Ask me to tell you why I love the movies and I’ll gladly fill your ears with a solid two minutes of happy talk. But you won’t hear why I really like them. I won’t tell you that in the movies people always get a second chance at happiness and that I eat that kind of stuff up. I won’t tell you how important that is to a guy like me, someone who feels like he is watching as life passes him by.
Some people live in a world full of bright blue skies and sun. I see them walking around. I see them soak it all in. From behind my sunglasses I watch them smile. I see them enjoy themselves. I watch as the happy couples walk down the boulevard, hand in hand. I see them pushing strollers with perfect babies as they live their perfect lives and I sigh.
I sigh and I wonder how I missed out on all that. I shudder, my whole body quivers and I just stand there wondering why I was so blind. I ask what I was so afraid of. What did I think was going to happen. Why did I have to just stand there, paralyzed with inaction. And I think to myself that if I could rewind my life I’d do it differently. I’d tell her that I was coming for her. I’d make her mine and today I wouldn’t feel empty and hollow.
No, I’d be one of those happy couples with the perfect babies. We’d walk down the boulevard with broad smiles across our faces. Inside our house we’d sneak in kisses throughout the day and make the children squeal. Our friends would stare at us and want to know how two people could love each other so very deeply, so madly, so passionately…for so long.
But that is not what happened. Because we didn’t.
We didn’t make it. Ours was a love that never quite got started. So much hope, so much potential and what did we do with it. How did we let it all just slide through our fingers. Why wasn’t I smart enough to see what was happening. I could have stopped it. I could have found a way.
Instead I am your hollow man. Empty. Devoid of life. Sure, I walk among you. I stand there with a smile that makes you think that there is life inside this shell but all that smile does is help me hide. Maybe I should be in the movies. I am a fine actor. You actually think that I am real.
I can’t help but wonder if instead of living in my own personal hell I could be elsewhere. Why can’t I be that guy that gets the second chance. Why do those moments only belong to the movies. Can’t I find a way to overcome it all. If I just try hard enough I can find that key. I have to believe that even a hollow man can find a way to heal his heart and repair a damaged soul.
So I make a promise to myself to try and make it better. Each night when I go to sleep I finish my day by reminding myself that I deserve happiness. Each day I work to get to that point where the sun feels good on my back and the pretty blue sky opens itself for me.
And as I start to heal it occurs to me that the picture I see in my mind is still yours. Maybe second chances are real. I can’t say for certain but I know that for the first time in a long while I have hope.