Movie brings out rare emotion

May. 30, 2013 @ 05:05 AM

I rarely cry.

Growing up on a farm with two brothers that’s just something we didn’t do. When one of us would scrape an elbow or knee, instead of shedding tears, we would proudly show off the wound with words like, “I bet my scar is going to be bigger than yours.”

And I have plenty of scars to brag about. Aside from the ones left from surgeries, which by rule did not count when we had our comparison contests, I still have too many to count. I received these scars in a variety of ways.

They ranged from falling off a horse, to flipping over my adaptive tricycle, and all points in between. You may consider these incidents to be commonplace childhood injuries.

I bet I’m the only one who ever has skinned an elbow after falling out of a wagon pulled by a runaway goat who was chasing a Ritz Cracker tied to a stick.

During all those events and many others, that were much more traumatic later in life, I never cried.

That’s why I was caught off guard two weeks ago when tears started flowing in the most unlikely of places, Retro Cinema Four in Forest City.

I had gone with a friend to the opening of the new Star Trek movie. For the first 90 minutes, the flick followed a familiar plotline. After all, there was nothing new about Captain Kirk and his crew saving the universe. It happened  every week on TV and exactly 11 times before on the big screen.

This time it was different. I hate to reveal any spoilers, but Kirk dies at the hands of his arch nemesis, Khan. Kirk’s death scene was very emotional and it hit me hard.  Not because an iconic fictional character sacrificed himself for his friends, but I have seen too much death recently.

My good friend Jimmy Melton passed away in late April after riding with me to Myrtle Beach on the handcycle trip.

I have had a hard time trying to process what happened and have dealt with the pain by keeping it bottled up. But seeing Kirk die brought that pain and other emotions to the surface in a flood of tears. Death, all be it fictional, was right there. I couldn’t run from it anymore.

I’m glad the theatre was dark.

My tears turned to anger moments later, however, as Kirk was brought back to life using Khan’s genetically engineered blood. Real life and Hollywood are galaxies apart. No amount of science  can bring Jimmy back. Then I realized that was OK. Jimmy did receive life giving blood and it didn’t come from a power mad dictator named Khan in the 23rd century. It comes from a Jewish carpenter named Jesus. That’s something far greater than science fiction.

That thought has been a great comfort to me over the past few days as the wound of Jimmy’s passing slowly becomes another scar.  

Just as I can now look back on the scars  of my youth and remember them with fondness, I can look back on the good times I had with Jimmy and the friendship we shared. Death cannot take that away. Or as Captain Kirk and Spock would say, “I have been and always shall be your friend.”