do I know you?

They agreed the movie was terrific. A love story, it ended sadly with the woman committing suicide. Walking out of the theater afterwards, his girlfriend said she liked the film but it bugged her how often people in movies commit suicide for love. How many people do that in real life? It’s just pure Hollywood, melodramatic nonsense. He stopped and stared at her strangely. “The woman doesn’t kill herself for *love*. She kills herself because she knows at that moment in her life she’s as happy as she’ll ever be. She’s sure everything that comes afterwards will be either anti-climactic or disappointing. So she’d rather die now, at the peak of her life. How wonderful if you’ve got the courage to do it: Go out in flames rather than sizzle down slowly into ash.” Shaking her head, his girlfriend smirked as if he were an adorable idiot. He’d seen that look before. They walked on in silence, thinking about their different interpretations of the film. Finally she took his arm and squeezing it said, “You always see things so optimistically.” Hearing that, he winced because he knew in certain profound ways they viewed life so differently and that it could undo them. In time it did.

Jonathan Carroll on Medium


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