Seeking a Friend at the End of the World
After the not-my-husband folk left in the wee minutes of the year, Anthony and I curled up on our sofa to watch Seeking a Friend at the End of the World. Anthony had watched it a couple days earlier and said I’d love it.
I’d originally heard of the movie and thought, “How depressing! There‘s a movie I’ll never watch.” Indeed, I’d never have watched it if Anthony hadn’t reported he’d laughed and bawled and found it captivating. Because he recommended it so highly, I was willing to give it a shot.
Last night, I fell asleep twenty seconds into the film, awakening only for the final minute of the movie. “Well, yeah, pretty much what I’d expected,” I thought as I crawled into bed and fell back to sleep for a whopping hour.
When my littlest one awakened at 3;55 a.m., I groaned. I willed him to go back to sleep. When he showed no indication he planned to observe my telepathic request, I got up with him and, bleary-eyed, wondered how on earth I’d keep myself awake. Coffee’s not my solution; anything more than a half-cup very early makes sleep impossible for me.
“Might as well restart the movie,” I murmured to Littler J. A little motion in the background can go a long way to making me feel like I, too, ought be moving. Littler J, for his part, could not have cared less what was on the TV. He was much more interested in chewing his way through his brother’s stuffed dog collection.
I only half-watched the first ten minutes, but slowly shifted focus more and more toward the TV. By the time six-year-old Li’l D awakened an hour later, I was engrossed.
(This is pretty uncommon for me. I tend to see non-horror movies as sleep aids versus actual entertainment sources.)
“Are you crying?” Li’l D asked when he joined me. “Yes,” I told him. I quickly explained the movie’s premise.
“So you’re crying because the world is ending?” he inquired, flopping onto the sofa.
“No.” I smiled, nodding toward the characters on the screen. “It’s because of what they’re making of what they have.”
I watched the last minutes of the movie with Li’l D nestled into my lap, Anthony holding my left hand and Littler J fidgeting at my right knee.
I wept through the movie’s final moments, but–like before–I wasn’t crying about any ending. Rather, I was caught up in the irrepressible beauty of right now: in the movie, and on my sofa.
“Watching this was the perfect way to begin the new year,” I told Anthony as credits rolled and tears streamed down my face. I hadn’t started the morning with any particular resolutions for the new year, but beginning it with one fictional end illuminated everything for me.
What do I want from 2016? A single thing both mundane and grandiose; to, as Colin Hay sings of a lover’s entreaty:
Just be here now
Forget about the past
Let the light shine in
The song concludes, “On a clear day I can see / see a very long way.” Thanks to the core truth in a remarkable work of fiction, today is a very, very clear day, and I can see better than ever the forever in now.