I contracted some sort of mutant strain of Chicken Pox when I was 17. The blisters were much larger than normal, and the physical toll on my my body was much worse than normal. I couldn't wear clothes because of the intense physical pain caused by contact between my skin and anything more substantial than air. I hadn't slept because of the pain. I hadn't eaten because, even when I got the food past the blisters in my mouth, my stomach was so weakened that it couldn't hold in anything. After the first day, my stomach couldn't even handle water. On the way to the bathroom, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My face was so deformed by blisters that I threw up.

After 48 hours of this, I was on the brink of insanity. At 5am I stumbled out of my room, wearing just a pair of boxer shorts for modesty's sake. The living room was absolutely freezing, it being mid-november and the fire being nothing more than a tiny pile of cinders. Every second was like an hour and I was so damn thirsty. I was also really uncomfortable, because I had to sit on a tiny corner of the chair to avoid more pain. I wasn't sure how much more of it could take.

My brother had rented out a video that night. TV not being very good at 5am, I slipped it in. I didn't even really want to watch it, but hell, it was company. It was something to play in the background.

The trailers ended. I sort of half-noticed the start of the film, with the dull business meeting. Then the fat bloke threw himself out the window. I half-smiled. "Y'know, for kids." I laughed out loud.

By the time Tim Robbins was running around Paul Newman's office with his leg on fire, I had become so utterly absorbed by this film that I had completely forgotten my physical condition. By the time it had ended, I was wrapped in a duvet, gently sipping some water and grinning from ear to ear. It was as if I had achieved Nirvana - I felt like I had gone beyond the realm of physical sensation into a whole other, Coen brothers created world.

Now admittedly I wasn't in the best mental condition to form critiques of movies - shortly after the film ended, I watched Sesame Street and woke up my family by loudly joining in all the word games. But The Hudsucker Proxy does hold a special place in my heart, mainly because I think it wouldn't still be beating if I hadn't seen it that night.

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