I sat in a movie theatre on the Upper West Side of Manhattan next to my pal Amber.
It was a nasty, rainy night and watching Beginners seemed the perfect escape from the elements.
We'd watched the trailer one night while discussing our List of Movies To See like this one and this one... and we felt quite certain we'd like Beginners. And we did. Arthur the pup will steal your heart, fair warning. But something captured me that night more than just the happiness that comes from seeing a good film.
The theatre dark, I began to notice the silhouettes of the crowd of New Yorkers peppered about the room. Who were they? What was their story? Did they watch the trailer and fall in love with Arthur, too? Did they come alone? Was it a girl's night out? A first date? A long-standing Friday night tradition?
The couple in front of me caught my eye for certain. She sat in the aisle seat, her wheelchair readied for departure to her right. Her man, seated to her left, gently rubbed the back of her neck, tucked a whisp of her cropped hair behind her ear and stole a smile from her as he faced the screen.
I wondered if he saw the depth of that smile. If he knew the tender love she felt for him in that moment.
Then, it happened. The most perfect ending to a movie yet. The crowd, myself included, clapped as the credits began and Jelly Roll Morton let loose. It wasn't fast and loud and obnoxious. It was soft and yielding and brief.
We were a motley crew of varied races, religions and political leanings with histories as diverse as they come.
We had just watched a story about love.
And it just so happened the real thing sat right in front of me all the while.