I was going to have a lovely night here at Barnes and Noble with Rachael putting together a picture book of our recent cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. It was terrific! I have some great pictures for you guys to see of the magnificent boat and some wonderful, different places on the planet. Some of the simplest ones are the best. For example, ever notice how scary it is too look over the pier anywhere on Manhattan Island? Someone once told me you were only safe if you got a hepatitis shot before swimming! Contrast that to this:
Ah! Go swim anywhere! From a pirate ship in Saint Thomas.
But that’s going to have to wait until tomorrow.
Those of you who have been with me for a while know that I’m contemplating going back to school for a doctorate. Abnormal neuroscience has held a fascination for me for years. I’ve been steeped in the ‘normal’ (Ha!) for decades. Now, I want to see if I can make a contribution toward catching the likes of Dylan Klebold or Adam Lanza.
I also like the fact that we are all pretty much in the same boat, as far as the hard cards we get dealt in life. Sure, I’ve had an unusually bad run, but if something traumatizing hasn’t happened to you, just wait a bit. Someone is going to abuse you, one of your addictions will get the better of you, or someone will die.
Here’s the good news, it’s doable.
Several columns ago I wrote about PTSD and an experience that I had that was essentially ‘retraumatizing.’ (“Jeff Mackleby…”) In a fascinating study of the etiology of PTSD stressors Julian D. Ford describes education, reading ability, and a belief in ‘self-efficacy’ to have a tremendous impact on the lowering of ‘retraumatization’ among PTSD survivors.
I think that’s pretty damn cool.
In essence, if you read well, like school, and believe that you can help yourself and others, you can make a difference the the lives of others. I come out pretty strong in all those areas.
So here we go.
Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin are simply terrific. They’re two of my favorite actresses, so I thought it would be a fun way to spend an evening with Rachael, followed by a trip to Barnes and Noble.
(SPOILER ALERT!) “The Call” is a story about how a 911 police officer responds to a lethal call. Berry plays the police officer in the 911 call center (The “Hive”) who receives the call of a teenager who is trying to avoid the hands of a home invader.
She doesn’t. She’s murdered in her little-girl bedroom, and the invader goes on about his business. Berry’s character hears everything, and is brutalized. (Some of you are getting a gut reaction right now. Good for you.)
Halle’s character is a decent human being, so is realistically depicted as being traumatized by this event.
Six months later, the assassin strikes again, and Berry’s protege takes the call. Berry is now a trainer, and her newbie replacement can’t figure out what to do when Breslin’s character is abducted from a mall.
What follows is a tense cat and mouse game between the killer of the previous call, Berry and Breslin’s teenage character. Berry is exceptional and Breslin is really coming into her own.
It’s a tightly woven, edge of your seat tale, and very, very realistic. Breslin very nearly loses her life, as does Berry. I had my eyes glued to the screen, and at one point found tears running down my face. What the heck?
Well, duh. I have three teenage girls. This could be any one of them. Probably has been one of yours, my precious reading audience. Why look at a story that sets your thoughts in such a negative direction?
So if your loss still gets to you, if you still feel the pinch of pain in your gut when you hear accounts of other people’s trauma, don’t go see “The Call.”
All the best, my forward looking friends.