It all started with sneakers.

Bright, neon green Converse Chuck Taylors that I’d only had for a couple of months.

I wore these the same day I went down to a relatively new movie theater annexed at Lincoln Center, and the first time I’d even been at Lincoln Center as well as surprised that The Juilliard School was directly across the street. Dreams of attending Juilliard came flooding back, although that dream is too far-fetched to grasp in real life.

Anyway, the reason I was even in the area was to see Third Star, and the reason I was willing to make the trip to NYC and to this theater to see this movie was for the sake of a man I’d fallen in love with, Benedict Cumberbatch, a couple months before.

On my way down there, I fantasized about what the day would be like had Benedict been with me, for he’d become a ‘friend-in-my-head’ then. I have many others, celebrity and friends I know personally. I waited a while before people were even being let into the theatre to watch the film, but, thanks to the instructions given to me on the confirmation email I’d printed out before leaving the house, I’d ended up across the street, thinking that was the actual venue.

I’d corrected myself by going to the correct place, and used the bathroom, which, thankfully, was clean since they’d just opened. Nothing better than using a clean bathroom of an establishment some time after opening for the business day.

Now I’m in the theater, but I have no idea where I want to sit. I tested out seats in the back of the theatre for a few minutes, but changed my mind and moved closer to the screen. I guess I wanna be closer to Benedict’s face…

People begin filling the theatre, which was small; I’d say it’d fit under 100 people, if that. The audience is mostly women, young and older. The movie begins, entrances me and my fellow moviegoers with comedy and tragedy, difficulties, and, most importantly, friendship and love. I begin to tear up as James Vincent McMorrow’s Follow You Down To The Red Oak Tree begins to play once the credits start to roll. I hear sniffles all around me, and I swallow mine while wiping small tears from my face; in my mind, at the time, I didn’t want anyone to see me at my most vulnerable.

That wasn’t the end of the event, for after the one of many screenings around the world that day (and that summer for the film outside of the UK, where it originally opened in almost every theatre), there was a Q&A with the director and screenwriter of Third Star, complete with one of the lead actors of the film, Tom Burke. It was done by satellite, and questions were asked through Twitter and Facebook. I had no chance of sending any questions due to not having quality reception and a shitty phone at the time, as well as not knowing what to ask about a film that was so poignant and beautiful.

Once that was over, I had the idea of going back home, thinking about what I was going to eat once I got there. Leaving the theatre and hearing other patrons talking amongst each other of the film and Sherlock made me envious that I’d gone by myself, no one to do the same with. Once I’d gotten to the front doors that lead to the street, a young, petite girl seemingly sprouted out of the pavement, sign in hand: “HI! Are you part of the Sherlock BBC LiveJournal group?”

“No, sorry,” I replied with regret. Explains why I overheard people talking about Sherlock moments earlier…

“I like your sneakers, by the way!” said the girl. “If you change your mind, you could always join us for lunch!”

“Thanks!” I said emphatically. That brightened my day, the fact that someone FINALLY noticed and complimented my sneakers and invited me, a stranger, on whatever journey of the city they’d venture.

I walked a bit towards the 1 train, but then I stopped. I thought about what had just happened: I’d been asked about being a part of a group that had met up due ti an interest in the same thing I’d been interested in for a couple of months, which was clearly an invitation to whatever they had planned that day. It took me a while to process that, and to realize that it wouldn’t hurt to hang out with this group. They seemed harmless, and I’d have something to talk about with them. I turned on my heels and walked towards the small yet growing group of (mostly) young girls, stating that I’d like to join them. The leader of the group introduced herself as Aubre and welcomed me with open arms, without judgement.

We walked a few blocks Uptown, turned onto 72nd Street, and made our way towards a French café near Central Park called Le Pain Quotidien, and we’d settled down and began to chat about the movie, Tumblr–many of the girls in the group had NO IDEA what Tumblr was and are now part of the ever-growing community — Benedict, and Sherlock and how we all came across it. Lunch was had, and we’d all exchanged Tumblrs (for the few that had them), LiveJournal, Twitter handles and email addresses, and, except for myself, Aubre and one other person whose name slips my brain, everyone went their separate ways.

As for me and the two individuals in my company, we walked a few blocks uptown to the American Museum of Natural History. I’d never been to the museum before, so it was an experience to be had. There was much walking, but I didn’t mind it (although my back and calfs resented me for it once I got to Grand Central). We traded stories about things outside of the Sherlock fandom, and talked about LiveJournal, which I hadn’t used before that day. I’d heard about it, for a college friend used it (her account is dormant), and I’d later start an account out of curiosity and followed those that I’d met.

It’s now been over a year, and I’m still friends with these lovely young women, and have met many more throughout this period. A handful of these young women have since started what is now SherlockNYC, and have been holding successful meet-ups and events, enjoying myself and meeting even more people. The thing about that one day in late June when I first met Aubre and others is that it reminds me of the Doctor Who episode “Turn Left,” where, due to simply making a right turn onto another street completely alters time, Donna Noble never meets the Doctor, and the world begins to fall apart. Not that the world would fall apart had I not joined the Sherlock BBC LiveJournal group that day after Third Star, but I constantly think about what life would be like had I not ‘turned left.’

I guess we’ll never know, right?

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