Runts & Long Walks

During the first year of my freshman year probably up until my sophomore year my brother and I used to go to the movies a lot with a friend of ours. In some ways movie going and binge watching boxsets [this was before streaming] was a hobby of ours. All the same, I really hated going to the movies, because I could never pay for a ticket, but C always paid for mine. All the same I went just to get out of the house and socialize.

The first year of high school I decided to home school, because we couldn’t afford private schooling anymore. So any kind of socializing was a treat. The only gratifying part about going to see these lame movies, because that’s what they were then and if you read the ratings now, was that I could afford a handful of Runts. I don’t really like movie theater candy because there’s never enough for what you pay for. But they always had the rowof candy where you stuck fifty cents in the slot and turned until your hand was filled to the brim with fruity goodness. I don’t think I could eat runts now that I know it’s just artificial flavored sugar. But it was my favorite.

Did I mention these movies were lame? And that we also saw them in the middle of the week so we usually got the theater all to ourselves. At this point in time, I was still recovering from being an avid Lord of the Rings fan. I watched the movies and the behind the scenes so much that I unfortunately know them verbatim. I particularly became a huge fan of the actors who played the hobbits. Before you could follow them on Facebook or Twitter there were fan sites and blogs, etc.

Someone who was just as obsessed as me took the time to write down all the silly games these actors used to play while they were sitting around waiting to their jobs. I don’t know for a fact that this one I’m about to describe was something they did, but it was on the fan site. All you did was race your friend throughout the theater counting all the chairs. I would always challenge my brother and we’d have a good time but when I got C to do it, mostly just to see if he would move his lazy butt, I usually got an ill retort. I just never understood why you wouldn’t want to run around in a theater tripping over chairs and empty popcorn buckets.

It never failed when he agreed to race me or my brother that he would always start and count maybe to five and then race back to his chair and have some snide remark at the end. I don’t know why I thought he would do it either, because every time like Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football, he’d make me believe every time that he was going to do it and never did.

Besides the wonderful comments that make most of these terrible movies memorable and counting chairs was remembering that one time when we mixed up getting a ride home. I don’t think any of us had a car at a time or my bro and C just got licenses. Whatever it was, it takes 5-10 min to drive from our house to the theater. With no ride the walk back probably took 30 min to an hour, because it was dark, we were wearing flip flops, and there are no sidewalks on that road even today.

When I was a kid I learned that my father always walked on the outside for safety. My brother usually kept this trend. But I was walking faster in a crappy pair of flip flops feeling every pebble and rock pushing through my shoe when I realized I’m totally out in the open I could get hit. So I walked back trying to sandwich myself between the guys since walking on the inside meant picking up grass stickers or scuffing my heel on the curb.

I remember being questioned and when I explained C should be on the outside since he got us in this mess and because I’m a girl and should be walking on the inside, he pushed me forward and said, “Are you kidding? You should be on the outside. They won’t hit a girl.” Irritated I pulled back just as a car flew by barely missing me.

And if I recall the strap/thong on my flip flop broke and I had to walk barefoot the rest of the way home. My feet were black from the asphalt and I was hot and sweaty from the humidity.

I don’t even think I wanted to go with that night because I remember my mom needed the car. And though she would be back in time so my brother could take C back home which was say by 8:30, we didn’t even get out of the theater until 8:30. I knew we weren’t going to make it on time. His dad was a little bit pissed by the time he had to pick him up at our house. So I guess the long walk wasn’t for nothing.


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