I just saw Big Fish for the second time, and for the second time I bawled my eyes out. My son made fun of me. He said I was worse than a chick at the Titanic. He's 13. What does he know.
I tried to explain to him. I wasn't sad, I was joyous. When that movie ends, it feels that all is right with the world. I'm cynical and I've seen too much the dark side of this world. So when something leaves you with the feeling that everything is OK, it's a good thing to cry, to allow yourself to feel the honest emotion.
The first time I saw that movie, my brother and I took our Dad to see it during his 80th b'day celebration. We were going to take him skydiving the next day, but he didn't think he should, owing to a bit of high blood pressure. My brother and I went anyway..., but I digress.
When we all walked out of the theater together, my brother and I were both crying our eyes out. His wife was sniffling a bit as well. My dad made fun of us...my stepmom slapped his arm playfully and tried to explain it to him. He's 80...what does he know. He's cynical and has seen too much the dark side of this world. The difference is, he never could allow himself to feel the honest emotion. It was part of his job, to remain aloof, detached...suspicious, questioning. He gathered intelligence. He was exceedlingly good at his job.
It affected his entire adult life. It affected his relationships, with his 3 wives, with his two sons. With his friends.
I'm sure it sounds completely bizarre, but I wish my dad could have been a big fish.
He's a little better now... than he was when I was younger, I mean. We can talk about things, mostly current events, politics, philosophy, and there is passion there. But the things I want to talk about, he can't. He doesn't know how. He could never allow himself to feel the honest emotion. I keep trying though. He's a great guy. Maybe someday we'll go fishing.
I love you dad.