I’m going to veer off the training track for a moment to brag about my day. Then I’ll return to it to brag about my day’s workout. Can you tell I’m in a good mood?
I spent the bulk of today at the Marchesa Hall & Theater watching Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight, which are directed by Richard Linklater and star Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. The third in the trilogy opens this Friday, so if you haven’t seen it yet, no problem. Just rush to the nearest theater on Friday. But if you haven’t seen the first two movies, what’s wrong with you? Go watch them now.
I use Before Sunrise and Before Sunset as a test. Do you hate those movies? Then I’m afraid we can’t be friends. Do you not love those movies? Then I’m afraid we can’t date. Sorry. I have my standards, and I believe that anyone who doesn’t love them lacks a certain sense of romanticism that I want in a partner and anyone who hates them is lacking a sense of humanity that I insist on in a friend.
Before Sunrise is about an American man who meets a French woman on a train in Europe and spends one night wandering the streets of Vienna with her. (Want to know why I am gifting myself a trip to Vienna for my fortieth birthday? This movie is why.) Before Sunrise picks up nine years later in Paris when the man is on a book tour for a novel he wrote based on the one night in Vienna. Before Midnight enters the scene another nine years later. I saw the movie in March at South by Southwest, and I saw it again tonight. I’d tell you what happens, but I want you to experience the story for yourself. So please, watch the first two and then see the third when it opens on Friday.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Before Trilogy marathon today. The movies are perfect, but the best part of the day, for me, became about people.
First, Richard Linklater and Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News did an incredible hour-long Q&A after the first film. Who has ever heard of an hour-long Q&A? Both men were so engaging that I felt like I was listening in on a private conversation. What a gift that hour was.
Second, I got to see Before Midnight with my dear friend Walter. We met at a movie and developed a friendship that grew largely around movies and music, but mostly movies. One of my favorite Walter memories is that, after a screening of Closer, we sat in my car for so long talking that we drained my car battery. (I think I had turned the key in the ignition just enough to start the heater but not enough to start the car. I thought we’d be sitting for ten or fifteen minutes, but we sat for hours. Oops.) He is also the friend who lovingly challenged me to travel – to take trips that involved being away from Austin for more than five or six nights. I love Walter, and I love his wife and kids. I’m grateful for the time with him and for the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite movies with a dear old friend.
Pretty great, huh? Did I mention that, between the second and third screenings, I did a track workout and ran a 4:11 800, which was 3 seconds faster than last week? I’m loving seeing my progress.
After a day like today, you’d think I’d be exhausted, and I am. But I’m also terribly energized. Today was a gift. There were lots of other things that I could have or even perhaps should have been doing. But I think I spent it perfectly.
Now off I go to sleep and perhaps to dream of love and being super speedy in races.