I have to know for myself …

I am reticent to write today, knowing that once I put a specific thought/impression out there- I may ever be able to take it back. So I may wait, unless it becomes obvious throughout this discourse that my gut was right and that I have nothing to fear.
June has indeed already proven to be a month of heady change and we are but at first blush of its intent. Others have found their feathers of late and while it becomes most necessary that I applaud their diligence- I both envy and grow weary of the sight of one of my own.
I am hurt deep inside for grievances I am still yet unaware of and even as I place fingers to lips to silence- I find the words have need of escape. You see in a blog just before this the message:
“…the vodka cranberry-drink, listen to what the bartender says…”
Now, I shall remind myself of what it is that keeps me from letting this be an absolute. Firstly, I am not in the habit of going to bars. Secondly, I do not drink Vodka as a young experience with such left me much more amenable to Gin. But, that is neither the point. Last night, while searching for something to watch on TV, my husband happened across a movie he found interesting. He begged me to change from the usual historically intriguing-educationally valid-acts of God television I generally watch- if indeed I watch the TV at all and so… I acquiesced and considered to remain in the same room. It was an unknown element to me- this film- a depressing piece by the name of, “Against the Current”- alas I do not recall the credits. None the less, I was quick to vacate the room and get to my computer until the opening scene began.
It… my dear friends opened on a man having indiscriminant sex with a woman who he then unabashedly invited to leave the morning after, after staring at the photo of a young lovely pregnant woman who we can be assume is his wife and/or ex-lover. Nothing here triggered anything, so I made ready to excuse myself until this man walked into a bar in the next frame. He sat at the bar- ordered a drink- something with Vodka and so I decided to perch at the end of my chair and wait to see if anything brilliant or enlightening came out of the bartenders mouth. Two or three insults later, I surmised I had overrated the importance of the potential connection to the “Vodka/bartender information’ clue from afore and began to withdraw from the chair. Just as I got up, another character entered the scene- she too ordered a drink with Vodka and so I tucked my rear end back in the seat and waited for further instruction.
Part of the process for me is this uneasy- alert, alarm thing that happens in my gut when I know I am being drawn to something for a reason. I spent the next two hours glued to my seat waiting for words of wisdom or an impression that I could make a mental and/or emotional segue to- so that I could write off one more clue as being deciphered. To the best of my recollection there were moments of comical repartee… insightful declarations and personal confessions and while each could have been a candidate- none gave me that overwhelming gut punch that I usually get with an epiphany.
Nothing that is until the last scene, when to be quite frank, the actor said next to nothing. It was what he was doing that tore me to shreds and left me emotionally unbalanced for the remainder of the night. To briefly capture this, you must first know the premise of the movie.

A man loses his pregnant wife in a horrific traffic accident, that he believes he might have been able to prevent. Distraught, he wishes to commit suicide by jumping off the top of his apartment building- but his best friend talks him out of it- telling him time heals all wounds- to wait- give it five years and see how he feels about this life then. The bargain was that if in five years this man’s life was no better- that the friend would not only defend his right to end his life- he would support it. The anniversary date of this man’s wife and child’s death was clearly marked on the calendar in the first couple of scenes- August 28th. Oddly enough- that was my parents wedding anniversary date when they were alive. (So, you can see that there are threads which would cause me to search for connection.) The man was so in love with his wife- it hurt to watch. Flash forward, we are now five years later and the man has one request of his friend. He wants to accomplish one thing in his life before he goes- to swim the length of the Hudson River- all 150 miles of it. At the end- he wants to commit suicide, but does not divulge this part until after the friend and another female friend consent to join him and are a week or two into this project which should place him arriving at the bridge in New York on August 28th. During the course of the swim- he finally tells them his plan and they are hard pressed to dissuade him from killing himself. He even has a short tet-a-tet- with the female… but neither friend or lover are able to convince him to do otherwise. At the end of his journey, they are forced to honor his wishes and watch him swim out into the ocean… knowing that his intent is to swim until he is too tired and eventually drowns.

The only line that I can even recall is something like…
‘I made him a promise and even though I never thought I would have to back it up… I shouldn’t have made it… if I wasn’t prepared to follow it through.’
Now, there are a million promises we make to ourselves and to one another everyday… or to a hundred different people over a hundred million days of our lifetimes. Sooooo…. which promise might this have been referring to- if referring to any one of them at all? My head reeled  and at the edge of the night, I found I was no closer to the answer than at the beinning.
Was this a promise I had made to myself? To my parents-?(What with the anniversary date connection- August 28th) Was this a promise my father had made  to my mother- or my mother to him? A promise I had made to a friend…to a spouse or a child?
And if this was the message I was intended to receive-  did it have to do with my life or with my connection to Charley? The very thought made my eyes pool. I could only imagine one promise that had any natural segue to the movie and its potential connection to Charley.
To let him go when he was ready to move on…
Charley is free to leave at anytime and even though my heart breaks at the thought of it- I would never stand in the way of another soul’s evolution. I am prayerful that I am wrong about this all and hanging my hopes on the fact that not one person got cranberry juice in their Vodka drink during this movie!
But Charley, if you have to leave… I have to know for myself the answer to one more question.
Which man was it?
And you know what I am talking about.

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