Saturday, November 3, 2007
My Real Imaginary Date
Just when I was thinking that 2007 has been an unremarkable year for movies, I'm given a reason to reconsider (and yes, cry) after seeing Lars and the Real Girl, an original fable about one man's loneliness and what an entire town will do to help him out of it. These past four years, I have tried my hardest not to think of myself as a victim of HIV, and for the most part, I think I have succeeded with the help of my family and doctors. But I have also stopped denying that I have become an extremely lonely person, similar to Lars. On the weekends, I get dressed up as if I were going out to meet someone special, as I did tonight. And of course, there is no one waiting for me when I show up at the movie theater. But it's still nice, maybe even essential, to pretend that there is. I recognize the irony--that a delusion is what keeps me going, what stops me from totally withdrawing into myself and shutting out the world. Lars had a plastic doll he called Bianca; I make do with my imaginary date whom I have yet to name. When I walked into the crowded movie theater tonight, there were two empty seats in the back row. And I thought to myself, "Wow, two empty seats just waiting for us to fill them." But while this kind of thinking might be poignant on a movie screen, I'm not so sure it's just plain pathetic in real life. After the movie ended, outside of the theater, purely by chance I ran into Chad, a guy I've asked out and been rejected by countless times, a guy who always said he would call but never did. He was going to see a movie with his group of five friends. Normally, I would have been happy to see Chad. But not so tonight. Tonight I was with Evan.