There are few films that make me consider my life as much as the mother of all melodramas, Titanic. I am an unapologetic fan of the movie, and I hope that it isn't Cameron's last picture. Titanic makes me think more than any truly deep film ever does, and perhaps it's because it leaves room for reflection in its broad, sweeping strokes. Titanic makes me wonder if I'm living my life right. And it doesn't take the entire film, either. I've just watched the special edition, and I went straight to the deleted scenes -- one of which is the alternate ending. In it, Brock (the deep-dive captain) gets to hold the Heart of the Ocean in his hands before old Rose tosses it into the depths. Interesting, but I'm glad it wasn't in the theatrical release. After the alternate ending, the film continues with Rose's death, and it is here that I am launched into an existential swoon. The most brilliant shot in the entire movie may be the simple pan over Rose's photographs. Rose as horse-back-rider, Rose as airplane pilot. Rose in Santa Monica, I think. It's such a simple shot, but it's the perfect epilogue to a movie that is so ... big.
When I was young, I wanted a pilot's lisence more than anything. I flew a plane once, for about 4 minutes, and couldn't wait till I got to put in hour after hour after hour of flight time in order to get my degree in Flying. It's simple, and romantic, and amazing. Think about it. For 300 dollars or so, you can be a lisenced Flyer. That's pretty damn cool, and pretty easy. I think that's why the shot hits me in the stomach; the fictional Rose was an airplane pilot, too.
Of course, there are other things I'd love to do with my life. Some of them I've already accomplished. Some I'm just too scared to tackle. I lived in Europe for years, I've driven my car all over the US... I've sat in the grass at ancient monuments. And now, casually, I'll talk about moving to Japan for a year or two and teaching English (and doing comedy), but I wonder if I'm too anchored to really take the leap. It's not something I want to do as an Old Person - I want to take it on while I'm still young enough to be Young.
Sometimes I wish my apartment would burn down, taking all of my things with it. I'm tethered to this stuff; it both convieniences me, and keeps me from really being free. Whether it be journals or computers or diplomas or my grandmother's bracelets - I can't just get up and leave it all. It would be irresponsible, and deeply ungrateful. But I wish it didn't exist, sometimes. Do my old notebooks provide comfort, or are they like extra skin that I can't shed?
Rose gets to get rid of all her riches, and start over. I don't think I have the strength to lose my laptop (not to mention, it's Romantic to live without a car, but would it really be smart? On the other hand, wait, I just lived for two years without a car ...). I guess the point I'm trying to make is, I wish I had more time to be young, so that I could do a greater variety of things, without the fear of squandering my opportunities. I can't move to Japan until I've tried to Make It In LA One More Time. Until I've sent in writing packets to The Daily Show and SNL, until I've auditioned for some Sitcom or MadTV. Until I've done X-Boom shows and The Jim and Heather Show again, and a one-person show about World War Two.
But can I do all of that before I hit 30? Will I still be young enough to try out Japan? And will I realize the true luxury I have to be able to consider these questions?