Warning Letter

Dear Friends,

I know that Friday night is coming.  I know that it’s the day after Thanksgiving, and that having gorged yourself on cranberries still in their can-like form, turkey smothered in gravy and abutted by mounds of stuffing and potatoes, and a few rolls thatjustbalanced on the edge of your plate, you’ll be lethargic.

I know that you’ll wake up on Friday morning still woozy from that last “sliver” of pie.  And yet, and yet, you will still trek to Target before the sun is up, if only to elbow your hair stylist’s elderly mother out of the way, that you might claim the last Nikon.

I know that Friday night, after sandwiches bulging with leftovers, you will seek entertainment.  Something light, something out of the house (away from the dishes), something the entire family can enjoy.

But friends, I implore you: do not go see Breaking Dawn Part 2.  If you do, you will laugh at first, then you will furrow your eyebrows in dubious mockery, and then you will be overwhelmed by waves of revulsion and worry for the future of popular filmmaking.  You will find yourself snatching your neighbor’s Milkduds to throw at the screen. You will sob the entire way home, because how can any movie that people pay to see be that bad?

Trust me.  I’m still emotionally shattered from my own viewing last night.

Wishing you happy Thanksgiving travels,


To Ancestors

To Ancestors:

Thanks for living so that I could.

Because even when I don’t stop and look around, don’t realize that a particular cloud or a particular person is worth stopping and looking at, I have the chance to do so because of you.  You fought wars, lived in poverty, immigrated, went to school, worked on the railroad,  and woke up every morning so that I might make my own way.

If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have been taking tickets at the theatre tonight.  I wouldn’t have had fifty cents to offer the lady who was short that amount.  I wouldn’t have been able to read The Great Gatsby in between customers.  I wouldn’t have been able to slip into a seat and watch Madagascar 3 in its entirety.  I wouldn’t have laughed aloud several times during the film, causing parents and children alike to turn and stare.  I wouldn’t have appreciated a family, who had arrived after I abandoned the ticket booth, and had walked in anyway, coming up post-movie to pay for their tickets.

After the film, I wouldn’t have reported to Ahab, the concessions master, that someone had spilled their Sierra Mist.  The 9 pm show had already begun, and Ahab put his hands on his hips and considered what to do.  The thought of a sticky river of soda pooling around unsuspecting ankles was horrifying.  We stood silently, imagining it.  Suddenly, the heavy Dyson vacuum, which had been leaning innocently against the wall, crashed to the floor, grazing Ahab’s calf on the way down.  We all jumped: Nick the projectionist, Stephanie the concessionist, Ahab, and me.  And then we laughed.  We laughed for about five minutes, hardly knowing what we were laughing at.

Thanks for that.

Day Tripper

Not much to report.

It’s cold enough that my fan is off, my windows are closed, and I have a blanket on my lap.

The plan was to make creamy cucumbers for dinner, but I realized this morning, after another largely sleepless night, that I forgot to buy vinegar.  I’ll do that tomorrow.

An hour ago, I pulled out The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Volume A for perusal.  Not much happened except that I reaffirmed my belief that John Smith was utterly and insufferably full of himself.  I wish Disney had at least gotten that part right.  Who writes an autobiography in third person, anyway?

Tonight is my first movie theater shift.  I’ll be working concessions, which should be simple enough.  Scoop popcorn, pull lever to flood waxy cup with Pepsi, retrieve rattling boxes of Nerds or Milkduds for waiting customers.

I don’t mean to sound so sarcastic, really.  I just need to learn to keep myself occupied when I’m not working.  I don’t know if I can take another slow day like this one.  Even in the summer.