A Depressed Person’s Failed Review of Blue Is the Warmest Color
This past month I have been more depressed than maybe any other time in my life. This is partially, or maybe mostly due to having recently been through the worst ending to a relationship that I have ever experienced. Some days I feel worse than others, and it has gotten a little better very recently, but most days leaving bed feels impossible. Sex isn’t appealing, drugs are only appealing insomuch as they make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep for more hours than I normally would, I have consistently avoided social interaction as much as possible, I have something like 25 unread emails and I am late for at least 5 deadlines to submit writing to different publications.
I have had sex with 4 or 5 different people since the break up, despite feeling mostly uninterested in any kind of relationship. I am now experiencing a thing I used to experience a lot when I was living in Los Angeles of having sex with someone then feeling like I would pay any amount of money for them to leave my bedroom immediately so I can take Xanax and stare at my ceiling for an hour then sleep for 15 hours and spend the next day alternating between being awake for 1 hour and sleeping for 2 hours.
I basically don’t eat anymore unless I’m on drugs or unless someone is cooking for me. I feel afraid of food and embarrassed when I eat too much. I have felt insecure about my weight for as long as I can remember (despite being normal or below average size for a person my height, according to my BMI) but that isn’t why I don’t eat when I’m depressed. Hunger is a problem that is easily solved. It feels comforting, to me, to be presented with a solvable problem when my entire life feels like an out of control nightmare.
That’s not to say that what I am feeling is unique or even interesting. This specific ‘brand’ of depression seems universal and common. So common in fact that I tend to avoid writing about it as to not seem contrived or irritating. Writing about it makes me feel slightly less depressed though, which is why I am doing it now.
I was solicited to write this essay about 3 weeks ago. It was originally supposed to be a review of the movie Blue Is the Warmest Color. I highly recommend this movie, but I have never written a movie review in my life and I would have no idea where to begin. The enjoyment of movies (or any artform) seems so based on subjective experience that I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing anything besides reasons why I enjoyed the movie, and then I would probably also feel inclined to also write reasons why other people might not enjoy the movie. I think anybody who has seen the movie could deduce that information on their own without me having to tell them.
I first came to know about Blue Is the Warmest Color through my ex (the one who I recently broke up with). He was a film student and generally was more aware of things about movies than I was. When Blue is the Warmest Color won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, he told me about it and we were both thrilled at the idea of Lea Seydoux being a French lesbian for 3 hours. My ex and I are ‘no longer on speaking terms’, but he called me, while extremely high on cocaine, the night he saw the movie. He saw it with his new girlfriend and recommended the movie to me a lot. I think the conversation ended in his new girlfriend (a former good friend of mine) getting extremely angry and him calling me back to yell at me about [I don't remember what]. The conversation felt confusing and vaguely upsetting.
For the following week or two I would receive phone calls from my ex almost every night while he – they were – he was high on cocaine and probably other drugs (that’s not to say drugs are ‘bad’ or something, I also like cocaine). I received a few essay long texts from his new girlfriend explaining reasons why I am shitty, or something. I haven’t said anything to his new girlfriend since we broke up and I don’t plan to. I blocked both of their phone numbers and gmail accounts that week.
A couple weeks later, on Friday night, a person who I had begun dating almost immediately after breaking up with my ex was having a party. He has a party every Friday and I had been to all of them.
I had recently been thinking about going to Ohio to visit a friend who I’ve had sex with at one point when she was visiting New York. I liked having sex with her.
The person I was dating said he would stop dating me if I went to Ohio. So, instead of just telling him that I planned to go to Ohio, and allowing him the dignity of breaking up with me himself, I continued to date him for a few weeks, then broke up with him, then bought a ticket to Ohio. Because that way I could get everything I wanted and he would get hurt instead of me. Smart move, huh.
When I broke up with him I told him it was because I wasn’t ready for an intensely committed relationship, which is exactly what he seemed to want. However, in retrospect I think I broke up with him mostly due to depression and sleep deprivation from getting calls from my ex every night and then having to wake up at 6am and go to a job that I hated. I maneuvered the situation very poorly.
Obviously, I was no longer invited to his Friday parties after that.
I decided there were only two possible courses of action for me that Friday night, I would either stay in bed, eat as much Xanax as possible, watch a shitty TV show on Netflix and fall asleep. Or, I would go see a 3 hour movie about sad lesbians by myself, take a lot of Xanax, and fall asleep. I decided on the latter because I had just run out of episodes of Parks and Recreation to watch.
I took the A train a few stops from my apartment in Brooklyn to IFC theater in Manhattan, where I planned to see a 7:15 showing of Blue Is the Warmest Color. I was going to live tweet it, then write a review of it the next day. To my horror, all showings that night were sold out. At this point I was already extremely high on Xanax and I had a flask of vodka in my purse, which I planned to drink during the movie.
I walked away from the theater and wandered aimlessly in circles around a fountain on the verge of tears for maybe half an hour.
I was in possession of one of Tao’s Adderalls. I found it on the stoop outside KGB Bar a few days prior, where Scott McClanahan had his book launch party. Its still a mystery to me why Tao decided to hide his Adderall there.
Anyways, Tao emailed me asking if I had his Adderall on me. He was at Bobst Library at the time, which was nearby. I explained to him that I felt lost and confused upon realizing that the lesbian movie was sold out. He said a 3 hour movie about lesbians sounded hellish but he wanted to come get his Adderall from me and would also be interested in seeing a movie that was ‘like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings or something’ (his words). We decided to live tweet a 9:30 showing of Gravity.
