Disaster 101

In the shape of a mushroom cloud

In the shape of a mushroom cloud

I’m a casual fan of disaster movies. From 2012 to Annapolis to The War of the Worlds; when the world comes across annihilation, cinematic history is (mostly) made. My favorite of all disaster summer movies (I list summer as the season cause lets face it…) happens to be Twister, a 1996 movie about Tornados starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton.

The first time I saw this movie was in the basement of our (sara and I’s) old Alexandria house(RIP the parents moved to AUSTRALIA) when I was probably 11 years old. It was a PG-13 movie on cable, mom and dad were probably asleep, and Sara and I were in the basement, when I was in 6th grade and Sara in 9th, on a not-so-rare Friday night alone and lonely. (If anyone is playing along at home, this was the year when Sara and I actually became friends not just “siblings.”) To entertain me, Sara acted like a tornado at one point on our sprawled out futon, and rolled over me several times in the act of a tornado and wouldn’t quit despite my insane laughter. It remains one of the funniest things she’s ever done.

What was important to me in that moment was that one of my favorite people in the whole world decided I was cool enough to hang out with. This might not be fair to Sara, but I think a lot of younger children of older siblings feel this way. Being considered cool by your older sibling is a god send, and I was so happy to be hanging out and laughing with my hero.

It is now many years later that I find my self watching Twister, not only once, but a few times during a weeknight evening and just like that, I am transported to 2006. Almost ten years later, I still have the same feelings watching Twister. I remember everything about that first viewing of this movie from the weird plot points to the amazing characterization and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s wonderful and moving role. Watching this movie today is such a blast from the past, in all the good ways.

What I’ve found the last few weeks of soul-searching it that doing things with someone can have such a great and profound impact on your life. Being alone is amazing, and I think that everyone should learn how to be alone and to cherish that time. But the best times that I have ever had, the ones that I can really remember, have been in the company of my greatest friends.

This realization has been happening to me a lot lately. I’ve recently watched Charlie’s Angels the movie made in 2000 starring Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore. I watched this movie when I was like 9 or 10 with one of my oldest friends and seeing it again invoked so many memories that I never thought I would remember, let alone cherish. It was a vehicle to a past feeling that was absolutely and resolutely preserved; simply because it was set to the dialogue, the tone, and the plot of a movie.

So is there a point to this late and slightly erratic blog post? Yes. The point is that there are going to be so many things that keep you awake at night. Your friends and the memories you share shouldn’t be one of them. They should be the beacons that keep you going, no matter what happens to you. And if they do end up keeping you awake, I hope it’s because you never want those memories or moments to end, no matter what.


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