Movie Magic

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“Thank you and have a nice day,” the friendly Cashier, wearing a blue smock, smiles at me.

“You too,” I beam at the woman and walk through the security detector. On the other side, awaits my treasure. I grab the stack from the counter, a bag of popcorn from the basket and walk out the door. As I slip into my car, I place my hoard on the seat next to me. I’m almost tempted to buckle it all in. Next to me, I have my favorite things: movies. What awaits me next is a marathon, following many before and with a million more to come.

When I see that my homework is minimal or that I have a little extra time, my mind instantly goes to our movie selection waiting at home. There is almost nothing as calming as a large stack of movies on my living room table. Seeing the cases, some clear while others vary in color, climb high is a heavenly cornucopia. I drive home, thinking about the relaxing time I’ll have on my couch. Escaping into the land of film puts me at ease. I don’t have to pretend or do anything special, I can just be.

My routine is simple. Once I’ve picked my movie of choice, I run upstairs and get into sweatpants and a baggy shirt. I pull my hectic hair out of my face and curl up with a blanket. Even when relaxing I need some sense of organization: I place my cell phone parallel to the remote controls, my water bottle next in line along with a small snack. That part is all easy and extremely comforting. As my shoulders sink into the soft, warm contours of my cushions, I can let out a well-deserved sigh of relief. Yes, I am in my perfect place.

Although it is simple for me to get ready to watch movies, picking them out is sometimes next to impossible. As I walk into First Run Video, the smell of movie theater popcorn fills my nose. It’s always a little chilly in the store, even in the dead of winter, making the warm, buttery smell even more penetrating. Above me are four screens, back-to-back-to-back, all playing the cashier’s film of choice. The walls, above the movie racks, are covered in movie posters. Some are old while others have recently been put up. I can see that some layers are thicker with posters than others. The place instantly brings me peace.

Usually, there are only a few people intermingled within the store. Each one looks through the selections differently. Some skim briefly while others leisurely scan the entire place. Seeing movies all around amazes me. I hardly know where to begin. It’s like a hunt. I scavenge the rows, cursing under my breath when what I want is checked out. A silent hooray echoes in my mind when I get exactly what I need. Often, I find myself picking from only a few unique sections: Cult, Woody Allen, New Releases, Johnny Depp (Back By Popular Demand!) Television Shows, Classic Dramas, Meryl Streep, Oscar Winners, British Invasion- the list could go on forever. Once I’ve been through a good margin of the films in that particular section, I move on. Other times I will simply drag my finger across a row- the cool, slick discs slipping along my index finger, and choose a movie at random. I want to watch everything that I can, as quickly as I can. It’s a hunger that I cannot satisfy.

As I search the countless isles of cinema magic, I often daydream of a life where my name is on these shelves. I imagine myself as someone like Alan Ball, who has produced, written and directed two HBO shows (Six Feet Under and True Blood) and won an Oscar for his screenplay for American Beauty. Perhaps I would be able to reach Cult Icon status like Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez or the Coen Brothers. Maybe I would be known for my fantastical imaginative movies like Guillermo Del Toro, Steven Spielberg or Peter Jackson. One day I’d get to thank the Academy and go to all the film festivals like Cannes and Sundance. I would get to do the things I wanted: travel, meet and work with new and incredible people and work in film; it’s my dream.

When I watch and am filled with emotion, it just furthers my passion. I want to be able to make people sob over the loss of a favorite character. They would cry into their sleeve or tissue, gasping for breathe and trying desperately to understand why on earth this had to happen. They would roar with laughter, their stomachs cramping from the spasms. People would go green with envy and red with anger because what happened was so frustrating to them. Love would be felt strongly enough so that it seemed as though it was partially their own. Fear would clutch at the viewers sides and follow them even after the credits had rolled. They would relate to the characters but also be introduced to something totally new. What I created would evoke all the senses and then some, just as it has for me so many times before.

So when I sit and begin my movie extravaganzas, I cannot help but be happy. What I’m doing is all for me and no one can take that away from me. I can happily sit, without being bothered. The constant magic, imagination and creativity allow me to daydream about my own possibilities too. I see my future in these marathons. It’s absolute, serene bliss.





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