A while ago I re-watched Blade Runner, and I discovered that I enjoy the movie much more now than I did in my childhood.  For some reason, when I watched then, I found the ending to be too ethereal and confusing.  I suspect that it had to do with my youth; when you are too young to acknowledge your own mortality, it’s hard to understand the consequences of that mortality.

Few films can, over the course of about 3 minutes, transform a feared/hated villain into a tragic anti-hero.  Supposedly, Rutger Hauer wrote the “tears in rain” portion of the ending himself.  If so, the I am forever spiritually indebted to the man, for no film or scene has verbalized the greatest fear of my life better than that one.

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.  Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.  I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.  All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.  Time to die.”

I am, and always have been, a story teller.  I often remember stories that I hear about people that I never met, such as sea stories about sailors that left my ship before I even arrived.  I enjoy retelling these stories, and perpetuating the mini-legends that these stories create.

My grandfather, and later my mother-in-law, died a few years ago.  When they were gone, I mourned their loss as anyone would.  While thinking about that grief, I realized that I was actually mourning the loss of their experiences.  I know about many of the experiences that they explained to me when they were alive, but I was saddened that I would never know the experiences that they never passed on.

There are little things in our lives that we only remember in the right context.  I can go for months, even years without thinking about my water-skiing experience as a child; then, i get the taste of a Dr. Pepper, and all of those memories return to me (as a child, we rarely drank soda, but when we hit the lake, Dad always purchased a case of Dr. Pepper).  The tune of specific song, the taste of a specific food, or the sound of a movie line can bring a wealth of memories back to me.

The thought that those experiences will one day be gone, that nobody in the world will remember them, terrifies me.

(continued from Tears in Rain, Part 2)