I ended up doing a little time travel last Friday. I was sitting at a table in the middle of the room, my lunch buddy across from me, my big bowl of salad & small bowl of mac&cheese in front of me, not expecting anything more than the usual sprightly lunch conversation possibly enlivened by a juicy tidbit of gossip or two. And then our two case managers came down and sat at the table next to us. One of them said, “Hey, Bernadette, what’s the name of that movie you were in again?”
I had to think back a moment, trying to remember what I might have told them about my past movie-making career, and then said, “Pagal For You?” Before I knew it, they were pulling up Youtube on their phones, and searching out the version MDoS uploaded years ago, and then I heard the familiar opening hook of that song we listened to over and over again that fall years ago, and watched first MDoS and The Duchess, and then all of us dancing across the screen. Just like that I was having a flashback to the cold pavement under my feet as we danced on the terrace in front of the Masonic Temple, the clear, cool autumn skies we danced under, talking Hatman and 14 each into wearing one of a pair of vintage rhinestone earrings in their ear, and trying to show MDoS just the right way to toss his scarf over his shoulder.
Perhaps it’s because the crisp fall weather we’ve been enjoying lately is so much like the weather seven (7!) years ago when we were filming, but I’ve been getting little flashbacks ever since. I keep thinking of the people who were in the movie with us, and thinking of who is still in my life and who isn’t, and how much our lives have changed since then. For example, MDoS is now married to The Beautiful T, whom he’d just started dating when we made the movie, and they have a beautiful little girl with hair and eyes just like her mothers, but who makes the same facial expressions as her father. The Duchess is married now too, with a sweet baby of her own. 14 got deployed to Afghanistan, came back, went off to join the Jesuits, left the Jesuits, and is now going to school in Missouri. Hatman got stationed in Germany, came back to the states, got married, and mostly drifted out of our lives. Johnnycakes is now my roommate. Sparkboy met the woman who is now his wife while making the movie we made next, and is living in suburbia with their two little boys. And then there’s Jacob, dancing right in front, who’s dancing in heaven now.
The lives of the ladies have changed too. AnniPotts finished school, headed off to Africa, and then the Indian reservation in South Dakota, started school again, and eventually fetched up teaching at an inner city parochial school in Cincinnati. Sae met and married Mr. T, and now has Sweet Pea. Sweetness moved north, met a dairy farmer, and married him (they just had their firstborn about two weeks ago). And, well, my life is pretty different too. It’s nothing like what I thought it would be back then (for example, I am not currently pursuing a post-graduate degree in theology), but it’s a good one. It’s a good reminder for me that we have no clue what is around the corner, that every time I try to make a five year plan, or project ahead what my life will be like a year or five years, or even a month from now, I’m always wrong.
And that’s a good thing!