Have you ever watched the movie “Sideways?” I love that movie. It’s such a great statement about friends and the enduring quality of friendship. My favorite scene in the movie – it’s not really a scene, actually it’s just a brief shot – shows Miles’ eye as he looks down the hallway and spots Jack’s wallet. If you’ve watched the movie, you know what I’m talking about.
Miles has such a wild, determined and slightly crazed look in his eye. I love that.
Perhaps I love it so much because, I’ve got my own version of the wild crazy eye right here, in my office, with me every day:
However, I think that the reason I often think of that movie probably has more to do with the fact that in one way or another, I relate to just about every character in the movie.
I love the way Maya thinks. When Miles asks her why she likes wine so much and she explains about all the things and people and ideas and places that are captured in each bottle of this magnificent living creation and how it changes day by day . . . wow. That’s all I can say. I love that aspect of Maya.
And Stephanie. What a free spirit! I love her ability to embrace life and abandon herself totally to the emotion of the moment. I also relate to her ability to flip that internal switch and snap. I mean really snap. Really.
I can’t say I want to go out on a conquest search like Jack, but I certainly can relate to his ability to get through life by acting; acting so convincingly he even convinces himself. Besides, Jack is so incredibly childlike. There’s an innocence, a sweet kernel buried within the horrible things he does. He just can’t grow up. I think we all carry a tiny aspect of that inability to face the consequences of being a mature responsible adult within us. And even if we don’t, even if we are totally mature and responsible and “good,” there are times when most of us wish we weren’t — the inner child saying, “Let’s play hooky” on days we know we shouldn’t.
And, of course, Miles. Today, I see a little bit of Miles in me. No, I haven’t had any wine yet. I did last night, a really nice California zin right before I began working on a new sock pattern. Though I kept saying to myself, starting at round 3, “Gosh, this seems like it might be a little bit big around,” I kept at it. By round 12 it was clear. This sock would fit Barbar.
Like Miles, I kept plodding along, resisting the change that would get me to a better place. Sometimes you just have to start over; accept that the first novel isn’t a winner and try again. Even Miles eventually came to that conclusion – with his novel and with his first marriage.
I plodded along, knitting merrily away on that sock and by round 16, I almost had myself convinced that I was inventing an amazing new pattern. At round 24 I was going to flip the sock inside out, do a purl row on what was going to be the new outside and decrease stitches in that purl row to get down to the right number of stitches. Then I would carry on with the pattern and I would have a spiffy little cuff that was large enough to easily fit over the sock leg with a nice crisp fold line. I almost had myself convinced I was really on to something.
Then I realized I had misread the pattern. I accidentally left out two knit stitches in each pattern repeat. No wonder it seemed so wonky and off kilter. The cuff might be a great idea, but this wasn’t the right time to try it.
Inevitably, I frogged. Life is like that. Sometimes there are little setbacks and you just have to try again. By golly, if Miles can do it, so can I. Besides, I like wine.