WHAT NOW?

Now what? asks grieving husband at the crossroads

A WAY OUT OR A DEAD END?

I have reached the What do I do now? stage in my life.

Well, not me exactly, but a guy named Billy Boy, a creation of Renata de Dios, whose name, curiously enough, translates as Born again of God.

Billy Boy—I’ll just call him Bill—watches a lot of movies on TV. The other night he re-watched The Candidate with Robert Redford.

Bill is not comparing himself to Robert Redford of course, but that question he asks at the end of the movie — What do we do now? — is, in a different context, Bill’s question, and that empty hotel room in the last shot is the equivalent of his once-upon-a-time living room, now known as the dead room, and it is the equivalent of his wife’s empty armchair,

Empty chairs

and it is the equivalent of his empty house, and to stretch it to a melodramatic point, the equivalent of his life now, without his wife, who for thirty-four years was his life.

Renata de Dios tells Billy he’s at a Crossroads, and to take the road that leads to God, but his irreligious mind doesn’t even know where to start looking, and so he continues to drink and tells her in a late-night phone call, What has been lost is now found, but now found is lost.

To which Renata replies, Plato-like, I’m not sure I understand your meaning, Socrates.

There’s nothing to understand, of course, because the utterance is sheer 80-proof nonsense.

Last night Bill re-watched the movie The Verdict, and was particularly interested when Paul Newman gave his wonderful summation and spoke these words,

In my religion we say, act as if you have faith and faith will be given to you.

Okay, Bill will buy a ticket to that, but how exactly do you act as if you have faith? — pray, read C.S. Lewis and other spiritual literature, go to church, keep an open mind? He’s been doing all those things — and yet still nothing. He’s willing to try anything — suspension of belief, drugs, insanity, enlist the aid of the Silver Surfer — anything that will bring him closer to his wife.

So, the question remains, now what?

15 thoughts on “Now what? asks grieving husband at the crossroads

  1. My friend, this analogy is deep. I wish I had the answers you seek. I can only pray that God comforts you on your continued journey. My heart aches for you as I understand some of the pain you feel. It is my sincere prayer that us here and you being on this blogosphere offers you some measure of comfort. God bless you.

  2. I was thinking your question, Sir. The first word that came to my mind is the word “companionship”. Then, i said to myself : “It might be inappropriate to write the word, offensive, insulting, impolite”. Then, i thought of it again. Now a question came to visit me : “What would you do if Bill was your father ?”. The answer i gave to myself is : “I would do anything to make him feel a bit happy again. Just a bit. To make him feel fully happy is something that will never happen.”.

    I would have said “Lets go out, dad, to a restaurant, to eat and drink together. I know you suffer. The pain is unbearable. Do you think you need some more time to be all alone ? Do you think you can share what you have to share with some companionship ? Do you feel open ? Is there -somewhere- in your heart and soul, a bit of a space ? To share what you have to share with some companionship ? I know, dad, you might think my questions are stupid, or stressful. Maybe it is something else you would like to talk about, or something else you expected from me to discuss. In any case i want you to know that i love you, dad, deeply. Let’s drink our wine.”.

    __

    Ps: my apologies, Sir, if you find my comment inappropriate. This is nothing more than thoughts. I want you to know that i fully respect you.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful and sensitive comment, agapité fíle — your expression of respect is greatly appreciated. Ah, yes, if my son had lived, he would come to my house and we would go out for dinner, perhaps to a Greek restaurant for gyro and a bottle of retsina…

      1. Life has been a whole lot “crueler” to many, many others than it has to me — I know that; now I’m trying to turn my little own pity party into a spiritual, other-worldly journey of discovery (with the help of the Silver Surfer, I hope).

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