Why Movie Moments Are Only Great In The Movies

Have you ever lived a movie moment? You know, in a great film when the pathos is through the roof and you’re rooting for the most climatic, painfully beautiful outcome for two characters whose journeys have become personally important to you? In the movies, we get to live out those intense realities for an hour or two without having to carry around the consequences and emotional fallout for the rest of our lives.

But life is not like the movies. When we find ourselves in those kinds of moments in real life, credits don’t roll and wash away the complications.

You see, last night someone kissed me. I didn’t see it coming. We’ve shared a powerful connection from the moment we met, and somehow acknowledged it without ever having to say a word. But he’s also become a good friend, and he has a far away girlfriend that he loves, and that means something to me. When you care for someone, you care about their whole life, not just the parts that are convenient for you. It should have been an impossible situation, our friendship, yet we managed perfectly. We allowed ourselves little time alone together, just an occasional evening spent talking, sitting inside the comfortable place that was our remarkable chemistry. It was like letting the pressure out, so no one would get hurt.

Last night we drank and talked with friends and each other, and when it came time to say goodnight, he walked out with me into the dark and gave me a simple kiss, full of meaning and innocence at the same time. It was not a beginning kiss. It was an ending kiss. A what-might-have-been kiss. Here we have our movie moment. In a movie, this scene sounds incredible. Two characters you’ve come to love finally give themselves a space to be honest and put the rest of the world aside for just one minute. Everyone feels relieved and nods with satisfied understanding when the characters pick their lives back up and go on, because they got the moment they paid $12 for.

Except in real life, it’s shitty. In real life, you’re only acutely more aware of how special that connection is and how much you want a chance to have them to yourself for an hour, or a night, or a year. In real life, you drive home in tears realizing you may never again see the person who just revealed how much they could care for you. In real life, the story keeps going, now with you alone and him telling you to stay away even though it hurts. In real life, the more grateful you are that it happened, the more it kills to know that’s all you’ll get.

But in his own eerily prophetic words from a past conversation, “Cheer up! Because you’re fucking alive and you’re feeling it right now but at least you have the capacity to feel. And in time this will be something you look back on as a necessary and important moment in your life.”

It’s no happily ever after, but it’s real life, and it’s good and it’s mine.

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