As of tomorrow it will have been three months since the death of my close friend Bill Owen. I’d managed to emerge from the darkness this event brought into my life several weeks back and I thought that the wound had scabbed over pretty well by now, but some wounds just cut too deep. What triggers those relapses into melancholy, though, will often times catch you by surprise.
For me it was the release of The Matrix Reloaded. More specifically, it was the mixed reviews the movie has gotten from some folks. Bill and I both loved the first movie and we’d pull it out at random just to watch the beauty that is the lobby scene again and again. We sat and yapped back and forth at each other about the movie at length on everything from the deeper philosophical undertones it had to what cool things we’d do if we were in the Matrix and could hack the code. Most of the time our discussions weren’t particularly profound, we just both loved the movie and loved to argue with each other.
The fact that the sequel isn’t living up to the hype for some people brought me a familiar impulse that I couldn’t act on. I wanted to pick up the phone and call Bill. Ask if he’d seen it yet or if he’d read any of the less-than-stellar reviews. Make arrangements to see it with him with plenty of time afterward to babble at length about what we liked and didn’t. It’s something I’d done with him countless times over the course of 20+ years. Nothing momentous about this, but the stuff that cherished memories are made of.
I didn’t expect the release of a film that I’d be looking forward to so eagerly to bring back the pain of Bill’s death, but in thinking about it I remember how geeked he was that there were two sequels coming down the pipe. Two more potentially cherished memories with him that’ll never happen. You could say I had my own personal Motor City Emotional Meltdown on the way into work yesterday. The sting is still there this morning.