How "Apocalypse Now" Ruined My Lazy Quarantine
Start writing a post
Adulting

How "Apocalypse Now" Ruined My Lazy Quarantine

A story about realizing how lazy you've become.

302
How "Apocalypse Now" Ruined My Lazy Quarantine
https://www.pexels.com/photo/apartment-bed-carpet-chair-269141/

I was watching Apocalypse Now when I heard about how a sad man should have been "a pair of ragged claws". Colonel Kurtz, the radicalized villain of a savage war depiction, is revered because he can recite The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, among other things.

I was watching It Follows when I relished at the final girl's fear at hearing "I am Lazarus…" at the sight of the monster that drives the horror. The heroine's English teacher reads Prufrock very matter-of-factly, like the words are God's.

If you haven't read T.S. Eliot's poem, I recommend doing so not only because I like it, but precisely because it was written in the 1910s and filmmakers have been using it for over 40 years to elevate the purpose of their messages whether it be the meaning of war or the horror of adulthood. The American Canon is so influential that once a great quote from it permeates another artist's mind, it must be recycled and revered. (In T.S. Eliot's case, his whole poem). When I imagine my legacy and values as an English degree holder, I think about the books I've enjoyed, not the piece of paper I received from university. American literature, like the people who have made it, is the most diverse body of thoughts I have surveyed in my life. It provides the experiences of every combination of personhood imaginable, and if there isn't something for you out there yet, then you're most definitely going to be inspired to change that and write something for yourself. I could go on about how "reading is a joy like no other", but specifically what I mean is that "American fiction is a joy like no other". What does it mean to be a pair of ragged claws? I don't know, but it sounds beautiful. Phrases like this mistify me every day. Through quarantine, I've had the pleasure of working from home and staying healthy, unlike so many other people I know who have been daily rushed with the fear of getting sick. Through quarantine, I've come to experience true and utter "self", constantly being alone between four walls with little to no human contact until my partner comes home from work at night. I do not have a lack of gratitude for being quarantined through a dangerous pandemic, but I have a lack of gratitude for the fact that it's been years since I've read for pleasure and it didn't occur to me until I watched Apocalypse Now last month. I've become cozy with the instant gratification of film and television over the discipline of the written word. I've lost a lot of myself, and probably even the biggest part if it took movies to remind me of literature.

There's a certain shame in getting back into an old hobby. You must say to yourself, "I lost my way". (It feels pathetic). Within the confines of this pandemic, I'm just trying to remember that just because being at home has made time feel disposable, it's still my - and everybody's - most valuable asset. I don't know how much time I have to live, and nobody does. So it's important that I take myself towards my lifelong passions instead of letting laziness infiltrate. I must at least pretend to try and reclaim my life from months of being indoors. I suggest you do, too. In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, "we are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be".

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Adulting

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

36912
Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

8272
Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

10198
Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

7252
We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less
Sports

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

5817
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments