I just watched that movie tonight, Big Fish. I saw it when it first came out in about 2003. It’s a movie, based on a book, about a son trying to get to know his dying father, who used to always tell tall tales as if they were true. Those stories are wonderful when you’re a child, but as you grow up common sense tells you the stories are just that, and for the father to continue to tell them as if they’re fact just insults the adult. That’s basically how the son felt about his dad, that he didn’t know who his father really was. Eventually he ended up thinking his dad was carrying on a second life somewhere else. The movie has a nice ending, because you end up thinking maybe the stories really were true. The doctor captures the idea perfectly. You can either believe the stories or you can accept reality, however boring that may be, but isn’t it more fun to believe the stories?
I’ll tell you why. The son ended up feeling angry and resentful about not knowing the real truth about his father. Maybe the stories were true, but the son doubted because there was no proof. When the father died the son felt closer to his father, but I think it’s a shame he spent the majority of his life doubting and wondering. Even if the truth is boring or painful, I’d rather know what reality is and deal with that.
Is reality what you make it? Is reality all about perception? Possibly. Those questions are too deep for me to work through right now. I know that experience shapes perception. When I first saw the movie I thought it was really good, entertaining and not condescending or corny as many relationship movies are. It left you with the possibility of the stories being true, which left me with a warm afterglow. Now, having experienced what I have, I found I still enjoyed the movie, but it brought up feelings and memories that make me angry and frustrated. The moral of the story might have been that the easy road is not the one that makes you grow, the easy road is less interesting, but struggling as I am right now I frankly don’t give a damn, I would love for things to be easy.
I’m tired of having hopes dashed. Just when I think everything’s going great (in the words of Kate Bush..) everything falls apart and I’m not back at square one, I’m completely off the damn board.
Reality and truth might be boring, but at least I know what’s real. And the fact is, life is pretty much out of my hands. I’m just along for the ride. I can fantasise all I want about getting back to the size 12 I was last summer, but the fact is I’m a fat 16.
I need a drink.