Friday, July 3, 2009

You Never Know

I went to the movies with an old friend. We hadn't been out in quite awhile and talked like school girls, eating our popcorn and candy. The lights dimmed and we settled in to enjoy a few hours of willing suspension of disbelief.

The first preview was for an action film I'd probably never see, the second was obviously designed for the tween crowd, and the third promised to be an hilarious chick flick. At one slap stick point in the trailer my friend laughed in her old familiar way.

It is the kind of laugh that rings of pure joy. It is short and full and leaves sparkles in the air. When we were in high school plays, it was the kind of laughter you prayed would fill the theater. Up on stage, lights so bright all beyond the set floor was darkness. But when the audience had a few laughers like her, you knew you were not alone. You knew you were making a connection and that all the work was worth it.

The feature started and though it was not billed as a comedy, some of the scenes were pretty darn funny. My friend's laugh is infectious and made my smile widen. About twenty minutes into the film we saw a commotion in the front. A big man was moving from his center seat to the isle. He headed toward the exit, then stopped and turned his huge frame toward the back of the theater. He pointed toward my friend and literally shouted, "I WANT YOU TO KNOW YOU NOISY *ITCH, YOU ARE THE REASON I AM LEAVING."

Even in the darkness of the theater, I knew her cheeks were burning red, I felt her heart sink. I jumped from my seat sending my popcorn to the floor. She reached for my arm, but I was already gone. I ran down the isle and out the exit. I spotted him ahead and sprinted toward him.

"Sir." I yelled, "Excuse me sir?" He stopped and turned around to glare at me. I walked the last few feet to face him. "Excuse me," I began my heart pounding in my chest, "But I was just wondering how you would feel when I told you that you had just embarrassed and insulted a girl dying of cancer. A girl who has been too weak for months to get dressed, let alone go out to the movies. That you called someone's daughter, sister, wife and friend a *itch for doing exactly what the doctor had ordered."

I was pulsing with adrenaline and tears filled my eyes. I do not enjoy confrontations. His hard angry look had fallen, and he began to twist his hands together. "Tell her...I mean..." he stammered.

I looked him square in the eye and said, "I did not say it was true, I just asked you how you'd feel." And I turned and walked away.

Diary entry: July 3. Josie Ambrose.

No comments:

Post a Comment