Sunday, March 15, 2009

Left turn.

My dog, Gypsy, gets three walks a day and a couple of pee breaks at night. When you're on this kind of schedule you get into a routine and you rarely deviate from it. Walk out the door, turn right. Sometimes it's around the block and sometimes it's all over the neighborhood, but it's always a right turn.

I just took her for walk number two today, and I turned LEFT for the first time.

You're probably thinking, "Slow down there, crazy man!" I know, okay? This isn't the Change we've heard so much about and it isn't going to cause any paradigm shifts... or maybe it is.

People leave the house every day thinking they have the whole thing figured out. They make the coffee, make the bed, make it to work and then make it home. Every. Day. The rhythm of it soothes some people and drives others crazy. I've fallen into both camps at different times in my life and I've been firmly planted in the former as of late. I have a good woman, a good dog, a good job and a pretty good life. It's easy to walk in the same circle every day when you have that going on.

But I didn't do that, did I? I turned LEFT!

The street looks funny when you turn left. The light hits you in a new way, the cars are all going in the other direction and all the signs show you their backs, as if they don't approve of this new wrinkle in the universe. I checked out my neighborhood again as Gypsy happily peed in a new patch of grass and I liked what I found. It was the same walk, but it was new for both of us.

You should know that I didn't just turn the doorknob and decide to go left today. I don't work like that. I respond to movies.

"Henry Poole is Here" is a Jeff movie. There are no aliens, no explosions, no robotic spiders, no ransom notes and no super powers. Because of this, most of you have probably never heard of it. It's a dramedy about a sick man (Luke Wilson) trying to live out the rest of his short life alone when one of his neighbors discovers the face of Jesus in the stucco on his house. A man without hope is surrounded by the hopeful. It's cute, charming and has a certain inspirational gravitas.

I watched this little gem and then I grabbed the leash. I stood at the gate in front of my apartment and stopped Gypsy when she tried to go right. I can't tell you why. All I can tell you is that sometimes I forget how powerful a small movie can be, and sometimes I forget that I'm supposed to be writing those movies. "Henry Poole is Here" may not bring clarity to your life, but there is a weird little movie out there that will speak to you, and I challenge you to find it.

Just so you know, you may have to deviate from your normal route.


  1. No explosions? Is there blood, at least? Saw the trailer and there damn well better be some sex!

  2. There is blood, but no sex. Maybe "Zombie Strippers" is more your speed.