…. Labor Day weekend; the start of the holiday, the end of summer. Technically. The calendar said it was time to start school, roll out the tweeds, boots, and oranges and tuck away the swim suits, beach towels, pinks and flip-flops. But it was Florida and we had months of sun to enjoy, even if white pants were forbidden. There was still humidity to contend with. With the air conditioning cranked down to simulate cooler temps and in a nod to the impending fall, we cozied in. Sharing space next to each other, we sat crossed legged at the coffee table. Able to do so as the dog had been dropped off that afternoon, at Fuzzie Buddies, in anticipation of the holiday trip set to begin the next morning. Otherwise, food at that level was perfect for her grasp and guaranteed to be gone in an instant. So we relished the holiday away from the jaws of a 30 pound beagle and set out three types of cheeses, apple and pear slices, dates and nuts accompanied by chicken finger slices. You insisted on them as their smell always permeates the Publix parking lot and draws you in. Normally abiding by the rules of the diet, this time though, you gave in, using the holiday as an excuse for gluttony.
There we sat, splitting a bottle of red and a movie we chose for the occasion. To me, nothing says the end of summer like The Big Chill. You had never seen it and it was on a list of such movies. A movie about friends on an unexpected holiday. I had seen it a dozen and a half times and memorized the soundtrack. It is really the music that makes that movie. Well, maybe not, maybe it is the acting and the actors. Or that compelling story line. Reminds me of my friends of the past and what I want from friends in the future. Well, minus the suicide and the adultery. But a compelling story and it draws me in no matter how many times viewed. Such a classically good movie, makes it impossible to pick one aspect that makes that stands out. It was chosen for all those reasons and more. I wanted to see those scenes through your eyes, seeing it for the first time. Which creates a new imagery and ideas. Sharing those with someone and learning their innocence. The essence of fall is present in that movie; the changing temperatures, the multi-colored leaves and football. That Michigan football game, is fall regardless of the state or decade. The outdated running shoes and hair do’s transcend the 1980’s and still today portray an spirit of fall. Those emotions tumble together into the first days of school, a slight crisp in the air, browns showcased on the cover of Vogue, new TV shows and football Saturdays. All kept me entertained with the memories of such. Smiling contently from those ideas and from the warmth of the wine, cheese and my company.
At the same time it all brought me to tears. During I Heard it Through the Grapevine, a small whimper of a cry forms. Tiny drops I was able to keep private. Even hidden by a smile and a few seconds of singing along with their performance. But by the end of the number, I sobbed and held my face in my hands. My chest heaved and loud sobs emanated from my throat. You looked over fearful you missed something to cause my convulsions. But this was not something; this was the moment of it all. We’d created a strong sense of peace and contentment. So thoroughly at ease that I enjoy myself so much I tear up. That perfect place captured with a perfect scene, and not the scripted one portrayed on the T.V. It was this scene, this moment with our knees touching, holding hands, laughing at the movie. I wanted to live in that and wear around me like a warm blanket used on cool days next to fire places. I feel at home in the emotion and that moment, where tears form without knowledge. Just pure bliss. The kind that gives goose bumps, belly aches, and heart palpitations. The kind made for T.V. and longed for in our best dreams. I had all of that in my hands during that moment and it made me smile and weep all at once. Letting me create a present perfect memory of a new type of Labor Day. The temps were dropping, the time would change and we would fall forward, but that night I wanted to sit in those last days of summer and enjoy the emotional holiday before the vacation began the next morning. Before we moved away from summer.....
This is beautiful!
I LOVE the soundtrack; how can anyone not, really?
Beautifully written! I love that movie.
How beautiful. I really need to watch that movie... but I'll probably wait until Fall. :)
Oh you gotta if not for the music but the great cast.
I loved that! I agree with Pam, so well written.
My favorite line in that movie is "I never knew they would all be so...guilty"