I already knew what would happen and still I sat there by myself in theater 12, holding back tears. Once I walked out of AMC and crossed the parking-lot to my car, that's when I cried.
Just like the previous four times.
"Your Name" is an anime film about a guy and girl who switch bodies temporarily, and figuring out the meaning of that is what brings them together. There's more to it but I don't want to spoil anything.
This fifth and final viewing was different though, because I finally asked myself "why". Both characters wonder the same thing, each at their own respective part during the story when they themselves are crying.
Doesn't sound too inspirational yet but stay with me.
All I could come up with then were the obvious reasons. I was crying because guys tend to always keep it bottled up until there's finally a moment they can let it out, alone. And what was I bottling up? Missing my ex-girlfriend. Loneliness. Anxiety. Fear. Regret. Resentment. In that order.
After thinking about it a lot since then, I realized there was something else beneath the surface: I wasn't jaded anymore. The anesthesia was lifted, and even though that meant I felt every punch and cut that used to be numbed, now I remembered what it felt like to be alive too. I didn't believe in finding love anymore, and I still don't. This rebirth, however, provided me with a new purpose: to help others find it.
Nothing in my life says I've ever known, or will ever know, love. I know lust. Desire. Hips that make you say wow and faces that still have a couple decades left before the expiration date. It's way too late for me; it wasn't meant to be; doomed from the start; destined to fall apart- there's many different ways I can put it. And so I quarantine myself. I'm not patient zero, but I also don't want blood on my hands.
What I mean, is now I see it as my personal responsibility to keep others from going down this path. One of selfishness and perpetual discontent. Prevent others from making the same blunders I have, not by telling them what to do but by telling them what not to do. Or if they've fallen, to help them get back on their feet before the point of no return, by offering them a hand of forgiveness, an embrace of understanding, and words of advice. I've given up on myself but I won't give up on you, because I discovered the reason I cried was twofold. The first was feeling sorry for myself. The second was being happy for somebody else. Even if that somebody else was a fictitious character.
I don't just hope love will find you. I have faith that it will because I've seen it happen to those around me, and because "Your Name" convinced me it's out there. Faith is what remains when you have all the reasons not to believe but you keep clinging onto that elusive something. It's for the times when there's no evidence to support your belief, or even evidence to the contrary.
In any case, love didn't find me, so logic dictates it must have gone to somebody else.
We're all a work in progress and I see a statue of David in you. Every chip taken out of you by the universe's chisel is nothing more than the bittersweet touch of a divine craftsman, shaping you into the best you can be. Yet even the gods among men, like Michelangelo, made mistakes when they were honing their craft.
So I'll bear the embarrassment and be the example you can learn from. Armed with that experience, you'll realize your full potential. A masterpiece deserving of the love it will inevitably receive, rather than love it tried to take.
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