Kill Bill Meets My Wedding
Kill Bill is on my mind as my wedding looms near.
It’s not like you think. Really.
A week and a half ago, my fiancé, Anthony, said we should watch the first film while our son was away overnight. I agreed, figuring I’d be asleep within a few minutes. That’s how films are usually watched in my household: with Anthony watching and me snoring.
An unusual thing happened this time. I stayed awake for more than an hour, about twenty times longer than I usually manage. I fell asleep not because I was bored but because I was too exhausted to keep my eyes open any longer.* When I awakened the next morning, I immediately resumed watching, leading Anthony to exclaim he couldn’t believe his eyes.
I finished Kill Bill and Kill Bill 2 that morning. Anthony repeatedly expressed elation that I (a) actually finished watching a full movie and its sequel and (b) that those movies were made by Quentin Tarantino.**
If you think there’s a chance you’ll watch these movies and don’t want to be spoiled, you should probably skip the rest of this post. Don’t worry, it’ll still be here later.
Otherwise, read on.
Pregnant protagonist Beatrix Kiddo, recently retired assassin, is left for dead the night of her wedding rehearsal. “Bill, it’s yours,” she murmurs to an unseen aggressor before she’s shot in the head.
The movies document her exacting revenge on the assassins who tried killing her, reaching its climax when she comes face to face with the very Bill who shot her . . . and simultaneously meeting the daughter she didn’t know had survived.
The final fight’s conclusion is not surprising, but it’s powerful nevertheless.
More powerful by far is one of the very last scenes of the movie. As her daughter watches TV one room over, Beatrix clutches a teddy bear while rocking back and forth on a hotel bathroom floor. She’s crying, but her words are joyous ones.
With a week and a half until my wedding, I want to write happy, humorous posts. I want to make people giggle and navigate away from my blog smiling.
But the truth is, I feel like Beatrix now.
Having fought my way out of poverty and abuse, through my mom’s mental illness and her death to cancer, and yet made for myself a life full of love and comparative ease, I could feel myself in Beatrix as she rocked.
My old life will always be a part of me. It’s inescapable, and indeed, I wouldn’t want to escape it as it was the foundation of my strength. I hope my children will never know firsthand certain truths from my younger days, but I wish for them the wisdom to understand some of those truths, many years from now, through empathy and empathy alone.
As I face my last few days of unmarried life, I feel in every moment how close I am to closing out one era and escorting in a new one. Part of that is about marriage, but part of it’s about choice: definitively choosing a different and more hopeful path, no matter how strange and uncertain it feels to embrace the possibility of enduring joy.
I’m just about to emerge from my own bathroom. I’m getting ready to commit myself fully to a life utterly unlike anything my younger self ever imagined, and ever so much sweeter.
For right now, though, I’m rocking back and forth on that figurative bathroom floor, saddened how many struggles came before and yet so, so very grateful for the different life ahead.
If my words in the next week and a half sound heavy, it’s not because I’m sad. What I’m feeling is far too complex for so simple a label. There’s sadness and sweetness and giddiness and missing, all jumbled up and so intense I can barely restrain myself from crying most the time.
It’s a beautiful—if exhausting—place to be, here on the bathroom floor.
I don’t know exactly what it’ll look like when I arise and emerge, but I do know what words will be on my lips when I do. Like Beatrix, they’ll be a numerically small but emotionally behemoth two.
* During pregnancy, this is usually around noon.
** I still don’t get the glee, exactly, but that’s OK.