: my grandmother. my aunt, my uncle. my sister, etc. etc. etc.
when i got a letterboxd, i stopped writing my reviews on facebook. i started just linking to my letterboxd reviews, because it was too redundant to post twice.
i'm not linking this one. i hope you can forgive me for that.
again, i'll properly say Something about this movie, because it deserves the recognition and thought and care. please know this movie is tender, lush, and so full of ache.
but i'm asking you to know that there's a tingle in my arms right now. my heart is thundering, i mean, it's really beating at my chest, like my heart's got its own muscles, and it is pounding, knocking, demanding an answer.
and the answer -- the thing it's trying to get me to say -- is the thing i can't bring myself to say. i mean, i feel like i talk around it all the fucking time. i was lucky enough to go to art school. i mean, lucky isn't the word i really want to use, but it'll do for now, okay? it has to. because when i say "lucky," what i really mean is i never had to come out to anyone. we came in to our own together. we tried on every tumblr label we could find. i think at some point, everyone was gay, and then they were pansexual, and then they were asexual, and then they were aromatic, and then they were this and that and we made language bend to our will because that's just what we did. i'm not saying it wasn't valid. i'm not saying it wasn't authentic. i'm not saying anything about it other than that i was fortunate enough to never have to bear myself to anyone and say sometimes i am attracted to men. sometimes i am attracted to women. sometimes i am attracted to no one and nothing and i hate when people look at me, when they make me aware of my own body, that i have a body, that i have to feel anything, or nothing, or too much, and everything.
etc. etc. etc.
and then i got to college, and i'll be damned, because i lucked out there, too, didn't i? i've been part of a gender inclusive cinematic fraternity since my first goddamn week.
in my fraternity, if you're queer, you get a fruit.
mine's a cherry. get it? because there's two. ha ha ha.
anyone who has known me since high school knows this about me. but there's a difference between knowing something about someone, and having been told something about someone. that difference is something like: fact v. truth.
a fact is a given. and if you're my friend, then it's a given i'm queer, because you have probably read my writing, or heard me complain about this boy or this girl, or i have a told you, because i trust you, i trust you, i trust you.
truth begets intimacy. truth demands vulnerability. truth is trust, okay? and i am grateful to have a family that loves me when i am good, and when i am anxious, and when i am dissociatively depressed.
but for the 10 years i've spent writing, and for all of the anonymous letters i have written, and for all of the things that i have finally figured out to word just perfectly, there are some things i cannot say, or i will not say, because i can't. i just. i can't.
and this whole letter is one of them. even if it amounts to nothing. even if it really doesn't matter. even if it's so small, in the great grieving world of hurt.
this is not about a single summer of lush longing and desire. this is not about the song of songs, about belonging to one another & to oneself, about love & loss.
this is just me trying to tell you all why i really and truly and genuinely and apologetically, please, i am sorry, forgive me father for i have sinned, etc. etc. etc. as the credits rolled.
because i was scared.
i have been too lucky for so long to not have to acknowledge my fortunate or my fear.
and that's really all there is. i promise you, i'll try and answer the questions that CMBYN so artistically, so lovingly, so devastatingly raises, like: what happens when you let someone see you? what if you're vulnerable, and your feelings aren't reciprocated? what if you're vulnerable, and everything you want is given to you? what if someone loves you enough to let you in? what if they find something more in you than you know how to give?
what if there is not a language for what scares you most?
what if you're not scared at all, but there's not a language for this? for all of this?
what if what if what if.
that's all. for now, as always, & then some.
PS: in all sincerity, i don't know why five fucking hundred of you follow this, but thank you. you mean the world & then some.