The Measure of One’s Existence

The measure of one’s existence.

A freezing February day back in 1978, standing in a never-ending line of humanity outside a cinema in south east London. Just  one cinema because that was all there was back then. No one had ever heard of a multiplex, at least not in sad old dreary old south east London.

We are all queuing to see a the first Star wars movie. Two hours slowly shuffling along the pavement and finally as we reach  the cinema steps, the doors are slammed shut and an employee hangs a large “FULL” sign on the door.

Another couple of hours to wait and I am just too cold to carry on. I bid goodbye to my new queue friends who, in best of British wartime spirit, carry on standing in the cold as if  finally getting into the cinema will be some kind of victory.

This was the day that I swore I would never queue for anything, ever again, as long as I lived, and I have held true to this principle.

The following Saturday, I caught the train into London and saw Star Wars in one of the big comfy cinemas around Leicester Square, a far cry from my second division suburban flea pit. Furthermore, I didn’t have to queue.

Thirteen years old and my first (the world’s first) ever Star Wars. Now at 54, this weekend I will head to our local 12 screen multiplex and see the latest and final Star Wars. Who would have thought that these films would be such an integral and permanent part of my life?

I’d like to go back and tell that podgy, too sensitive, bullied 13 year-old kid that he will have a life. He will go and see Star Wars with his 21 year old daughter in his local cinema in France. I’d like to tell that kid, at 13 he was in the hardest place in his life, that confused, bottom-of-the class, backseat space, and from then it could and would only get better. Have faith in yourself. May the Force be with you