Here’s how long the new Harry Potter movie is:

  • Long enough for me to think I saw Diane Keaton and create a story in my head where the woman she was talking to that looked sort of like Diane Keaton had to have been Diane Keaton’s sister, and I imagined they took their kids to movies on Saturday afternoons all the time.
  • Lone enough for me to then crane my neck around to see where the Keaton family likes to sit when they watch movies, prompting Jessica to ask, “You really have no shame, do you?” Which caused me to respond, “You should have seen me when I sat behind Winona Ryder during The Good Girl.” Which prompted her to say, “I did. Because I was there.” After I did the fumbling, “I know,” and sat in the appropriate silent shame corner, the only thing I could come up with was, “We’ve seen a lot of movies together.” She scoffed and I began polishing the shoe I had so recently jammed into my mouth.
  • Long enough for me to run into “Diane Keaton” later in the aisle. Not Diane Keaton.
  • Long enough for me to crane my neck around to show my friend Fake Diane Keaton. “Just stop,” Jessica said to me.
  • Long enough for one person’s cell phone to go off. Twice. I’m sure it’s the same person, as it was one of those really annoying seven-minute song rings where they let the song play on and on because they’re really proud that they downloaded “Mexican Radio” or whatever.
  • Long enough for the cell phone offender to get into a verbal spar with another theater patron. “Why don’t you just go the hell home!” she shouted in a dark room full of children.
  • Long enough for the man next to me to laugh seconds after every time I laughed, making my poor paranoid brain think that the man was laughing at me and not with me.
  • Long enough for me to think, “He just found the book? There’s so much movie left. Oh, my God.”
  • Long enough for me to marvel at the bladder control skills of the kids in the audience.
  • Long enough for me to like Kenneth Branaughagugh for the first time ever.
  • Long enough for the man next to me to gallantly retrieve my water bottle when I dropped it and it rolled between his feet. He practically got down on one knee to give it back to me (it’s possible at this theater — the spaces between the rows are really big because they shoot movies in there sometimes (True Romance)).
  • Long enough for me to think, “That third movie better come in two installments.”
  • Long enough for a different crowd on the other side of the room to get so rowdy that they want us to clap as an audience for the end of every scene. There was a strange smattering of applause for every one of those long shots where someone’s staring at nothing (which happens all the time in this movie. It takes forever for these people to process information).
  • Long enough that I had questions about the last scene of the film, because there was still stuff they had to remove from the book.

As I’m asking Jessica about some particular thing, the man next to me said, “Please!” So, I think he’s trying to answer my question, or make some kind of small talk banter, so I turn to him and ask, “What?”

And he says, “This was really nice. Can I go out with you again sometime?” So I think he’s making a joke about the length of the film, that it was so long it was like we dated. So I laugh, which I think is the appropriate response. “Please?” he asks again.

“What’s going on?” Jessica asks.

“Can I see you again sometime?” he asks me. I stare at Jessica. I don’t know what to say. “It’s time for us to go,” Jessica says.

He held out his hand. “Nice meeting you,” he says. “Good-bye!”

He walked off. “What the hell?” Jessica asked. “Did I interrupt something?”

“I think the movie was so long that I started dating someone.”

“And I think you broke up!”

“That’s one long movie.”

“I wish that cell phone fight had broken out. That would have been awesome.”

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