Wednesday, September 16, 2015

At The Movies

At The Movies

Yesterday, I was considering going to the movies, and for some reason, I started thinking about how a former girlfriend and I used to see almost every film that came to the theatres. We would go to an early afternoon feature, then stay for a second, and sometimes even a third film. We would call it "some alone time together," because time in a movie theatre seems pretty much an occasion for a bit of solitude while you sit quietly watching other people's lives unfold in the flickering celluloid light. Apart from sharing a bucket of popcorn and maybe an odd chance glance at one another, the time you spend with someone in a dark cinema has a different focus from the two of you as a couple. It's an opportunity to escape into another world, a world of glamour or gore, depending on your disposition that day.

So today, I was going to write about the movies and about how, when I was a teenager, going to the movies had this neat sexual edge to it because the dark world of the movie theatre was a place to make out. Sure, you missed the storyline of the film, but it didn't matter. You were in your own story anyway. In those days, you and your date didn't go to the movies to spend "some alone time together," you went to be as close together as the theatre manager would allow. I don't think kids do that anymore. For the price of two tickets to the flicks and the piracy of the snack bar, I suspect you can probably rent a motel room ... much more private.

Then, this morning, I got to thinking about that idea of "some alone time together." It's a paradox, I suppose. I mean you can't really be alone and together at the same time. Or can you?

I wonder how many relationships end up like that. For years, my ex and I lived in the same house, but we led totally separate lives. The only common link was our children, and as they grew older, that disappeared as well. I can't look back and say that staying "together" while fundamentally living "alone" was good or bad. It was what it was. When the opportunity to split up seemed viable, we were quick to go. That might say something.

Well, here I am, finishing my coffee, and now, I'm starting to wonder just how close is close? If you are "together" with someone, what does that mean? Do you have to be "online" to your partner 24/7? Is it acceptable to be a flirt or a jackass when you're at work or somewhere without your partner? Or is the only time that you can really be alone the time you spend in an aisle seat while you watch Brad seducing Angelina, John Travolta's latest dance moves, a blood-splattered thriller, or the wizardry of a bunch of geeks making a film out of computer generated animations?



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