I am a basketball star. Weeks of preparation, of feverish practice and intense scrimmages have led up to this moment: the moment where all my practice results in a beautifully executed, desperately needed bank shot. For weeks, my family has supported my sister and I as our team struggled against the always better, bigger opponents. (Perhaps it is significant to note that my naturally athletic sister and our teammates have not been struggling quite as much as I, the awkward and entirely too un-athletic team member, was struggling). So there it is: familial witness to failed lay-ups, terribly executed free-throws and unsuccessful rebounds all culminates to this moment, the moment. I graduate from average team member into a courageous basketball player. With only one game left in the season, I have finally abandoned the sidelines and made a basket! In the wake of excitement, it takes me (the basketball star) a few moments to register that this is the week my family was not able to attend our game. The only witnesses to my success is a crowd of strangers.
A darkened living room lit only by the light cast from a paused television set only serves to amplify the excited chatter between the young children as their father grabs a glass of water from the nearby kitchen. The image on the screen is partially revealing to a larger plot point in the now paused film, and the entire room is in a state of suspension. Initially, when getting up to retrieve the water, the father had opted to let the film play. The scene playing out onscreen appeared to be building to a dramatic moment, but he had watched the movie in his youth and wasn’t terribly concerned with missing a few lines of dialogue. Shouts from the living room as the scene shifted into a truly dramatic reveal caused him to change his mind, as the children yelled with horrified delight “Dad! We can see his face!”. Everett had forgotten almost every aspect of the Return of the Jedi film, and re-watching it with his young children was an experience he wouldn’t trade for the world.