The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.

I drove home from Bradford that December with a feeling that things were changing. The funk was over. I was going to see Tracy again. My cousins were coming up for Christmas. I was going to spend New Year’s in New York with my college friends. Winter break didn’t seem like it was going to be so lonely this year. It didn’t seem like something I would have to fight to get through in order to return to school at the beginning of the year.

On the night I drove back from Bradford, hardly any of my family was around. My Mom was probably working. My Dad was probably drinking. John was certainly off with his friends, if he had even returned from school yet. I decided to take in a movie at the brand new Showcase Cinemas in Lowell. I decided to go see Titanic.

I think I went to an early show, maybe a 4:30 or something, so that I got out at around 7:30, just as it was getting really dark. The theater was immense and the stadium seating was just spectacular compared to the single level seating and the sticky floors we were used to at the old Rte. 3 Cinema. Even if the movie sucked, my movie-going experience was going to be terrific.

As James Cameron’s epic unveiled itself before me I marveled at the beauty of surround sound for the first time in my life. I was dazzled by the sheer reality of the effects. And in the end, I cried like so many others did, recalling a story my mother had told me about how one of my great-great grandmothers had almost purchased a ticket for the doomed oceanliner.

It was a moving experience and a great way to begin my vacation.