Allow me to transport you to the wondrous time that is last Sunday afternoon. The sun, it was shining. The birds, they were chirping. And as for me, I was just finishing up a bagel and going to see “SHAZAM!” with two of my friends. Our cups overrunneth with the rich bounty of hopeful optimism a day like that could provide impressionable young lads, such as ourselves. And it was good.
But in a sudden reversal of fortune, one of my friends recklessly blurts out a creeping anxiety of his that would put a truly horrendous damper on my otherwise campy and positive disposition for at least a few minutes. His words, etched into my cerebellum, echo through the corridors of my naïve mind. Perhaps I will never truly work through the crisis that my fellow movie-going associate imposed upon me with his careless spewing of casual conversation. “What did he say?”, you may be asking yourselves right now. Or, far more likely, you reached down deep into the abyss and pulled out your first-grade reading comprehension skills that you may not have used in some time and used context clues from the title to get your answer. If you chose the latter, mazel tov. You should be a detective.
My friend does, indeed, turn to me and my other friend and say “After this, all we have is ‘Endgame’, and then what?”. It was at that moment that I truly felt mortal. I had invested so much time, energy, brainpower, and dare I say, love on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sure, ‘Endgame’ is not the actual end of the franchise, but things will change forever. And we knew that. The stories, the cast, they were more than just elements of film. They were fundamental aspects of our lives. These characters, would accomplish super-human feats to be heroes. Superheroes we’d call them. Those were such good times. And only just now does it occur to me that I would have to rationalize my existence after the de-facto conclusion to the decade-long epic that quelled such an immense void in my life.
What do I do? Where do I go? Who am I? I had no answer. No guidance. No purpose.
And then, it came to me… And I suppose to everyone else in the theater too, because it was projected on the screen. The “Detective Pikachu” trailer graced our eyes and ears with exactly the soothing song of the sirens we desperately needed at that moment. Ryan Reynold’s voice. Realistic Pokémon. Mentions of a caffeine addiction. It was like staring into the face of God and becoming one with eternity.
There are no words to describe the beauty of the moment. I had found my reason to continue. I had purpose again. There is no longer a need to fear the unknown as we have a guiding light to save us from our impending reckoning. We have found our savior. Perhaps not the one we deserve, but the one we need right now.