I have always lived a part of my life through movies.
I think it comes from not being good at drawing lines between my life and what I should consider to be outside its scope. In the same way that I can have a hard time staying away from meddling in my friends' lives or trying to help someone I actually do not know at all, movies can suck me in and blur these same lines for me. Someone once told me that this is a sign of immaturity. That it was something children sometimes do, before they grow up. Losing themselves in make-believe images, flickering on a screen. But I can't help it.
Just like tonight. My wife had told me to see Big Fish. We both like Tim Burton, but she had seen the film while travelling, a few months ago, and said she knew I would like it. Of course she was right. I do. Maybe because I identify with some aspects of the protagonist. His propensity for tall tales. His delight in amazing and entertaining his friends. Making other people smile.
Then I listened to the end title track. I have never been a Perl Jam fan, but that ballad really got to me. And it made me see another reason for why I like the film. I probably have a long way to go in coming to terms with losing my own father, almost three years ago. He, like the protagonist's father in the movie, was an enigma to me in so many ways. He was a bigger man than I will ever be. And that is OK. But I am really sorry for the time we did not have. The him that I never knew.
This feeling, in return, has only made me more determined than before, not to shy away from life. Not to let it slip by. To always follow my heart. However wild and dangerous the road is that it leads down. To seize the day. Jump on the train. Make the journey. Ask the question. Take the time to listen. To give oneself. Without hesitation. To live. That is why I can not compromise. Why I believe that life is an adventure. Why tall tales are my truths, and the people who tell them are my heros.
Incidentally, that is also why I could never have not kissed Helena Bonham Carter, when it was the absolutely right thing to do.