I’m currently huddled up on my couch wrapped in a blanket, my legs fully extended over the arm rest. I’ve got a headache and a fever and my skin feels all tingly and even though the heater has been running full bore the last two hours I’m still sort of chilly. But I’ve got this blanket. It’s not a very good one. The one I’d rather use is occupied. My grandmother gave it to me a few years back before she died. I wish I could say it was some sort of heirloom, a thing passed down through the generations. I think my quilt qualifies. But not the good blanket. I’m fairly certain she got it from Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Breakfast for me growing up was a bowl of cereal, eaten on the coffee table, the LA Times Sports and Calendar sections spread out in front of me, the rest of my half naked body curled up in a blanket that probably hadn’t been washed soon enough to qualify being that close to food. At some point when I was a kid I’m sure I watched cartoons but mostly I just remember the cereal, the newspaper, and how quiet it was.
I suppose I’m thinking about all this because I saw Lincoln recently. Actually, I saw it twice. The first was over a bottle of bourbon split between me and my friend Michelle Landers (I wonder if she’ll hate to be named here?). The third friend I can’t name because she promised someone else she’d see the movie first with her. Second time I saw it with my friend Heather. Tickets and food was free. Always welcome.
So I really enjoyed the movie. The Spielberg moments were mostly kept at bay (save for the extra five minutes at the end), the screenplay soared on almost all levels, and Daniel Day Lewis was outstanding. I imagine if I ever studied the craft of acting, his performance would have to be at the top of the list of study materials. All that was great. But what I left telling all my friends was something altogether silly. What I said was this. The movie made me wish, for a moment, that I lived in the wickedly cold northeast during the harsh winter months, without central heating, if only for the luxury of being allowed to attend any and all meetings wearing or carrying a blanket.
Okay, so maybe they weren’t actually blankets. Maybe they were ponchos. Maybe they were fancy, extravagant coats that doubled as blankets. No, no, lets just call them what they were. Lincoln was wearing blankets half the film. And I couldn’t get enough of it. I don’t want to rehash anything Linus has already expressed with his security blanket in Peanuts. In fact, the carrying of the blanket seems altogether wasteful and burdensome. Why carry it if you could just wear it?
One of my favorite scenes from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly takes place near the end and doesn’t exactly involve a blanket but instead Eastwood’s jacket. He finds a wounded Confederate soldier dying just after the terrible bridge battle. He places his jacket over the soldier to warm him and then offers him a smoke from the small cigar he’s been smoking. The soldier dies and Eastwood reaches to take his jacket back. Something stops him and he leaves the jacket with the dead soldier.
I think we’ve all been sick or sad or simply cold and had someone do the same for us. It doesn’t have to be our death bed. And I suppose I wouldn’t even mind if you took your blanket/jacket back after I was dead. It doesn’t even have to be an emotionally heavy moment like this. It’s just a nice thing to do. I think the point of this whole rant is to say, if you decide to give me a badass blanket for Christmas I definitely won’t think you’re lame.