“Um, my peeps are going to swing by in the Mother Ship. Why?”
“My friend, Jeremy, is being kicked out of the house because his wife is having a Girls’ Night In. He wants to see Skyfall. Wanna go?”
I had wanted to see the latest James Bond installment over my Thanksgiving break, and I had gotten Spence to agree to go with me, but somehow, we never managed to actually put the plan into action.
“Heck, yeah!” I said.
“Okay. I’ll be in contact with you later in the week.”
Friday afternoon, Spence McManly sent me the following text: Jeremy sent me an email. He can’t go until the 9 p.m.-ish show. Are you interested that late?
I called him back at the coffee house where he was wrestling with his latest website project. He sounded exhausted.
“Hi. It’s me.”
“Oh, hi. Are you still interested in seeing Skyfall tonight?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Okay. I checked that theater downtown and I couldn’t find anything. Are you sure it’s still showing there?”
“It should be.”
“Let me look…”
I listened as Spence McManly interrupted his typing with words like “fudging” and… Well, you get the idea. He was clearly frustrated as he bounced back and forth between theater websites and Fandango trying to purchase tickets.
“Oh, THERE it is! Why wasn’t it showing up before?” he said in exasperation. “This is exactly why I avoid going to the movies on a weekend night.”
“That’s the Sundance Theater downtown,” I said. “They don’t show advertisements before the show, their prices are reasonable, and the popcorn’s really good.”
“Yeah, but it’s out of the way for Jeremy, so I think we’d better stick to the original location… Let me call you back later so I can finish this.”
“Okay,” I said. We hung up and I took a much-needed nap.
Later, I received another text from Spence McManly: I’ll pick you up at 8:50.
At around 8:40, I left my apartment, walked to where the driveway meets the sidewalk and waited while my outdoor cat, Agatha, rubbed her face against my sneakers and snaked figure eights around my ankles.
Spence pulled up ten minutes late and apologized immediately.
“That’s okay,” I said. “I’m here to support you,” and I patted him on the arm.
We got to the movie theater parking lot in record time, but it was packed. Spence saw a car back out of a spot out of the corner of his eye. He slammed on his brakes – which gave me a start – shifted into reverse, hit the gas pedal and skidded neatly in.
Despite the crowded parking lot, the movie theater was surprisingly empty, and there were hardly any lines. By the time the film had ended, it was past midnight and the movie theater lights were going off. Two off-duty police officers picking up overtime hours working security were sitting on a bench in the lobby chatting.
As we approached his car, I saw a kitten run from under a nearby parked vehicle.
“Look! It’s a kitten!”
“No!” he said firmly.
Then another kitten chased the first one.
“They’re probably part of a litter and the mother’s likely nearby,” I said.
As he pulled out of the parking lot, I said, “Don’t hit the kittens!”
“If I do,” Spence replied, “that’ll make some good eatin’!”
“Wrong!” I said. “Just take me home.”