I want that

March 18, 2007 - 3:06 am 2 Comments

Lester Burnham: [narrating] I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn’t a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time… For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars… And yellow leaves, from the maple trees, that lined my street… Or my grandmother’s hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper… And the first time I saw my cousin Tony’s brand new Firebird… And Janie… And Janie… And… Carolyn. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me… but it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will someday.

I hear Kevin Spacey speaking those lines at the end of American Beauty and I think, “I want to write like that.” He gives no quarter; makes no concessions to people who might not be keeping up. He just lays it out there and it’s amazing.

2 Responses to “I want that”

  1. professorevil Says:

    Quite terrific imagery, of course. It’d be great if I could scribe something near that well, too…

  2. addlepated Says:

    I guess I should have credited the author there – that’s the inimitable Alan Ball speaking through ol’ Lester.