Mindy Newell: See Ya, Hub
“I hate endings!” said the Doctor to Amy (in last night’s episode of Doctor Who, “The Angels Take Manhattan”) as he ripped out the last page of the novel he was reading. The Doctor always rips out the final page of a book, he tells Amy, because he doesn’t want the story to end. The Doctor wants the story to go on. He wants to forget his near-immortal life, he wants to forget that in the end his companions always leave him because they never have enough time and he will always have too much. He wants to forget that he is the last of the Time Lords, the end of the line.
But we are not Time Lords. We know endings come. We know our ending is coming, one way or another, sooner or later. (Hopefully much, much later!) And I think that one of the ways we come to grips with our final denouement is by telling and reading stories because stories end. And our lives are stories, aren’t they? And don’t we always want to know how the story ends?
Endings can be the reasons we keep turning the pages of the book, even if it’s 2 A.M. and we have to get up to go to work in three hours, or why we watch a movie for the hundred-and-first time.
Endings can enlighten. They can surprise, they can awe, they can make us cry. Endings can make us angry, and they can drive us crazy.
Endings can be poignant and bittersweet. Endings can really suck the big one. Or they can be both at the same time.
In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite endings:
The Gift (Joss Whedon, Buffy The Vampire Slayer): “She saved the world a lot.”
The Death Of Supergirl (Marv Wolfman And George Perez, Crisis On Infinite Earths #7): Farewell, Kara Zor-el, the avatar of my childhood dreams.
The Nine Billion Names Of God (Arthur C. Clarke): “Overhead, without an fuss, the stars were going out.”
Nightfall (Isaac Asimov): The stars come out.
Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? (Alan Moore, Curt Swan, & George Perez, Superman #423 And Action #583): The end of an era.
The Lottery (Shirley Jackson): “’It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,’ Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.”
An Officer And A Gentleman: Hey, what girl doesn’t want to be swept up in the arms of a gorgeous Naval officer and taken away from her drudgery-filled life?
A Guy Named Joe (Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunne): “That’s my girl. And that’s my boy.”
Saving Private Ryan: (Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, with a cameo by Ted Danson): “P-51’s, sir. Tank Busters.”
The Way We Were (Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford): “See ya, Hub.”
We are not Time Lords. We want to know the end of the story. Last night, in “The Angels Take Manhattan,” the adventures of Amelia Pond and Rory Williams as they travelled through time and space with the Gallifreyan came to well, an end.
But their lives went on.
All our lives are stories, aren’t they?
See ya, Hub.
TUESDAY MORNING: Emily S. Whitten
TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis, more or less
“He rode off into the West and everything was okay”
Joe R. Landsdale, The Drive-In 2