“Rock Springs”: Consistency doesn’t mean rooted down

Earl in “Rock Springs” presents us with an interesting dichotomy between the lost and the “found.”  His life seems to be somewhat transient, and it seems like nothing really ever seems too permanent to him.  Even his vehicle is ever changing, and he is driving clear across the country to make a new home.  His daughter seems to be his only permanent piece of life, and even while Edna is presented as something that is expected to be solid, she has been with him only a few months and, as we see, not entirely on board.  While the story sort of ends in the middle of the climax, we don’t know if he leaves without his family or not.

When I look at it a different way, though, not everything seems so up in the air.  We have a consistent  lifestyle, one that is constantly moving, with an ever present shift in partners, and always a different job.  He even picks new aliases.  Everything seems so vague, but to him that is simply how things are, constantly changing, and that’s what seems solid to me.  He is comfortable that way because the shorter you stay one way the shorter amount of time everything has to catch up with you: the cops, people you’ve hurt, anything that could hurt.  It’s much easier to stay self-serving and run.  I would expect him to be selfish and move away without anything in the dead of night.  I don’t think the big question we should be asking is if he is going to leave and change everything once again. The big change for him would be to stay and stick it out.

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