Posted by Andy Bell
This is not the post I was thinking of writing.
Not by a long chalk.
I had a mildly acerbic effort in mind about some of the human foibles I have recently witnessed from the seat of a 55 tram or the 503 bus.
And there was a strong chance of an outbreak of “why, oh why?”
That can wait.
Here’s the thing and it’s personal & totally unexpected.
There, I’ve said it.
I saw it represented this afternoon on a cheap Monday at the movies and was intensely moved by it.
It was totally unexpected and somewhat world rocking.
Yep, I went to see “J. Edgar“.
It’s a portrayal of the man who set up the FBI J. Edgar Hoover and his relationship with his 2iC Clyde Tolson – professional & personal.
The film has its faults, but one thing really worked for me.
In decades of seeing gay relationships on the screen I have never seen such truth in the depiction of love between two men.
Actually it was simpler than that, it was a depiction of love.
It came in the final minutes of a bio-pic which had shown Hoover warts and all.
Two old men, one stricken after a stroke, the other, unbeknownst to himself, on the brink of death.
It came in a pause. It was reinforced with a touch. It was proclaimed with a kiss to the forehead. It was cemented with a triple squeeze to a shoulder on departure.
Simple, deep, real.
Two men, two old men, giving certainty to each other.
I’d seen this once before and it wasn’t on the big screen.
It was in a searing moment from my own life two decades and more ago.
It took a movie to jolt me into remembering the sight of my cancer riddled dad viewing his wife of forty odd years laid out in a coffin.
In that moment I saw love revealed, having too often seen them bickering or being mutually passive aggressive.
There were small gestures, long silences.
And there was comfort among the pain.
It was oddly wonderful.
It was love.
Relationships usually begin with explosions of passion & all too often end with fussilades of jaded acrimony & the dredging up of petty disputes.
Not quite love.
If you can survive the travails of getting along, then you have a chance.
So an afternoon at the pictures left me feeling in a way I had not expected.
If my words so far have been clumsy, so be it.
But a potent reminder of something long ago has left me a little tender.
And it has me knowing that if & when love does come along it will remain even when passion of all varieties has long faded.