“Words On Bathroom Walls”, A Truly Stunning Masterpiece About Schizophrenia For A New Generation

With as many health issues as I have, including some mental and emotional-based ones, I most certainly can relate to the plight of others who face their own health challenges on a daily basis. Maybe that’s why my heart connected so much to the very first movie I finally got to see in theaters since COVID shut them all down back in March of this year.

“Words On Bathroom Walls” is the name of the movie I saw and is a stunning masterpiece of a film about a teenage boy named Adam (played incredibly well by Charlie Plummer) who gets diagnosed with schizophrenia midway through his senior year of high school. Talented on so many levels, especially in the kitchen where he frequently recreates culinary masterpieces without any formal training, Adam’s sole desire is to go on to chef school and eventually, own his own restaurant. But after a severe schizophrenic breakdown in chemistry class causes his best friend to get seriously injured by some chemicals, Adam gets removed from his regular high school and instead, is enrolled into a local Catholic high school with the help of his mother Beth (played by Molly Parker), a person who never gives up on trying to find a cure for her son’s mental disorder. Conditions for Adam’s enrollment are made quite clear from the onset by head nun, Sister Catherine, (played by Beth Grant). He must maintain an A average and remain medicated and stable. Having had such a terrible experience at his former high school, Adam vows to take his medicine and do his best to keep his mental health issues a secret at his new school, but it becomes apparent how difficult that may be upon meeting Maya Arnez (played by Taylor Russell). That’s mostly because Adam continues to react to his ongoing schizophrenic presences whenever she is around, which include Joaquin (played by Devon Bostick), Rebecca (played by AnnaSophia Robb), a person known only as the Bodyguard (played by Lobo Sebastian), and a dark and sinister voice that often tells Adam to do bad things to himself. Will Adam be able to keep his secret and finish high school without any incidents or will his mental disorder ruin everything, including his cooking school dreams? “Words On Bathroom Walls” is most assuredly “The Beautiful Mind” of this millennia and a far younger generation.

Overall, this movie truly touched me. With every passing feeling of helplessness Adam felt due to his schizophrenia, I felt it too. Living with my own set of mental health issues and physical limitations due to chronic pain, I often have felt like an outcast in society myself, unable to ever achieve any of my deepest dreams and desires in life. And while I personally have never dealt with schizophrenia, “Words On Bathroom Walls” really helped me to understand the disorder as much as “A Beautiful Mind” with Russell Crowe did for me eons ago.

Living with chronic physical pain is one thing, and far easier to deal with than living with a mental disorder that controls just about every aspect of my life. The hypochondria and OCD I regularly battle robs me of becoming mindful and present, like on my recent vacation I took with my partner Chris.

So, I absolutely have a lot more compassion now for all the souls on this planet who continue to struggle with schizophrenia. I’m thankful for all of you and for enjoying “Words On Bathroom Walls” as much as it did. Playing out much like a John Hughes movie, I highly recommend seeing this film, as it’s sure to become a classic for a new generation.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawsson

“The Neighbors’ Window”, The 2020 Oscar Live Action Short Film Winner With A Reminder For Us All…

I’m sure there is a voyeur in every one of us somewhere, because simply put, humans are just curious people, especially when they can spy on someone where the person they are spying on doesn’t know they are being spied upon. That’s the basic premise of the 2020 Oscar Live Action Short winner.

Coming in at a run time of 21 minutes, “The Neighbors’ Window” is about a couple, Alli (Maria Dizzia) and Jacob (Greg Keller), who one evening in their city apartment look out their window and see that in the apartment directly across from them is another couple who are madly and passionately enjoying sex with each other. They watch for a while, remembering the days when they too were able to do the very same thing, prior to having three children who now take all their time up. They immediately decide to turn their lights off, in quite the comical fashion, continuing to appreciate the view, and it doesn’t stop there. As time passes, they can’t seem to stop themselves from being voyeurs of a couple they don’t know, feeling jealous all the while of the pair who from their eyes does nothing but have parties and engage in lovemaking. They even pull out an old set of binoculars to further engage in their incognito voyeuristic viewings, when one day Alli notices the man suddenly comes home with his head shaved and remarks how he must be trying one of those new hip hair styles. Not too long after she then notices he’s now in a hospital bed with the woman he obviously loves crawling into it next to him, sharing what appears to be quite a sorrowful moment together. And then, the day arrives shortly thereafter when Alli fully comprehends what’s been happening, when the man is taken away in a body bag, while the woman tearfully leaves her apartment alongside the paramedics. Alli abruptly decides to race downstairs, finding herself now standing at a distance from the woman sobbing outside her apartment building as the ambulance takes the man she loves away. Wanting so badly to comfort a person she feels she knows, but really doesn’t, Alli’s grief consumes her enough to approach. After a moment of sheer awkwardness, the other woman (played by Juliana Canfield) unexpectedly apologizes saying that she and her husband (played by Bret Lada) had spent their last few months together watching Alli and her family from across the way, wishing they had the happy life they saw through the window of a happy couple and their three beautiful kids. As shock overwhelms Alli, the film ends with her deeply embracing the woman in tears.

