Last night, I had an unexpected outing to the movies to see “The Sessions” starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy. My friend Brendan picked the movie, and, though I had not heard of it before he mentioned it, I was game just for the experience of sitting in a theater with a friend.
Going in, I knew the story had to do with a guy in his late thirties who was determined to lose his virginity. It turns out that the story is a true one, based on the life of a poet with polio who lived in an iron lung. He hired what he called a sex surrogate to help him. It sounds like a strange story and perhaps even one that would be uncomfortable to watch, but it wasn’t. It was incredibly sweet.
I think different people can walk away with different things from this movie. For me, it was about making connections – personal and meaningful connections – in the most unexpected places. Intimacy can mean different things to different people. Sometimes it’s physical in the heaviest sense of that word. Sometimes it’s a simple touch. Sometimes it’s words or even a look passed from one person to another. But connectedness, whatever form it takes, is incredibly beautiful.
This movie was incredibly beautiful. It simultaneously tore my heart open and ripped it to shreds. I’m still processing what I saw, but I think it gave me hope.