It took me a long time to figure out why this scene would randomly pop into my head and make me feel emotional. The other day it dawned on me- this is a man telling all the people that matter to him in the world how much they mean to him, with the last opportunity he has to do so, in the only way he’s able- which incidentally happens to the be the same way that drives them to contempt and drives them away. As Stanley walks out Michael tries to hug him, and he gets shoved aside for the gesture.
What makes me emotional is how often I see a similar dynamic play out in others. Especially in families, where love greets petty animosity over long forced proximity. Where the trauma of life and the limits of parenting and the ignorance of humanity isolate what Love even is, within us, and although we think we understand and we think we communicate to others what they mean to us, often we do not- we are listening for other messages and so miss the ones that are seeking us.
Observe the mean man yelling at the child who thinks the man hates him, though the man’s only model of strength was his own mean father, a strength emulated strictly through love of the child and a desire to keep him safe and provided for.
I feel this deeply within myself too. I’ve said it before, I’m not terrible with words, but I can’t put how much the people in my life mean to me into them. I can’t come up with a way to tell them. I try in my own language, but I know they can’t hear it. I know it’s not their fault. I try it in their own language, but it seems disingenuous by nature.
.......and something in my gut is telling me that my girlfriend is cheating on me.