My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Sep 20

Cool Hand Luke

Category: Life

So, I’m on the plane yesterday watching Cool Hand Luke on my newly acquired iPod Touch, courtesy of my friend, Celeste, and the Ellen Show. I hadn’t seen the movie since I was sixteen for a “movie analysis” class. We’d watch movies and write essays about them. Back then I could always do critical analysis, identifying symbolism and what-not, but until yesterday at twenty-four thousand feet I’d never “felt” the movie.

I’m lying there, trying not think about anything for awhile, not the trip, not Sara, not getting back to Tampa, absolutely nothing but watching a movie. Of course, I forgot that Cool Hand Luke begs one to be introspective.

So, I’m watching, slowly identifying with Luke stronger and stronger through his struggles. Lots of us have some Luke inside, some more than others, but he embodies very common human experiences and emotions. The sky outside the plane was so beautiful, we’re flying in and out of soft white clouds, the movie’s almost over. I’m doing fine until his talk with God at the end of his last escape-attempt, at which point everything that has happened over so many years hits me and I start sobbing.

I think, “You fucker, what are you doing? What the fuck’s wrong with you?” but I couldn’t help it. I’ve had that talk with God so many times. I’ve asked why He built me not to fit, and then stacked the deck against me so that maybe I can’t win. I don’t mean that in a “I so wish I could walk” kind of way, but generally in how I think and feel inside, I never really feel like I fit anywhere, like I know I’m in the wrong place, but I don’t really know where the right place is either. Actually, the right place is much clearer, but getting their is often murky. I’ve asked God about that too. I’ve begged forgiveness, asked for help, but just like for Luke, God never answers back, never directly, if at all.

I’ve been broken like Luke too, praying to God that I’d do anything, so long as I didn’t get hit again. Still, even after being completely broken, and knowing he was broken, it didn’t stick, he kept going. No help from anyone, let alone God, Luke tried one more time to make his way on his terms. He died trying to find what he wanted, but he died smiling. 

I think that inability to quit, that little spark that God gives people, that He gave me, is often the one gift we get. It’s also a sadistic fucking joke. He knows how I feel, I’ve mentioned it before. I doubt that most prayers start with, “listen, you fucker,” but mine often do. God’s just out to watch and listen, which is why I do pray, but He sure as shit isn’t out to answer back openly. We have a very plain relationship, I don’t pretty up my prayers. God gives us free will, but I also think He gives us traits and circumstances that make us more fun to watch. At any rate, He didn’t answer Luke, and He’s not going to answer me. I’m going to do what I do until I can’t do it anymore. I just want to die smiling, with a cool hand.


10 Comments so far

  1. THEO September 20th, 2008 3:12 pm

    Dude, you just won two Emmys.
    Stop being so emo. ;P

  2. michael September 20th, 2008 3:27 pm

    Nobody’s making you read it, Sport. Pick it up or put it down, makes no nevermind to me. I know I was a part of winning two Emmys, that part of me’s very happy, but other parts are not. I write what I write and I don’t censor myself because I’m “supposed” to be happy.

  3. THEO September 20th, 2008 3:29 pm

    I was joking, Michael.
    Hence the “;P”.

  4. michael September 20th, 2008 3:33 pm

    I wasn’t offended, just wanted to be clear about what I do here.

  5. THEO September 20th, 2008 3:38 pm

    I’ve got you in my RSS feed, buddy;
    I know exactly what you’ve been doing. 😉

  6. Wendy September 20th, 2008 6:20 pm

    I think you’re selling yourself short. You have more gifts than just the ‘inability to quit’. I’m guessing you haven’t realized them yet. Dude, they are t-h-e-r-e.

    God doesn’t always answer us via megaphone. Sometimes it’s quietly. We are just too loud, too wrapped up in crap to notice. I think He wants us to ‘be still and listen’ at times. It’s so freaking hard to do.

    I’m the sort of nutcase who is truly content. I’m not perfect; I’m flawed beyond belief. I’m content to have faith that God is bigger than my biggest stuggles and biggest trials. I’m content to know that He promises not to give us anything that we can’t handle. I’m content knowing that how much things may suck, they could always be worse. I’m content knowing that He is ultimately in control.

    I want you to know peace, man. The kind of delicious peace that engulfs, comforts, and supports you. No matter what. It’s sweet.

    You deserve it, and God wants you to have it.

    I’m committing to praying for you daily, Michael.

  7. Teresa September 21st, 2008 12:09 am

    Saturday, September 20, 2008
    It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.
    – Dalai Lama

    Mike – Seems that God is telling you – “This is the way it is and that is that!” The only way you are going to find peace is to really accept the emotional and physical pain. It is what it is and you can’t change it. Accept the fact that you feel like you don’t fit in – that uncomfortable, anxious feeling inside is just part of who you are and what you are…God, you, and no one else is going to change it. You are how you are and you feel how you feel. Life can be cruel and uncomfortable and joyful and glorious. The sooner you stop feeding the discomfort and pain and move to real acceptance – you will start to feel peace…

  8. Teresa September 21st, 2008 12:11 am

    it may be fleeting moments of peace at the beginning but the more you practice to longer the peace can last!

  9. redandjonny September 23rd, 2008 2:14 am

    Funny.. I love cool hand luke. Fuckign great film.

    My work life lately has been the dig a hole scene:

    I told you to dig a hole boy….

    whats that hole doing in my yard boy? fill it in…

    I thought I told you to dig a hole boy?

    over and over…. It’s impossible to please my boss.

    I hate my job.

  10. Tess March 3rd, 2010 2:23 pm

    “Sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.”