Monday, November 2, 2009

Where Were My Wild Things?

"It's easier to cry in the dark. No one sees you in the dark. Crying always reminds me that I still have feelings. They are just hiding in places that you can't see. They only come out in the dark."

Me - November 1, 2009

After her Soccer game, I took my daughter to see Spike Jonze's re-imagining of Where The Wild Things Are. We asked my Mother to join us. I'm not very familiar with the book. I'm sure I've read it but for some reason, it never stuck with me.

My parents separated when I was 7. They got divorced when I was 9. I was in the third grade. I don't remember much of anything before that year. Like none of it ever happened. I never thought that was a big deal. Now that I have two daughters of my own, I realize how big of a deal it was. It would crush my heart to think that my daughters wouldn't remember when they were 7. Especially if they didn't want to remember... Like me.

Growing up I can recall being angry and often disappointed. I don't remember about what or even why. It's just a part of me that lingers in my head. As an adult, I have always had a hard time asking for help. I always tell myself, "No need to rely on anybody. You'll only be disappointed."

I've been in and out of therapy since I was a kid. I'm always trying to figure out who I am. Does it really make a difference? Maybe I should be trying to figure out who I was. At what point did the little kid in me disappear from the face of the earth? Why the fuck would I want to know the answer to any of those questions? Besides, self discovery is for pussies.

My daughter and I shared a double love seat in the movie theater. She was practically on top of me. She holds my hand and it makes my heart warm. My Mother sat just to her left but she seemed a mile away. She always does but it's not her fault. I create the distance.
That's just the way it is. This is how it was written.

As I watched the movie, I saw myself in the little boy's eyes. I too was always running away from something, looking for someone to save me. Children are very delicate when they are young but they don't shatter like fine, expensive crystal when you drop them. Little pieces chip away and fall to the carpet with each slip. The fine shards of glass, hide in the strands and crumble more over time, emulsifying under the dull footsteps of everyone who passes through the room. It's hard to see the damage if you don't look closely but it's there.

It makes me sad when I think about how fucked up I am underneath all of the armor that I wear. I'm not sad for me but for my Mom. She tried very hard and did a great job raising my brother and me. I wonder if she saw the stark similarities between our broken family and the one in the film? I'm sure she did. You could hardly miss them.

I wish I could remember the book but I'm starting to understand why I don't. Max is lucky to have the Wild Things. Where the fuck were my Wild Things when I needed them?

My daughter climbs on top of me because one of the Monsters is chasing the boy. She is scared. She squeezes me tightly and it makes me cry. I cry because I'm afraid she won't remember this moment. She's only 7. I know I will remember. I look at my Mom. I squeeze my daughter back. Maybe this is why I like the movies. Because it's dark and it's easier to cry in the dark. Maybe easier isn't the right word.

That night before bedtime, I asked my daughter to read me the book. As she articulated the story to me in a whisper, I stared at her a little bit too long and she caught me.

"Stop staring at me Daddy."

"I can't."


"Because I love you..."

I like the book way better and with the lights on. It makes me feel less Out-Numbered...