(Excerpt from Mira Furlan’s soon to be published autobiography)
You do your homework while I read. A world without books would not be worth living. I need them because that’s how I realize I’m not alone. Not through friends. Through books. The only things I had brought from Zagreb are the books. My books, my mother’s books, my grandma’s books, my father’s books. Through those books they’re here, with me. Protecting me. Protecting you. Can you feel it?
We eat dinner, listening to your music. You compose dark, brooding, atmospheric music. Is that what you’re going to do in your life? I’ve dreamed of you having music in your life. With music you’ll never be alone. When I was 5 months pregnant, I happened to be in Atlanta, at a science fiction convention. When I was visiting Martin Luther King’s grave, I threw a coin into the pool surrounding the grave, and made two wishes for you: 1. Let the child have a feeling for social justice, 2. Let the child have music in his life. Miraculously, both my wishes are fulfilled.
You go to bed and I stay alone in the night. Goran is in Europe working. I sit in the garden, the Hollywood sign shining above me, stating its point again and again: You’re in Hollywood, California. Ok, ok, I got it. My house looks cozy and warm from the darkness of the garden. Two bunnies are diligently eating our lawn. Two owls are having a conversation on two pine trees in the garden. A distant mocking bird is trying to get laid by relentlessly singing at the top of his little lungs. I never tire of listening to its singing: it’s like Bach or jazz or Phillip Glass. Am I happy? Have I done what I wanted to do? What I aspired to do? What I dreamt of doing, once upon a time, as a little girl in the city of Zagreb, Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia?
I wanted to travel the world; I did. I wanted to learn languages; I did. I wanted to act; I did. I wanted to write books; I’m doing it. I wanted to love a man and I wanted that man to love me; we are doing that. On top of all this, I have a beautiful boy. A bonus! An unexpected gift! I should be grateful. I am grateful. I used to be so restless. But at sixty I feel calm. I’m at peace with myself. I feel liberated. I feel free.
It’s a good day. Nobody called and I called nobody. I succeeded in shutting down the outside world. I successfully disconnected. Good? Bad? A mistake? A right move?
I don’t know. And I don’t care.
I look at the stars. It’s a clear night and the Milky Way seems so near. That’s where I’ll be going soon. “We’re all star stuff”, I suddenly remember Delenn’s line from Joe’s script.
Not a bad prospect. I am not afraid.
In the meantime, let me close my eyes and sense the beauty around me. And take that breath under the dark sky full of stars. Breathe in. Breathe out.