Daily Archives: May 17, 2005

Holding the Line

17 May 2005

So, one might wonder why people would voluntarily subject themselves to the cold harsh elements in naught but their rain gear and flimsy urban camping trappings to view a movie that they would most likely get a reasonable seat in if they just waited for the next showing. Hell, if they just showed up for the same showing only 4 hours before the movie, their seats would be fine. I mean, it’s bad enough we were there since three days previous, sleeping with tents on concrete in less-than-summer weather, with wind as a major adversary — but on Wednesday it rained one of the worse squalls we’ve seen all season, and any reasonable person would be indoors protected from the elements. It got so bad that we literally had to have our umbrellas open while we were under the awnings of the theater, to keep the rain from hitting us at a 60 degree angle coming in from the side. We all knew how ridiculous it was, and yet, there we were, and not a single one of us regrets our time out there even now.
Were we there to see the movie? Sure, but it wasn’t just about watching the last installment of a series of films that profoundly affected each and every one of us. We all knew that after episode I and II the likelihood of III being a real stinker was high, and yet — there we were. We were with our friends, our brothers and sisters of common ancestry, giving our hope over to almost certain disappointment one last time, because it was the last time, and because no one else could feel our pain, our hope, our enthusiasm but those who were waiting in that line with us. We spent three days and nights talking about the original trilogy, about the other prequels, about what worked, what didn’t, our hopes, our fears, our resignations, our disappointments. We watched A New Hope together while piled into a tent that was designed for one-third the people, with a television and vcr powered by stolen electricity from the building next door, while it rained and stormed outside in the parking lot. We drank rum and cokes, played games, laughed, and had a genuine good time. It was like a three-day tailgate party.
It was the type of congregation that only happens around events, where everyone is in anticipation of the same thing, and in similar ways. In those three days, we were a tribe. For those three days, I was partaking in community that exists only in a specific frame of time, in a specific place and in a specific setting. Those people are still my friends, and we have formed a deeper bond, but the tribe which was the Episode III line has packed its bags and moved on.
I was out there to participate and to experience the energy and emotion of belonging. I felt quite frankly like a kid again, excited to share a play date with other kids on the playground. I reached out and asked ‘do you want to play?’ and the answer was of course, ‘yes’.