mister writes. {harry potter}

Harry Potter has ended.  You'd have to be living amongst that one unknown & uncontacted Amazon tribe that got a lot of play a while ago when someone got footage of them to NOT know that Harry Potter is over.  I, along with my boo, have seen the movie twice already (odds are at least one more time before it leaves theaters).  I got to take Mister on his first midnight premiere experience.  I'm pretty sure he loved it.  I cried a lot.  I loved it very very much.  But enough with this.  Writing about Harry Potter is always hard for me.  I love it so much and it is so important to me like it is for so many people.  Mister is a writer.  Like he gets paid and stuff to do that.  Ha.  He has decided to share his thoughts on Harry Potter.   So in the first installment of a series aptly named "Mister Writes" on this here blog, he has chosen his topic wisely.  Here goes...


After seven months of dating, it appears my girlfriend and I are finally getting intimate, in that I’ve been invited to contribute to her blog as a guest poster.  There is, for me, what feels like an obligatory impulse to comment on our life together: where we’re living and how, our delight in and contentment with one another, et cetera.  But that would be disingenuous, as there is, let’s be honest, only one thing about which to blog this weekend: Harry Potter and the Midnight Finale. 
On Thursday evening, around nine, we stood in line with a comprehensive assortment of Bellatrix Lestranges, Remus Lupins, Ravenclaws, elves, and the rest of the menagerie of Potterites (even a Voldemort, who was accosted by a group of Gryffindors and beaten mercilessly in the parking lot, left for dead beside his mother’s Toyota Tercel).  As a side note: from what I can tell, redheads everywhere are ecstatic that the Weasley family has facilitated, for them, a genus of costume wherein their God-given head is the central component (and one that is not Raggedy f-ing Ann or Andy). 
he chose this image for the blog post.
Three college-aged girls directly in front of us passed the time paradoxically: smoking cigarettes, clad in Hogwarts house colors, debating nuances of Potter mythos, chiefly, which house each thought they’d be in (though if you’re smoking, you’re Slytherin, right?  Or maybe you go to Durmstrang, the Tony Soprano of wizarding schools, where badasses get magical). They reminded me, in their fervor, of my little cousins, years ago, fawning over the first of the films, begging Santa Claus for everything Harry Potter.  And while, eventually, my cousins stopped believing in Santa, I imagined them, like these girls, in a similar line somewhere, evincing their continued faith in Harry Potter: a faith that’s endured, unimaginably, through pieces of no less than three decades. 
Near the end of our wait, the girls were interviewed by our local News Channel 11 (which promulgates its synergistic eleven-ness via a litany of slogans meant to reinforce its serendipitous network premise, e.g. “Next on 11 at 11,” or, “This is Dirk Skipson, and welcome to News 11 at 11,” and my favorite, “… all that and more tonight… at 11… on 11.”).  Their replies smacked of rehearsal, bolstering my assumption that people their age imagine, each morning upon waking, scenarios in which they will appear on television.  For example, their responses each featured the keywords childhood, generation, and “Star Wars,” in varying order. 
Nonetheless, as we continued into the theater to our seats, shuffling by and amongst the robed and bespectacled throngs, lightning bolts adorning foreheads as if it was some Greco-Pagan Ash Wednesday, it was clear that the girls were speaking some form of the sincere truth: Harry Potter held nothing less than the hearts and imaginations of an entire generation of young people world-wide, the series developing synchronously alongside millions of readers experiencing the real-life sensation of (God help us) growing up.  If we need more evidence that HP has impressed itself indelibly onto the psyches of the multi-national millions: I recently read that the books most requested by inmates at Guantanamo Bay— other than the Quran— were those of the Harry Potter series (although, in keeping with Donald Rumsfeld’s practices of psychological cruelty, the captives were furnished copies of “Eragon,” instead...).
When the film concluded, as the credits rolled, two young men yelled out, “MISCHIEF MANAGED!”  Their homage to Potter’s, “Marauder’s Map,” elicited a cacophony of cheers and, audibly, sobs from the audience, all of it tinged, undeniably, with a forlorn sense of— what else?— finality.  As members of the audience hugged and cried and laughed, there was a pervasive sense in the theater of a peculiar brand of loss, in that the Harry Potter space on the bookshelf would begin occupying, as of that moment, the same internal space as cherished photographs, shifting from essential to nostalgic— just like that, all of us hurtling into the future, finding that the present is a place we’ll never quite get back to. Like the Berlin Wall (or slap bracelets) before it, there was the world with Harry Potter, and then, beginning around 2 a.m. Friday morning, the world beyond him.  And whether all losses act as a metaphor for death or the other way around, just as in the final Harry Potter film itself, something about the discovery of that truth seems to be the real difference between childhood and (God help us) adulthood. 
            As the theater emptied, I couldn’t help but be overcome by the sense that I was witnessing those masses arriving at a very important precipice— and maybe I was, too.  And I was reminded, suitably, of the words of Albus Dumbledore, who once suggested that, effectively, all of life’s great adventures— the very process of living itself— are a series of beginnings predicated upon a series of endings.  “Every new beginning,” said Dumbledore, “comes from some other beginning’s end.”  … …or… shit… that might have been Semisonic... not Dumbledore.  I can’t remember… it was so many years ago now…

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