' ' Cinema Romantico: Bringing Everything Down To Movies (No, Literally, Everything)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bringing Everything Down To Movies (No, Literally, Everything)

A couple weeks ago, before I had taken even one sip of my crucial morning coffee, I began reading an email from my father in regards to his wishes once he, uh, let's see, how do I put this....passes into that Great Lake In The Sky. Or something. No child, of course, is really ready for this particular email, even if the events being discussed are likely still far away in the future, of his or her dad expressing he hopes his next move is to the cemetery, and no child who is slightly addicted to caffeine is ready for it if he or she has not had even one sip of his or her crucial morning coffee.

Nevertheless, my father made it apparent that he was coming down on the side, for any number of reasons, of cremation. Now at this point, I suppose, the child should have a minor freak out, envisioning his or her father's ashes in an urn on top of the mantle (or wherever the ashes are to be placed), sensing the finality of death and how it all goes so quick even if so many days feel endless. But my mind went somewhere else and regular readers of this blog, I'm willing to bet, know exactly where it went.

Would I take my dad's ashes on a road trip like Drew Baylor did in "Elizabethtown"? Hell yes, I would. (Insert shot of my dad shaking his head.) I'd buckle my dad in and we'd link up with I-80 and trek north to his boyhood home of Red Wing, Minnesota, where I spent many a summer with him, and we'd get there via Fairbault-Northfield-Canon Falls-Vasa-Red Wing. Or, maybe, we'd go Fairbault-Zumbrota-Goodhue-Hay Creek-Red Wing. Either way. We'd chill in Bay Point Park and swing by the T.B. Sheldon. We'd hike to the top of Barn Bluff and look down on "Mark Twain's muse (and) Jeff Buckley's funeral bed." Then we'd navigate our way to downtown St. Paul to pay homage to the Fitzgerald Theater on Exchange St. because it's my dad who made me the Garrison Keillor fanatic I am today. Then it would be northward to Duluth where I'd carry my dad across the Aerial Lift Bridge, triumphantly. I'd take him down to Canal Park and we'd watch a grain barge make its dramatic entrance into the harbor. Then we'd hop on over to the Pickwick for a reuben (thousand island, please, no dijon). After that we'd revisit Highway 61 for the scenic excursion to Grand Marais, the place which - I'm just theorizing here - I think my dad feels about the way I feel about the state of California - that is, it's utterly perfect every time I visit, so why would I want to reside there and potentially undermine that perfection?

I'd take him cross country skiing on the Gunflint Trail one last time, even though I'm likely a worse skier than Paris Hilton, and then I'd take him into Sven & Ole's for a victorious pitcher of Labatt and there would be a comely young waitress resembling Kirsten Dunst (but with a Northwoods accent rather than Bluegrass) who would drink my dad's half of the pitcher and we would discuss our mutual dismay of Pluto being demoted from planetary status and she would play this song on the jukebox and we'd decide to meet up at Artist's Point the following morning to see the sunrise....but there I go getting carried away.

Anyway, I hope my dad doesn't mind that's there my mind went. I guess, at the very least, he shouldn't be surprised that's where my mind went. Also, dad, I hope you don't mind listening to a lot of Lady Gaga.


Simon said...

Well, I'm sure your dad will just be grateful you're taking intiative.

Nick Prigge said...

Very true. I can't imagine the majority of sons in north america would take up such a cause.