Friday, December 18, 2015

Inter-generational Star Wars -- a note from the Scarred Generation

My 18 yo is the only one who's seen the new STAR WARS. He's fit to burst with spoilers -- just choking on them. 
We're in the kitchen and I try to explain why I seem distant and aloof. It's about the past. Our history. I look at him coldly and say, "Look. I come from a deeply scarred generation."
"What do you mean?" he asks.
I close my eyes. "Some kids saw the Empire Strikes Back the day it came out. Other kids didn't." I open my eyes and stare deeply into his. "What do you think happened to those other kids?"
He's speechless.
He knows what happened to those other kids. He shakes his head, ever-so-slightly in hopes, I assume, that I wasn't one of the other kids.
I was.
"It was 1980," I mutter through a fog of memory. "I was with a friend who'd seen it and a friend who hadn't. The seer -- who shall remain nameless -- promised not to spoil it. Assuming she was true to her word, we went blissfully through our day. Some Pac Man. A little Joust. A trip to the Seven Eleven. It was there in line, having just paid for Slurpees that she ambushed us."
I'll never forget where she was standing, where I was standing, the coldness of the Slurpee in my hand. The words that came out of her mouth -- ten words. That's it. You all know the words or close enough. All was lost.
"It was a sneak attack," I go on. "There wasn't even enough time to cover our ears and scream nanananana..." My voice trails off.
It's a grave moment. A respectful hush falls over the kitchen.
I don't expect him to truly understand. How could he? The fact that we had only three TV channels, nothing streamed, our primal phones were cruelly bolted to walls. For three years, we'd been trading Star Wars bubblegum cards.
Good God, we were bereft.
And now the bulk of my family is going off to watch the new Star Wars in 3D. As I lamely represent the 20% of humans who get nauseous in 3D movies, I'll stay home, trying to get past the trauma.