In February 1989 I was 11. I’d not yet broken my arm. That would happen a little later in the year. Dad and I lived in the Big House on 12th street, our Cousin Dan in the Little House. Friday night we went to the Cafe, had dinner, I went home and Dad went to Bully’s. We went to the beach every weekend.
We didn’t have a whole lot. We didn’t need a whole lot.
Then this stupid movie came out, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. It was two guys we knew, I swear everyone in SoCal knew them. They were simple, nice, fun guys. They loved music, they loved the world, and they had a simple catch phrase.
Be excellent to one another.
For the longest time, that was my comment policy on any site I ran. Just that. Be excellent to each other.
I lost track of how often we saw the movie. I vaguely recall it being a rare $1 movie at the local theatre and Dad and I saw it a bunch of times. If you ask me about a scene, I can probably remember it without trying.
In 1991, Dad was married, I had a baby brother and my step mom’s brother (my age) lived with us. We lived in a bigger house, Dan had moved out but came over all the time. That summer, he and I would take the free (maybe it was a couple bucks) trolly to the movie theatre and catch movies. They had AC after all, and we did not.
We saw Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey once, and I loved it. The next time we went to the theatre, my step uncle saw the second Blue Lagoon movie and I went to Bogus again. Because god gave rock and roll to me. But also I didn’t care about the other movies. I wanted to see Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan.
In May of 2018, they finally got the funding to make Bill & Ted Face the Music.
Dad was dead before the world knew.
Today I still love the movies, but when I watch them greet Bill and Ted in the future, and they all play air guitar, and they play “In Time” and I cry.
In time we'll be dancing in the streets all night
In time, yes, everything will be all right
As the song that unites the world played, I cried.
It wasn’t the song, it was never about the song, it was about all of us playing the song, hearing the song, and being the song. Because the best time to be is now, and the best place to be is here with the people you love.
And damn it, just for a minute, I felt like we were all together. We all were the song, at 7:17 at MP 46, Preston and Logan, and Preston and Logan, and yes, also Preston and Logan played the song infinitely.
The loop is closed, but it’s still open. So even though he’s dead and I miss him so much, Dad is here too, at the song that unites time and space, becuase I’m here, and you’re here.
I wish he’d seen it with me.
I wish I could laugh and talk to him about the quantum entanglement and the theory of everything. We could discuss how Bridget Lundy Payne is a perfect Billie in every single way. We could remark on how tired Keanu looks, and how Alex still smiles and lights up the world. We could miss George Carlin together. We could make fun of Mozart being pissed off at Hendrix. Of Death cheating. Of Missy (I mean Mom).
It’s a good movie. I think he’d have liked it.