I don't usually get emotional. I blame movies. You see something in a movie and it's like you've experienced the thing for real. Even when something genuinely dramatic unfolds in front of your eyes, all you can muster is a sense of déjà vu. Person in your rearview spins into your bumper? How similar it looked to the end of Bonnie and Clyde! Receive your hard-earned college diploma? From the stage, everything looks like it was shot by Roger Deakins! True cinephiles go through life entirely unfazed and unimpressed by everything. Maybe that's why so many people in LA wear dark-rimmed glasses; to give people something to look at other than dead eyes.
When I do get emotional, it means I'm feeling something I haven't felt in front of a screen. It's rarer than you'd think. Which brings me to your email and, by extension, the title of this blog. To recap: You wrote me this long email. You sent it to my mom, who forwarded it to me. It was kind of harsh. You know it will be when your mom prefaces it with, "I feel that if anything, you should find more time to relax and slack off."
Let's revisit those first two lines. "Your mom tells me you want to write more. So write more." That killed me. I haven't cried that hard since Brooklyn. I could make a bunch of excuses, but lucky for you, I just deleted all of them. They sounded terrible. And you're right.
After reading your letter I crawled into a fetal position and sobbed for a bit. Am I a writer? What if I'm not? What if my life so far, which has been premised on this one identity, has been a grand delusion? After the initial, deadening realization that I couldn't say, it felt liberating not to have an answer. I don't feel you can, ever, until you do.
So: This one's for you. I can't promise I will write too much about horse movies. But since that was your request, I will certainly check out Black Beauty, National Velvet, and Gucci saddle bags. There's a lot to be said, too, about Forio in Marnie. I haven't forgotten the debt I owe to you or horses. When I was in sixth grade, you sent me a bunch of books about horses to review. Remember? Where, exactly, would I be without the equestrian blog that chose to run musings by an 11-year-old who'd neither ever been published, nor been on a horse before?
My day job requires one kind of writing. I'm going to experiment with other formats here. I'm pretty useless when it comes to embedded video and GIFs, though. You have been warned. Especially because this blog will inevitably revolve around my one defining passion in life: the movies.
Thank you. Seriously. Maybe, someday, we'll meet a second time. Maybe by then I'll have an answer.
From, your college roommate's daughter, who went to your college, who is a fellow Star Wars fan, who kind of started writing thanks to you,