Quite excerpt. So Champ. And very thankful to the Abby Sheaffer and the whole Chicago Literati crew for making it so. Excerpt? Word.
Myles, Noah, and I are watching Up. They have seen Up already
with my mom, but Debbie is out of town, it’s a boys’ weekend, and they
want to do something special. They want the three of us to go to a movie
theater and see Up together.
Ellie, the wife of Carl, the old man protagonist in the movie, dies
almost immediately because that’s what they do in kids’ movies: kill
moms, or wives, sometimes dads, and while this usually doesn’t affect me
very much at all, Ellie dying absolutely destroys me.
I think this is partly because of what Ellie had been, this terribly
adventurous kid with these terribly big plans to explore the world,
versus what she had become, an old woman who hadn’t done any of that.
Ultimately, she found herself happy, but trapped, wanting something
more, but forced to settle for less.
Then she goes and dies, happy, but still trapped, and that’s too much for me to bear.
This theme is always bound to kill me, because I inevitably think
about my father. He was an artist who never felt he got his due and
endlessly felt trapped by his inability to figure this out. The
decisions he made, and did not make, including, leaving New York City
and Washington, D.C., moving to the small town I grew-up in, parenting,
and on and on.
“Are you crying?” Myles says, partly astonished and partly full of glee.
“You shouldn’t talk during the movie,” I say, quickly, so I don’t
have to answer him, or tell him I’m not crying, because reflexively
that’s what I do, or want to do anyway.
I am not embarrassed, though, really. Still, I don’t respond.
“You are,” he says. “Awesome.”