To the woman at the Sunday afternoon screening of The Fabelmans:

You caught my eye because you came solo to an afternoon movie at this mall theater that seems to have 10 floors. I think you were alone, unless you had a small dog or sat across the room from a friend, like the two fellas at the last movie I saw, who would convene every other scene to hand off popcorn to one another.

A lot of people don’t see movies alone, particularly in the middle of the day. The ones who do usually look like my potential future self if things don’t go as planned. You didn’t look like that. You looked cool. My friends in college told me it’s weird to see movies alone because they’re a “social experience.” They couldn’t come with me because the LMFAO concert was that night, and I transferred out of the school a few months later.

As for me, I was not the old guy sitting in the front, laughing slightly too long at each joke, nor was I the family of four. I held the door for you as you left, wearing a large blue winter coat with an Eastern Bloc photojournalism vibe, the box of remaining Buncha Crunch rattling like Yahtzee in my pocket.

It’s one of the last theaters with arcade games. You didn’t play the games but left into the first flurries of evening snow. I wanted to ask you what you thought of the movie and regretted not speaking up. I’ll be at the 3:40 pm Babylon screening on Wednesday, December 28, wearing the coat. But I don’t think I’ll buy Buncha Crunch again.

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