Always Rewatching The Same Things
I just don’t get it.
The dinner dishes are cleared; the kitchen is officially “closed.” My head is spinning with the competing interests in my head—finish the Sunday Times, do a little more work, actually make some progress on the book I’m reading—I don’t even know where to begin.
As I head into the family room to see where the family has settled, I can hear the sound of light sabers.
“You are not watching this again, are you?” I know the answer.
And there they are, father and son, glued to the television, watching Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) tell Luke that he is his father.
“So what?” I ask, a bit aggressively. “So he’s his father—who cares?”
They look at me like I have six heads.
“Luke has been fighting him for two of the movies—Darth Vader is evil and Luke is all that is good. For him to realize Darth Vader is his father is like—it’s like the worst thing he can imagine.” Todd offers, a bit defensively.
I tilt my head like the dog does when we pose a question to her.
“But he knew he had a father, right? And doesn’t Darth Vader mean Dark Father? Why is this a surprise?”
They look at each other as if my IQ is hovering around 50—at best.
“Okay, I get it. He’s disappointed. Move. On.” I offer, through clenched teeth.
I mosey back to the kitchen to grab my water, bypassing the kitchen table to move some clothes from the washer to the dryer, and that’s when I see the mess in the mudroom. I rearrange the boots, endless sneakers and recyclable items waiting to get themselves out to the garage.
As I walk back toward the kitchen, I see the pile of bills on the table—ugh, meant to get to those yesterday. I grab the checkbook and sit down with the stack. The tasks are endless. Cue big sigh.
I start to walk back toward the family room when I remember the items in the dryer that cannot be “fully dried.” I remove the workout gear, favorite t-shirts, and undergarments from the dryer. The Times Styles section beckons me. It goes unanswered. All of those magna cum laudes will have to wait—I have many more important things to do.
I walk back toward the family room. That’s when I notice the pile of books in the living room that I had assembled after we cleaned out one of the kid’s rooms a few weeks ago. I review them again to make sure we aren’t throwing away any that we would want at some point for as-yet-to-be-conceived grandchildren. Somehow, I can’t help but reread a few passages from Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events. I miss the Baudelaires; they have been replaced by Snapchat and Facetime.
That’s when I hear James Earl Jones’ voice again.
But this time he’s not Darth Vader, he’s Terence Mann, telling a very young Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), to build a baseball field. “People will come, Ray; they’ll come to Iowa … they’ll arrive at your door, as innocent as children.”
“Seriously, hon, you have seen this movie ten thousand times.”
He wipes a tear from his eye.
“I know, and it gets better every time.” He pats the couch, inviting me to watch with him. I roll my eyes, but take the invite anyway. More laundry, more work, more—
“Is this heaven?” Ray’s father asks. “No, it’s Iowa.” “Wow, I could have sworn it was heaven.”
I must have gotten some detergent in my eye.