16 NOV 2017.

I was tender and ripe, or in perfect condition, for budding the blossom of what went on to bloom into the most consuming, albeit passive, fascination with film. Yes, you could read this pretentious sentence again and not understand that all I wanted to say is how I heart the sh-t out of going to the cinema. As I was typing this, a realisation came: I had never in the past taken time to breathe, in or out, when entering new relationships (to “give space” is the most confusing, stupid, obsolete definition in the life of a new romance), had never treated their evolution as slowly as I happened to approach one of the cinematic magic. Is that why, unlike the fleeting for-real marriages, the film affair has lasted two decades and instead of tiring me out it’s filling me up with more energy and a very clear picture of the happy ending?

I left the village home in the Far Eastern Russia after high school at the age of 17, which marked the first capitalist-world venture into a capitalist cinema. First movie? Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. Make that twice in two days. (Side note: there are so many people who dived into the DiCaprio obsession when Titanic came out, I don’t understand those people. The patiently zooming-in image of Romeo’s profile basked in the setting sun of the Venice Beach, the first shot where the viewer is introduced to the most beautiful face of the tired tragic hero? Please. I can recite Shakespeare only because of that shot. RIP DiCaprio’s beautiful days.)

If a week looks like I won’t find the time for a movie, it’s panic-central – especially during the Oscars season, when cinematic amazingness lavas out, I am sorry for this white privilege whining, but I can sit down and cry. Cinema outings are planned in advance and revolve around my daughter’s school runs. Basically, movie theatres is where I f-ck. A few years ago, I attended therapy for some mental health issues and batsh-t unstableness, where I learned, for lack of better words, to capture my erratic emotions and tamp them right down inside this pretend-container I call “Stillness”, which was how I managed to avoid possible regrettable consequences. That whole life period was a mindf-ck, I don’t miss it. Anyway, these days I come into the cinema, slump myself into the assigned seat and open this container of “crazy” right up. For the two hours, I am disarmed and numb to anything outside. This is heaven.

Speaking of heaven, as I get older, and, I assume, as everyone else gets older, each of us, from time to time, have to welcome morbid thoughts on what we are going to miss the most when our time comes. Maybe my thoughts had been spurred up by the stupid autoimmune disorders I didn’t think I was going to come alive out of, or maybe the late 30s is the new 70s, I have figured my I-don’t-want-to-let-them-gos are, apart obviously from Sofia, the sky… and new releases. Like, how would you reconcile yourself with death before you’ve got to see the new Lion King with Beyonce as Nala? A first world problem which is not made less valid by being a first world problem.