I went to see Rabbit Hole today at the cinema, with Nicole Kidman. It’s a story about a couple whose son dies. I almost wrote ‘who lose their son’, but they don’t misplace him, he dies. I’d read good things about it, and had lamented to my Stepmother that it was on during the school holidays which meant I’d probably have to wait to catch it on DVD. My Stepmother and Father offered to babysit, and you know how often that happens, so I jumped at the chance. I’m not a huge Nicole Kidman fan. I expect she’s a really nice person once you get to know her, but usually in her movies I can’t get past that she’s NICOLE KIDMAN- which is quite obviously a failing on my part, not hers. Anyhow, every good thing I’d read about it was correct. There were moments of brilliance. There is a group therapy scene where a couple is talking about the their daughter’s death, ending with ‘God had to take her. He needed another angel’ Kidman’s character responds ‘Why didn’t he just make another angel? He’s God!’ – I almost stood and applauded. It’s a really good movie. And I managed to forget it was Nicole and saw simply the emotions of her character. Good job, well done.
It’s funny the things that stick with you. The things you notice. I came out of the cinema with a nice case of the shakes. Not a surprise. Dad picked me up and as we pulled out from the kerb I noticed the car in front of us had twin booter seats in the back seat. We did too. In the car my Daughter died in we had twin boosters in the back. After Daughter Number One died one of the Detectives took me to the scene of the crash, and then to the police impound lot where what was left of the huge white four wheel drive was being kept. There really wasn’t much left. I do remember noting though that the booster seat anchors were still clipped to their bolts. There were no longer any booster seats, they’d beeen incinerated, but it impressed me to know that the anchor points had held through an impact into a stone wall. Such a random thing to be thinking about, while examining what was left of the vehicle, but there was a fairly high level of detachment at play, so I guess that goes part-way to an explanation.
Because there were so many things I’d never know about my daughter’s death I wanted to know all that I could. It’s why visiting the site was important to me, and seeing the wreck. And I really took a good look around too. In the footwell of the front passenger side, under some charcoaled debris that had come from the glove box, was the remnants of a meal from McDonald’s. In the middle of a mound of things burnt beyond recognition were these perfectly preserved fries. I kid you not. In the event of nuclear war, when cockroaches are the only living things left, they’ll be chowing down on McDonald’s fries.
Daughter Number One’s death continues to be the filter through which I experience things. Sometimes bringing them into sharp focus, other times leaving them blurred. It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.