Exit Music for a Film

 

FADE IN:

EXT. TYBEE ISLAND. BEACH- DUSK

Two young men, CHRIS and NATE, are at a beach that is lively and beautiful. Wind whips around them just enough to blow tiny grains of sand around. Children run up to the cold water’s edge as it ebbs and flows to shore. They mock its to-and-fro motion.

Nate sits on a sand dune. His darkened sunglasses reflecting the ocean. Chris stands at the water’s edge. He takes his shoes and socks off; he lets the icy water flow over his feet and back out to sea. The water comes in, goes out, and with it, goes the sand beneath his feet. The gritty sand beneath his feet pulls him down with every cycle.

Chris closes his eyes and is in the moment. He hears the seagulls’ calls all around him. The sounds of the waves hitting the shore. He feels the warmth on his skin that had been lost all of these months in the long winter. He begins thinking of the past five days he had spent in Georgia during his spring break.

FADE TO MONTAGE:

-Chris and Nate playing paintball. Nate gets hit on the head. Chris gets shot multiple times in quick succession.

-Chris taking a huge bite of a Newk’s sandwich

-Chris taking pictures of Senoia, Georgia where “The Walking Dead” is shot.

-Chris and Nate shooting posters of Zombies at a shooting range.

-Chris cheering the Black and White Knight at Medieval Times.

-Chris and Nate playing games at Dave and Buster’s.

-Chris and Nate driving in the car through most of Georgia.

-Chris and Nate eating at a restaurant. (Chris watches a large ship with the letters “MOL” on the side cruise around and around the bay.)

EXT.TYBEE ISLAND. BEACH- DUSK

Chris opens his eyes.

He once again takes in the moment. He wholly revels in being ever-present. No thoughts of the future or the past, just here and now.

NATE (O.S.)

Is it cold?

CHRIS

Yeah, really cold.

Chris looks back at Nate. He looks disappointed by the revelation that it is cold.

Chris turns back to the ocean.

He looks out and feels small and large at the same time. After all of the traveling he has done, he feels like the world has become smaller. His jaunt home a few hours away. The other side of the Atlantic, but an arm stretch away. He takes pictures of the waves as they roll in.

CHRIS

You know, waves actually start out in the ocean.

Like, far out there. We only see them when they break

on shore. There are these tiny cycles on top of each other

that move the waves forward until they hit the shore and then break

up.

Chris looks back to Nate who nods his head. Chris thinks it is incredibly powerful that all of this is happening. Life has become unpaused in this moment and is happening all around. Some sort of cacophony of majesty just for him. He revels in it.

He looks at the ocean and he notices that the beauty has begun to fade. He wonders how long one can look at beauty before it fades. He asks himself, “How long is paradise, paradise? When does it become nothing?”

He decides he doesn’t want to find out. He looks back at Nate who is still sitting down. Chris walks up next to him.

NATE

I am glad we came. It was definitely worth it.

CHRIS

Yeah, it’s beautiful. I like how it was spur of the moment.

NATE

Yeah, this is a good way to end the trip.

CHRIS

For sure. I didn’t know what we were going to do.

I knew we were going to find “it”, I just didn’t know what “it” was.

NATE

That sounds like the end to a movie or something.

Wide Shot of the beach. The two look miniscule.

Begin “Exit Music (For a Film)” by Radiohead.

FADE TO BLACK

Adventure Time!

https://i0.wp.com/st.houzz.com/simgs/3b41b84802444c60_4-7714/traditional-fireplaces.jpg

Hey Gang!

It has been entirely too long! I will not let this happen again. I have been writing a conference paper about postmodernism and jay-z which I hope turns out well. However, I have yearned to write which only reinforces how much I truly love writing and in an environment with every one of you that are so talented and creative. Thanks for being you and deciding to read everything I have written. Truly humbled, thanks!

***

It’s like that visceral tin taste in your mouth when someone asks if you have ever tasted a penny.

No.

It’s like when someone asks you what you did last week.

Yes.

You recall the week itself. The highs, the lows, and the mundane. You remember you laughed incredibly hard from a friend’s joke but you remember pouring a bowl of cereal for yourself in the morning. The sadness of unwanted news and the neutrality of tying your shoes. Yet, what is it that you recall?

Those spike. Those spikes in the midst of everything that imprint on your life. Emotion bleeds through everything. A raking scar of a memory. You sense it. It is palpable. Then it begins to leave. It begins to fade away. It becomes amorphous. The substance is there, that central message, but the structure is gone.

That penny taste. It lingers.

I say all of this because I recently had that feeling of a memory that was so paramount in my life until it drifted. It came back with a vengeance and I could not be happier.

My mother used to appease me when I was younger. As I have said before, we were not very well off. Feast or famine was quite regular. However, I never found it to be that way. 

On the way home from school each day, my mother would allow my six-year-old self to navigate our way home. Often we would get lost but I remember what she would say whenever I got us lost.

“Don’t worry, Chrissy. It’s just another adventure,” she’d say.

It’s funny to think about it now. I don’t even think she knows I remember that kind of stuff. So small. In a life so full of moments, how amazing is it that we are able to remember anything in particular.

I recall one time we were unable to afford heat for a week or so. So, we bought a couple blow-up mattresses and slept in the front room. We had this old, metal electric fireplace that we put right in front of us and turned it on. I remember how cold it was. Outside of those three comforters was what felt like subarctic temperatures. I remember laying on my side and my mother making me laugh which made me grow warmer.

“It’s like camping, kiddo,” my mother said. “Just another adventure.”

What is funny is that I do not have heat at my new apartment but, off in the corner of my room, I have a small electric fireplace that makes me feel warm and a little more at home.

These things that should have been terrible were more like sailing on an ocean. You knew that the storms caused the boat to rock but they would eventually subside.

When I was at my lowest just a year ago, I was laying on the ground, wallowing in my own sorrow. I voiced how scared I was about the future. About the past. About the now. About everything.

“What do we say?”

I did not want to hear it. I stayed silent.

“What do we say?”

“Who knows, we say a lot,” I said with too much resentment.

“It’s just another adventure,” she said, having paid no mind to my projected attitude.

Funny thing, it subsided. I got up figuratively and literally.

Just a week ago, I contemplated why i was doing all of this. I had no life. My friends were moving on and I was here learning about the fragmentation of the subject.

What the hell was I doing here?

Then, somewhere, deep down, I hear a voice. Not my mother’s but my own. It came from somewhere other. Some time other. Some time ago.

“What do we say?”

 

-Chris

 

*You’re the best, Linda*