Letters inspired by films. 因電影啟發的信件。
Jan. 20, 2011 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
You are overwhelming.
Just when I thought you had left me alone for once. Just when I was doing great, weaving success, fame, and wealth into Jean-Dominique Bauby’s story, granting him a loving wife and three beloved children, and of course, icing the cake with a mistress so as not to bore him.
Just when I thought everything was going to plan, you had to come along. In just a few seconds, you destroyed all that I had strived to create in 43 years. Oh, you are a pro at this; you knew just what to do. You didn’t even let me have a say in it. I had planned a perfect day for Jean-Do, waking up in bed with his lover, driving to his ex-wife’s house in his new car, being warmly welcomed by his three adorable children, and taking his only son out for a ride. If I had had my way, father and son would have had plenty of man talk, the tension between man and former wife would have lessened, and Jean-Do would have felt less guilty of abandoning his family. There would have been a happy ending.
But, oh no, you hate happy endings; that is your greatest pet peeve. You had to step in; you had to prevent Jean-Do from redeeming himself. You schemed, you planned, and you came up with the best solution to your problem. In a blink of an eye, you took away everything that I had given him, and you did it with efficiency. You took away his body.
But perhaps you’ve aged. You weren’t as successful as you thought you were. With the help of professionals, friends, and family, Jean-Do managed to write a book, a memoir for himself. He was still able to express his regret for not being the best husband and father. He could still tell everyone that. In the end, he still redeemed himself. You were angry at your own mistake and so you took him away from me. But you were too late.
I’ll tell you where you went wrong. You took his body, but you didn’t take his left eyelid, his imagination, his memories, his hope. Yes. The 43 years I spent nurturing him, you didn’t think I only gave him what you could see, did you? Perhaps you left him with an eyelid because you thought it was funny, but with just that, and with all the invisible things that I had planted into his soul –will, strength, love, and so on– I was able to yet again give a man’s story a bittersweet ending.
I won this time.
-羅寗 Michelle Ning Lo