Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Emmy Darko

We've had Donnie Darko for over a month, waiting to watch it until we felt we had time to spare to commit to a "weird" movie. One of my most passionate students in my film analysis class last year recommended it, and it finally arrived from our queue. However, with my finishing my degree and Pat finishing the basement, it's just been sitting on the shelf. My student had said it's "craaaazy", but "reeeaalllly good". And I think I agree.

It's just weird. Really. Really weird. And yet, it is beautiful, scary, and deeply thought-provoking. I really recommend it. The movie makes you contemplate death and what it can mean to others (among a host of other things), which is why I've once again realized how easily I can imagine people dying. Well, that, and the fact that we did *almost* die while watching it.

Okay, so that's a ridiculous exaggeration, but in my mind, we were inches from certain death. With only about ten minutes left in the movie, when its intensity has built and built and is exploding in a reverse montage sequence that had us thinking "huh?", we were suddenly overcome with the piercing sound of a smoke alarm. The one above our heads was not going off, so we realized it was not the smoke alarm, it was the carbon monoxide detector. This particular model also measures gas leaks, and since it was about 8 feet from the furnace and we have been doing construction down there, we had cause for concern. It didn't stop. Although we didn't feel nauseous or smell gas, we called Centerpoint, just because this had never happened before. A smoke alarm goes off, and all you have to do is think, "well, darn, I burned the cookies", but when a carbon monoxide detector's gas alarm goes off, you worry. They figured it best to come out.

Before gas man came to the rescue, I had so many thoughts and visions of our impending deaths, it was ridiculous. I even said to Patrick, "well, if the house does explode, we'd most likely both die, so it would be okay." I wondered if the dogs would die, too, and if not, who would take care of them? Who would teach my classes if my house exploded? I envisioned, like from the movies, the slow motion sudden explosion. I poured a glass of wine and ate a piece of leftover cheesecake. If I was going to die, I was going to die happy. There was no time for sex, what with the gas man on his way over and all. When I was sitting talking to Neisha, still waiting for the gas man (this all took place in about a ten minute time span, by the way), I said something like, "in case we die...", and she said, "you're a little obsessed about death, huh?" Yeah. I am. A lot. But I'm not sure it's incredibly unhealthy. Or healthy.

Like the intentions of Donnie Darko, it is an enigma. And I'm okay with that.

Of course, the gas man came and checked it out. It was a false alarm. Apparently this is common with the model we have (which I don't believe because it has never happened before...what triggered it?). Exhale, we are not dead. But we might die tomorrow. We finished the movie and went to bed. Still alive.


Molly said...

Ours went off at a house warming part in Winona in the middle of the night. Of course, everyone was still up, because it was essentially a drunk fest--Chris's evil ex-boyfriend wandering off, two people slumbering by the train tracks, an entire supersized bottle of Jack Daniels drank by passing it around the bonfire. Turns out ours was a dud; we'd had it for its lifespan.

And, of course, the smoke alarm going off in our house means I've left a candle burning--one that has plastic cubes in it and is sitting on a plastic candle holder. :)

Glad you're OK though. I wouldn't want you to die, even if you stubbornly won't come to work here in RW.

Angie said...

I, too, am glad you are still alive. I'm gonna need someone to tell me where to shop, get my haircut, etc!

Anonymous said...


Ours goes off about twice a year, always calling wolf.

Anonymous said...


Em, my e-mail has been down since yesterday morning...if you want to e-mail me use: