imitation of life

i don’t remember the name of the movie i just watched an hour ago and that’s probably best. it was the kind of tripe that’s very existence, let alone my viewing of it, would have 10 years ago left me with a disdain for freedom of speech and a renewed vigor for cultural censorship. that was before i had children. once that happened, no matter how manipulative or banal, any movie with someone trying to save and/or make their child happy, will ultimately drive me to tears. tears i hide. tears i pretend not to have. tears that i was drying with short bursts of breath banked off of my lower lip, as to not let my children see i was crying. and it’s not because i don’t want my children to see me cry, it’s because i don’t want them to think this intellectually anemic movie is worth crying over.

but it’s wasn’t the movie. the movie really is shit, it’s not even subjective. no. it was izzy and jake. the movie, the daughter, the father, the impractical sacrifices that tie up like a bejeweled bow by the end, they are surrogates for my worst fears and my deepest love. no matter how bad it got i was rapt, and held onto my daughter and son, cheering as the pablum parade marched on to its candy-colored crescendo. i was waving like a tourist. and i’m not ashamed. because afterward, even though i can’t remember the name of the movie, which i count as a blessing, i got to lay with my children and hold them for real. i got to tell them that it was more than highly unlikely that either their mother or i would die in a fiery crash. i got to see them unclench themselves once that sunk in. i got to feel them trust me enough to really let that sink in. i got to revel in their joy, that they could hold me; a living breathing soul, who they could feel loving them stronger than anything they knew, or would ever know. not in hd, not in ‘real’ 3d, but in carbon and light. an analog love.

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