Ktismatics

3 May 2008

Badlands by Malick, 1973

Filed under: Movies — ktismatics @ 12:55 pm

“We planned a huge network of tunnels under the forest floor, and our first order of business every morning was to decide on a new password for the day. Now and then we’d sneak out at night and steal a chicken or a bunch of corn or some melons from a melon patch. Mostly, though, we just lay on our backs and stared at the clouds and sometimes it was like being in a big marble hall, the way we talked in low voices and heard the tiniest sound. We had our bad moments, like any couple. Kit accused me of only being along for the ride, while at times I wished he’d fall in the river and drown, so I could watch… I grew to love the forest. The cooing of the doves and the hum of dragonflies in the air made it always seem lonesome and like everybody’s dead and gone.”

“One day, while taking a look at some vistas in Dad’s stereopticon, it hit me that I was just this little girl, born in Texas, whose father was a sign painter and who had only just so many years to live. It sent a chill down my spine, and I thought: Where would I be this very moment if Kit had never met me? Or killed anybody? This very moment. If my Mom had never met my Dad? If she’d of never died? And what’s the man I’ll marry going to look like? What’s he doing right this minute? Is he thinking about me now, by some coincidence, even though he doesn’t know me? Does it show on his face? For days afterward I lived in dread. At times I wished I could fall asleep and be taken off to some magical land, but this never happened.”

“The world was like a faraway planet to which I could never return. I thought what a fine place it was, full of things for people to look into and enjoy… Through desert and mesa, across the endless miles of open range, we made our headlong way, steering by the telephone lines toward the mountains of Montana… Little by little we approached the border. Kit was glad to leave South Dakota behind and cursed its name. He said that if the Communists ever dropped the atomic bomb, he wished they’d put it right in the middle of Rapid City… He needed me now more than ever, but something had come between us. I’d stopped even paying attention to him. Instead, I sat in the car and read a map and spelled out entire sentences with my tongue on the roof of my mouth, where nobody could read them.”

“Kit knew the end was coming. He wondered if he’d hear the doctor pronounce him dead, or if he’d be able to read what the papers would say about him, the next day, from the other side. He dreaded the idea of being shot down alone, he said, without a girl to scream out his name.”

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