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A return to the movies

| Monday, January 24, 2022

Late last month, I convinced some of my friends to come with me to watch “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

Incidentally, the last movie I saw in theaters before the pandemic hit was the second installment of Tom Holland’s franchise “Far From Home.” It would be the understatement of 2021 to say I was excited to finally see the sequel.

Determined to catch up with Peter Parker before the internet was flooded with spoilers, I dutifully found seats in nearly sold-out 3D Thursday afternoon showing, hitched a ride with my friends and arrived at movies after a two year hiatus.

“No Way Home” itself was incredible. I’m not mean enough to give spoilers in this column but I will say I was intermittently laughing and crying throughout the whole thing. All the emotions were happening as the action unfolded before me.

And in that span of two hours, I realized how much I missed the movies.

I used to go about every six months with my family when I was younger and basically every time a superhero/fantasy flick or an adaptation of a good book came out with my friends.

With most recent movies being added to streaming platforms to balance out revenue lost from deserted theaters, I kind of forgot how special it was to experience a movie surrounded by people outside my social bubble. People, who like me, involuntarily screamed and gasped at all the right moments of the film.

People, who like me, might have been drawing parallels between what they were seeing on the screen and the world they were about to walk back into after watching the mid-credit scenes.

By the end of the movie, our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has no one. As the title of the film so aptly puts it, Peter Parker has “no way home.” While I think this is a heavy blow to all Spider-Man fans, this loss resonated more with me because of the pandemic.

At around this time last year, I tested positive for COVID-19. I did my time in isolation, asleep unless I was eating or checking in with a nurse about my moderate symptoms.

I was convinced at the end of my stay, I’d be back at full strength and ready to take on the semester. I never expected that I would still be struggling with the effects of long COVID today.

There are many times when I wonder whether I can finish the day with my levels of fatigue. I still can’t concentrate to read for class and I have lost track of the number of times I have had to search for the words to answer simple questions. I have never had a better understanding of the term “brain fog.”

Like Spider-Man, I won’t be able to find my way back to the time before many parts of my life changed.

However, if the end of “No Way Home” taught me anything, it might take everything in me to decide to carry on. After Peter takes the time to mourn his losses, he puts his Spidey suit back on and swings around a snowy New York City. With this to motivate me, I’m going to have to learn how to live within my new reality and accept the circumstances that are out of my control.

But I am still holding out hope Peter Parker and I can find our way home.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Genevieve Coleman

Genevieve Coleman is a graduating senior at Saint Mary's majoring in English literature, creative writing and secondary education. She was an Assistant Managing Editor for the 2022-23 term.

Contact Genevieve