Part Twenty-Seven: The Rest of Chapter Twelve and a Hint About the Movie
We left off with Cheryl describing herself as "a hard-ass motherfucking Amazonian queen," and that's when I couldn't take it anymore. Oh, hooray, today is a new day and I get to keep going. Awesome.
Here's a little background on the Amazons.
"In Greek mythology, the Amazons were a race of warlike women noted for their courage and pride who lived at the outer limits of the known world.
"In mythology, the Amazons were daughters of Ares, the god of war. In legend, the Amazons burnt off their right breast in order to better use a bow and throw a spear, indeed, the word amazon may signify ‘breastless’. Interestingly though, Amazons are not depicted in Greek art with a missing breast. They are most often depicted wearing hoplite armour and frequently ride a horse. The most common weapon is the bow and spear but there are also examples where Amazons carry axes."
And from Wikipedia:
"In some versions of the myth, no men were permitted to have sexual encounters or reside in Amazon country; but once a year, in order to prevent their race from dying out, they visited the Gargareans, a neighbouring tribe. The male children who were the result of these visits were either killed, sent back to their fathers or exposed in the wilderness to fend for themselves; the girls were kept and brought up by their mothers, and trained in agricultural pursuits, hunting, and the art of war. In other versions when the Amazons went to war they would not kill all the men. Some they would take as slaves, and once or twice a year they would have sex with their slaves."
Seeing as all Cheryl can think about twenty-four hours a day is banging anything with a penis and also bases the whole of her self-worth on what men think of her, I'm pretty sure the Amazons would have killed or banished her for not understanding the assignment. Cheryl is not a hard-ass motherfucking Amazonian anything.
But anyway, sure she is because she's Cheryl Strayed.
She sits in front of the store for a few hours while everyone marvels at her awesomeness until the mailman and the UPS guy finally show up and oh my goodness, NO BOOTS. She calls REI again and has a really dumb, super boring conversation and let's just skip all this. The boots will be waiting for her at Castle Crags, eighty-three miles away, and how exactly is she going to hike eighty-three miles in her too-small boots when her feet are supposedly shedding toenails and exploding blood and awful all over the place.
Don't worry, Cheryl has an ingenious plan: she's going to wear her "flimsy camp sandals" that she'd purchased "at a discount store for something like $19.99" for the next eighty-three miles because that sounds realistic.
"I cradled them in my hands, as if by examining them up close I could bestow upon them a durability they did not possess. The Velcro was matted with detritus and peeling away from the black straps at the frayed ends. Their blue soles were malleable as dough and so thin that when I walked I could feel the contours of pebbles and sticks beneath my feet. Wearing them was just barely more than having no shoes on at all."
Stop using unnecessary words.
Really, Cheryl? Detritus? Just say dirt or debris. Put your thesaurus away, you sound like an asshole. Also, you're going to hike eighty-three miles in what are essentially flip-flops, huh? Okay.
She thinks about quitting again and throws another temper-tantrum:
"I picked up a rock and whipped it hard as I could at a nearby tree, and then another and another."
And then she says this:
"I thought of the woman I always thought of in such moments--"
AND IT IS NOT HER MOTHER, I'M SO CONFUSED.
Who is this magnificent woman she thinks of in such moments? It's:
"an astrologer who'd read my natal chart when I was twenty-three."
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH MY GOD. Of course. I can't even be shocked by the fact that Cheryl firmly believes in this sort of ridiculousness. Get ready for a flashback.
A "no-nonsense middle-aged woman named Pat" back in Minnesota was the astrologer who had read her natal chart and because I don't believe in this sort of nonsense, I have no idea what a natal chart is and I don't know what she's talking about. Anyone-- psychic, astrologer, whatever-- who claims to know anything about your life and your past and your future and all that jazz is simply a clever con artist and of course Cheryl is the type of person who will fall for this exact type of bullshit because self-absorbed people love hearing about themselves and will believe anything.
During the stupid flashback, Cheryl claims that at first she was super skeptical but then the astrologer says something that totally blows her away even though what astrologer says is 100% inaccurate. Pat asks about her father:
"'Was he a Vietnam vet?' she asked."
Nope, turns out Cheryl's father was not a Vietnam vet, but I can see why the astrologer brought this up: it was 1992 when this reading was happening and Cheryl was twenty-three at the time, so guessing that her father had been in Vietnam would have been a pretty logical guess just based on having a vague understanding of recent history and subsequently doing the math. Cheryl, who "had never had a mind for math" (remember Chapter Nine?), can't see that this woman is just making general guesses and falls for all of it. She tells Pat that her father was not, in fact, a Vietnam vet, but Pat tries to cover up her wrong guess:
"'It seems he was like a Vietnam vet,' she persisted."
What the fuck does that mean? Oh, that's right, it means that the astrologer is totally wrong but needs to cover up her mistake, so she makes up this bullshit:
"'Perhaps not literally. But he has something in common with some of those men."
WHAT. A PERSON IS EITHER A VIETNAM VETERAN OR NOT.
"He was deeply wounded. He was damaged. His damage infected his life and it infected you."
The astrologer continues,
"'And you're wounded in the same place. That's what fathers do if they don't heal their wounds. They wound their children in the same place.'"
A bunch of other stupid shit is said that I'm skipping and you're welcome, and then Pat says,
"'To heal the wound that your father made, you're going to have to get on that horse and ride into battle like a warrior."
That's the end of Chapter Twelve.
I saw the movie yesterday. Yes. That happened.
I know, I know, you're asking how I could spend money on this nonsense-- money that will end up in Cheryl Strayed's pocket-- and I get it, I really do. But, two things:
1. I did not spend money on the movie. My friend, Jaime, treated me because I "deserved it for suffering through this review of the book," and while two tickets were bought, the money did not come out of my pocket.
2. Who do you think you're fucking kidding with your logical arguments. If you're reading this blog, you're just dying for me to review the movie and you know it, so just stop. Sacrifices have to be made in war. You're welcome for my sacrifice.
I was tempted to review the movie immediately upon returning home but soon concluded that a review written in all caps would probably not go over well, but-- BE ADVISED, IT IS SO FUCKING AWFUL THAT I MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO HELP MYSELF IN THE FUTURE. IT'S JUST THAT BAD AND I MAY VERY WELL FEEL THE NEED TO SCREAM MY REVIEW AT YOU.
I honestly had expected the movie to maybe be almost good. It was far, far worse than I had expected. I was willing to sit through any amount of bullshit for the sake of this blog. I will tell you: if I check my watch once during a movie, it's a bad movie. IF I CHECK MY WATCH THREE TIMES, IT'S A TERRIBLE MOVIE. It was so bad, and I'm not just saying this as an anti-fan of Cheryl Strayed. This was simply just an awful movie.
Jaime and I discussed it afterward and we both came to the same conclusions: 1) it was awful, 2) without having read the book, the movie itself will make very, very little sense and 3) it was just awful. I know that points 1 and 3 are almost identical, but I can't stress it enough: IT WAS AWFUL.
You will have to wait for my review of the movie.
End of Blogger's note, and end of Chapter Twelve.