Illinois River Winter 2004
Family Friendships Journey

Wreckers, feverish dreams, and morning revelations

Little did I know negotiation, whether overt or complicit, would include paternity and likely murder.

Swiping through the available Amazon Prime options, much like the process of online dating, I stopped when I saw Benjamin and Claire. Then Shaun was added to the mix, how I missed my long lost love from Endeavor, and this was better than Friday Night videos before MTV and VH1! Oh dear, this was a threesome I craved more than the demise of the fever that afflicted me.

Wreckers

Yes, the title itself is foreboding. And, the trailer accurately queued it as an intense and sad tale. Its genesis was found with this early exchange between newlyweds and his brother, whose first acquaintance the wife just made.

“Marriage is a constant process of negotiation,” Dawn tells Nick.

“Yes,” her husband, Dan chimes in. “We sing in our chains.”

Laughter follows.

Little did I know negotiation, whether overt or complicit, would include paternity and likely murder. Silent approvals, the audible versions surface in their own haunting nightmares the content of which is the adolescent relationship of the two brothers, whose sibling love was untenable, unimaginable, unbreakable.

I’m no spoiler, so I’ll give you this query instead, why watch Wreckers?

Three reasons: Benedict Cumberbatch, Shaun Evans, and Claire Foy. Together they tell a story that is disturbing beyond reason. A tale of life’s familial bonds, including spousal secrets buried in the sacrament, the sanctity, and the protections of marriage, plays out in a film that horrifically and realistically reveals the art of compromise. It is true beyond reason.

I woke up before sunrise. A cool sweat covered me. I found I’d kicked off the down comforter that tamped down my feverish chills through the night. It was all there before me. My old friend maniacally laughed at me as I told her every single way she hurt me, how she took and took and took, until I realized she had depleted me, carelessly extinguished everything I could give to the friendship. Outside of the dream, it happened just like a flick of a switch, a swat of a fly, one day, I was no longer important. She discarded me, laying the demise of her marriage at my feet. She didn’t offer an explanation, wish me goodbye, or even good riddance. Just like I quit cigarettes on February 5, 2008, she quit me. The thought that I would engage in any action to betray her friendship was beyond offense. The reality that she thought I helped her husband walk away from her, was false but nonetheless hurtful.

After letting the dogs out, falling back to sleep, and waking up feverless and well rested, I know that Wreckers triggered the dream and memory of my old friend. And I was surprisingly at peace with it. I don’t harbor any ill will toward her, though I once did. I learned that people like that are suckers, are wreckers. They take and take and take until you either become the equivalent of their concubine or you have some strength left and the semblance of mind to walk away, and never look back. I wasn’t given the choice. And more than a decade later, I’m grateful for that. Because it takes a lot of time for me to figure stuff out, especially when it concerns people dear to me.

My Dad used to say to me, “You lay down with dogs, you come up with fleas.” This idiom, coupled with the movie Wreckers, coupled with the dream about my old college friend, together comprise an equation about how to live a full and happy life.

Life according to Karen: “Do not negotiate your own integrity. Its value is not a commodity to be traded or bartered. Its value is your soul. Soulless: Happiness and peace will never be attained.”

28 comments on “Wreckers, feverish dreams, and morning revelations

  1. I had so many tabs open, I clicked the wrong one… Sigh. Good thing it’s YOU who has been feverish… Speaking of which, you sure are prolific when sick! Most of us just roll up in a ball and maybe watch TV. You? You bang out fabulous posts like this one!
    I think I started out by saying I love Clair Foy since watching “The Crown” – haven’t seen her in anything else; Benedict Cumberbatch – just yes. And Why do I not know Shaun Evans? Well, I look at his IMDB and see I’ve seen some of his stuff but I guess not enough 😉
    I did not watch the second video because I want to see the movie now, thanks to you.
    As for that friend situation? I have been both the dumpee and the dumper. Neither is easy, neither is remotely fun. I have to forever live with the wonder of why my best friend Roxanne chose to go away… years before her death 10 years ago this coming April 19.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Karen,

    For some reason, breaking up is still seen as something that happens in a romantic entanglement. Even though breaking up with friends is quite common. And especially so when major life events happen. When I was divorced, I lost a lot of friends. I guess they weren’t really friends after all. It hurt at the time though.

    It can be difficult to maintain perspective when a friendship ends, but it’s important to do so.

    Great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

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