I went to a farewell barbeque yesterday for some friends who are moving to Arizona. Over the past couple of years, they’ve had many gatherings at their house where I’ve been able to get to know them as well as their friends over crab dip, popcorn salad, s’mores cake, absinthe, and a Super Bowl blackout where we watched Portlandia.

Yesterday, our discussion was on movies, and we landed on Love Actually. Each of us—the men included–love the movie for different reasons and for different characters. One loves Colin Firth and follows all his films. Another likes Hugh Grant’s story line as the Prime Minister because Grant is great at playing the fool. Personally, I love when Daniel, played by Liam Neeson, chuckles and asks Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) if he’s too young to be in love and Sam simply replies, “No,” like it’s the most natural thing in the world to be in love and to be tortured by it. And now Brodie-Sangster’s on Game of Thrones. And Martin Freeman who plays John is Bilbo Baggins as well as Watson, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock. And Cumberbatch is Khan in the new Star Trek movies. And of course, this Zombie Sonnet writer can’t ignore Andrew Lincoln whose Rick in The Walking Dead is a whole world away from Mark in Love Actually—so much so, that you don’t even know it’s the same actor.

There are more amazing characters and great story lines, but I’ll give you a break. Discussing all this, we decided we’d all invite ourselves to Josh and Lori’s place for movie night before they leave town, and we’ll pile onto the giant couch together. Josh and Lori have a ton of packing to do in a short amount of time, so when this idea came up, they both gave a wide-eyed, “That’s not happening!” cry.

S'mores and Peanut Butter Cup cake made by Heather

S’mores and Peanut Butter Cup cake made by Heather

It was a great afternoon, and we held fast to our time together, knowing we’ll be going our separate ways, and soon. And that’s when my brain connected all of it in the weird way it does, and I said, “Look around. This right here, all of us, this is our Love Actually. We’re all together with our separate story lines, and soon we’ll be off in the world. Some of us will go on to Star Trek, some to the Shire and hanging out with Sherlock, some to Westeros, and some of us won’t get Keira Knightley but we’ll go on to battle zombies and fight the good fight. There’s work to be done in the world. We’re not losing anyone. We’re expanding our reach.” It came out something like that.

To Josh and Lori, all our best to you on your move. Thank you for bringing us together as your friends.  We’ll see you at movie night.
My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon.