I was sitting in the theater waiting for the movie to start. The Stoner sits down to my right, one seat removed. He has a beard because he can't be bothered to shave and his girlfriend wears sweatpants and a barbell through her eyebrow.
Down below in the floor seats someone stands up and yells, "Don't motherfucker, just don't. Don't you touch me, fucking CUNT." The man who yelled has stood up and points at a retreating man in a red t-shirt. The man in the red t-shirt walks around the back of the section and sits down an aisle lower than the man who yelled. The previews start and a security guard enters and escorts away the man in the red t-shirt.
The Stoner next to me (once removed) says, "That was chool." He says it with his breath and it comes out nearly as often. With every act of violence on screen: "That was chool." When two friends are reunited: "That's chool." When separated lovers finally come together and kiss: "Chool."
When a woman's uncle dies: "That suhcks." Two companions are betrayed by a reluctant third: "That suhcks." A traveler, caught alone and unaware, is attacked and hurt: "Aw . . . that suhcks."
There was more: as he shuffled his feet and kicked the seat in front of him he said, "Sam's gonna bust his ass," and "Count's as ONE, yeah," and, once, to his girlfriend: "See, this is why I don't go out in public."
There was a girl sitting in front of him, in her 20's, and she kept turning around to ask the Stoner to stop kicking her chair, or to be quiet. At the end of the film, as long-time friends are saying their good-byes and preparing embark on a long voyage from which they will not return, as the Stoner is talking and kicking, the Girl turns around again.
They stare. Our bubble of theater turns to regard them instead of the show on the screen. The Stoner has no vocabulary. The Girl turns back to the screen.
"Fuck you," he propels at the back of her head.
Some of the people around me smile. Or I think they do, I think they should, but I cannot look away. The Girl's father (or possibly a protective uncle), seated two seats to her right, turns to face the stoner.
"Buddy, you say that one more time and I'll put you on your ass."
The Stoner points at Dad, but again cannot speak. He smacks his cotton-dry mouth. He points with his index and middle fingers. He stutters and manages to speak.
"I . . . whew. Look . . . look. Let's wait just a few minutes, then we'll step outside. You and me, we'll step outside, just wait, just wait, just wait til the movie's done."
He means they're going to FIGHT.
Dad says something else but I can't focus on what it is. Their family turns to watch the last few moments of the movie and I try to do the same. The Stoner keeps talking, in response to his girlfriend.
"That's what happens. This is what happens."
And, "He wants it. What? He wants it."
And also, "He won't, I'll prolly go to jail. There's diff'rent rules for me."
In addition, "Just try and stay out of it."
At one of these, and I can't remember which one, the Girl's mother (or possibly an older sister) stands up and hurriedly exits the theater. Everyone watches, the Stoner too.
A security guard enters, and a theater employee. Mom (or Sister) points and as the credits begin and the audience empties, the Girl stands up and says, "You are the most inconsiderate person I've ever heard."
Dad says, "Just leave him be. Just forget it, don't rile him."
The Stoner says, "Can't we just--now come on. Can't we just talk about this like civilized people?"
Which is the perfect set up for, "No, we can't, because you're not a civilized person."
Two points for the Girl!
The Family exits the theater and the Stoner and his mate walk into the welcoming arms of the security guard. They walk to the front of the theater to discuss things further.
Walking to the car, we don't know if we want to talk about the movie or everything but the movie. If we express the glee we felt (that I felt) we become just like the Stoner, if with less hair on our faces. He exits behind us, talking about the movie with the security guard, and thanking her for not throwing him in jail.
"The ghosts were good. And the elephants."
The security guard says something, but it is sucked into the Stoners black hole of personality.
"I kind of felt sorry for him. He wanted to do good, but he didn't know how. Like, he forgot."
Yeah, maybe it is kind of like that.