The movie was "Anastasia," w/ primary voiceover work from both John Cusack and Meg Ryan. Jill used Cusack's role to woo me to the screen. (She knew/knows my deep, undying love for "Gross Pointe Blank.")
We watched it. It was fine.
But, I needed to counterbalance this first move on the movie chess board.
Enter "Requiem for a Dream." I think it's fair to state that we both settled on it at the video store. But, I found it. I pushed for it. And we watched it.
Both of us agreed it was well done and intense (not unlike most Aranofsky films). However, I had the sneaking suspicion that I enjoyed it more than Jilly. Regardless, it didn't seem to phase her - my fascination w/ the darker side of things. She rolled w/ it, didn't run from it.
As our relationship progressed, so too did the movie watching. And while we each leaned to our separate corners, we were also pleased to find a very broad middle ground that allowed each of us to get great satisfaction from the same films. We found our artsy, independent movie groove.
For me, film has always been a (much needed) escape or respite from reality. When reality gets heavy, I dive deep into fiction on the screen. For example, my evening escape as of late has been American Horror Story. It's dark, complex, and (to me) extremely engaging (namely Season 2) - just what I need to step outside myself for 45 minutes at a time.
For Jilly, film was more of an invited distraction than an escape. It was entertainment.
If the film made us both think in a new and creative way, we were in. We were hooked.
So, while the awards' programs tended to focus on the mainstream darlings, we shifted our attention to events like the Spirit Awards, that honor the monetarily leaner films that (we believed) often tackled more interesting topics and themes.
That indie'ness aside, Jilly certainly had a soft spot for the red carpet. She'd plop herself in front of the television for the big ones - the Oscars, the Globes, etc.
But, for her, it was less about the win/loss columns. It was more about the style. Who looks good? Who doesn't? Investigate. Explain. Elaborate.
It was genuinely funny (for me). I often road shotgun during these viewings. More often than not, Jilly would talk to me about what so-and-so is wearing. I didn't care. She knew I didn't care. But, damn it, I played along. Not always. But, I got in there. I've critiqued a few hairstyles in my day.
Why? Simple. For her.
Jill's constructive critiquing would continue for the balance of the ceremony.
So I found myself watching the Globes last night. Why? I really don't know. Maybe Jilly drew me to the screen. Maybe I needed an evening escape. Regardless, I stuck it out till the end.
And as I shut off the television, I was immediately struck by a feeling of emptiness. As I made my way into bed, my mind quickly found the specific source of that emptiness. I watched this awards show and didn't have my partner alongside for the ride.
Yes, there have already been many firsts since Jill passed. You can think of all the big ones thus far - Chanukah, Christmas, New Year's, etc. And they certainly take it out of me at moments.
But, for whatever reason, it remains the little ones. The little firsts are the ones that knock the air out of me, leave me w/ that (now familiar) empty feeling, and cause brief moments of disarray. I don't know exactly why. A guess would be b/c the little moments are often the ones I didn't have to share w/ anyone. They were ours - just Jilly and me.
So, when one half - the better half - is absent, you feel that absence.
I feel that absence. I feel it down to my freaking core.
J, J, & r