It’s one of my favorite movies. Midnight Run. Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. I won’t try to explain it. You should just watch it.
I generally separate fiction from real life rather easily. It’s why I don’t cry during sad movies that someone made up because they want viewers to cry. It’s why I don’t geek out over Star Wars and comic-book movies. But even though I know Midnight Run is entirely fictitious, there’s a scene that’s been causing me some stress lately.
De Niro’s character has just left his ex-wife’s home after going there for help. They’re divorced, obviously, and she has remarried. I don’t know what the time period is from their separation to this scene, but after the visit, he talks about her with Grodin’s character over a roaring fire on a freight train. (Again, you just need to watch it.) Eventually, he shakes his head and says, somewhat defeated, “I keep thinking we’re gonna wind up together again. I don’t know why. I’m still waitin’ around…” He knows it’s beyond wishful thinking, but he just can’t help it.
I’m still waitin’ around too, Jack. I don’t know why. I don’t think she’s coming back either. How long has Jack Walsh been holding out this hope? How many mornings has he woken up, looked around, and realized he’s still alone, still without her? Because that’s what I do. I wake up, and I look around, and realize I’m not in the bed we just got, in the bedroom of the condo we just bought and painted. “I keep thinking we’re gonna wind up together again. I don’t know why. I’m still waitin’ around…” It’s only been 4 months for me; how long has it been for Jack?
For how long?
“Sometimes you just have to let go. Get yourself a new watch.”
I know, Duke. I know.