Wednesday, September 22, 2004

“It’s going to be fun.”

The Movie: Lawrence of Arabia, 1962 (Robert Bolt, screenwriter, from the works of T.E. Lawrence; David Lean, director)
Who says it: Peter O’Toole as T. E. Lawrence
The context: Lawrence is about to go out into the desert to contact the Arabs.
How to use it: When you’re deliberately going into harm’s way. My friend John Erath, a Foreign Service officer, says this whenever he’s leaving for a war zone – which is often enough to make me suspect he means it.

Driving to Flagstaff is hardly going into harm's way, but you never know.

Now that I'm leaving, it all feels very sudden. Gary said last night, "Do you think Petey (his dog) knows that he will never see Dizzy again in his whole life?" and of course that made me cry, and of course Gary said, "You cry at everything." This, as we all know, is true, but in my own defense I hadn't cried at all last night until that moment -- not at dinner with Maeve and Anahita, not at drinks with Ann Marie and Dianna.

I guess there's no point to knowing someone for 20-odd years without figuring out how to provoke a split-second emotional response.

Anyway, who's to say whether Pete and Dizzy will see each other again or not. We can't know what will happen, and it's best that way. A year ago I'd have laughed at the idea of moving to Maine, and ten years ago I'd have gone into hysterics at the thought of 1) living in Los Angeles or 2) feeling any regret at leaving.

Whatever happens, wherever we wind up, it's going to be fun.

1 comment:

possible said...

Ellen, nothing like hitting the open road (as you know), at least through the barren parts of California and Arizona. I have gone cross country 4 times, the first at age sixteen moving furniture, but starting off a LA to DC trip in 1983 I remember pulling over to a gas station, well it was a couple miles off the road in Arizona when I spied a small tortoise. I thought to myself--always dangerous--at any age, why not take the tortoise along with me for company. No problem, I picked up the tortoise, but did not count on the bazooka pee that soon coated my pants, so much for animal companion, but I am sure Dizzy with to a top notch co-pilot. john