I had this friend and roommate while in college.
She was loyal, stand-offish, could speak in any accent I'd throw at her.
And had a love affair with Thomas Hardy novels.
On Sundays, we'd grab lunch to go.
Head back to our apartment.
Get into our pajamas.
Plop down on the couch.
While away our lazy afternoons watching BBC movies.
Nope. It never got old.
One Sunday, in particular.
We watched Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
The 1998 T.V. version.
I mean, the agonizing sort of heartbreak.
Never again, I swore.
And made her pop in Pride & Prejudice.
The Colin Firth version.
To erase the previous memory of the film that still reeled in the back of my mind.
But it wouldn't erase.
In fact, one evening, when I had the apartment to myself, I attempted to watch Tess again.
Hoping this time, there'd be more, well, hope.
Nope. Still depressing.
But there was that one section of the movie.
That was all joyful.
At Talbothay's Dairy.
Where Tess was a milkmaid.
Where Angel was an apprentice farmer.
And there's that one scene.
When he carries her over a flooded road.
Sidecut glances slowly turning into long gazes.
And in his arms, she clings.
And that's the part of the movie I always ended on from then on out.
Whenever Tess of the d'Urbervilles came up again on the playlist.
Would walk out of the room, leaving my roommate to finish the remaining movie all alone.
She, laughing and calling after me about just how pathetic I was.
But I don't care if it's pathetic.
And I don't care if it's naive.
Because that's the way to go out, isn't it?
Joyful. Simple. Happily. Gazing. And clinging to your arms.