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You've got to be kidding me.

You've got to be kidding me, Oil on panel, 30x20cm, 2021

Ive always delighted in going to the movies alone, and in February of 2012 during a rough patch with a boyfriend and my own life direction escaping to the movies was exactly what I needed.

I wore my standard attire for the theater: jeans that feel a little too loose and the largest hoodie I could find. I had only heard reviews about 'The Artist', and the idea of it being in black and white was what pulled me in. I didnt bother to look at details. I was excited to have something to watch, as most of the things playing in my hometown rarely were considered 'arthouse'. I got there early, bought my classic combo of popcorn and pop and found a seat. Showtime was nearing. I was delighted, no one else was in the theater! I wiggled with hope that no one else would turn up.

Then, suddenly the entire experience took a dark turn. I heard the theater door open, and in walks a couple. I suddenly went cold with my body telling me something is wrong, and then my brain caught up — I realized the person who just walked in was my ex, followed by his wife. We made eye contact and I could feel our mutual discomfort. Cute newlyweds out for an afternoon matinee and the spinster sharing a theater. Quickly they walked up the theater stairs and choose seats nearing the top. All I wanted to do was leave, and it crossed my mind. But a voice cut in and said 'hell no. You're going to sit here, and watch this because it's just as awkward for him as it is you.' So I did just that. I figured once the movie began I could chill out, and mow down on the popcorn.

As the film starts to play out my version of hell just keeps going darker. For those of you who've not watched The Artist, it's a silent film, which I too was unaware of until things started rolling. I sat through the entire film slowly placing individual pieces of popcorn on my tongue, waiting for them to melt with my saliva and then would swallow. Determined to make sure this experience wasn't ruined I bullishly tried hard, and failed. When the film finally did come to an end I had zero desire to wait out the credits, and I welcomed any judgement for not staying. With my hood up, I skedaddled the hell out of there.


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