Lost in Translation is a beloved movie of two misfits in Japan. One is a young, snobby graduate, all introspective and wanting to be noticed. The other is Bill Murray with all his textured love and layered humor on display. They are both married to other people. They are both alone at the Hyatt Japan.
I've seen the film twice now and each time I fall more in love with the film. I didn't realize how funny it was. It's milk shooting out the nose funny. But that's not what I focused on last night. I focused on the way Murray's wife talks to him via fax and phone call.
Murray has been married for 25 years in the film. Domestic life has taken it's toll. Thus, the wife will say things like, "Which cabinets should we put in the kitchen?"-then she sends him a fax of the specs. Then she sends him carpet samples, asking him which shade of burgundy he likes. He receives these missives from far away while he stands awash in Japan. It's a dizzying, confusing place. It doesn't help he was lost when he got there. Now he's double lost.
It all reminds me of how I talk to Mr. Hall when he's out on these trips. When he was in Iraq (the first time), Mr. Hall would send me these wonderful emails full of I love you and can't wait until we. Sometimes I couldn't read his emails at work, they just weren't safe. It was so wonderful, he would write of dreams and love and everything it all means to him. Waxing poetic and double dutching joy.
Meanwhile I would write back about taxes, dropping Pancake off at school, questions about mowing the lawn. I would talk about work and getting the oil changed. Emotionally empty every day things. Like ticking off a list.
He then got mad and let me know about it. He needed to hear me, not a to do list. I didn't realize that I was shut off in this way. I didn't realize it was making him mad. But, he told me. And I listened.
This effects every time I write to him or send him a text when he is away. I stay light and positive and effusive. I keep housekeeping conversations to the minimum. I make good use of the cell phone cam. And I will never, ever send him a box of carpet samples ;)
Now go, go see the film! After all, that's Scarlett Johansson's tushy in the opening credits! :)
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