Teach Me How To Fly

Lately, when I’ve looked out the window while driving, I’ll think that I see him. It’s never him. It’s someone else, dressed and built the same, trying to stay warm. Wandering. Walking alone like a zombie in the snow, shuffling slightly from side to side.

I’ll just come right out and say it; Thanksgiving isn’t on my list of favorites. Honestly, holidays in general are pretty tough. The ghost of holidays past returns with each new season and offers me yet another opportunity to reconcile my history with my present. I’m not the only one who knows how hard it is to move forward when people keep pulling you back.

I digress. The season is upon us babes, whether we’re ready for it or not, And this, of course, is a time to be thankful for what we have.

So, here’s a small sample of what I’m thankful for this year;

  1. Peruvian Asado (my traditional thanksgiving meal)
  2. Horror movies on tape
  3. Obsessing over what to wear to holiday events (my main source of true joy)
  4. The people in my life
  5. Francine from Dawn of the Dead

Dawn of the Dead from 1978 is one of the most iconic winter horror movies of all time. Whether you find yourself at a Friendsgiving dinner, hosting a party, or doing the traditional Thanksgiving turkey with the fam this year, it’s all about pairings. This film is the perfect addition to those weird marshmallowed yams and canned cranberries.

Hiding inside a zombie infested mall in the harsh winter really juxtaposes the calm serene of the season with the chaos of the brain hungry living nearby. But, aside from all the walking dead, it’s the horror in reality that hits the hardest.

We begin and end with Fran

Trying to hold onto something after you know it’s over. We’ve all been plagued by that one. People and places can hold grips on our psyche. But more than that, sometimes we try to keep them where they are, forever unchanging. We hold on so tightly that we squeeze the life from the very thing that we loved the most. Once we dare control the ebb and flow of times inevitable grasp, maybe that is where we fail.

Let’s talk about Francine, because from the second we meet her, she’s in light blue, wrapped in an oversized tan half-button up shirt – feeling the pressure, feeling the burn – but she’s fully leaning into journalist/radio station vibe with this outfit and she knows exactly who she is amongst the madness.

Duh, Fran is a mega babe, and of course she knows it, but that’s not what she cares about. We all know along with her that the zombies are the least of her worries. Francine eventually learns the lesson that we are learning; that moving on is the only way to go forward, and that browns and blues are the ultimate color pairing this thanksgiving season.

Francine is a beautiful representation of all women who have ever been outnumbered by a small group of men who think they know everything. Fran. The mother to us all. The epitome of patience and breaking free.

She is a beam of light, cool and collected even while staring in the face the unknown future and the fate of the world. She does it while dressed in the most delicate and sad blue turtleneck underneath the dusty and soft browns of everything she covers it with or wraps herself up in. We have wardrobe supervisor Michele Martin to thank for Fran’s iconic looks.

I recently purchased a blue turtleneck sweater in this exact shade this month. I wanted to embody the energy of Francine completely this winter. The world could use more brown and blue, and we could all stand to be more like Fran.

Francine’s trajectory from fear to strength, from indecision to decision, from timid to bold, is truly a sight to see. The browns and blues of her color palette hold it down. It’s subdued and edgy all at the same time. The striped tri-color brown wool coat that she wears in most scenes is the most remarkable ode to the triage of stages that come with making hard decisions.

Hello blue eye shadow

Fran is the only one in this movie trying to move forward. She doesn’t want to abort her baby, she doesn’t want to stay in a loveless relationship, she doesn’t want to be trapped in an old decaying mall, and she doesn’t want to give up. She wants to learn how to fly and move the fuck on. That beautiful blue, the shades of brown, and the multi maroon plaid, speaking volumes for her while she’s quiet in the shadows, clear about what she needs, and waiting for her time to move.

Once she puts on those belts and bullet straps, the dark blue denim and dark brown shoes mirroring the lighter combination above -highlighting the split she feels in-between the past and the inevitable future – she is letting go of wanting to hold on to the before. She doesn’t care to hold on anymore.

Have I, too, been trying to hold onto someone and something that’s is already gone? In a universe where hell is too full and we do end up coming back as zombies, will we go back to the places that meant the most to us?

Will we try to go back and relive the moments that left the heaviest impact?

In the wild nothing of space and time trapped inside the mall and all its glory, we see more of Francine unraveling. Playing in her boredom, hopelessly make-up-ing.

Wanting to break free. Ready to fly.

The blues in her eyeshadow, pulling out her signature color even while dressed in white. This moment in front of the mirror is the most harrowing and lovely. She has the whole mall in her hands, every color of shadow and shade and yet she pulls out the blue.

One of the last outfits we see her in is a long beautiful dark brown cowl neck cotton sweater dress. It elevates her final stage. Of being completely over everything. She is visibly pregnant, tired, still stuck, sick of it all. It is her last dip of the toe into the life that she fully realizes she never wanted.

Maybe Stephen had to leave in order for Francine to completely let go. I mean, we all knew she was ready. Francine saw her future in the ring he tried to give her. Wearing that shimmer satin dark champagne dress with the long sleeves during their last meal.

That’s when she saw everything crumble. Staying in a dead space, in a broken relationship, with a baby in her womb at the end of the world. She knew it was time to go. Maybe we’ve felt this way before. Maybe we’re feeling it now.

It isn’t until Francine is in the chopper, back in her gorgeous brown multi-shade coat, her scarf, ready to do it all alone, that we know how scared she is. She is forever grateful that Peter is with her. A beacon of friendship and security in the back seat, he’s letting her lead her own life, letting her fully be her, without judgement, without pulling her back into what she was before. They acknowledge what they’ve both been through.

I imagine Fran starting a new life with her baby somewhere, Peter around but on the fringe. She’s left the mess behind her. She changes out of the cold blues into something warmer, I think. Something different and new. She is content with knowing that she did her best.

Maybe when I start to turn, that’s when I’ll go looking for him. I’ll go to all the places we used to go when we were young. That’s where my empty body will move me. To the places and moments that shaped us, ruined us, and taught us how to disappear. I won’t be able to stop or change it. I’ll see it unfold and I’ll try to feel everything, the wonderful and the heavy, one last time before I fade. When I’m there I’ll be grateful. I’ll be thankful that we lived it at all.

For now, I won’t try to hold on anymore. For now, like Francine, I will keep moving forward.

Happy Thanksgiving, babes.


2 responses to “Teach Me How To Fly”

  1. All this talk about the past and then Fran’s hair-do kind of fucked me up because I had an ex with the same haircut….except red. I hope she doesn’t haunt my thoughts as I explain for the 20th time to my family why I’m vegetarian and can’t eat turkey.


    1. LOLLLL omg talk about a true haunting. The hair is interesting no doubt. It’s giving NPR vibes for sure. I would have loved it long.

      Obviously talking about your ex –

      The real issue is eating Turkey on thanksgiving. Poor babes.

      Liked by 1 person

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