I went with the kids to see "Oppenheimer" yesterday. We had two tables at a boutique arts theater with a bar. I sat with three of the women at one table, one a lesbian and all three feminists. Somewhere early in the film, Oppenheimer is lying on his back, dressed, and a naked woman is on top of him riding him like a bronco. I leaned forward and whispered, "I can hardly watch this. It seems awful. I just want you to know how I feel."
They all laughed. They all like women, really, and they enjoyed seeing the pretty naked girl. . . you know? There is something simply wonderful about that.
But, you know. . . I'm opposed to it. . . in theory. . . when it is dangerous.
The movie is long, but it moves along pretty well. There are too many names to keep up with, though. I am terrible with names. It has to be genetic. My buddy has prosopagnosia, or "face blindness," like Brad Pitt does. He has to recognize people in some other way. I think I have an unidentified disease that prevents me from remembering names. I'm not stupid. I remember other things. I have a zoology degree, and you don't get that without memorization. I've thought for years that I just am not that interested in other people, but it has to be a disease.
So when they mentioned people in the movie, I'd have to ask, "Who is that?"
Two beers and an order of Super Nachos with chicken later, we found out what we had already known. They made the bomb, dropped two on Japan, and the war ended. Oppenheimer was declared a security risk, etc.
After the film was over, the group of us stood outside the theater and chatted a long while.
"When they tested the bomb, they built little houses with kitchens and living rooms and put dummies inside to evaluate the damage. I wonder why they didn't show that in the movie?"
"I think the movie got so goddamned long that they couldn't show everything. They had to make room for the parts where they showed the titties."
"That's probably it," they all agreed.
"You know. . . I wasn't for that part at all."
Ten feminine-friendly eyes were upon me.
I stayed longer to talk to the woman who wants to take the place of the man who took my place at the factory. I had a lot of juicy stuff to dish to her. And by the time I had done that, it was early evening. I went home to sit some more. I'd sat long with the group the night before. Now I'd been sitting at the theater for about five hours. Far too much sitting for me. When I got home, I called my mother to apologize for not coming over.
Everyone is saying that "Barbie" is a better movie. This is terribly difficult to believe. I am trying to imagine it. I can't. I am cursed to have to see it. At least it isn't three hours long.
My connection to the factory crowd is unravelling thread by thread, so after I had a whiskey and a cheroot in the last light of day while I thought about it all, I wrote a little note to the crowd saying how much I will miss my departing friend and our trips to movies and the museums. As we shrink in the rearview mirror, I said, all our quirkiness and weirdness will become exaggerated, but we aren't weird. . . we're the coolest people around.
This morning, my text messages were the sweetest.
But, you know. . . onward. I feel a bit like I'm starting over. All the old routines are gone. It is time to make new ones, to get productive and jump back into "things" with both feet. I'm thinking a quick trip to NYC might be a start. But holy smokes, kids. . . hotel prices are astounding.
Whatever. I need to begin anew. I need to see the fallen world before the total apocalypse is upon us. I have new shirts. I have goofy Japanese pants that I love and am learning to wear with panache and confidence. I'm limping along pretty well over the miles now, too. I need to get out and go.
I would rather do this with My Own True Love. . . but maybe she is out there somewhere simply waiting.
Just like in. . .