By, wendiann Alfieri
I Was An Asshole: At The Movies
The air was crisp and was slowly getting colder as I signed out and stepped outside. The trees around my apartment building whispered to each other as I headed to the sidewalk to get to my destination. As I walked I avoided all the acorns that were everywhere as it was fall. I wouldn’t be surprised if the squirrels probably used acorns to gamble and bet on which of the squirrels would run across the street in front of the cars and not get hit.
The amount of squirrels that run around in the town was too much and too often. They are all gamblers, I concluded. There’s a picture of dogs playing poker, but it should be a painting of squirrels playing russian roulette, I thought. I let my mind wander about, being creative and picturing squirrels in some poor fool’s backyard, by a tree which was like a sports bar to them. I took another step, closer to my inner element. I could sense my soul fitting in like a puzzle piece on that night. The night sky was tinted with dark streaks the color of charcoal across it. The weather's mood was transcending into an all encompassing darkness, swallowing even the feeblest noise made by my sneakers as I was strolling on the sidewalk.
The cracks in the sidewalk I was careful around and my shoelaces were floppy, so I tied them again and I continued at my own pace. The people in the neighborhood were very nice. Everything was so content in this town that I was convinced that we must be in Oz because New Yorkers aren’t THIS calm and kind. I was excited, this was a special night. My Friday Night Movie. The tickets are so affordable that I wanted to start doing friday movie nights for me as a treat to provide myself with pure entertainment. I had already fandango's the ticket, and the cold air whipped my hair to flow back in the breeze as my cheeks were pink and my teeth began to chatter.
The gray sky was patient enough to not become too dark till I got to the theater, and I saw it was PACKED. I thanked my brain for not being scattered enough to not purchase the ticket at the theater and purchase it online instead. I pulled open the door, heavy as my eyelids are when I wake up from a too-long nap. I was embraced by the aura of the theater. The smell of popcorn, the simple style of the theater, the cheap tickets, the fact that I was close enough that I could walk to the theater, and the movie I had been waiting for that I would soon get to see all made me happy. I got my ticket, and saw a woman who was checking peoples tickets. I looked around me. The loud boom of teenagers chattering and the weary eyes of parent’s made me cock my head to the side.
“There’s so many teenagers,” I said aloud, not realizing the ticket checker girl could hear me. I shifted on my feet and looked about. Teens were giggling, boys were yelling
Teen couples were making out in the corner
Parents looked dead inside. Some boy was yelling at the counter about being allergic to gluten and being mad that the guy at the counter had no clue in hell if they even had gluten free products. A group of girls, all wearing purple lipstick were trying to drink their sodas without ruining their lipstick, and I had to give mental props to the one girl who had no issues with it. I wished I knew what brand she used. The smell of stale cigarettes wafted in as the entrance kept opening and shutting with the new influx of people.
I turn my focus back to the ticket-checker
Her hair was blond and pulled into a ponytail and she was drenched with sweat. She looked so embarrassed, and her eyes looked like their battery was running low and she would fall asleep right then and there.
She sighed and I felt her pain having to work here at this premiere movie night.
“I know. If these teenagers get to be too loud, just come and get staff and we’ll take care of it”
Clearly, she misunderstood my observation as a complaint and not a good thing.
I went up to the movie theater and found a seat.The cushions felt good to sit on after walking there. I was just there the other day with my boyfriend and watching an action movie. This was the theater with those two fireflies that were always flying about. I didn’t see them then. I got a great seat considering how packed the lobby was. The smell of stale popcorn and overpriced soda accompanied the sounds of people trying to drink their Icees and get some more flavor out of it, already almost finished and the previews didn’t even start yet. Conversation filled the aisles.
“ He what? He should have at least called you, you're not a freshman anymore..”
“Yeah I didn’t mean to break it, it was just a mistake,”
“Do you have a joint for after?”
“ Sally, you told me this was gonna be a comedy not a horror movie!”
The sounds of a girl on the left saying to her boyfriend she wouldn’t get scared by the movie reached my ears as well, more than others actually because it was like a straight five minutes of her boyfriend not believing her.
The place was overflowing with hormones, exhaustion, and the slight smell of alcohol. All the parents began to leave after the trailers, because they were only there to buy the R-rated movie tickets for their fifteen year olds who annoyed the crap out of their parents to go there. After the crowd of parents-turned-to-zombies shuffled out, the room changed.
