Who Am I This Time?
by Sasha Stone

When I hear about a child predator on the loose, or a triple murder by some whacked out ex-husband and father who couldn't bear to see the children live on without him, or even anyne who raises a hand to hurt a child, I think I must become Linda. And I'm not talking about the mushy waitress in T1, I'm talkin' the pistol-packing, all-beef, lean mean fighting machine in T2.

Trouble with being Linda, of course, is that you spend all of your time worrying. Your nights are spent watching the ceiling while sweat trickles off your brow as you imagine just how and where that weapon might be stored. Guy comes in a window, you smash him over the head with the lamp. You scream so loud, you scare the bastard half-way back to Bakersfield. It's not an easy life, protecting the innocent.

I am Linda when I worry about my daughter. It's just me, little old stupid mushy waitress me who can't even balance the checkbook (T1 inside joke) given the mighty job of protecting a little one. Sure, she's probably not the Second Coming and all, but to me, the thought of losing her is unimaginable. But Linda's going to whip me into shape. I'll be a soldier in no time, able to crack skulls, kick balls, have hysterical fits in public...

Lock n' load. Seventy push-ups in the morning, sit-ups, steal a bobby pin just in case, grow bangs long, let hair get greasy, knit brow constantly, get a washboard stomach, a personal trainer, sleep with Jim Cameron so he can leave his loving wife Kathryn Bigelow...Marry Cameron, have a kid, lose a career.

Nonetheless, Linda drives the spirit of single mothers whose men have come from the future, are left in the past, and still could emerge in the future, long after we're dead. Either way, we have to explain it with pictures. She emerged from the flames at peace somehow, Cameron's subsequent affair with Suzie Amos notwithstanding. Linda of T2, we all celebrate you.

When I'm Linda, I've got to have the shades, the tank top, the army pants. You can't save the world and protect your child in Lebowski-wear . I am constantly in a crouch, awaiting the next terminator. I'll stick a doctor with a needle if I have to, fake sanity, fake insanity, ramble on endlessly about the creativity of Mother Earth and the men who fuck it up. I'll hunt down the man with the hand, I'll stare into space, my eyes glazed over, my head swimming, visions of flames dancing in my head. It's all about protection. We are the bodyguards, the protectors, because we are somehow stuck in time, our intendeds off on some cosmic journey chasing Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Linda, now she's a superhero a gal can relate to.

CineScene 1999