Today, the kids and I toured the museum district in downtown Beaumont. We had a pretty nice time which I'll post more about and share some pictures and maybe even a little video later. At the end of our afternoon, it started to rain. Not just any rain, Texas rain. A summer thunderstorm. Since I didn't want to make the hours drive home in that mess, we decided to sit it out in the movie theater and see Hancock.
This isn't a movie review. This is a story about how something in that seemingly slapstick, action movie hit me right between the eyes and made me burst into tears. It has to do with eating. (disclaimer: this is not a diet post and there are no spoilers here as the scene that struck me was fairly insignificant)
There is a scene in this movie where Hancock (Will Smith) is in jail, and a woman and her son bring him a container of spaghetti. The Hancock character picks up a huge meatball with his fingers and starts eating. Suddenly I was crying. I knew exactly why. There is a humanity that we all share in the eating. We all do it. Our bodies require sustenance from the time we are born. Whether you eat with chopsticks, a fork, or your fingers, from one end of the world to another, everybody eats.
This may not be a profound revelation, but let me peel the onion and take you a bit deeper with me. Growing up there were few days when my mother didn't make me feel like I was going crazy. She was bi-polar and as her child, I was always along for the wild ride. My dad was difficult in a different way, edgy and stubborn. It was hard to see past the John Wayne exterior. He could only express his feelings by saying, "I love you dammit." But for me, no matter what we were going through, any rift between us, if I watched them eat, my heart would break for the unspoken realization that they too, in spite of the hardened exteriors were indeed human too. Daily their bodies required that they take in nutrition. It is a humbling thing to know that a person is not self-sustaining.
I have experienced this outside of my relationship with my parents as well. I can feed Travis when I am angry with him, but I cannot watch him eat. I see him differently - vulnerable, needy, open. It is such a strange sensation, and I wondered in the theater today having a breakdown over Hancock eating a meatball with his fingers if anyone else ever feels this way, or is it another freaky thing that I experience, alone.