The first time we watched Moulin Rouge, I had somehow been able to conceal from Baby Daddy in advance it’s a musical. Don’t ask me how that tidbit escaped him. As soon as the first warbling note began, he hissed in my ear, “What.is.this?” I answered brightly, “A musical. And it’s my birthday, so shut up and watch.” He has since come around a bit on the genre. I think mostly he likes to watch Nicole Kidman in her skivvies sing and dance. I can accept the trade-off.
We were watching it again Saturday night, and a scene I’ve seen many times struck me in way it hadn’t before.
“We’re creatures of the underworld. We can’t afford to love.”
It reminded me strongly of a painfully beautiful scene from Road to Perdition between Paul Newman and Tom Hanks.
“This is the life we chose, the life we lead, and there is only one guarantee: none of us will see heaven.”
I’ve probably read or watched this theme in more stories than I can count. A character tries to pull away from a life they no longer want. Another character, immersed deeper, reminds them of their choices. The hero realizes he can never break free, his soul is too corrupt, but he can save an innocent. He then sacrifices himself to prevent the innocent from becoming part of his world. It makes for good story telling and complex, relatable characters, who are neither all or good nor all bad.
But it leaves me with the nagging question that presents itself to me when I’m trying to beat back the darkness: Am I worth helping? loving? saving? Or am I too corrupt for redemption? My faith tells me salvation is available to all. Deep in my DNA, I believe that. But the dark voice of doubt creeps in all to often to make me question: Can any of us really afford to love? Or more to the point, can anyone really afford to love me?
Thankfully, there is always humor to be found in my existential angst. My friend sent me a link to possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen. It’s funny, cause it’s true. On good days, I can silence the voice of the oppressor. The rest of the time, I’m counting on the rest of you to remind me to kick up my heels and dance. Because I Cancan can!