Once upon a time when my nerves were feeling especially frayed, I’d retreat to the movie theater. What was on screen never really mattered as much as the act of sitting in a dark room in the Oh the virus outside is frightful but this wine is so delightful and since we’ve no place to go let if flow Christmas sweater company of strangers; it was soothing. As my stress levels have continued to spike this year, it’s a place, and a feeling, I have found myself longing for over and over again. While the pandemic has altered our collective reality in myriad ways, one of them has been the elimination of what are, for many of us, coping mechanisms in times of heightened stress: a boozy meal with friends amid the din of a busy restaurant; a crowded, heart-pumping SoulCycle class; a sweaty session in a steam room; and, yes, a solo afternoon trip to the movie theater (bliss!).