Wow…was all I could say when the credits rolled and tears fell from my eyes. Even as I write these words, I find myself still choking up about the message this film presented.

How often in my life have I silently observed someone who didn’t know I was observing them, whether that be through Facebook or Twitter, or maybe in a mall, or at a dinner out, or at a movie, or some coffee shop, or maybe something else altogether, believing the life I was watching was so much better than my own? I wonder how many of them have looked at me in the very same way?

It’s so easy to believe that which we silently observe in another’s life looks so much better than our own. But the truth is they often tend to be just as much filled with their own pains and sufferings of life, yet we just aren’t privy enough to ever know of them. Because people often put on faces and facades in what they post on social media or what they present out in public, keeping the negative parts of their lives in secret.

Far too regularly, people have misjudged me from a distance in the same way, thinking I have this great life because I don’t work at a day to day job, because I spend my days in my gardens and my evenings working in the recovery realm or going out to dinners and movies. They don’t see the pain that ravages on in my body that never seems to end, or all those mornings, afternoons, and evenings, where I’m gushing torrents of tears over the state of my life, or loneliness I feel, or the depression I battle, all because God remains silent with me.

Life is usually far different than what our eyes perceive from a distance and “The Neighbors’ Window” is such a clear reminder of that. Coveting another’s life we may observe from afar put quite simply, isn’t healthy. Because maybe the life we’re living is better than we allow ourselves to believe solely because we spend too much time comparing it to others instead of being thankful for what we’ve been given…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

What Do All The Television Program You Regularly Watch Say About You?

I decided to make this an easy and light entry today and it deals with television programs. Most people these days watch something on TV through its many forms, some more than others of course. I’m definitely in the “more” department when it comes to this, as I follow a lot of series and I do mean A LOT.

That being said, I truly believe that the programs each of us repeatedly tune into say a lot about who we are. In fact, I’ve really gotten to see how true that is with the many people I’ve befriended over the years by just asking what they watch on a regular basis on television. In light of that, the rest of my article today is simply a list of all the TV shows I’ve already watched, am currently watching or will be watching in 2020. And I’m sure by just reading my list, you’ll probably know me a whole heck of a lot better (beyond realizing that I probably watch way too much TV!!!).

  1. A Discovery of Witches (AMC)
  2. Agents of Shield (ABC) (Note: Ending in 2020)
  3. All American (CW)
  4. Altered Carbon (NETFLIX)
  5. America’s Got Talent (NBC) (Note: The only reality show I watch)
  6. Arrow (CW) (Note: Ending in 2020)
  7. Black Lightning (CW)
  8. Black Mirror (NETFLIX)
  9. Blindspot (NBC) (Note: Ending in 2020)
  10. Castle Rock (HULU)
  11. Charmed (CW)
  12. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (CW)
  13. Dispatches From Elsewhere (AMC)
  14. Doom Patrol (DC UNIVERSE)
  15. Emergence (NBC)
  16. Evil (CBS)
  17. God Friended Me (CBS)
  18. Good Witch (Hallmark)
  19. Grace & Frankie (NETFLIX)
  20. Harley Quinn (DC UNIVERSE) (Note: This is a cartoon series.)
  21. Helstrom (HULU)
  22. Impulse (YouTube)
  23. Legacies (CW)
  24. Locke & Key (NETFLIX)
  25. Lost in Space (NETFLIX)
  26. Lucifer (NETFLIX) (Note: Ending in 2020)
  27. MacGyver (CBS)
  28. Manifest (NBC)
  29. Marvel’s Spider Man (DISNEY XD) (Note: This is a cartoon series.)
  30. Messiah (NETFLIX)
  31. Mom (CBS)
  32. Roswell (CW)
  33. Russian Doll (NETFLIX)
  34. Stranger Things (NETFLIX)
  35. Supergirl (CW)
  36. Supernatural (CW) (Note: Ending in 2020)
  37. The Boys (AMAZON PRIME)
  38. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (NETFLIX)
  39. The Falcoln and the Winter Soldier (DISNEY+)
  40. The Flash (CW)
  41. The Good Place (NBC) (Note: Ending in 2020)
  42. The Magicians (SyFy)
  43. The Umbrella Academy (NETFLIX)
  44. Titans (DC UNIVERSE)
  45. Twilight Zone (CBS STREAMING)
  46. WandaVision (Disney+)
  47. Young Justice (DC UNIVERSE) (Note: This is a cartoon series.)
  48. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson