Does anybody else get so into movies that when you leave the theater, you still feel like you’re a part of the movie? Call me strange, but when I walk out to the parking lot after an action movie, I feel I should be ready to duck or run for it, in case there might be shooting helicopters or monsters or whatever, hovering about. Or on the way home, I’m looking around in case some bad guy might screech around the corner and start chasing us.
A day or two ago, after watching the last half of a dancing movie on cable, I felt this strong urge to start dancing with the UPS man who was coming up the walk. Luckily, I controlled myself. Ha ha. I imagine it would have made his day a little more interesting, right?
I realize I’m sounding a little crazy, but I do the same thing with books. I feel a great sense of loss when I’ve read that last page, and it takes me a while to return to my own world. And the characters? I keep thinking about them and wondering how they’re doing.
It’s even worse when I’m writing something. When I was telling my husband about a particular character in a novel I was working on, he said, “You do know these people aren’t real, right?” The poor guy was obviously double-checking to make sure I hadn’t flipped out on him. Well, I hadn’t, and I laughed and assured him that of course I knew that. But then I kind of kept nodding with sort of a sick grin, as I realized that that wasn’t exactly true. They had become very real . . . to me.