Kevin Smith films helped define me as a young man. The exploits of these likable characters helped establish my sense of humor and even made me feel like I had friends when I didn’t.
I’m lucky, because Kevin has continued telling stories with these same characters over the past thirty years and so, well, it’s like having life long friends.
When Clerks III came out, I got to see two versions of my friends. Randall, who has never grown, is still overly obsessed with pop culture and an asshole. And Dante, a guy who did grow but once his wife passed away he stopped living. Both characters felt relatable to me and I think it impacted me more than I imagined.
I was already dealing with my upcoming birthday and forty being a year away. I found myself no enjoying the same things and even finding some of them pathetic. My views were reinforced when I watched Randall jabbering in about The Mandalorian while preparing for heart surgery. Suddenly, I realized how ridiculous this obsession with pop culture was.
I haven’t been the same since. It’s been a couple of months and slowly I’m letting go of things. My own health scare lately has made me fully accept that I need to focus more on the life I want than reliving the past or living through others. In a way, it’s time for me to grow up.