When I was a beautiful, blue-eyed, pre-pubescent boy, my father took me to see “Star Wars” at the Loring Hall Cinema, in Hingham, Massachusetts. It is still there today. The theater, not Star Wars. A theatrical run’s gotta end sometime. It’s basic economics, supply and demand. The Loring is one of those old magical movie houses with only one screen. Yes, they did use to exist. Whenever we would go there it was always a fun, dare I say groovy time. I do dare. Usually we would get dropped off to see a movie without adult supervision. You would buy your ticket and make your way into the theater hoping to find a well positioned seat. Occasionally you could get into the balcony, but more often than not it was guarded by an older usher telling you “Move along, you young luscious boy”. That dude was creepy. But the theater had a rule where no children were allowed to sit in the balcony unaccompanied by an adult. He would always offer to not only accompany me, but to also spring for popcorn and lube. I never understood why you would want lube with your popcorn. I mean back then I didn’t understand. I totally get it now, he wanted to make sex on me. I’m kind of offended, because it would take more than free popcorn to get me into the balcony and make sex on me. I need some Raisinets or something before I allow you to “make me a man”, as they say in some religious institutions, and all prisons. Plus the free lube really wouldn’t be so much for me as for him. I’m on to you cheap, creepy usher. Belatedly so, but whatever.
When Star Wars came out I remember saying to my father, “That looks really, really, really, good. Can we see it? Can we? Huh? Huh? Can we see it? Dad?! Can we see Star Wars? Huh, Dad?”
He completely blew my mind by agreeing with me that it looked good because that usually didn’t happen as far as movies went. John Wayne wasn’t in Star Wars, so how could my father like it? He obviously couldn’t, would be the conclusion any sane, rational, not addicted to crack cocaine individual would arrive at. But he seemed all for it. We went to a matinée showing of it and the grand old Loring was packed. People stood in line for their tickets, as people have done since time immemorial. And still do today. Except back then nobody was staring at their iPhone pretending to text so they didn’t have to see someone who they haven’t seen in a while and have that awkward small talk about “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”, or “How are the Pats gonna do this year?”, or “Why did you fuck my girlfriend?” and such. No, nobody had a single cell phone. They all just stood there staring at each other, like human beings. I think one dude did have a beeper, but he was an older boy with a Camaro and a mustache….. Pretty cool, older boy…. pretty cool indeed.
As we entered the theater, we passed by the balcony because my father didn’t want to sit up there. Damn, I finally have the opportunity to sit I the good seats without sacrificing my boy cherry and my legal guardian says nay. Will Smith was right about parents not understanding. My father thumbed his nose at my coveted balcony seats in favor of seats located in the middle of the theater. I was not happy about it, but that didn’t factor into the equation back in 1977. You could force your child to be happy back then with little to no reprisal from the law. Good times were had by all. When the house lights went down the theater erupted into shouts and whistles. I miss that, because I can’t do it anymore. You get strange looks from people when you’re a 41-year-old man screaming and whistling in the movie theater when everybody else is just waiting to watch “High School Musical 4: The Abortion Years”. Thats uncomfortable for everybody, including the church group picketing outside chanting “Make-believe abortion is make-believe murder”!
The movie started and I loved it. My father did too. We were drawn into this magical world of intergalactic space travel. But as the movie progressed Dad did something that horrified me. He was rooting for Darth Vader. He was openly, loudly, enthusiastically rooting for the dark side.
Dad: “Yeah, go Darth!” (Notice the first name basis. He was serious.)
Me: “No Dad, he’s the bad guy!”
Dad: “Yeah I know.”
Me: “You do? Then why are you cheering for him.”
Dad: “Because I want him to win, I don’t like Luke.”
Me: “No, you’re supposed to root for Luke. You’re supposed to root for the good guy.”
Dad: “Fuck the good guy.” (I’m paraphrasing)
Me: “I want to be adopted.”
Me: “Whhhaaaaaaattttttt?!?!?! (Uncontrollable sobbing)
The whole ride home I don’t think I said a word. I couldn’t believe that my father would root for the bad guy. It seriously changed my whole outlook on life. It simply mystified me. My father has been gone for 16 years but I wish he was here today so I could talk to him and say, “Hahaha, that’s some funny shit motherfucker.”
He’s my Dad.
He had sex with my mother, motherfucker.