The End to a Special Era

A piece of popcorn escaped my berry-stained lips and fell to the scuffed movie theater floor. My heart was racing and I nervously sipped my lukewarm water.

“Will it be good?” I thought; perplexed by the mixed reviews. “It has to be good.”

I latched onto my husband’s hand, squeezing him as the lights dimmed and the trailers rolled.

This was the end of a special era for me.  The Pirates of the Caribbean series have pulled on my heartstrings since I witnessed the first movie when I was 13-years old. Captain Jack Sparrow is my old friend who taught me to seek adventures and drinking a bottle of rum in one afternoon may not be the wisest decision.

These thrilling films allowed me to escape for a couple of hours and believe I was a swashbuckler swinging from a rope with a sword flailing from my hand.

This adoration I harbor may seem obsessive or perhaps even slightly insane.

I saw the first film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, four times in theaters – twice when my family was visiting Boston. Because who cares about seeing Paul Revere’s home or where colonials dumped 342 chests of tea into the harbor? My priority was viewing pirates’ raid, pillage, and plunder all while dragging my poor, cooperative parents to watch said pirates.

In all honesty, my parents were happy to watch Johnny Depp stumble down the dock and gurgle his lines because they knew it brought a smile to my face. I remember this clearly because my dad would pass away a year later and this special time is something we shared together.

He allowed me to print off the entire 500-page Curse of the Black Pearl script, bought me two DVDs in Disneyland just in case I lost one of them and for Christmas, he stared at the computer screen for endless hours, aggressively bidding on a photo autographed by my swashbuckling heroes Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom. As you can imagine, I sobbed when I unwrapped the framed photo.

On Tuesday, I tentatively watched the newest edition to the series, Dead Men Tell No Tales, with chills sporadically descending down my spine. The score, oh those brilliant tunes, puppeteer my shifting emotions every single time.

These are more than action movies to me – they are two hour adventures with the original adventure something I shared with my dad.

After the film ended, I brushed away tears and grinned. “Play it again!” I thought. The film was everything I needed it to be.

As we left the theater, the sunset’s vivid colors trapped my attention and I knew dad was there too, sitting next to me in the empty leather seat chuckling at Jack Sparrow foolishly, yet brilliantly lead his crew.

And as I stared into that lavender and grapefruit stained glass sunset I thought, this would be the perfect sky for Sparrow to get lost in and whisper, “Now, bring me that horizon.”