On life in black and white.

Posted on February 25, 2012



In one of the first posts on this blog, I wrote about life in black and white. It was last July, and I had just watched Lucille Ball and Bob Hope’s “Affair to Remember.”

It made me wonder how many people in 2011, outside of the 9th grade and away from the trap that is seven minutes of “Stairway to Heaven”, fall in love dancing and chatting. Is it still an issue I have no sense of rhythm? I also wonder if everything would look prettier in black and white. I’d like to film a date, then replay it colorless. Does my hair look better? Does he look like he’s being more romantic?

How are my pores?

It was later explained to me that only I had the luck of getting stuck multiple times in an awkward Stairway to Heaven arms-extended, elbows-locked marathon slow-dance.

Anyway. Black and white and romance. I was home tonight, contemplating writing, not sure about what, when I started looking at movie times. “The Artist” was playing at 7:00. It was 7:04. Shucks.

And then I remembered I live two blocks from the independent movie theater. Black jeans, gray shirt on, (by the look of my wardrobe sometimes, my life is in black and white), I ran a brush through my hair, then ran down the street. I walked into Theater 4 – panting – as the screen blurred from opening credits to “1927.”

And there it was – black and white and romantic. Full of mugging for the camera.

And I started thinking about life in black and white again.

The first (and only other) movie I saw at this theater was “Midnight in Paris” this summer. In September, I’d take the following photo in Vienna.

I’m guilty of editing too many photos to be monochrome. It’s become an addiction, a fascination – In Europe, it was a simple step to making every situation seem movie-like lovely.

And sometimes I choose to view the photos of life in B&W because, in B&W’s natural way of romanticizing everything, it disguises flaws.

Like these goofs from the other night.

Never mind the fact that I talked through 12 of them.

Never mind the fact that we couldn’t be serious.

Never mind the fact that I unintentionally “say cheese” my face off to an almost unnatural extreme, and all that’s missing to make them 1920s silent film mugging for the camera worthy is a super wink.

They make me smile.

But now I’m sitting in a coffee shop, and it’s Saturday night. The lamps are orange, the window seat cushions purple. The paintings on the wall are blue. And for the first time since Europe, I’m sitting and people watching. I even talked to strangers tonight, two older couples out for a movie. I turned down sitting at their table. I try not to crash other people’s dates.

And Beach Boys is playing in the background.

And God Only Knows just played twice in a row.

And it’s real life.

And it’s happening in color.

And that’s the way it ought to be.

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