Last night my to be and I had a rare date night. I know that sounds funny as we are still an engaged young couple with no kids, but trust me. Finding a night to just go out and see a movie or have dinner is very rare. There are times we truly hate being social, active, young people. The couch potato life is on the other side of the fence and always looks so green and tempting. But along with that thought comes the thought of how bored we would be just sitting around on the couch all the time. And not to mention that our couch is from the cheaper line at Ikea, so it probably wouldn’t stand up to such lazing.
So last night we saw the final Harry Potter movie. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who has not seen the movie or read the book, so stop reading at this point. I am going to spoil it. Near the end of the movie after the great battle scene between the Deatheaters and the Order at Hogwarts, two of my favorite characters are killed. Remus and Tonks. In the book, J.K. Rowling shows us their dead bodies after the battle has all ended, but it is a brief glimpse. Mostly just Harry telling us his friends have died. But in the movie, Hollywood used that brief glimpse to give the audience a slap in the face. Tonks and Remus are shown laid out on the stone floor of Hogwarts. Tonks is reaching for Remus’s hand but does not quite make it. It is clear they died reaching for each other.
I tilted my head up at this point and whispered to my to be, “Fireball.”
My to be has promised me that we will die together in a giant fireball. It will wipe us out quickly and together. No need for one or the other to carry on alone.
It is this unknowable bond that I try to capture in my writing. The idea that death by fireball is extremely appealing when considering living on when the one you love is gone. The bond that runs much deeper than superficial attraction, preliminary lust or fleeting desire. But it is a bond that is sly, tricky and elusive. Words do not always present what it is I am really trying to say, and the death scene of Tonks and Remus spell out this struggle with punctuating exactness. In the movie, I clearly saw the bond in Tonks’s outstretched hand. In the book, I just saw Harry lamenting that his friends were dead. They were two completely different reactions speaking to two completely different emotional responses.
So how does a writer use words to form the idea of the real bond of love? How does a writer ensure that the correct image is being presented? That the reader feels the thing we meant them to feel? And worse, how do you make a reader who has never experienced it feel what you’re writing about?
I only have one word for it.
You know how it makes you feel.