Even popcorn can’t salvage this experience at the movies

Read Time3 Minutes, 5 Seconds

It was a rare Saturday. All alone for the day. Nothing in my calendar, nothing on my Honey-Do List, nothing in my brain.

OK, so that last part isn’t that rare, admittedly, but I almost always have something in there to worry about, wonder about or forget about. But not today.

“Hmmm,” I thought right out loud, “when was the last time you went to an afternoon movie? By yourself?”

So I checked the movie schedule on my trusty PDA (personal digital assistant) — my cellphone, in other words. And then I thought right out loud: do they call it a “cellphone” because you can never escape the dumb thing?

But I digress.

I see there’s a movie on at 12:50 I wouldn’t mind seeing. It’s now 12:05. I can make it, I say to myself, if I leave, like, five minutes ago. A quick drink of milk and … and that’s when I dropped the glass.

It was one of four remaining special fancy glasses we rarely use because it’s special. It was my mom’s and she only set them out at Christmas, and we inherited them, and only set them out at Christmas.

And yet I was sort of thinking fondly of my mom at the moment for some reason, and reached for the glass and then fumbled it like a football.

It flew straight up and smashed on the kitchen floor into a million and one pieces. I was sad and mad at the same time, which is a complicated combination.

I said to myself, “you need to go to a movie.” (I often go to movies to cheer up.) And then I remembered that I was on the way to one before I suddenly had a floor full of deadly glass shards to clean up.

I made it to the theatre with 3.5 minutes to spare and 4.5 glass shards in my socks. I lined up for popcorn anyway, because why in the world would you go to a show and not have popcorn, and somehow made it to my seat. The movie hadn’t even started yet.

Thank goodness for small miracles on a dumb day of shattered memories, I thought to myself, and began to finally relax, munching popcorn and congratulating myself for my impeccable timing.

A few minutes went by and I munched some more and looked around. “Cool,” I thought, “I’m the only one in the theatre.”

I can remember only one other time that happened. A long time ago. Then I thought, “they still have to run the movie, even if there’s only one person, right?”

I decided that legally, ethically and morally, they do, so I relaxed some more, and sat back. It was nice and warm and quiet in the darkened room and I actually may have had a little snooze or two.

Until I snuffled and looked around, and looked at my watch: 1:10? They forgot to start the movie!

In a righteous huff, I left my coat and my popcorn on my seat, and stomped out to give some teenager holy heck for not starting the movie on time.

I strode in a miffed fashion out of Theatre 8, looking around with intense intent for a kid dressed like a Theatre Person.

It was then that I noticed the poster beside me. Joker, it said, with that weird white clown-face dude looking right at me. I had already seen Joker.

Also, I could hear my movie playing next door.

My movie didn’t cheer me up much, but then, I think I missed most of the good stuff.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. He can be reached at harleyhay1@hotmail.com.

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