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Fantasticoe 1996

The Movies

By Jeremy Pigg

     I didn't really feel like going to a movie in the first place. Roped in, whirled around, and sucked up into the whole obligation of tying up the loose ends of a friendship that had moldered into a rotting mess. Goddamn obligation really.

     I remember back to years before when a ridiculous argument sent Duane and I our separate ways. We were going on a double date with both of our girlfriends when a heated debate about which movie to see got a little out of hand. Shortly after the argument began, Duane's girlfriend and my girlfriend took my side. Duane accused her of cheating on him with me, an accusation which my girlfriend knew to be false and a short time later Duane was dumped. He had never forgiven me until I got a phone call to go see a movie with him after a six year silence in our friendship.

     The two of us got to the theater early. Ten minutes. We sat down, not all the way in the back but nearly. We sat about three seats in from the aisle and chatted. We caught up on who's screwing who and who's getting married and who's not. Shootin' the shit mostly, we avoided the issues that we each defended stubbornly which led to our initial falling out. I sat there and said to myself, "Just shut the fuck up. Don't drudge up all that bullshit. You are more mature now and so is he."

     After ten minutes of talking with a radio announcer's voice echoed by epic movie music in the background, the curtains opened and the onslaught of previews began. I leaned forward on my knees gazing into the huge screen as the twenty minutes of previews puttered along like slow pot smoking time.

     When the movie began, I sat back and twisted and turned my ass in the uncomfortable theater seat until I found a suitable position for it. Half on, half off. I draped one leg over the empty seat in front of me and I bent the other firmly pressing my knee against the back of the seat in front of me. I leaned back and rested one arm on the arm rest and saw that Duane had already acquired the possession of the other. I wasn't about to start new wars over an arm rest so I let the issue fade out and die.

     Ten minutes into the movie, forty since we entered the theater and sat down, and three point two seconds after sucking the last drop of soda out of my ten-dollar-jumbo-not-a-chance-in-hell-your-gonna-finish-this-fucking-drink cup with a tremendous slurp, I had to pee. I began to lean over to excuse myself when I felt someone tug on a tuft of my long hair. I immediately began to think to myself with deep contemplation:

     "Now who in the hell would have the audacity to tug someone's hair in a movie theater? O.K. sure, if you know the person that's fine. But I saw those derelict looking people come in and sit down behind us. Oh shit, maybe my foot is blocking that guy's view and he's pissed off."

     I put my feet down on the sticky floor. I once again began to lean my head slightly over to excuse myself when another tug pulled at my hair.

     "Now what in the hell," I thought, "What did I do? I put my foot down so what's the fucking problem?"

     I started to turn my head around to address and resolve the issue when another tug came.

     "Damn it!" I thought.

     I continued to turn my head, a little quicker this time. A hard tug. I winced and made a soft, "Umf" sound out of pain, frustration and annoyance. As I turned further I realized that I could turn my neck no more because several strands of my hair were pinned under the heavy military boot of the leather wearing, cheap cologne smelling, biker, brute behind me. Urine welled up inside of me like oil under Texas and filled my body clear up to my heart.

     "Now here's a little dilemma," I thought. "What to do? O.K. rely on the strength and length of your hair and simply pivot your head to the three inch rotational limit you are allowed by circumstance and explain the situation to the gentlemen..."

     "Wait a minute," I argued with myself, "This guy is no damned gentlemen, gentlemen wear suits, this guy's wearin' biker leather from a cow that probably once rode a Harley."

     "I would say something but this is the same animal that threatened to tear the arms off of the popcorn boy if he didn't give him a discount! What the hell am I going to do? The guy is just fucking huge and he probably hates long haired little freaks like me."

     "Ahhh shit, why me? O.K. - solution number two: Count to three, close your eyes really tight and give you hair one swift yank for freedom."

     "This is ridiculous! If I pull my hair out it's gonna fucking hurt. Jesus it's gonna hurt."

     "Don't be such a wimp, just yank your head one time and relief will be upon you. One... Two... Three... O.K. go. Go! Pull, tug, yank for God sake yank yourself man!"

     "This is crazy! I will scream and there will probably be blood and hair stuck to this guy's foot and wait... What if I start a trend? Christ if I pull one tuft of hair out of my body my hair follicles could rebel in some strange fashion and I could go completely bald. This won't do at all! If I yank myself, I will go bald. Holy shit, my mother was right!"

     "Oh good God!" I thought, " The guy's feet smell like cat piss! Oooh- don't think about piss, don't think about piss. Damn it stop thinking that word. I'll hold my breathe and maybe that will stop the stench."

