In the den at night with the flue to the gas fire open it’s so drafty it feels like we’re outside, and Dawn and I wrap ourselves in blankets, play vinyl, and it’s a pain to get up and have to flip it. The kids stayed at different houses but we didn’t find out until after our date night/movie was over so we turned around, went back to the store for a bottle of wine, felt like we should stay out longer but didn’t and came back home, where Dawn fell asleep after her first glass.
And though she was asleep I still talked to her about the character from the film, a replicant, the year 2049: and if there’s three types of basic conflict (man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. himself), surely the conflict with self was most interesting: but that wouldn’t be enough to sustain a film for +2 hours so they had to include token villains, though their motivations were unclear, less interesting.
And for a time there was a sound in the theater of stilted, garbled audio like a broken transmission we assumed was part of the film but wasn’t, it was a moviegoer talking uncontrollably back to the film, unable to distinguish what’s real vs. make believe, to quiet his inner/outer voices.
I broke down and called the eye doctor: it was Friday, I’d had a bug in my eye since Monday, but explained to the nurse I had an eye sensitivity and didn’t like people touching me there, wasn’t sure if there was anything that could be done: and in her bright, London accent she said, well it sounds like we’re just going to have to flip your lid and dig it out, then!
And I sat in the chair waiting for the doctor to come, biting the hair on my lower lip. The nurse said there was a magazine I could read but it was Sports Illustrated, it said on the cover “A Nation Divided”: football players with their arms locked, posing like film actors.
The doctor used a Q-tip to try to flip my lid but they were too strong she said, my lids kept fighting her, and though she tried to blast me with saline to flush it out it was no use and I hurried out, glad at least I’d tried.
There’s one thing I liked from that memoir class, I told Dawn as she snored: that when you’re writing a story it’s good to imagine how the story feels, to really go inside the feeling of it, it gives you an architecture to fit inside. It sounded pretentious, and I was starting to slur. And that’s what I liked about Blade Runner, its aesthetic/integrity: it had its own inner logic it stayed true to and you could identify with (at least I did).
And there was the struggle the characters came back to, to distinguish what was real vs. rendered. And how we’d continue with the same conflict well into the future as we got better at making whatever we imagined seem real. Because we could, and the gods we’d made up we now rivaled or surpassed with technology and our own ability to create, though we were not fit to play that role, and it would destroy us.