Last night my husband and I saw the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. I left the theatre feeling charged, invincible, as if I could blast a hole through a frozen Scottish loch, fall into the icy water while grappling with a henchman, and kill him with my own bare hands.
Just, like, for example.
At any rate, the theatre had been filled to capacity and there was a steady stream of moviegoers flowing down the aisle. As I walked down the steps, I passed an elderly woman with a cane, hunched over and trying to exit her row of seats. The momentum of the crowd whisked me away, but not before I registered her frailty and the very real possibility of her falling and being trampled to smithereens.
What could I do?
What would James Bond do??
Well, I'd just seen what he would do and let me tell you, he was all for taking care of little old ladies.
So I pivoted and surged back through the crowd, a risk not unlike that of leaping upon a speeding locomotive or dangling from the cables of an elevator headed for the zillionth floor. I mean, it's not totally like those risks but it's not totally unlike them, either.
I reached the little old lady and offered my assistance. Honestly, she was in a bit of distress and gratefully accepted. The crowd was young and boisterous--clearly hooligans, all--but that did not prevent me from using my body as a human shield and stopping them in their tracks. Really. I actually held out my arm and said the toughest thing I could think of, which was: I beg your pardon. Only it sounded much tougher than I beg your pardon. It sounded like I wasn't begging for anything, if you know what I'm saying.
Can you imagine that? Me?? The girl who thinks it would be neat to be a chameleon so no one could ever see her?
Listen, two hours of James Bond will do that to a person. Two hours of James Bond will turn an otherwise timorous gentlewoman into a cold-blooded wrecking machine.
And I know those people saw it in my eyes. I know they looked at me and thought: whoa, there's no telling what that dame could do.
I escorted the little old lady down the steps and delivered her to her husband, a just as elderly little man who winked at me in appreciation.
You can imagine how fantastic I felt. How intrepid. How powerful.
Yet before we left the theatre altogether, I asked my husband to wait while I used the restroom. Upon exiting the stalls I discovered, to my chagrin, that none of the automatic faucets appeared to be working. I waved my hands under each one, trying to trigger the sensor, but to no avail.
Then, who should appear at my side but my dear little evacuee?
She looked at me, smiled, and said: this is how you do it.
And passing her hands beneath the faucet, the water turned on.
Oh, franchement, dear reader. Must life always present such cruel twists of fate? Must I be stripped of my valor before the self-congratulations have dimmed and lost their glow?
Must the little old lady whom I legitimately rescued from harm's way then turn around and teach me how to wash my hands??
You know, I don't ask for much. I don't ask to be the real James Bond. I don't ask for a chiseled jaw and steel blue eyes, or to move through a casino like a moody jungle cat, liquefying the bones of anyone who presumes to stand in my way. But I wouldn't mind imagining it for five minutes, franchement, without the antediluvian amongst us bringing to my attention just how painfully so this is not the case.