So, I Saw Moonlight
This may be more so about my day last week than it is about Moonlight, but nevertheless:
I’ve had the flu. The joint aching, headache fueling, dry cough, stuffy nosed, ear aching, all body lethargy consuming flu. My eyes water randomly, my ambition to rise and jump to action wanes, and I have to earnestly take a series of breaths after walking up any stairs. Thursday was the preemptive, and Friday the beginning where I figured it was best to cancel meetings, leave my seat empty in class, and miss work. All of those choices turned out to be well needed decisions as I lay in bed for the Friday and following Saturday lulled with bittersweet pain killers and thick pills gulped down with entire bottles of water. The weekend came and went but my symptoms did not leave, and on Sunday I felt the same but a bit better so I went out.
First I went to the matinee of That’s Weird Grandma in Andersonville and afterwards is when everything sort of began. I was told by Google maps to get on the 50 then take the Brown line to Western, you would think. So, I get on the 50 and that automated voice begins telling me I am going the wrong way because I am passing none of the stops I am supposed to. I inquire. The conductor tells me this bus turns around in the directions of the brown line so I did get on the wrong 50, but it’ll be alright. So I sit back down and sure enough, I reach the brown line. I exit. I was so sure I was headed towards the loop so I get on the loop platform, and wait, and board the arriving train. I ride in silence of course, but now this automated voice on the train is counting off stops in the wrong direction. I am quietly befuddled. I get up and get off at Irving Park, not where I am supposed to be. I take the long way to cross the street and board the brown line again, this time in the direction of Kimball. By then, I was on the right platform headed in the correct direction. I wait, and board the arriving train. Unfortunately, these events made me a bit excitable and I stopped consulting google maps and got off a stop prematurely at Montrose. I’m walking around and notice the change of scenery which looks less and less like Western the more I walk. I begin to look around and see ‘Montrose’ on buildings, ‘Montrose’ on signs. ‘Oh’!, I think. ‘Definitely not off Western’. I then walk back to the brown line, and cross to the Kimball platform and sit on the train not moving a muscle until I wholeheartedly hear ‘Western’ loud and proud. Then I exit. Another affirmation of my direction challenges.
Once finally off the correct stop, the walk to the Book Cellar is easy enough but, of course, not for me. All I had to do was make a left right off of the stop. I make a right. I’m pretty sure I took a self guided tour of half of Western with the correct directions in my hand. Eventually I made an about face and went in the right direction, quickly finding my desired destination. What a relief.
I get a book, go back to campus, eat some soup, and get ready to see Moonlight by taking another dose of a thick bitter pill and drinking an ounce of orange juice and a bottle of water.
8:50 Moonlight for $7.50, with a requested student discount. I think it was the best movie I’ve seen in a while. Waves were a recurrent sound during the film and it reminded me of home, as the film is set in my home city, but the strangest thing was that afterwards while waiting at the bus stop, a car drives by on the wet road and I heard the wave. The invisible, mystifying, alluring wave. I remembered the difference of Summer and Autumn back home. I remembered waking home from the bus stop with the hot sun beating down my back and face in my white polo and khaki uniform pants. I remember complaining about those uniform pants. I remember coming home and immediately taking a shower to rinse of the stickiness if the day. The constant zing of heat receptors on my skin and the slush of cool air when walking into a classroom with the air conditioner humming a high C and that relief. I remembered the cafeteria conversations and the fruit cup man down the street from a friend’s house, and the walks we’d take in Richmond heights in middle school. I remembered elementary P.E. and swimming after school and the necessity of air conditioning which seems ridiculous at this time in Chicago. I love my home. I don’t brag about it because I don’t want people to go and be extremely disappointed, but I love the strange cultures of it. I miss my home in strange moments of seeing Moonlight or seeing the back of Orange juice cartons that read ‘Florida grown’. And I loved watching Moonlight. It’s complexities, understanding, and wit. I watched it from a socioeconomic, spiritual, theatrical, black, and female perspective, and I am glad to have had such a tumultuous day and such an ending to it which reminded me of the waves.