Monday, May 5, 2008

The Missing Reel

I know it should go without saying, but my mom fucking rocked. She was my compass, my financial advisor, my life coach, and my road dog. She was the only one who understood how vitally important it was to be among the first to see a new movie on its release date. Catching midnight shows were commonplace and didn't seem to faze her in the least. We both new when “New Movie Tuesday” rolled around, what was being released, and that one of us would come home with a new DVD in hand that night. This was our thing.

She even went so far as to get a part time job at a movie theatre when she needed extra money. She worked there for years, and it goes without saying that I never knew the price of a movie ticket for a good long time. Friday nights would find my brother and me catching the newest summer blockbuster, or spring dud. The other theatre employees new us by name, or simply as “Irma's boys”. Half the time we didn't even need a ticket; we simply walked up to the ticket taker, greeted them with a nod, and went on in. I'm sure this must have looked odd to the poor saps paying their seven dollars to see Jason X (which was $6.99 too much for that uber-bomb, by the way) watching these two kids skate on by like dignitaries with diplomatic immunity. Many were the times that I would simply go to the mall just to say hi to her, talking to her through the loudspeaker, seeing her there in her black and purple theatre uniform, with a black knit sweater on to block the chill of the box office. I miss her so much. I remember her stories about turning kids away from R rated movies for not being old enough, of the other employees she did and didn't like, and of calling me and asking if I wanted to come see a movie with her on her lunch break. I remember one year when she talked the theatre manager into letting me take home a life sized cardboard stand up of Darth Maul. For years I kept that up in my room, a silent reminder of a missing reel in my life. For a year or so after her passing, my brother and I would still visit the theatre she worked at, with some of the older employees still recognizing us and letting us slip in. Soon the old guard passed, and we had to start paying to recapture the past. Eventually we would have to make do with simply passing by the box office on trips to the mall, silently reliving those moments.

Now, every time I walk into a movie theatre and the smell of popcorn and movie posters washes over me, I think of her. Whenever a new movie comes out on DVD, I remember the phone calls to her to let her know what came out that day, and the excited drive to Circuit City or Target to pick it up. I remember the quick critiques we would share after watching them, and the pride at which I would look at our growing movie collection.

This was our thing.


The Bagboy said...

What a great little story, and what a great connection to have with your mom. Well done sir.

Delia said...

There were tears in my eyes and a smile on my face-contrasting emotions at once. Very nice story and a really neat Mom.

Alex the Odd said...

Aw, that's lovely Manny.

Aunt Becky said...


Jayne said...

that is so sweet! That's wonderful that she found such a cool way to bond with you when you were growing up.