Today I went to the movie theatre ALONE for the first time ever. I don't ever do this. There are a few reasons for that:
a) I normally have friends who go with me to these kinds of things. They're real.
b) I don't have enough money to just go gallivanting to the theatre all the time. Who do you think I am? Alice Walton? Heiress to Walmart? She's real.
c) I'm scared that if I go alone to the theatre then the fat man sitting alone in the back (who everyone knows is probably masturbating) will come over, sit next to me, whisper "we're the same, you and I," and start masturbating beside me.
d) We now live in a more civilized world where there's Netflix and illegal downloads and everyone can masturbate in the sanctity of their own home.
But these were extenuating circumstances. You see, I've recently moved to a new country and I (through no fault of my own) haven't made very many friends yet. And normally I can keep myself fairly busy but my job won't let me work on account of my just getting out of hospital for my dead lung (long story) and now I don't know how to fill my lonely days. Also, my boyfriend and I (he's real) just bought monthly magic movie cards where we need only pay a monthly fee and then we can go to as many movies as we'd like. Well he was at work and I have no friends and I have a magic card and I have a dead lung so I thought "Fuck it! The fat lonely masturbator and I are gonna be real good friends!"
I didn't put on any makeup or bra because that would be presumptuous. Like dressing up for a date you don't have. I just moseyed on up to the theatre awaiting my judgement. My monthly magic movie card was swiping with all the magic of mentally handicapped Tinker bell so this meant I'd have to deal with an actual employee instead of a machine. Like the cave men did.
Him: "Do you have any preference of where you'd like to sit?"
Judgemental asshole. Who the fuck do you think you are?
Me: "Just kind of centre. Thanks."
Him: "No problem."
You're damn straight there isn't a problem. Didn't need a pimply little entry level employee to tell me that. I know who I am. I KNOW WHO I AM.
Me: "Is the theatre very full?"
Did I stutter?
Me: "It's just, I want to know if I should buy a ticket for my friend..."
That's righ- Wait. Who?
Me: "...Or will he be good if he gets here a bit late?"
What are you doing?
Him: "It's not too full. He should be fine."
He's real. HE'S REAL!
Me: "Oh perfect. I'll let him know. Thanks."
You don't deserve a monthly magic movie card you lying piece of shit.
That was pathetic. I take back everything I said about you, you efficient pimply little man. You are a better person than I.
I grabbed two straws for my drink to imply that two may share it but did not go so far as to buy another drink. That would be overkill. I stepped triumphantly into the dark sanctuary of the theatre. Stealth mode. No one could see me in here. I was safe. Except for the fat lonely masturbator, he was still an imminent threat. I shuffled into seat H13. It wasn't the seat I was assigned but I was claiming it because I was a lone moviegoer now. A rebel. We take what we want when we want it and we don't apologize to no one. I looked behind me for the fat lonely masturbator, maintaining stealth mode. He was no where to be found. In fact, most of the crowd looked relatively normal. Most of average weight. Average build. Hands no where near their genitalia. Except for the kid in row F but his mom seemed to have a handle on that. Had I imagined the fat lonely masturbator? Was he a character concocted in my mind? Or worse.... had I BECOME the fat lonely masturbator? Had the torch been passed? HAD I TAKEN HIS PLACE?! Sure I bought the large popcorn but how much could I have gained since I sat down in here? I sighed a sigh of relief remembering that my weight had plummeted to dangerously low levels in hospital while suffering from the dead lung. Thank god.
A girl squeezed in a few seats down from me. She saved a seat between us with her coat. Two can play at that game, bitch. I saved H12 just because I can. Just as I was realizing that eventually her date would come and mine would not (thus revealing my inferiority), the lights dimmed even dimmer (super stealth mode) and the commercials came on. The sweet smell of confectionary candy rippled through the air from somewhere nearby. That girl had bought twizzlers. I only bought popcorn. Now I had an avalanche of salt and nasty kernels taking up residence in my molars without any sweet sugariness to break it up. Rookie mistake. Her date was probably bringing popcorn. She would have salt AND sugar AND a date. There was no God. But as the commercials continued to roll by they caught my attention I was struck by an unfamiliar feeling. I had no urge to sneer at the screen. Could it be because I had no one beside me to provide with witty and topical comments on consumerism? No cynical partner = No cynical observation obligations.
I began to let the happy jingles wash over me, apprehensive at first but then content in a brand new way (emphasis on brand). I let myself feel alive and free as I rolled over the hills of the countryside with Dodge Caravan. I let myself feel active and immune from heart failure with McDonalds and I was, indeed, 'Lovin' it'. I let myself feel not entirely afraid of and/or disturbed by the weird animated movie theatre mascot telling me how magical my Cineworld experience was going to be. I trusted him. I was consumed. MORE THAN THAT I was a CONSUMER. And proud of it god dammit. I looked to my right at Jane (she looked like a Jane and Jane had been my old lady friend in hospital who gave me her socks as a goodbye present and I was wearing them right at that moment which made me think of her so anyways she was Jane now).... Jane still had no date. Cutting it a little close Chad, isn't it? You gonna stand Jane up? HUH? I then realized with my deductive skills that Jane didn't have a date either. And she wasn't bothered! And why would she be? We were just two normal gals who decided to go to the movie theatre alone today... AND THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! No one was judging us. I wasn't inferior. We were equals. "We're the same, you and I," I whispered softly to no one. Jane and I were alone together. Together and absolutely LOVING this coca cola commercial. I offered Jane some popcorn hoping to get a twizzler offer in return. She declined. Turns out Jane was a bit of a cunt. But fuck her. I was still in the ZONE!
This had already been such a roller coaster ride of emotions and we hadn't even reached the trailers. I wasn't sure if my sodium enriched heart could take it! But I made it. More than made it. I felt every second of it exactly the way I wanted to feel it. I didn't feel obligated to laugh when I didn't find something funny or not laugh when no one else did. I didn't feel guilty when I failed to shed a tear at the death of the female lead or when I sobbed hysterically at the death of the dog. Who was I disturbing? No one. No one was close enough or involved enough to care. Except Jane but fuck that bitch. I was free. When the credits rolled I wasn't plagued with the compulsion to ask "Sooo.... what did you think of it?" The daunting question that always made me feel weirdly anxious as if the movie up for critique was my own. No. I knew how I felt. I knew what I thought. I knew WHO. I. WAS. Fuck Jane and fuck anyone who dared to judge me. I would be doing this again very soon.
If this is what it felt like to be the fat lonely masturbator, then I was all in.