My ex also invited me to see Gravity a few weeks prior to this. I wanted to go but felt weird/bad about it, due to the fact that 1.) I had broken up with him very recently because he cheated on me with a close friend, who is now his girlfriend, 2.) his girlfriend publicly dislikes me, and 3.) he, to some degree, expressed a desire to have sex with me, which I also wanted, despite feeling extremely negative things about him. I think he ended up seeing and live tweeting Gravity with his girlfriend.
Tao and I planned to meet at the theater 15 minutes before the movie. I went to Grassroots Bar in the East Village and gave my phone to the bartender to charge it. I drank beer alone for 15 or 20 minutes. I felt really bleak and it must have shown on my face because the security guard at the bar bought me gin and said something like ‘have you ever smiled before’. I grinned at him, drank the gin as fast as I could, then immediately took the my phone from the bartender and left.
I waited in front of the theater for Tao around 9:15, at which point he texted me ‘I think I’m at the wrong theater. I’m running’. Tao arrived at 9:30 exactly holding 2 vegan cookies and a giant empty bag. I don’t understand why he had the bag. In the theater I bought a Diet Coke and poured vodka in it. Tao and I shared the soda. Tao handed me one of the cookies and said ‘this cookie is so big’. I agreed. He offered me one of the cookies but I couldn’t eat it because it was chocolate and I am allergic to chocolate.
After Gravity we felt unsatisfied. I was disappointed because Gravity was ‘sold’ to me as a George Clooney movie. George Clooney sort of floated into the ship from the middle of space at random points in the movie, and stayed there for 5-10 minute increments. His main role seemed to be to tell Sandra Bullock to ‘calm the fuck down’ and then make jokes about how handsome he is. (I really like George Clooney and really dislike Sandra Bullock).
Tao and I decided to live tweet another movie after that. I suggested we see Ender’s Game. I enjoyed reading Ender’s Game, but the movie was apparently shitty (I haven’t seen it and don’t plan to). Tao suggested we see 12 Years a Slave. I said that live tweeting a completely non humorous movie about slavery was probably a bad idea, but then Tao said something like ‘we can just shit talk white people’ and it immediately seemed fine.
The movie was impossible to live tweet. There were a lot of scenes of slaves getting beaten. I think I almost cried 3 or 4 times.
Okay now jump forward to 2 weeks later: After many unnecessarily intense emotional conversations, I agreed to date the person who I had broken up with previously, before going to Ohio. I felt completely incapable of maintaining a relationship, but I enjoy spending time with him and he is very persistent. He had been nothing but nice to me and he said some really good things about my pubic hair the first time we had sex (I don’t shave my pubic hair). He seemed good.
I told him I was solicited to do a review for Blue Is the Warmest Color and I might get paid some amount of money for it. He came with me to see it. We both ate something like 20mg of Oxycontin before the movie (which, for those who don’t know, is essentially heroin).
I was completely entertained for the entire 3 hours. The movie begins with extreme closeups of a girl eating spaghetti and having conversations with her parents and classmates in French. I could easily and would happily watch 3 hours of her eating and speaking French with no subtitles.
I know a lot of straight girls who watch exclusively lesbian porn. I don’t do that. I’ve tried, really I have, but I just can’t get into it. I think the kind of porn I enjoy is the kind that’s made to be enjoyed by males. I frequent youjizz.com, for example. That being said, I’ve had sex with girls and enjoyed it (hence the previously mentioned girl from Ohio), but I have never seriously questioned my sexuality until seeing this movie.
While this boy I was with had his arm around me, I began to feel like maybe I have been doing something wrong this whole time. Maybe all of my relationships are a hellish nightmare because I’m really just attracted to women. I found myself inching away from the person I was with during the sex scenes. Not because I felt uncomfortable, but because I began to feel earnestly unsure about whether or not I wanted to continue having sex with men.
(Sidenote: I was extremely high on opiates. I no longer feel this way. I had sex with him that night and enjoyed it thoroughly, which was almost disappointing. It seems that my relationships are all a hellish nightmare for some reason other than ‘simply’ being a lesbian.)
I cried maybe 4 times during the movie. I felt extremely emotional. It seemed to portray the beginning and end of relationships in a way that felt very real and very sad to me. Or maybe it just hit extremely close to home in my own life.
As we walked out of the movie, the person I was with asked how I liked it. I said I liked it very much. I asked him what he thought of it and he told me that during a part where I was ‘full on’ red-faced sobbing, he was thinking about different things he could do to his back porch. (He decided it would be easier to put bricks on his porch than to put wood on his porch.) He also, apparently, was not all that interested in the lesbian sex scenes, and felt ‘grossed out’ by the close ups of the girls eating. I was shocked. Even people who told me they didn’t like the movie that much said they liked the sex scenes. I spent the next hour trying to explain reasons why I liked it, thinking maybe he would change his mind, but it didn’t work.
There was one scene where the two main characters ate oysters. It seemed symbolic of… that scene also felt emotional to me. I don’t think the person I was with felt emotional about the scene the way I did, but it did make him crave oysters. The next week he decided to make a dinner that consisted of oysters, steak, potatoes, salad and pie. That meal was probably the best thing that came out of the whole experience.
I think he broke up with me last night, for seemingly no reason. I have received a lot (like, A LOT) of apology texts from him today. It seems like he thinks we are still dating and we just got in a fight. He was maybe too drunk to remember the part where he said ‘I don’t want to be your boyfriend anymore’. I don’t plan on continuing to date him but honestly I probably will. I imagine this cycle will occur many more times in the course of our relationship, and probably in all of my relationships in the future. Luckily I just found a new TV show to watch on Netflix and I also have like 10mg of Xanax. I’m ready to kill the void.
Mira Gonzalez is the author of i will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together. She tweets @miragonz.