Josh Brolin’s Thanos glares at me expectantly from across the cosmos.
“I’m sorry!” I mouth wordlessly.
His lavender eyes soften as the muscles in his scarred face drop. He knows it, for it’s tattooed on his black heart just as sure as it’s a universal truth kept alive by the decaying of hope:
I am never going to see this goddamn movie.
It’s been weeks since “Avengers: Infinity War” was released, sparking a worldwide phenomenon that has been ten years in the making. It tramples its box office competition like a juggernaut, spurring audiences to make return trips to the theater to see what they may have missed the first – or second – viewing. And yet, for some reason or another, I keep missing the opportunity to see this in the theater.
You may be wondering what I’m doing writing this stupid, melodramatic lamentation when I could shut my laptop and just hotfoot it over to the local movie joint and see a matinee. Y’see, I would fucking love to do that; the burden of expectations I bear because of my association with the world of comics and movies is crippling, and I can literally feel the shock and derision of those who learn my dirty secret. Nothing would make me happier than flipping the bird to my responsibilities and take in this movie THAT I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS OF MY LIFE.
However, I am a father and a husband. I have to tend to my children and support my wife. I cannot abandon my kids, nor can I let my house descend into chaos while my spouse burns her candle at both ends winning the bread.
“Still!” I heard them shout, “There’s got to be some way to see this!”
OH, BUT IF ONLY THERE WERE. I won’t bore you with the myriad details of how my plans to see the new Avengers crumble into dust each and every time optimism creeps in. What makes this star-crossed mission of pop culture absorption even more difficult is that everyone I know is bending over backwards to not spoil it for me – from my close friends at the Court who monitor our group chats and podcast recordings, to the larger Reddit community who vehemently strive to make every potential spoiler easy to avoid. My guilt at prolonging their efforts is corroding my soul. Who am I to expect perfection to be catered to me?
So, the only thing left for me to do is accept my fate: I won’t see this movie in theaters. I will have it spoiled. Everything I hope for will turn to ashes in my mouth and the world will turn without me.
I’m sorry, Thanos-as-portrayed-by-Josh-Brolin, but I don’t think I was meant to experience you through new eyes.