I would have the obvious analyzations such as being bullied in junior high (who wasn’t?) led to my insecurities about my looks for the following 55 years; dating the same guy for three years in high school only to be dumped when I graduated (who hasn’t?) was a waste of time; or I could have been a writer 40 years ago if I knew anything about the savings and loan business. Those kind of growing up stories we all have. I grew up and survived and found the right guy in the end.
But I wonder how my 65-year-old mind would be dissected today?
Since I can’t fall asleep these days (guess my body’s waiting for retirement to sleep), I get hooked on the strangest things. Not long ago I finished 80 episodes of King’s War, a Chinese TV series with English subtitles. I’ve always been a scaredy cat but now I’m downloading horror movies to watch before I go to bed. I’ve recorded all these cooking shows to watch but all they do is make me hungry so I watch Cabin in the Woods instead. I’ve not made my way through those awful Saw movies, but I saw a predecessor which kind of laid the path before my feet, and it wasn’t bad.
What happened to the introspective, insecure girl who used to watch movies like A Hard Day’s Night and Camelot?
What happened to the woman who felt ethereal? Cosmic? Enchanted?
Perhaps I’ve just gotten older. Perhaps those movies that once pulled my heartstrings would bring an incredible amount of memories back that I just don’t want to deal with.
I think it’s because I’m afraid that if I open that door of emotions I’ll never survive. Not that I have any crushing loss in the past — as a matter of fact, if I had a huge loss, that might make more sense. For I would have something big and real to cause my pain and confusion.
It’s the little things that upset me. Memories of friends I’ve let go. Things I could have done differently with my kids. Cousins I lost touch with. Jobs I should have worked harder at. What should bring me hours of fond memories actually makes me sad. And I don’t want to go through all the uncomfortableness of reconnecting with people long gone out of my life.
I figure handling Freddy or some foreign samurai is a lot easier than trying to remember the girls I used to go to the dances at the Navy base with. Maybe I’m ashamed to know that I don’t remember what I should remember.
Scary movies are safe playgrounds in the fact that I would never go or do the stupid things the characters go or do. I would never explore that tunnel or turn around to see what that guy by the truck was doing with that body wrapped in the sheet. I can handle movie madness because I wouldn’t do anything so shallow or crazy.
But I would do the stupid things I’ve done.
I really do have fun watching the Chinese movies and TV shows. They take me to a time and place I never knew existed. Maybe that’s what scary movies do, too. Take you to places you’ve never been. Nor would ever go.
But I will always go back to my past.