As I write this, we’re a few days removed from the senseless shooting that took place in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater during the early hours of July 20. When I heard the news later that morning, I felt a range of emotions as I imagine many of you did—shock, anger, sadness, fear.
By lunchtime, I couldn’t make sense of it because there’s nothing in these horrific events that makes sense. So, I sought out one of those grueling exercise bootcamps and I worked out until I almost threw up. I had to find a way to release all the pain and emotions.
It worked, for a while. The hurt became a dull ache instead of a stabbing pain. But then on Saturday morning my seven-year-old daughter asked if we were still going to the movies that afternoon. And I shuddered.
The movie theater has always been one of my sanctuaries. My first job as a journalist, as a paid writer, was as a movie critic. It didn’t matter if I sat before a mindless entertainment flick or some French film where a smoldering guy in a beret spends his screen time leaning against a lamppost smoking a cigarette, making existential comments about a woman he’s lostI loved watching and writing about those magical images flickering across the big screen.
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And even before that, as a boy, one of the great joys of my childhood was going to the movies with my dad. I remember classics such as Jaws and Star Wars, sitting before a screen that seemed as big as the moon, our mouths and eyes wide open, in awe of the great stories unfolding before us.