The Toughest Six Minutes

I’ve finally gotten through the first six minutes of “Antichrist”. It’s not that it’s gruesome, violent, overly-bloody or pornographically sexual (well, if you’re not counting Willem Defoe’s stunt penis or Charlotte Gainsbourg stand-in vagina), it’s just…

A child dies.

The couple’s son – probably right around our son Daniel’s age – climbs out a window while the couple is making the sign of the four-winged heliotrope. A few months back, when I first got this movie, I stopped it when I realized what was happening. This morning, for some reason, I thought it was important to get past it. Without getting past that one moment, there’s really no way to see what happens next.

In the movie or in life.

This August, it will have been five years since we lost Toby. Five years. I’ve tried to push past it – but it still comes back to visit me sometimes. There’s a pang when I see a sonogram picture or when I see someone lay a hand on a pregnant woman’s belly. Let’s face it – no one really asks the dad how he’s feeling through all of it. By and large, I think we manage. Not because of some retro-macho “I-have-to-be-unreasonably-strong” thing but because the story keeps moving after that point. It doesn’t stop at that moment.

The show must go on.

So, five year and six minutes later, I’m sitting here with a towel on my head – long hair doesn’t dry itself – getting through six minutes that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to. And after that, another six minutes. Then, another. But then, we have to get past it.  There’s a whole life still going on after that moment and there’s no way of finding out what happens next if we don’t.

One thought on “The Toughest Six Minutes

  1. ok, so sometimes I miss you. Or maybe I just miss arguing with you. Or the really rare times we agreed. Or maybe it’s simply because my birthday just passed, and yours is coming up. But I was being very quiet and sneaky until I came to this. And I thought”maybe Joe get’s what I meant”. Dawn once told me she hated me because I said this loss would never go away> And I still don’t know if she ever quite got what I meant. About the loss fading, then feeling guilty because you didn’t carry it every day. Or the days you carry it like the world, and feel guilty dragging it along with you. I may never know if Dawn got what I meant, but I think you do.

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