Flickers

Grabbing seats inside the half empty room, we’ve paid standard admission though this theater is a 1970s era antique, our chairs a trifle rough to spend two hours in. A round, oversized table before every three or four seat cluster frees hand and elbow room, however, a creature comfort tilting the situation tolerable. A waiter comes out to take our order, beers for the boys, yet diminishing any thrill this luxury might have offered is that fact that after that one quick trip to our table before the movie starts, the waiter deposits our drinks and collects his money but is never seen again. Ordering refills means heading out into the lobby again at some point during the movie, which negates the point of having tableside service in the first place.

Jerry Maguire, the film we’re seeing, figuring the sports angle will outweigh any chick flick schmaltz. A misguided notion, it immediately becomes apparent. Fortunately, a pair of painfully gorgeous females, tall, graceful, dressed ballroom splendid, sit a few rows ahead of us, appear mighty comfortable in one another’s company. Arms upon shoulders as they talk, snickering playfully over untold intrigues, the house lights dim and we’ve plenty to speculate, whispering theories to one another as the film unspools.

“I think they’re dykes,” Damon insists, but while a nice concept to fantasize over, Alan and I are not so sure.

Long after the lights come up we remain in our seats watching them pass, and as they spend an inordinate amount of time milling in the lobby, we stand outside waiting for them to reappear. Loitering, a familiar face from our high school days drifts into the parking lot, along with a buddy of his. The kid from our hometown’s name is Ryan something or other, the kind of upperclassman jock who would never speak to us in the classroom or the hallways back then but brightens to spot someone he recognizes down here. Engaged in small talk for a moment with these two, Ryan asks what we’re doing just hanging around.

“Ah, we were watching that movie and we’re waiting on these two chicks to come out, they’re pretty fuckin hot,” Damon explains.

“We think they might be dykes!” I cheerfully announce. The two girls shuffle onto the sidewalk and we point them out, extolling their virtues to Ryan, that we hope to see them kiss just once.

“Oh really?” he smiles, raising his eyebrows. The girls pull closer, eventually drift into our midst, as Ryan and his friend place an arm around each.

“See you boys later,” they tell us, chuckling in the night as the four of them amble off to their vehicle.

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