As I write this, the wind is howling so much outside the windows of my little house, I am afraid it will blow away the roads to Kansas City and keep me from my final radiation treatment. I hope I’m wrong.
I will always remember this little bout with things as the treatment that took place during awards season. Some people make enchiladas. Some send cards. The universe organizes a little parade of actors in beautiful clothing, receiving awards for the stories they tell.
I saw the People’s Choice Awards on the night of the first treatment, the Golden Globes the following Sunday, the Critics’ Choice Awards on the evening of the third treatment, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards last night. (I taped them.)
This has also made me desperate to catch up on my movie-watching. I hate to have no idea at all why the winners are winning. Unfortunately, so far, award-winning and beautifully uplifting actually do appear to be mutually exclusive. I find myself a little fascinated by the stories Hollywood wanted to tell this year. And I mean, you have to want to tell it.
Lots of people have to want to tell it, or it would never get told. But I gotta say, for instance, while sitting through August: Osage County, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how that story made it to film and to a theater in Kirksville, MO, and why all ten of us in the room bothered to sit through to the end. It’s not poorly made. I just didn’t know what to do with it. What part of my brain or soul or heart was supposed to take that in and be glad for it? I’m not sure.
Speaking of questions I would like to ask of Hollywood one day, I have one fewer question to ask now: I have always wondered – as I dig in my heels and attempt to sit through the credits of a film before the tapping feet of my family members finally drives me to leave – if at least people sit through the credits during a premiere. Fortunately, I know a person who’s been to a Hollywood premiere.
Jason Haxton wrote a book called The Dibbuk Box, which became the movie The Possession, and Jason attended the premiere. Recently I stopped by the museum where he works, just downstairs from where I do. I swallowed the feeling that I was about to look really silly, told him a long story about my obsession with credit-sitting, and asked him to tell it to me straight. And then, he DID. He told me the entire story of a premiere and that yes, of course, they sit through the credits when the people in the audience are watching for their own names and the names of their friends, so they can applaud. I think I may be able to let it go now. If someone is sitting through the credits for all those people, I guess I can follow my men out the door when they’re ready and not raise such a fuss about it.
I can’t decide if it’s horrifying or wonderful, but the more life I live, the less I am saddened by the difference between my life and the life I sometimes imagine in Hollywood. The distance between the two gets smaller. Not because I think I’m moving towards it but because the important things in life are the same whether here or there. They just get better gowns. Darn it.