At home I watch movies to feel or to calm down. The TV is always on. My brain is always too busy.
When I can, I go to the movies to lose myself. For the adrenaline. Stress results in no chemical release. But one trip to the movies causes instant release. It results in what my brain is missing. But in a pressure cooker scenario. Regular people get adrenaline or feel it in pulse. Adrenaline when you’re late for work. Nervous about a date. Being mugged. Job interview.
I go to the movies. Or to bed. Going to bed does it too. Exactly when it shouldn’t. I solve crises while I face my war against insomnia. My face smashed against the wall where it meets my bed. My shoulder slides out of place, and I rewrite my whole budget for a minimum-wage-part-time lifestyle. I write letters. I pay off debts. In my head.
After a movie I clutch the steering wheel tightly. I make sharp movements. I crutch faster than I can run. I stumble. My metal second and third legs trip. I picture my face sliding across cement. Pieces of concrete in my cheek. This doesn’t happen. But I see it.
I get home. I see my life in vignettes. Key in lock. Turn. Door closed. Dead bolt. Locks 1 and 2. I disrobe illogically. Shoe. Mustard cardigan. Urban Outfitters tank top with the painted owl. Sea foam green ribbed tank from Target. Bra. My skinny jeans still clinging to my calves. Pushing my fat over their belt loops.
My legs are uneven. I have to step with my left foot almost completely pointed. I’m half ballerina, half machine. My hips askew from my robot ballet. This boot/crutch crisis. I am not me anymore.
My pen shakes. Because I shake.
On a couch I hardly even see the screen or hear the actors. I am gone.
In an uncomfortable theater seat leaning away from my movie-going companion, as far right as possible. For fear of invading space. For fear of having to dodge attempts at hand holding. My left is on my chin or cheek. I can feel zits sprouting. I feel them. This is safer. My right hand is between my sleeping, crossed legs.
Meanwhile, my heart races. Pumping blood to everything, but my constricted feet, harder than any other time.
Left hand toothbrush. Right hand toothpaste. Zoom in on paste on brush. Four seconds of the three minutes of brushing.
I’m ready for bed. For hours. I’ll be up all night. I went to a movie. A movie I’d seen countless times. All day my brain fades out because of movies I watch at home. All night it races. Because of a movie outside my home. A movie reminds me of emotion. Brings me to life and takes my rest.
My downstairs neighbor and I talk now. Vignette conversations. He asked about the recovery of my foot. He doesn’t hold doors.
I went to the movies.