Tonight I walked back home from the cinema. I had just been to see Eat, Pray, Love – yes I just admitted I am one of those women, though in my defence: I did read the book two years ago!
Of course the film wasn’t as good as the book, they hardly ever are. The many storylines and characters wouldn’t fit in the Hollywood mold of a 2-2.5 hr film. For those who don’t know it: EPL is the story of Elizabeth Gilbert who decides to travel to Italy, India and Indonesia over the year after her messy New York divorce. In the film the India story line was waaaaay too long, where in the book it becomes the more scholarly interesting part. Throughout the whole film there were too many tears and moments of self-analysation for what should be entertainment. And that is coming from me, who should probably have a PhD in self- analysation by now. The book too was funnier, much more humourous and self deprecating and that for an American. (Oh shut up PC police, it is a compliment.) Still there was something freeing about unapologetically navel gazing: a one-finger salute to those cynics who recommend Xanax and getting on with it. Instead Liz celebrates what she calls the physics of the quest, which kind of goes like this: if you are brave enough to make a change when you are unhappy, then you should see the things that come into your life as little clues that will lead you where you need to be. (Read the signs. Not unlike The Alchemist, but perhaps things are clichés because… well you know.)
In any case as I was walking home, to my annoyance my heart suffered a little psychosomatic pain due to muscle memory. It really has been too long to be feeling this way and to be quite frank: even to me, it gets a little old. Perhaps I might be one for a chick-flick, I would like to think that I am not one of those women who is holding out for a hero. Still there was a fleeting (and I mean a fleeting moment, a nano-second) that I wondered if and/or when love (yes let’s just say it out loud, why don’t you. have you got no shame…) would happen again.
Then I saw them, firstly because he was as tall or should I say as short as she was. Both in their late seventies I guess; he had white hair and she was a dyed copper with grey. They were right in front of me, walking arm in arm and he was holding her handbag. Just as I had noticed them, he let go. Typical I thought and it looked like he was handing back her handbag too. But he just transferred it to his left hand, so with his right hand he could open the heavy glass door for her. He held the door open and looked back to see whether I was coming too.
But I had stepped back and for a moment just enjoyed the beauty of physics.