Saturday, June 19, 2004

Jelly beans

This is the third day of the documentary film festival and the theater is packed. We find two seats next to places marked by the festival schedule spread across the seats. S. does not sit. He goes back out to grab something to drink. This is going to be my third film in a row. I am still thinking about the other two...

I see a couple walking in the aisle toward me. The woman is wearing white Capri pants and a black and white silky-looking sleeveless top. She looks dressed up. The man is in a more casual attire. Beige pants and a dark shirt. He sports a goatee and metal-rim glasses.
They grab the schedule from the seats, thank one of the guys sitting nearby and sit down.
I hear the guy asking her if she came directly from work. Yes. Her boss was specially awful today. She seems tired but happy to have escaped into this crowded movie theater. It is cold with the AC running full blast and she puts on a light sweater. "This top is nice on you", he tries. A polite but terse thank you is all he gets.
Are you hungry? He asks now. "Actually, I am starving". He seems to have been waiting for this answer and gets out of his pocket a small bag of jelly beans. A big red and yellow sign on the bag screams "20% Free". I bought it for you, he says. The thank you is not completely heartfelt.
She puts the packet on the side with a condescending smile and he grows immediately so nervous that she feels the need to justifying herself "I do like jelly beans but not now". It's said with the tone of someone who meant to say "I can't believe you asked if I was hungry if all you are ready to offer is a bag of jelly beans!"
He looks more and more like a teen on his first movie date than the adult he is. The movie is starting soon but he knows what to do. Less than 5 minutes later, I see him getting up and asking his friend "Do you want something from the concession stand?" just as S. is coming back with a tea and a beer. She nodes and orders popcorn and a soft drink. He rushes out, happy to be given a life-line after his terrible faux-pas.
I hear them opening the jelly beans bag during the movie.