06 July 2010

In Search of Mangos

"Never get out of the boat." Absolutely goddamn right! Unless you were goin' all the way...
-Capt. Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen) in 'Apocalypse Now'

Apocalypse Now is one of my three favorite movies of all time. Tonight, I watched it again on DVD, the original version, not the 'Redux'. I'll save 'Redux' for another time, when I have time. Seeing it tonight was...accidental.

I wasn't intending to watch it. I was intending to do something else entirely, which will have to wait until tomorrow. Eating dinner, I was mulling some things over, trying hard not to to think too much but all these jumbled thoughts and ruminations were seething in my head. Have you ever seen a fish pond or fish farm where the fish seem to know when they are about to be fed? An outstretched hand flings some bread or meal pellets over the water and the surface turns into this roiling mass of fish bodies, tumbling and jumping over one another in a frantic, greedy rush to get food. Picture that.

See? That's what it feels like to me sometimes when I think.

Sound. Color. A snippet of conversation overheard. Thoughts rise to the surface of my mind, mouths agape and grasping at the data. And I can rarely stop them. Something I saw or overheard while at dinner threw the feed into the pond. For whatever reason, I kept recalling movie quotes, mostly stuff from Pulp Fiction and the aforementioned Francis Coppola opus.  The DVD was home in a box, so I took it out to skim through it. I ended up watching the whole thing.

The prompt for that quote was inspired by Willard and a companion being attacked by a tiger, after having gotten off the boat, in search of mangos. I know that comedy wasn't the intent of the scene, but I couldn't stifle a laugh when I saw it. It bore too much resemblance to my life at the moment. All I wanted was some mangos, so I had to get out of the boat. That's when the tiger attacked me.

Captain Willard finishes by saying "Kurtz got off the boat. He split from the whole fuckin' program." This Year of My Unsettlement, the tiger chasing me, breathing down my neck...it makes me want to split from the program. So I keep running, looking, hoping...

Never get off the boat. Absolutely goddamn right. What happens now, having been pushed or thrown off the boat? I have nowhere else to go...

...unless it's going all the way.


  1. re: the feeding frenzy, it's 4:30 in the morning, sugar and i'm reading blogs. i know exactly what you mean.

    as to the boat, hold fast to what keeps you sane, kurtz forgot. it's tough, sugar. xoxox

  2. That is such a great movie. Have you ever seen the documentary his wife did on the movie? Well worth it.

    Never get off the boat.

  3. Some of the weirdest things in my life happened when I got off the boat while in the Navy. We had a different saying.... "I gotta get off this boat!"

  4. That boat was headed no place good, as i recall. So if you can't redirect the route, maybe there is no choice but to abandon the ship.
    Don't know.

  5. Hmmm. Since I haven't watched said film, I can't really lave a deep and profound-sounding comment here...
    I do think though that when things happen that involve you having to get out of a comfortable, complacent space you simply have to keep walking to see what's next... it just might be a pleasant suprise, tiger attack notwithstanding.

  6. I dunno. I think sometimes you HAVE to get off the boat to see the tigers up close--just like your enemies. Some mangoes are worth it. Right? RIGHT?

  7. Things that make you go hmmmm. Love it.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...