i suspect that richard curtis does not want to have dinner with us as much as we’d love to have dinner with him.
this brilliant filmwriter, director, producer extraordinaire – charming as all get-out – has it all figured out, really. he is right. it is all about love. it is all about the potential all around us, the gorgeousness. we all watch all his fabulously feel-good films – reminders to stay in the moment and in gratitude and to live today the way we would were we to have a chance to come back and do it again – and we all get lost anyway.
before dessert i would just sit and stare and listen intently, hoping to absorb some of his wit, his wisdom, his simplicities. the ability to portray life and love – as laura linney told diane sawyer about the movie love actually, “it’s also the repercussions of love and the responsibility of love and the heartbreak of love…it’s not just positive love.”
after dessert maybe we’d tell stories of real life and sip on port. he’d point to the walls in the dining room – if dinner was here, at our house – and ask how we achieved the paint texture. i’d tell him it’s called ‘hot-gun-wallpaper-removal-tracks’. he’d nod and say he likes it, that it feels somewhat tuscan, that he feels at home in our old house. he’d then ask about the sticks and stones and branches and rocks – lit and unlit – cairned and not-cairned – and i’d explain where they are from, what they represent, the moments we knew they’d come home with us. he’d nod again and say he’s glad we didn’t miss those – the mementos.
before he left maybe he would stop at the front door – at the old door handle – and remark about how unique it is. i’d tell the story about how it didn’t work for a little over a decade – i couldn’t unlock it from outside. i’d explain how i didn’t want to change it and suspected that i couldn’t afford to replace it or fix it – it has a complex lock system – and so i waited. until early last month. the locksmith was able to find a replacement barrel, tinkered with it a whole bunch, and it all stayed intact. we can now enter the house through the front door. with a key. sort of amazing stuff. again he’d nod. he hold the flat cold metal in his hand and feel how it feels to turn it to enter our home and look at us, saying, “yes. it’s gorgeous.”
we’d hug and he’d leave. we would stand in the doorway and wave at him, better for the last couple hours sitting with him, reminded. it is that every-day thing.