Thursday, January 30, 2014
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
He finds himself in a rush. That must be the reason. Or he finds himself unable to see in the movie theater darkness as a preview (Charles touching a woman, not his wife). That must be the reason. Or his seat must be the same every time. That, for sure, must be the reason. Or maybe he sees everything and everyone and finds himself full of mischief. Yes, that must the be reason. Nobody except him (maybe) knows the reason he selects an empty seat among many (dozens, maybe a hundred) in front of a family with a child, three middle-aged adults, and one grandma. I sit behind grandma. I see just over her head. She reminds me of the British chimpanzee lady, especially with her silver-gray hair pulled back. He, this man in a rush, full of mischief, or anxious about missing previews, chooses the seat in front of grandma. Not to the left or to the right of her, but directly, spot-on, in her sight line. Family heads turn to each other. Eyes, then voices make contact. I see the wonder, the amazement actually, on their faces that shows in reaction to the man and his choice. More whispers between the family members and then they get up and move around each other. Grandma switches two seats to her left. (No longer can I discreetly gaze upon her and pretend that she is Jane.) They say nothing to the man who hears but doesn't hear the exchange of words, the shuffle of coats, the scuffle of shoes. He (with a reason or not) must hear the sounds of movement, displacement, resettlement. Hearing or not hearing, he keeps his eyes towards the screen and watches the last preview (now forgotten). I watch him and I imagine my own storyboard featuring me rising in the dark and placing me next to him. Empty seats all around, I'd say, then open a box of candy (probably chocolate-covered mints) and offer some to him. Too comfortable and ready for the main picture (a man alone lost at sea), I instead settle for a story of someone else's making.