Just finished watching Steven King and JJ Abrams’ 22.11.63 – based on the time-travel novel about JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald. It left me sad. But then, I always have been a romantic.
My grandfather, Ben, in his later years, used to read large-print books. He would devour them; his prerequisites for a good story were romance and a happy ending; he couldn’t stand it when the hero or heroine died, or their love faltered.
I don’t know if any of you have read the novel or watched the dramatisation; I can’t remember how the book ends – I am tempted to go to my bedroom and check (it is on a shelf beside my bed), but I don’t want that to either lead me through another sadness or down another path altogether. I can’t remember Sadie.
I wouldn’t say that I am obsessed by time-travel; that is perhaps not the right word. It is certainly core to what fascinates me.
I get it. Yes. It is not possible, nor will it be something I will ever experience and, if by some happenstance it were to become real, as all the stories go, you can’t change fate, you can’t alter reality or the trajectory of time. It is set. For every undoing of tragedy there are infinite layers of pain that you can’t conceive.
Many of these blogs or poems represent my shifting back in time – to when I or my brothers, or sister, mum or dad were young. Winding back the clock to a time that is not now.
Now is by and large not bad. It is at times fantastic. Mesmerising. Scintillating. Falling into the River Wye, head over heels, with D60 around my neck last Sunday was a particular highlight.
I have so much to appreciate; so many blessings to count. The gift of my family and my friends, my pets, sunrises and sunsets. All go together into something I consistently undervalue.
But, happy endings are special.
Last week I watched the Daniel Radcliffe, made for Netflix movie, Woman in Black. I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone, although to be honest, it was a sub-par performance by the former wizard; yes, the hero dies. Fin. The ending is somewhere between happy and sad.
I don’t go for this. It has to be happily ever-after or nowt. Happiness or bust.
And, likely, this says more about me than anything else – I can’t bear the concept of things not going well. I, like all the rest am prepared to bury my head in the sand, chant Mandalas and pretend that nothing is amiss, so long as I and my family are OK.
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
Something like that.
Whether this is lack of spine, stamina or strength, whether facing reality requires more va-va-voom, or something else, I don’t know.
Let it be.
I say, and this is not usual for me – go to the DVD, watch the dramatisation – avoid the book and enjoy.
I loved it.
Happy ending or not.