It was late. I was tired, hot, and cranky as all hell.
But, lo and behold, there I was standing in line in my pajamas, purchasing a ticket to the midnight opening of the latest Harry Potter film alongside hundreds of what I call the Stepford families and various other types that I generally avoid close contact with.
I must tell you, in case you’re one of the three people left on Earth unaffected by this particular madness, these Potter-heads are crazy as hell. People plan their entire lives around Harry related activities. Book release parties are penciled in and chunks of time are blocked off like major surgery. The books themselves are preordered and reserved months in advance (God help us all, the initial print run is only 12 million copies!). Opening night of the films spawns itineraries. If only this amount of precision were used in dealing with cultural affairs.
But I digress.
When I approached the ticket counter, a weary young man with glazed over eyes wearing a Gryffindor scarf routinely asked, “May I help you?” Why do they ask that? Am I really in a position to say no? Seizing the moment, I of course replied dryly, “Yes, one for Sicko, please.”
He didn’t laugh.
While waiting in line for a cold beverage, I zeroed in on a handful of conversations going on around me.
“This is like going to be so cool!” a heavily made up teenage girl, who by the way, was wearing an outfit consisting of approximately one square foot of material, shrieked to her coterie of baby Paris clones. Eeek.
“Yo dawg! Just get me some popcorn. If I get a drink I’ll need to piss before this movie gets out, yo,” a frat boy hollered to his, um, homies. And speaking of frat boys, fellas, if you’re going to insist on wearing your pants down around your ass, just do us all a favor. Save us the trouble and just take them off and paint a target on your cheeks. At least then I would be amused.
“Yes Mason, we will sit up front if there are seats available,” a Mother kept repeating to one of the six children she had glued to her hip. “Molly, get off of Michael’s cape. You’re going to rip it.” The man in this family was staring off into space. Perhaps he was wishing he had invested more in birth control than J.K. Rowling’s fortune. Again, eeek!
I found myself growing more and more resentful to these horrendous people who were here daring to watch the same move as I. Surely, I was above all this. By the time I took my seat in the crowded auditorium, I could feel a Robby moment coming on (which, for those you unfamiliar, is an emotional state I can only characterize as being what happens when my mind starts to race with bewilderment and rage, thus manifesting itself into a full blown Joan Crawford-scrubbing-the-bathroom-floor outburst.)
“Why the hell am I here?” I thought to myself. “Surely there has to be more enlightening and productive things I could do with my time. But no! I’m sitting here with 180 crazies all for the sake of a sixteen-year-old wizard who’s got a screwed up life. Well, get in line pal! Whose life isn’t! Curse you Jo Rowling. And you too Warner Brothers for sucking me in.”
Just as the froth from the foaming of my mouth was starting to make its way down my chins, I glanced over to next section of seats and noticed two women holding hands. Sitting on one side of them was an elderly couple with two children. On the opposite side was another woman sitting between two men, one of whom happened to be wearing a PRIDE necklace.
Praise the Lord! My people have come to save me from suburban overkill! Impulsively, I grabbed my things and barreled my big ass over to the vacant seat next to them.
“Is this seat taken?” I asked, trying to regain composure.
“Not at all. Have a seat,” the man in the PRIDE necklace answered.
“Thanks,” I replied.
“Are you here by yourself?” he asked.
Am I being picked up at a kid’s movie?
“That’s smart. I had to bring everyone I know,” he continued warmly.
“Been there, done that,” I answered back. “Last week you would have thought I was organizing a global summit trying to get my friends to commit to Transformers.”
“My name’s Bryan, by the way,” he offered. “And this is my best friend Jennifer, her boyfriend Adam, my cousin Liz, her girlfriend Sam, their kids, and our grandparents”, he shared.
“I’m Robby,” I smiled and waved to the row of people.
The Queen of England has nothing on me.
They all waved back, except for Grandma, who looked confused. I don’t think the poor dear knew whether she was at a movie or, with the inclusion of yours flaming truly, a gay pep rally.
Bryan and I continued chatting for the next several minutes. In between testing our individual Potter knowledge, the fierceness that is Dame Maggie Smith, and gay life in Rochester (I embrace it, he thinks its non existent), my sour mood began to lift and I started to think maybe this night wouldn’t be the catastrophe I anticipated.
As the night progressed, Bryan and I ended up whispering comments to each other all throughout the movie. We booed and hissed Dolores Umbridge. We laughed out loud at the Weasley Twins. We even debated whether or not Hermione Granger would make a good fag hag (me thinks so).
Crazy people be damned, it ended up being a pretty fantastic outing after all.
Now if only I had paid more attention to the movie.
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Artisit: Kelly Marie
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Originally published in the August 2007 issue of The Empty Closet, New York State’s Oldest Continuously-Published LGTB newspaper since 1973, through the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.