This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series begun here. While my earlier ‘date’ post logged my eye-opening revelation of who I came to notice, it was with this movie-going experience that changed it all. Besides, this installment in the series seems fitting because today is that person’s birthday.
Loretta Castorini: “You ruined my life!”
Ronny Cammareri: “No, I didn’t.”
Loretta Castorini: “Oh, yes, you did! Oh, yes, you did! Y’know, you got them bad eyes, like a gypsy, and I don’t know why I didn’t see it yesterday. Bad luck! That’s what it is. Is that all I’m ever gonna have? I should have taken a rock and killed myself years ago.”
January 16, 1988: Y’know, good, or even great, ‘first’ dates happen. Like bad ones, they occur often enough. It’s the “separating the wheat from the chaff” that’s the hard part. I’ve now concluded, it is the follow-up social engagement, whether the first was a good or bad one, that sets the tone or breaks the connection between two people. I dated enough to find that out… the hard way.
The really rare instances are those where circumstances, or people, in your life become unclouded. Clear as a bell, sometimes, surprisingly so. Guess I came to realize that because it happened to me. Just like that…exactly once. My second movie date with the significant woman who would later become my wife, and be the mother of my children, was the phenomenon described.
Oh sure, the year before had been the usual mess, what with unexpected health scares, but things were beginning to look up.
Like our previous rendezvous a week earlier, she met me at the movie theater — I still wasn’t allowed to pick her up from her place. Although, that restriction would soon be lifted. The Wilshire Theatre, aka NuWilshire Theatre, was in the area I made my home at this stage in my life — Santa Monica. I’m not really sure why I suggested the romantic comedy Moonstruck for this gathering, but she did agree to it.
However, this date seemed totally different from the first. Coincidentally or not, like the character of Ronnie in the film, I could feel the world around me shifting when I was with her this time. Luckily for me, I didn’t hesitate or attempt to pull back, like other times in my existence. I watched the movie with her, and that was all the world I needed. Then, and ever since.
Happy Birthday, my love.
“Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice – it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and *die*. The storybooks are *bullshit*. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and *get* in my bed!”