~ James Conant
Yet another movie has slipped into the multiplex beneath my radar . . .
Cheesy? Probably. Improbable? More than likely. Sleepless in Seattle, only without Tom Hanks, and . . . lions? Possibly. Scarlett Johansson!? You know how I feel about her, right? What she did to me?! Yeah . . .
And yet, I will see this movie. Because it has all the stuff that gets me worked up and emotional. Struggle. Triumph. Cute kids. And a man being all the things I have never been . . .
I know. He’s only a character in a movie. Like Ray Kinsella. Jeffrey Weigand.
Or Burt Farlander . . .
He may be stretching it a bit, though I do really like that scene at the end, on the trampoline. That’s real. And maybe I relate to him more than the others after all, because he’s a goofball. A fuck up. No matter. He’s honest.
And I think of me, at that point in my life, before kids and marriage and apartments and careers, and wonder why I didn’t take more risks. The kinds of risks that mean something. Not the “I’ll just spend and not save and we’ll be all right” kinds of risks. Not the “bridges are made for burning” kinds of risks. Not risks that are so much like jumping in front of a subway train but more like scaling down a cliff face or trusting the rope or the hand of a friend or throwing my hands in the air as I let go of the tire swing over Pit Lake.
Oh, I will see this movie. I will cry a thousand tears of joy and grief and deep heartache and sadness and again with the joy as the credits roll and things have worked out for the best for Matt Damon and his zoo.
I will remind myself that this is only a movie. A story, made for a purpose, in which things work out in the end. Even as I also remind myself that life is like that sometimes . . .
And I will wonder if there are any seconds worth of courage left in me . . .