Late last night I wandered into the living room, looking at my phone, and interrupted my other half who has been binge-watching “The Mentalist” for the last few weeks.

“Olivia Newton-John has died”.

She looked up, suddenly filled with sorrow – “Oh no!”.

It’s a strange feeling – knowing that somebody that has been there throughout your life is no more. A voice on the radio, a face on the cinema screen, and the lines of her scenes etched into the collective memory of your generation.

I never saw Grease at the cinema – I was too young. My other half is a little older than me – she queued up around the block to watch it with her friends. We borrowed a video tape of it from my Aunt a couple of years later – when video cassette recorders were “the new thing”. We played the movie to destruction that summer.

Years later I saw Xanadu, and fell head-long into it’s world of escapist nonsense. If ever a movie was more than the sum of it’s parts, Xanadu was. This morning I re-watched the final scenes with Gene Kelly leading the roller-skating pack around the discotheque, and became unexpectedly emotional when Olivia made her entrance.

She’s always been there, and now she is not.

It doesn’t help that I have a close friend in Australia that reminds me tremendously of her. I’m guessing it’s going to take some time to stop seeing Olivia’s smile, voice, and laughter in hers. Perhaps it’s the other way around – perhaps I’ll see my friend in Olivia whenever Grease or Xanadu is playing, and I’ll smile.

2 replies on “Olivia”

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