The Places that Connect Us

For the first time since December of 2019 I watched a movie in a movie theater. This post isn’t about that. While I enjoyed the movie and could talk about that this is about something else. It is about the feeling of standing outside the theater and smelling the salt air. That moment was a love letter to myself. It was a reminder that I have stood in that parking lot before as a much younger man. I have smelled that same salt air and looked out at the same night sky years and years ago.

There are places in our lives that connect us to our past. That connect us to ourselves. Places that remind us of who we were and by extension of who we are. In that moment, standing in that parking lot, I felt myself connected to the past.

It is strange that I rarely watch movies at this cinema anymore. I know I saw Jurassic Park and Independence Day there and I am certain there were other movies. The Lion King perhaps. I don’t remember perfectly nor do I think it is the movie theater I have visited most. I don’t think it is even the movie theater I have visited the most in this area.

I can barely recall the movies I saw at others though. The experience of Independence Day stands out the most. I can’t tell you why that is. I remember walking up to the movie theater and seeing the poster more than I do the actual movie. I just know it was there and feel that that memory is important to me in some way.

It was weird being there tonight. So much and so little has changed. The movie theater is now a cinema draft house. The inside is partly redone with title floors and a bar where the snack counter used to be. The inside of the theater is vastly improved with comfortable leather seats and cocktail tables, but the lay out is exactly the same and the bathrooms don’t look like they have been updated since the 90’s.

I almost parked to the side and recreated the walk I had to watch Independence Day. I don’t know why that memory stands out. I really don’t. I can’t even recall the other movie I saw at that theater since I moved down here. I can recall other movies and some I can recall the location with them, but not that one. For some reason Independence Day stands out.

The final thing that happened was as I was standing outside, smelling the salt air, I thought I’ve seen a movie tonight which means tomorrow is a beach day. I don’t have time for the beach tomorrow. Tomorrow is a work day. It is another busy day. I might live in a place I used to vacation but my life is not a vacation. Even if I sometimes pretend it is.

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