by Fielding Goodfellow
Every Friday night the Roxy Theater screened a double feature, and every Friday night we were there. It was a ritual. It was always packed with the usual cast of suburban rebels and renegades who crammed into the theatre and quickly disappeared into the clouds of burning weed that billowed up to the rafters. We preferred to sit in the back, feeding our heads mushroom after mushroom, until we were no longer able to tell if it was art imitating life, or life imitating art. It didn’t take long for the weird shit to begin as the Oompa Loompas started singing and dancing their way across the silver screen, and the Canada Goose ushers wandered the aisles trying to sell their used AMC Gremlin. Somewhere between ‘Dirty Little Billy’ and ‘Fearless Vampire Killers’, I came face to face with God himself, working at the concession counter .
“Well, we haven’t spoken in a long time.” he said.
“Ya.” I answered. “I’ve had a lot going on.”
“I get it.” he said. “There always seems to be something that has to be dealt with.”
“You too?” I asked. “But you’re God.”
“That’s true.” he said, “Nevertheless, shit happens.”
“I guess it does.” I said. “So, do you work here?”
“No, no.” he said. “I just came here to see you. There’s something I’d like you to do.”
“You need me?”, I asked. “What can I do?”
“Well” he said, ” I need you to stop being such an ass. I need you to be considerate and kind to people.”
“But they piss me off so much.” I said.
“I know. Me too.” he replied. “But you’re life will change one day soon, and if you aren’t ready for it, it will all just pass you by.”
“How can I change who I am?” I asked.
“That’s not who you are.” he said. “Its what you’ve chosen to be. Get high and let who you are come out. That’s when the real you can actually see. Just be patient and compassionate towards people all of the time. Trust me on this.” He handed me a large bag of popcorn. “Now go back and watch the movie. You’re gonna love ‘Fearless Vampire Killers’.
“That’s it?” I asked.
“Did you want something more?” he replied.
“Well some butter on the popcorn would be nice.” I said.
“I don’t think so.” he said. “I’ll tell you something. Stay the hell away from butter. And red meat. And fried foods. Definitely stay away from fried foods. One day down the road you’ll thank me for this too. Now go and enjoy yourself.”
I left him at the counter and returned to watch the movie. He was right, ‘Fearless Vampire Killers’ was one hell of a movie. On the way out, I stopped by the concession counter, but he was gone. There was a pimply faced teenage girl working there who had never seen a man working there that evening, so I just chalked it all up to another drug induced hallucination. Either way it didn’t matter. Whatever did or didn’t happen that night at The Roxy Theatre has stuck with me, and has driven me to be a better person. There have been times though, when I wish that I would have at least asked him for the winning lottery numbers.