I was so excited. Somehow, I managed not to piss off Mom for an entire week. She had promised that if I managed that, she and I would go to the movies together. Just us for a change, no little brother or sister tagging along. Just her and me, which was not something that had really happened before. Well, not since I was very little and there were no little siblings, at least.
What made it even more special, in my eyes, was that I would get to pick the movie. Talk about unheard of! I was pretty happy. What I wanted to see was Legend. The commercials enchanted me. Fantasy was already a love of mine. Fantasy movies were far and wide between in the 1980’s. What caught my soul was the unicorns. They were beautiful. Not like some of the corny ones in movies past. These looked like they should! Ok, secondary consideration and don’t go hating on me, was that the lead was hot. Tom Cruise, before the mental meltdown, was just play drool worthy. Go on, have your laugh. Ok, done?
I managed to make it through the week without anything happening. I told mom I wanted us to go see Legend. She agreed. I was in heaven. We got there, got some snacks and sodas and went into the theater. There weren’t a lot of people there. Even better. No loud talking, no small kids. Just the quiet, the screen and mom. I was utterly impatient with the previews. They seemed to go on forever about topics I didn’t care for. Finally the last one rolled off the screen and the lights dimmed further. Then the movie began.
I loved it. Whenever the unicorns hit the screen, I was mesmerized. They were simply gorgeous. I have always loved horses. These were just what I pictured in my mind that unicorns would look like. Forget the mythology and other books talking about split hooves and a goat’s beard on a horse’s body and a single horn. These unicorns had a grace and beauty that matched the ideal in my mind. The spiral horns were perfect and hardly moved in a way that broke the illusion.
The rest of the movie was ok. Not a complicated story but still worth watching. Mom and I sat in silence the whole movie, taking it in. One of the things she and I shared was love of fantasy. Faeries, unicorns, dragons, Lord of the Rings, all of it. I think the unicorns enchanted her as much as they did me. When the movie finished, we let the theater empty out before we got up. We left and as we hit the daylight outside, I could see her smiling. It made me happy. I was happy. She was happy. That really made an impact on me.
For years after, once I bought the vhs tape and the soundtrack, I used one or the other to fall asleep. That movie became my security blanket when I needed it. Every night I listened to the music. I always fell asleep just after the unicorns appear for the first time. The whale song merged with the images and music always comfort me. Whenever I am completely down, I can turn to Legend (now on dvd in my fantasy collection) for comfort. A single day where there was perfect peace, perfect happiness and something to hold against dark days and long nights.