I realized that he was crying. Not overtly but softly, quietly. I wanted to put my arm around him but decided not to. We’d chosen to see “Remember Me” because I’d seen most of the other movies showing. As it was predictably sad, I was watching how they set up the plot and then deliver the coup de grâce. For me the movie was sweet; a bit clumsy, but not terrible. Now here I was with Charlie crying in the seat next to me, and me trying not to let him know that I knew. I started thinking about how I never cry at movies, and how I couldn’t relate to this one much at all but that for him it had a very real relevance.
I had known Charlie for about a year and almost immediately he told me that his girlfriend had been diagnosed terminal, and had six months to live. This was a year later and she was still around. They’d count days together. The next time I saw him — he lives in London — I asked about her and he said “she still here.”
I sat and watched the credits roll and thought about this beautiful, compassionate, straight man next to me who cries at sad movies. Straight or gay, it’s as the Buddha taught: We all suffer. I hope I can be a good friend to him. I also made a decision: I want a man that cries at sad movies.