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کتاب: زندگی در چند بخش / فصل 63

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توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 4 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی سخت

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Son

The whole family was at a Japanese restaurant, celebrating Taylor’s high school graduation. My brother was out from New York with his girlfriend Greta. After we’d returned from our motorcycle trip in 1978, Kyle had gotten a theater degree from UCLA, but he didn’t give the acting life long before he moved to New York to live on an ashram. He now buys and sells college textbooks and lives happily on Long Island with Greta, an actor as well as a hairdresser.

In 2011, Kyle was visiting me on the set of Breaking Bad. Greta was there, too, visiting her brother Steven Michael Quezada, who ably played Steve Gomez, Hank’s solid DEA partner. I think that was the first time on set for both of them. Kyle and Greta basically took one look at each other and whoosh—they were in love.

Both Kyle and Greta are talented, and both wanted to get back into acting, but they needed a reel to showcase their work, a project to get things going. A flash went off. With the newer cameras we could make a movie so much more cheaply than in the Last Chance days. Now, on Taylor’s big night, I turned to my dad and said, “What if you wrote an eighty-to-ninety-page script? Something contained, not big in scope. Something we could get done. I’ll put up the money—thirty, forty thousand dollars. We can get a fresh-out-of-film-school director, someone talented and eager and hungry. We’ll put together a crew of people I know. Kyle and Greta will both have good roles in it. Let’s make a movie together. What do you think?”

Odds were the film wouldn’t be a box-office success. It probably wouldn’t even break even. I knew I’d probably never see that money again. But it wasn’t about that. It was about the experience, working together as father and sons—and Greta. A personal success, something we could be proud of. Something that would bring us closer. I was excited.

My dad smiled wryly. “No.”

No thinking or mulling. Just a no. He had zero interest in such a puny passion project. He only wanted the Holy Grail. He mentioned one of the scripts he’d been working on, a project that would require around $15 million to produce. “I’m going to get that made.”

“But we can do this now,” I said. “While you’re working to finance your other one.”

Again, he politely declined.

My dad was only interested in the home run. Early in my career, I’d learned how to hit singles. He spent his whole life swinging for the fences. Until I knew I could hit a single, I didn’t go for moon shots.

No matter how many times I butted up against the hard fact of who my father was, and wasn’t, it always hurt. There’s so much dark territory between fathers and sons. My dad and I could never bridge that distance. We never reached each other. We never met.

I was shooting Trumbo in New Orleans in the fall of 2014, and I talked to my dad on the phone. He’d had a pacemaker put in the previous Saturday, and his voice sounded weak. He was now ninety, but that was the frailest I’d ever heard his voice. That was the last time I would talk to him.

Robin called me before dawn the next morning to deliver the news.

Months later, we were at my dad’s condo, packing up his belongings, and my daughter Taylor found a scrap of paper. It was dated just three days before he died. In his shaky handwriting, it read: The highlight of my life was when my children forgave me.

I’m glad he knew. He’d blown such a hole in our lives when we were kids, and I’d never truly understood why, but I didn’t need to grasp it intellectually, and I had forgiven him. I had let it go.

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