Movie alone: American Beauty, 1999

Rosa_American_Beauty_illustrationIn that autumn of disappointment

I wore my brand new birthday sweater

not yet knowing

the fuzzy balls would soon sprout all over

like overnight dandelions.

I cursed myself for arriving

before the lights dimmed.

Better to risk a bad seat

than endure curious stares

from dozens of couples.

I invented alibis, just in case:

“He’s in the bathroom.”

“He’s buying popcorn.”

Then—“He stood me up.”

But no one spoke.

Why didn’t I wait for the rental?

I’m tired of too much school and work but no life.

I’m tired of unreturned emails from my best friend.

I’m tired of this crushing isolation.

A night out will do me good, I reasoned.

As the movie unfolded in the dark

the melancholy thorns pricked me

while I sought a beautiful escape.

No longer naive

I rushed to my car before the credits rolled

and my loneliness multiplied

like mushrooms after rain.

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