Not About Love, ch. 1: Movie Land

And then she just… drove away. Even as I watched her go I had a moment– one of those eternity-in-an-instant moments, like a glimpse of a future never to be– where I ran after her. It was all in slow motion of course: I sprinted toward the car as music began to swell from the rhythmic riffing of an electric guitar joined by a breakneck drum beat like some White Stripes anthem about a girl. At this point I was crazy with the thought of letting her go, and this was my only shot. I caught the car at the corner stop sign and launched myself over the hood, shouting for her to wait. She slammed the brakes with a look that would have been startled if it wasn’t so angry. Despite the sharp pain through the entire right side of my body I got back on my feet, and she against her better judgment rolled down the window just enough to let me talk. And boy did I talk. I delivered the greatest speech ever spoken from one guy to one girl. It wasn’t difficult, I just said how I felt: I told her how much of a fool I’d been, and I told her how I loved her the moment I laid eyes on her, and I promised her the only thing I wanted in the whole wide world was to be together no matter the odds against us– wait, no actually that’s pretty bad; ok so how about I told her all the feel stuff, but then I described to her the most perfect future imaginable where I’d build her her own library, and where we’d invent the perfect nachos together, and where we’d have a reasonably-sized dog named Virginia Woof, and then I finished it off strong with something like how she’s the only one I see that future with or something like that. I don’t know, whatever it was it worked because then she stepped out of the car and wrapped her arms around my neck and said something clever– I’m thinking like either a Jerry Macguire reference or maybe something from a Jane Eyre novel (take your pick)– but whatever it was it worked too and we kissed ever so passionately beneath the moonlight in the rain (it’s raining now) and we knew then that it would always be us, happily and madly in love forever…

And then the moment passed. The music stopped and there I was, still standing on the curb watching her drive away. She turned the corner, and I turned around and walked home. Music started playing again, but this time it was more like Bon Iver– you know, like an acoustic melody and self-indulgent vocals with the power to somehow multiply gravity’s effect as I struggled against each step leading into my house. Exhaustion of course hit mercilessly before I even got to my room. Changing into pajamas is an activity for emotionally stable people. I fell onto my bed without so much as bothering to unlace my shoes.

There’s one thing no romantic comedy will ever show, one thing that is always missing from the timeline of ridiculous events leading two unlikely lovers into each others’ arms: the next day. They never show what happens the next day. I mean, sure, sometimes they’ll give us an epilogue that’s like a year later and everything is as “happily ever after” as we always knew it would be, but never will they show what happens when the leading lord and lady wake up the next morning and have to face the consequences of the idiotic thing they just did. And why would they? In Movie Land the only lasting consequences are the kind that, against all logic, eventually get you what you always wanted. In Movie Land you don’t have to worry about ruining other people’s lives because somehow your stupidity made everything better in the end. In Movie Land you don’t wake up the next day with cotton mouth and itchy feet wishing there was a reason other than worthless nobility for your martyrdom. In Movie Land you never have to consider that maybe you’re not the main character in someone else’s story. No, such things are solely the domain of Reality. And in Reality, sometimes the only difference between two sets of terrible consequences is a clear conscience.

2 thoughts on “Not About Love, ch. 1: Movie Land

  1. “In Movie Land you never have consider that maybe you’re not the main character in someone else’s story.” How true. But deep down, hidden somewhere in the recesses of what I call the heart, one knows. Despite all romance and hormones, one knows.
    What a well written piece this is. Nice music, too. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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