     "What the hell is that sound? Oh no! Some dumb ass spilled a soda. Not the sound of running liquid. I gotta cross my legs and pinch this off."

     "This is getting serious now. Lean over and explain the situation to Duane."

     I leaned over as far as I could and whispered to Daune,

     "Hey, hey Duane."



     "What?" he finally responded.

     "Lean over a little bit man so I can whisper."

     A puzzled look swept across his face.

     "What the hell are you doing," I thought. "Look at the poor man. He thinks you've gone mad! Oh no, maybe he thinks I'm gay and I'm coming on to him. What the hell am I going to say to him? Great. He probably won't even believe this ridiculous story. He'll think that this is just some strange ploy to seduce him into bed at the conclusion of the movie! Even worse what if he wants to be seduced. I got to piss so bad and here I am just trying to watch a simple fucking movie; I go in straight as the Pope and I'm gonna go out a bald gay guy with a big wet piss stain running down the front of my pants! This sucks. Great... he's leaning over here. Quick think of something to say..."

     Daune leaned over and raised his eye brows in curiosity and as an expression signaling a retort from me.

     "Hi," I say with a little smile and wave of my hand. Duane leaned back into his seat with an even more puzzled look on his face. He looked back over at me and I nod with a smile. He just shook his head and reabsorbed himself into the movie.

     "O.K. man. This is getting critical. It's crunch time now. I knew I should have purchased some popcorn. Yeah, popcorn would soak up some of the soda sloshing around in my bladder. Oh good God, my bladder is full and it's right there man. The tubes are flooded and the torpedoes are ready to fire! Say something. Yell! Fake a heart attack, do anything to free yourself. Come on, squeeze it. Hold it. Just... Oh man. Oh Fuck. Fuck, fuck. Ooop. Too late."

     "Do you realize what your doing? Your pissing your pants in a movie theater."

     I really didn't feel that bad about it. It was strange. The location. But the act felt perfectly natural. I needed to go and I went. Yet I felt that the dilemma was getting more and more severe all the time. Sure my bladder was no longer at the last straining moments before explosion and possibly death but now I would be utterly and totally humiliated in front of an old friend. My hair was still pinned and I had an ever increasing warm wet spot in my pants that had surely, by now soaked through to the surface and I knew when the theater lights came up that my little accident, no rather, my big fucking disaster would be revealed.

Just as the last squeak of urine spurted forth into the tight confines of my sopping underwear and jeans, the man behind me pronounced loudly to the woman next to him,

     "Got ta go drain Big Willy, sweety."

     "You go right a head ma big dumplin'" replied his woman.

     He stood and left and my hair was free. I sat there in a daze thinking to myself,

     "How can this be... My moment of triumph, my moment of relief, my moment of freedom, all at the same time as my moment of greatest humiliation which is looming in those damned theater lights and well of course on my pants. God, I'm getting thirsty again. My drink is gone. Maybe Duane has some left."

     I leaned over to Duane and smiled for the blessing of my newly acquired freedom and said, "Hey Duane, sorry about before but I forgot what I was gonna say. Could I get a drink of your soda?"

     "You finished yours already? Damn man! Don't you have to piss?" enquired Duane.

     "Uh... No not really just kinda thirsty," I answered.

     "Yeah sure, you can have a drink," he responded as he handed over his drink.

     Just then there was a large explosion on the movie screen causing me to jump with a start. I smacked Duane's drink out of his hand when I jumped and we both watched it sail gracefully into the air and its eventual summer-salt back down where it crashed on the top of my head, soaking me from head to ankles in Mellow Yellow soda.

     Duane burst into laughter as did the biker woman and 'Big Willy' who had just returned from the restroom.

     "Holy shit!" exclaimed Duane, "This makes up for it all! I get dumped six years ago in a movie theater because of you but this sure as hell makes up for it. If it wouldn't have spilled on your shirt it would have looked like you pissed your pants! Damn this is funny."

     I laughed too. I was saved. It was a miracle. Then the biker man leaned forward, offering me a handkerchief and says, "Goddamn son, that was sure funny but a little embarssin' for you... Here take this and mop yourself up a bit."

     His generosity and kindness surprised me but it also annoyed the hell out of me. That night Duane, Big Willy, the biker lady and myself ended up going to the bars to get loaded on bourbon. I don't go to movies anymore and Duane ended up dating the biker lady who happened to be the sister of Big Willy. Sometimes you gotta fight, sometimes you gotta forgive, sometimes you get surprised, and sometimes you gotta piss.

 Jeremy would like to thank: Sarah Andersen, the guy in the theater in Sioux City, IA. that gave me the idea for this story, Gordon Mennenga, Terry Heller and the 1996 J-term creative writing class.

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