I did it! A whole weekend by myself at home without any of the distractions of human contact! Apologies to the blockbuster guy.
One of the movies I watched is a movie I actually saw in the theater…back when I could afford such luxuries: There Will Be Blood.
I thought of the movie again, for the first time in a long while, when I was visiting Petitedov up in Massachusetts. During a brutal game of Scene It, I decided that I wasn’t even going to try anymore and would just answer every question with the catch phrase from There Will Be Blood: “I drink your milkshake!” I even have this on a sweatshirt!
But upon quieter reflection, it’s a different scene which I think really captures who Plainview is.
He’s just been approached by a man claiming to be his brother. He’s already lost his ersatz son to an accident and blames himself because not only is the boy deaf, but he’s sent him away because the child is no longer of any use to him.
Plainview has the whole world figured out. He knows exactly how to flatter a man to get him to sign away his assets and rights. He knows what makes people tick, and he hates them for it. “I see the worst in people, Henry…I’ve built up my hatreds over the years… little by little.”
It’s a sentiment I know all too well. I see the worst in people too. With most people I see nothing worth liking. Too loud, too whiny, too cheery, too glum, too vapid, too pretentious, too pretty, too ugly, too mean, too nice, too cheap, too insincere, too naive, too boring, too wasteful, too from France, too cracking my aces, … the list goes on and on.
It amazes me that I’ve managed to find so many people that I enjoy hanging out with because I really have built up my hatreds over the years.
For Plainview, the appearance of this brother is a bit of a miracle. A tangible, true connection that will humanize…even save him. And he’s glad. There is relief on his face as he says “I can’t keep doing this on my own.”
But Plainview isn’t a fool. He doesn’t let this hope completely cloud his judgment. And in short order, he figures out the man is a con artist and brutally kills him.
He will keep doing “this” alone. He will do it alone until he is finished.
It’s a sobering message. There will come a time when the people I like do things I hate. When their shine is gone and I’m face to face with a spoiled version of them; maybe even the truer version of them. They are not my brother after all. And we’re done. Though I swear, I haven’t murdered anyone. Like really murdered.
I know, because it’s happened. Again and again. And I’m always angry and sad and stabby.
It’s cool though because it’s better than suffering fools or frauds.
Yet, some part of me is still willing to try. Though, I’m old now and getting set in my ways. Still.
Until I am finished.