Wednesday, February 9, 2011

matinée

(Written at last night's writing workshop)

At the movies, I am a teenager magnet.  I would say unruly teenager, but can't we all agree that would be redundant?  The talking, the kicking, the constant shifting and twisting in their seats.  And thanks to modern technology, the little shits can text through an entire film -- ghostly glows light up their downturned faces like periodic zombies.  Why not just stay at home, short-attention-span nincompoops?

When I arrive, I choose my seat carefully, but don't obsess over it.  I pick a row, mid-theater-ish, grab an aisle seat and settle in.  Sure, I have to tuck my legs in over and over to let people pass, but it's OK.  I'm not generally fussy.  Well, I try not to be.  But you'd better believe that no sooner have the opening titles appeared on the screen do I hear a rabid pack of pubescent fun-killers stumbling into the seat directly behind me, or in front of me. (Those always seem fated to be available.)  And then, well you know what they do, you've seen them.

Maybe it's me; maybe I'm the dinosaur.  I recall as a young child going to the movies and the ushers with flashlights seating patrons, how they patrolled the main aisle during the show to squash any monkey business brewing among the rickety, spring-loaded seats.  I feared those guys, who were, ironically, probably teenagers.  They took no truck with talkers or rambunctiousness of any kind.  Mess up and you were out, mister.

See what they do to me?  Just thinking about all this has got me sounding like a woman who was an adult when sound was first added to film!  I get crazy.  This hyper-vigilance that I can't turn off, even for 100 minutes of entertainment.  I can't ignore them or pretend they're not there.  They bug the shit out of me and I really wish, for one moment, that I were a large man with a shaved head and an army jacket so that I could stand over them and eyeball them into silence.  But I'm not.  I'm just a middle-aged woman who is trying to get out of house more often.  Is it so much to ask for manners and common courtesy?

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