So, I’m on the plane yesterday watching Cool Hand Luke on my newly acquired iPod Touch, courtesy of my friend, Celeste, and the Ellen Show. I hadn’t seen the movie since I was sixteen for a “movie analysis” class. We’d watch movies and write essays about them. Back then I could always do critical analysis, identifying symbolism and what-not, but until yesterday at twenty-four thousand feet I’d never “felt” the movie.
I’m lying there, trying not think about anything for awhile, not the trip, not Sara, not getting back to Tampa, absolutely nothing but watching a movie. Of course, I forgot that Cool Hand Luke begs one to be introspective.
So, I’m watching, slowly identifying with Luke stronger and stronger through his struggles. Lots of us have some Luke inside, some more than others, but he embodies very common human experiences and emotions. The sky outside the plane was so beautiful, we’re flying in and out of soft white clouds, the movie’s almost over. I’m doing fine until his talk with God at the end of his last escape-attempt, at which point everything that has happened over so many years hits me and I start sobbing.
I think, “You fucker, what are you doing? What the fuck’s wrong with you?” but I couldn’t help it. I’ve had that talk with God so many times. I’ve asked why He built me not to fit, and then stacked the deck against me so that maybe I can’t win. I don’t mean that in a “I so wish I could walk” kind of way, but generally in how I think and feel inside, I never really feel like I fit anywhere, like I know I’m in the wrong place, but I don’t really know where the right place is either. Actually, the right place is much clearer, but getting their is often murky. I’ve asked God about that too. I’ve begged forgiveness, asked for help, but just like for Luke, God never answers back, never directly, if at all.
I’ve been broken like Luke too, praying to God that I’d do anything, so long as I didn’t get hit again. Still, even after being completely broken, and knowing he was broken, it didn’t stick, he kept going. No help from anyone, let alone God, Luke tried one more time to make his way on his terms. He died trying to find what he wanted, but he died smiling.
I think that inability to quit, that little spark that God gives people, that He gave me, is often the one gift we get. It’s also a sadistic fucking joke. He knows how I feel, I’ve mentioned it before. I doubt that most prayers start with, “listen, you fucker,” but mine often do. God’s just out to watch and listen, which is why I do pray, but He sure as shit isn’t out to answer back openly. We have a very plain relationship, I don’t pretty up my prayers. God gives us free will, but I also think He gives us traits and circumstances that make us more fun to watch. At any rate, He didn’t answer Luke, and He’s not going to answer me. I’m going to do what I do until I can’t do it anymore. I just want to die smiling, with a cool hand.10 comments
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