Thursday, June 9, 2016

Steadfast and True

Doesn't matter where I'm headed
With you, I've arrived
But I know you get that all the time
Life is too short not to wake up beside you every day
But I know, I know, I know that's what they all say
You don't even have to love me back
~Lynchburg band Steal the Prize "Love Me Back"

I sure know how to show a girl a good time.

To start, I'll take her to dinner, although I'll also tell her what to order and use my hired mouth to eat part of everything she gets. And although I couldn't have planned for it, I'll take full credit for the unintended entertainment of men at a nearby table and their false bravado at eating challenges.

Then, because I know what she likes, I'll suggest a mile walk to enjoy the glorious weather - sunny, warm and very breezy, but most notably, nearly non-existent humidity - with a destination of Bev's, where we find a line nearly out the door but moving steadily.

When I order a classic hot fudge sundae with extra hot fudge for my topping, the young woman behind the counter smiles knowingly and says, "I got you covered," putting my regular scoop of mint chip into a large dish so that the obscene amount of hot fudge won't burble over the sides.

Handing it to me so I can pay, she ogles it one last time. "That looks so good, I wish I was eating it." What it looks like really is a dish of hot fudge since the ice cream is completely obliterated by the chocolate on top, so I understand her envy.

Eating it while my girlfriend licks a strawberry cone, we discuss how the line of customers looks like a tourism photo op with attractive people of various ages and colors happily waiting their turn for ice cream, yet more proof that Richmond is a happening place full of local charm every night of the week.

We even reminisce about the original Bev's over on Belmont, a place likely unfamiliar to every single person in line except long-timers like us.

After strolling back to the car, I'll suggest a movie, something critically acclaimed and vaguely foreign like "A Bigger Splash" (perfectly named after a David Hockmey painting) at Movieland, and she'll agree solely based on the name Ralph Fiennes, only realizing that it's also the new Tilda Swinton movie once we're there.

It's obvious the weather is far too wonderful to sit inside and watch a movie, as evidenced by there being only three other people in the theater, but we persevere for the sake of art and the handsome Matthias Schoenaerts.

And what art! From the landscapes of a breathtaking Italian island to Swinton's wardrobe which could have been borrowed from an old Audrey Hepburn movie (because no one but Tilda or Audrey had the height and lithe figure for so much fabric), pretty people and places abounded.

Because women dig this kind of stuff, it's got to be a girlfriend you take to a movie that places so much emphasis on the unbelievably fantastic relationship of a couple who are completely into each other mentally and physically.

And may I just say for the record how satisfying it is to see as much male nudity as female?

The film takes a darker turn when Fiennes as her ex-lover and former producer ("One way or another, we're going to grow old together") shows up with his nubile and scantily-clad 17-year old daughter in tow, a sure sign bad things are on the horizon.

Fiennes is a whirling dervish of a man who never shuts up, or eases up on his full court press to win back his ex, but it's a scene where he dances unabashedly to the Stones' "Emotional Rescue" that shows the real measure of the man as an uninhibited actor.

Meanwhile, Swinton manages to demonstrate her superb acting chops with a role that only allows her to whisper occasionally and never speak out loud, despite playing a rock star with Chrissie Hynde-like hair and Bowie-like make-up.

Best of all for my date and me, the movie clarifies nothing, shows little yet much, and ultimately ends on a discomforting note like all good foreign arthouse films do.

Some nights, all you need is the right woman to share that much with.

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