I had never gone to the movies alone, yet there was a thing that happened when a character really allured me. Whoever was sitting beside me — their body heat, their sipping of straws and chewing of popcorn — would fade into whitenoise, and I would forget about them until one moment I might glance over and feel like I was surrounded not by friends, people saved into my phone, and more like ultra realistic stage props.
In that dark space, I felt alone, yet not in an abandoned way. I felt like I was alone with the face on screen, just us two, holding onto a secret. It felt like we were alone and nothing else in the world could touch the secret we held.
It was this feeling I wanted when I suddenly decided to go to the movies alone for the first time. It was one of the Twilight movies. The university was playing it free. They even handed out salty popcorn. Only thing was that I came out of it not having broken through to that dark place. Instead, I felt like I wanted to just leave the whole time. Yet I didn’t. I stayed, waiting for it to happen.
I threw the soggy, red, white striped bag in the trash and walked to Wilburn Hall thinking about why it hadn’t worked. After coming up with so many farfetched reasons, I realized I was simply trying to explain something I actually didn’t understand at all. I forced myself to stop thinking about it. Some of the reasons I came up with were that it wasn’t a real movie theater. Or that the movie was bad, and the emotions on display weren’t genuine enough. Blah blah blah.
My phone had a text from Moriah asking if I wanted to eat. She’d sent it an hour ago. I texted back asking what she was up to now. She replied right away.
< still at caf >
< Can I come? Will you be there for a bit? >
< sure >