When Brian Bloom said in Victor Levin’s film 5 to 7 (2014), “In New York, you’re never more than 20 feet away from someone you know, or someone you’re meant to know.” The truth of the statement hit me. No matter where you are in the world, if you have lived there long enough, you’ll only be a few paces away from your past and your present. That’s a scary thought. Especially in a small town, you’re bound to run into the ghosts who haunted the halls along with your high school self. People you don’t necessarily want popping up and exposing your past mistakes while you’re meeting with your umpteenth Match.com date, praying they’ll be the one so you can finally break the vicious cycle of first date disappointments. But between that one ex you briefly dated in your teens that you keep bumping into and that cute regular you keep seeing at the grocer’s but never say hello to, can you genuinely find the love of your life at first sight?
Let’s say you do. You run into a handsome bloke in the cooking aisle at the local bookstore, deeply engaged in a copy of Vetri & Joachim’s Mastering Pasta: The Art And Practice Of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, And Risotto, in the sexiest possible way. You’re immediately smitten, letting all the fantasies build up in your head as you work up the courage to go talk to them. Then BAM! A significant other, perhaps a whole happy family, pop around the corner at the exact moment you’re walking over. In utter embarrassment, you awkwardly pretend to be going for a title on a nearby shelf. As you pull the first book that your left-hand lands on off the shelf, you say aloud to no one in particular, “Oh, there’s that copy of (looks down at book profusely) Fifty Shades of Chicken I was looking for!” This only makes matters worse.
This situation is quite similar to the one Bloom is in. Having fallen for the beautiful Arielle, only for him to find out later on that she’s happily married with children of her own. But that’s where the similarities end. Unless your chap in the bookstore is a French ex-pat and culturally accustomed (and willing) to taking a lover. Assuming you’re okay with abandoning your western, monogamous morals to follow your lustful heart.
So was it only infatuation, or was it truly love at first sight?