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What’s your relationship status? – A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood

There is no hospital in the movie

As always, I was never the one to be deterred to read the book from which a film is based. This time, it is A Single Man. One of my bookish friends has been forever raving about, asking me, rather forcing me, to watch it.

Since I could not find a copy and since I am not inclined to look for one, this friend lent me his copy. Two copies, just in case othe DVDs do not work. And so I watched.

And then another bookish friend offered to lend me his copy of the book. Well, well. I am not sure if I am resourceful or if I just happen to have such wonderful bookish friends. Perhaps I am meant to watch and read this, being a single man, a single gay man myself.

But now isn’t simply now. Now is also a cold reminder: one whole day later than yesterday, one year later than last year. Every now is labeled with its date, rendering all past nows obsolete, until–later or sooner–perhaps–no, not perhaps–quite certainly: it will come.

Every time I read a book that has a film adaptation, I cannot get rid of the still images inside my head. I imagine Colin Firth, but I think he is too young for the role. The protagonist of this novel is a 58-year old professor, and even if efforts were made to make the actor look the part, I say he still doesn’t look like it.

I have to learn how to separate the film from the book because after all, these are two different entities. Perhaps it’s a lesson that I will have to relearn as long as I can read. Anyway, I’ve gone on too much and I haven’t really said a single thing about A Single Man.

It’s a short peek in the life of George, an English professor whose lover Jim has just recently died. We see him wake up in the morning, hear his morning thoughts, observe him perform his morning rituals with a little disorientation, of course, due to the absence of Jim.

It’s a book that shows us how sad life can be for old single gay men. Being a young single gay man can be sad; what more could it be if one no longer has the charms of youth?

Which is why I felt that I was meant to read and watch this, just so I could further prepare myself for a life of solitude. You see, I am not actively looking for a partner. I would like to think I am happy enough, but I know, I know, I am fooling myself in some sense. I cannot deny that I sometimes wish for a partner with whom I could share my life. I don’t know. I’ll just wait, and whoever comes a long who’s up for it is welcome.

Again, personal details of my life are slipping here. My apologies. Anyway, the book is not as dramatic as it seems. It’s written in a straightforward manner. Not wooden though. The emotions are implied. Subtle, yes. Indulgent, no.

So I think I know how this is going to end. Yes, because the movie might have altered considerably from the book. I have to keep that in mind.

Date Started: April 18, 2012. 11:00 PM. Book #21 of 2012.


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