Today we went to the pool area of our current resort and got into the hot tub with a young man I’d never seen before. He was thirty-something with long hair and a full, if somewhat scraggly beard, slender, with his arms and face tanned while the rest of him was startlingly white. He spoke of his children in the big pool, his home four miles up the road and told us that the warm water felt good on his back which the doctors had said needed surgery. When the young man got out of the hot tub a little later, Gil shared with me that he had seen this same man on the TV network news this morning, reporting on the efforts being made to rescue the young soccer players from the flooded cave in Thailand. Gil said this chap was a cameraman and recalled how impressive his photographic gear was, big lenses and all. He then explained to me how he edited his own work as well! He could shift from the seashore to butterflies back to the cave and the music was uninterrupted as the scenes changed. Gil was quite impressed!
My grasp of reality was stunned for a moment as I considered the wisdom of pointing out the unlikely, if not impossible nature of what he’d just said when I remembered a movie I’d seen as a child, which I probably shouldn’t have been watching then anyway. The movie was the 1960 Academy Award winner “Never on Sunday” with Melina Mercouri playing a good-hearted prostitute and Jules Dassin as a conservative American fellow who tries to reform her. He discovers that while she loves the classical Greek theater, she has no understanding at all of the complex and tragic themes playing out before her. In fact, she is convinced that everything ends happily and that they all get ice cream and go to the seashore afterwards! Unfortunately he prevails. He convinces her that the people in her stories are all either dead or horribly unhappy. This awareness, understandably, depresses the dear girl so that she can’t even do her job anymore, much to the dismay of the village gents who relied on her good humor and gentle ways to ease their simple, brutish lives.
I told Gil that story and asked him: should he have told her the truth when it ultimately made her so miserable? He said: No! He should have let her be!
So I dropped it. Maybe next time I’ll remember to ask him to tell me more…