That now old film The English Patient, I thought of it today. I find myself, for reasons far beyond my own grasp even, in Southern California this week, and it was here that I first saw the movie, on opening weekend, in some old, grand theater like they have down here. There were lots of things I loathed about living on this side of the state, but I must admit that watching movies was always a better experience- you could find any film playing and even The English Patient was running in a theater with stadium seating and gigantic screens, despite it also featuring old vaulted ceilings that made it look like a refurbished opera house.
I also thought of that movie because of a specific scene. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a huge fan of this particular movie, and it doesn’t hold up all that well with time. And as I’ve grown older, I find the love story to be almost insufferable. But maybe that’s also why I thought of it today. There’s this scene in the movie- a woman is breaking it off with her lover, and the lover, spurned, says, embittered, that he wants her to know that he isn’t missing her yet. She says, very calmly and all properly English-like, “you will.” And then she turns and bangs her head against a railing. It’s jarring. She loses her composure and puts her hand up to her head, and it’s clear that the dumped lover wants to check to see if she is okay, but finds that he cannot.
Despite appearances, I am not putting a full-blown period on this run-on sentence of a blog. There was a brief comma, but I still have more to say. And I would love to say that there’s been such big things afoot, or that I’ve just been having so much fun. But really, what it came right down to in the end is, the words just were not there. You have to have the words, or what much can you make of a blog?
I still do not have a lot of words. Things are changing, but that, it now strikes me more than ever, is a stupid thing to write. If there is one thing my generation can vouch for with certainty, it is change. There were no such things as cell phones, or blogs when our lifetime began, after all. But still, despite the obvious dynamic nature of the macroscopic world, it bears repeating, I guess, that my little microcosm is changing. Medical school is almost over, and I am making big decisions on where I will be and who I will be, and those are odd things indeed. I find myself considering completely different variables as compared to what I did four years ago, and that is interesting too.
When I left San Francisco, I was one person, who was not the same person as the one who arrived there from the east coast. And now I am another. And this will keep happening, but also it starts to become clear that they are all parts of a whole. It’s easy to sometimes believe I am just fickle and ever-changing, but I can still appreciate everything I loved about San Francisco today. But I do not belong there right now; I can appreciate that too.
S and I were having pho on a particularly cold evening this past week with some friends. This was the evening after he had called me from the airport in a panic after his flight had been canceled due to inclement weather, and I had collected him after we agreed there was no point in trying to reschedule. This was the week after he had made me a care package of chocolates, chewing gum, and ibuprofen to send me off on another round of interviews. We returned with our stomachs warm and full, and I collapsed on the couch, never to murmur another coherent word that evening. I did not have the words, and I did not want them, really. This thing between us is parenthetical in comparison to the big questions, the major paragraphs that lie before me. Sleep came and rescued me from the conversation that we’ll have someday, the conversation that has always been inevitable. For that night, I left it to the movies.