By Salvador Vaughan
It was a chilled September evening, I think it was the 28th. (Or was it the 6th? It could have been May actually.) When my dear old, senile mother asked me if I wanted to go see a movie at a real theatre and not just our dusty ol’ basement.
“Oh there she goes again on another one of her senile trains of thought. Mother, movie theatres aren’t open, we're living in the middle of a pandemic, remember?” I thought aloud.
“Oh piss off son, I know that we’re in the middle of the spanish flu but the theatres are open. I just checked the world wide web” she replied very much aloud.
“I didn’t know she could do that!” I thought (this time to myself). “Alright then mother, shall we get on our way?”
“Give me a minute I’ve lost my glasses!” (This was a frequent problem in our household)
“Mother for the last time they’re taped to your face you can’t lose them.” It took her a minute but she did find them eventually. So we put on our matching helmets, hopped on our tandem bicycle and sped off. It’s a difficult thing riding a tandem bike with someone that can’t reach the pedals (she’s only 4 foot 6). Sometimes I wonder why we even take the tandem bike when the theatre is only 806 doors down. But that’s besides the point.
Before we made it to the theatre we stopped at the local candy shoppe to get our fix. The store’s automatic doors were broken so they supplied a crow bar (on a string so people don’t go about stealing it) to pry the doors open. And so we did. It was a poorly lit place with a singular red light bulb hanging from the cashier's head. There were two other people in the store with us. One man who seemed to be 6 foot 14 inches small, wearing a bay street suit and a bay street haircut, was in the corner smoking a pipe watching Ellen (the toxic person she is) on the Television. There was also a woman who seemed to be chasing her non-existent tail, she was frantically running in circles shouting “Damn tail always making me trip on the crosswalk!”. Me and my mother weren’t fazed by any of this so we quietly picked up our various goods (which are hard, bitter candies and coconut water for my dear old mother) and pried our way out.
When we arrived at the theatre, I noticed a subtle difference from the way things used to be. Twenty-two armed queen’s guards surrounded the place, ready to take down anyone who dares get near the theatre without a mask. So we figured it would be better to put them on and walked on in. We showed our tickets to the lady, she lit them on fire (as to not spread the germs) , equipped us with cineplex approved shock collars that would go off if we went near another person and sent us on our way. As we’re slowly drifting up the escalator I ask my mother what film we’ve come to see.
“Tenet” she replied senile and all.
“Well isn’t that clever” I thought beneath my mask. “It’s the same backwards as it is sideways!”
We marched on in staying at least six metres apart from anything a human could have possibly spat on. And following the arrows in the sky arrived at theatre number thirty-six and a half. In Front of the entrance stood two other queen’s guards, laughing their hats off over a dirty joke one of them had just made.
“Not as regal as I hoped!” my mother said as we took our designated seats. There were a mere 6 people out of a seating capacity of 4,600, filling all the other seats were plastic inflatables of various celebrities and movie stars. We sat through 19 previews of various movies that won’t be coming out until 2063 and 87 commercials reminding us that the Queen’s guards are always watching. By the time the film started my mother had gotten much older and much more senile (I can’t have that happening!). While we were sitting there trying to drink pop (that’s the same forwards as sideways too) through our masks. The man next to me (well not directly next to me that was inflatable Morgan Freeman) thought it would be a good idea to put his feet up on the seat in front of him (it wasn’t). His cineplex approved collar went off so bad it caused a blackout and we were all escorted out by the giggling Queen’s guard.
Header Drawing by Salvador Vaughan