*Warning: SPOILERS for Glass!*
If you’ve ever read any of my Side Trip pieces, it would be immediately obvious, dear reader, that I suffer from low self esteem. Lately I’ve been taking steps to better myself in ways that I feel are necessary, with the help of a habit-tracking app. For the last eleven weeks, no excuses, on a daily basis I’ve been cleaning, meditating, walking at least 10,000 steps, eating healthier, doing yoga and strength training, and writing (at least one sentence a day). In short, all of the stuff that I nag myself about doing but previously hadn’t been doing consistently. I’ve gradually come to a place where I’m starting to feel less gross, but there are still times when I can’t stand myself. I’m a bit late to the Glass party, I know, but I saw it for the first time recently and it really resonated with me in multiple unexpected ways.
In the movie, the villains are so much more interesting than the heroes. David, the main protagonist, is a good dude but kind of one-dimensional. I found myself empathizing more with the antagonists. For example, The Horde and their philosophy that feeling pain is necessary for growth and evolution. Their main tenet is that suffering leads to “purity.” They put forth the notion that “The broken are the strongest.” I feel broken pretty frequently; I have depression and anxiety and often wish I could just function like a normal person. Ya know, enjoy interacting with people and not have crying spells so forceful and sustained that I make myself sick and not beat myself up every time I make a mistake. Glass made me realize it’s painful to be self-loathing and that I’ve overcome a lot of difficult stuff. If this all sounds ineffectual and wishy-washy to you, I don’t disagree, but the inner voices I normally hear while writing, those of my friends Tabbitha, Paula, and Hannah encouraging me to add transitions or more detail to fully explain something, are drowned out by an imaginary snarky critic sneering, “Oh, like your life is soooooo hard!”
Moving on, Mr. Glass is another character that doesn’t let adversity bring him down. He’s all about turning perceived weaknesses into strengths. Hedwig, a part of The Horde, is coming to terms with the fact that he’s permanently nine years old after meeting Dr. Staples, who points out to him that “That must be so hard.” Up to that point, he was the most confident personality and really really really really liked himself; now for the first time he feels shame. When Glass brings up his age, Hedwig looks crestfallen. But then Glass says, “That’s incredible. You can see the world the way it really is. Always.” Hedwig clearly feels better. In the next scene, he says, “I feel like dancing.” Glass responds, “Then go ahead and dance.” He even claps for him.
Glass is just a cool dude. His bones are incredibly fragile, giving him limited physical abilities, but he’s super duper smart and goddamn if he isn’t the most likable character in the movie. His mama, Mrs. Price, loves him unconditionally and regularly comes to visit him in the hospital where he’s confined. She’s always proud of him, even though he’s a Lex Luthor-ian supervillain who maims and kills a mess of people. “They always underestimate the mastermind,” she declares, satisfied at how he fools the entire hospital staff into thinking he’s helpless so he can escape. It hit me right in the feels towards the end when he tells her, “I wasn’t a mistake, Mama.” “No,” she replies. “You were spectacular.”
One of the prominent themes of Glass is that we are more powerful than we think, if we allow ourselves to try. As stated by Mr. Glass: “There are unknown forces that don’t want us to realize what we are truly capable of. They don’t want us to know the things we suspect are extraordinary about ourselves are real. I believe that if everyone sees what just a few people become when they wholly embrace their gifts, others will awaken. Belief in oneself is contagious. We give each other permission to be superheroes. We will never awaken otherwise.” I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have a gift for writing, but I love it and have spent a shit-ton of time honing my technique (hint: it involves swears). I hope you like this bit of fluff, but if you didn’t I can content myself with the knowledge that at least my sister Leslie, my own Mrs. Price, is reading and cheering me on.
Bonus pic of Patricia, my favorite Horde personality.