Now, before I go on, there’s some things you should know.
On friday nights lots of teens go to this theater for movies.
And throughout the movies the teens will comment out loud, laugh, scream, giggle, curse, drink their soda too loudly, you know, be a nuisance.
The thing is
I'm not a teen anymore.
But I am just as childish at movies.
I chose Friday night horror movies because at least then I would camouflage into the background.
I mean I was by myself, nothing else to do, and this movie was a big one. ( I won’t say the title) Me and my big mouth were saved and would not be noticed, I reassured myself..
So the movie started. It starts with a death, blah blah blah scary jump scare, girls screeches from the theater making the sound of nails on a chalkboard seem like meditation music. After that scare was over, we began learning about the characters, and one character escapes out of an abusive situation
I felt an urge.
The idea seed was planted and growing fast.
I dug my fingers into myself to not do it
Don’t do it wendi, don’t don’t don’t…
It was three minutes before I cracked
No more eggshell, my mischievous nature revealed itself
I couldn’t help it
I was being possessed by the opportunity.
It had been a few scenes, and two characters were having a conversation.
It was quiet.
Not for long.
The leash I’d put myself on broke and I was free.
I started to clap. There was nothing to clap for. It was not necessary.
I wasn’t sure if it would work at first. Then I heard this mass of children, just clapping at the screen. For no good reason other than the fact that I did. My spirits had then been ignited with evil now. Every ten minutes or so I would clap. Every scene where there was a jumpscare I would count down aloud from five and then a jumpscare would happen because horror movies can be way too predictable. The one couple in the corner is where the bad screeching came from? One look to the side and I saw the girlfriend was laughing and her boyfriend was the one freaking out.
I wanted to high five this girl, the only person besides me just enjoying herself at the expense of others.
I was criticizing the movie with loud comments about how bad the effects were
I could not stop the mischief now.
I started and then I couldn’t stop.
I laughed a lot because I found the movie to be funny… even though it wasn’t supposed to be.
I was on a roll.
Now another scene starts. I don’t remember all the details. The scene is dark. A quiet set over the room with anticipation. Then I see it. On the screen are fireflies. Actually filmed for the movie itself, kind of fireflies. I took action.
“ Hey, there’s actual fireflies here, they came out of the screen!”
Like clockwork the real two fireflies in that theater flashed their lights right above my head, my sidekicks I had not known of being so coordinated were now revealed.
Everyone flipped the fuck out about it. I heard a curse as someone spilled soda all over themselves.
I named the fireflies Sam and Fred.
Everyone had clapped when I did
Everyone had laughed at my comments
It was like a community of five year olds, all joined together
It almost felt like a family bond, I felt with the audience as well as my firefly-accomplices
We were near the end and I thought
“This is so fucking stupid,”
Then I clap and everyone follows suit
This one person
This one poor sonofabitch that was in the very back seat behind me
He was wearing glasses, and his hands were rummaging through his hair, messing it up.
His hatred for me I felt.
He glowered as our eyes met.
I narrowed mine.
He was not amused.
As we were clapping, this kid spoke up.
“ Why are you clapping, it’s a fucking movie let us watch it!”
Oh God forgive me, I think
I turn around, my hair slapping me in the face so quick that I got hair in my mouth.
“ Amen to that man, you’re so right!”
I start to clap.
The whole theater is clapping and whistling and genuinely agreeing with him.
I swear that kid’s eyes must’ve been able to shoot lasers from the look he gave me.
I smiled to myself.
The movie ends, it’s late at night now. Everyone leaves, and the kid who just wanted to watch the movie looked like he was drained of whatever life force he had left.
I walked out of that theater and took a deep breath of the air, clearly it had been raining and I inhaled the air deeply.
That was the best movie theater watching experience I had ever had.
I had never been so happy with being an asshole before.
Cause I never wanted to be and when I am I’m usually very sorry about it when I am.
Something about that night though..
I didn’t regret it.
Yes, I know I was awful
Yes, I know Karma’s gonna bite me in the ass with that one
I was the bad guy in that situation. I own that.
At that moment? I felt peace within myself. I felt liberated
I did not feel sorry.
My only regret was that Sam and Fred couldn’t light the way for me as I headed back home, running through the darkness, and the audience of stars shining above me.
I slept like a baby.