Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bladder Control Is So Overrated

My bladder is about as deep as a stripper's whisper; it makes so many promises and holds not a one. The other night, however, she made good for me by filling up quickly. I am sitting in the second row, dead center. To my left are several young men wearing wife beaters and sporting less intelligence than a pile of blankets. To their left, at the end of the row, sits a baby momma, with the baby of head wife beater in tow. The kid isn't a day over twelve months, and spends his movie time sucking away at something that I not about to verify as being just a bottle. To my right, good friends, the ones that invited me out to endure the plotless ninety minutes that some poor fool has been conned into funding as a film project. To be fair, it isn't all bad, and there have been some rather hilarious moments, but not enough to sustain my interest to the point of bladder rupture. If a movie can compete with my tiny bladder for screen time, it is a movie worth recommending to others. This movie shall forever remain nameless.

The real reason for our outing to the theater is not the movie, but rather the BUC. We had not seen the Black Urban Cowboy (see earlier posting) for some time, and were hankering for a glimpse of the legend. We predicted a 9:40 showing of "Predators" to be his selection for the night, since it was opening weekend and he would be counting on fewer people that time of night on a Sunday. No luck; as we entered the building we saw no cowboy hat, and heard no jingle of spurs.

So here I am, eighty minutes into this theatrical marvel, and my bladder is sweating. I imagine the toxins from my pee seeping into my chest cavity, infecting my body and setting up a major case of sepsis and death. I am trapped, however, by the long stretch of beaters to my left, and polite movie goers to my right. At last I make a choice, and stand as the plot heaves its final breath. I manage to exit the row without kicking anyone in the legs, or bumping their face with my butt.

I turn the corner to head up the ramp and down the hall to the restroom, and come to a full stop. There he is; the BUC. He stands alone in the large corridor, backlit by the bright lights of the movie poster boxes hanging on the wall. His hat is white and crumpled atop his head, his suit is dark and loose, and his boots are adorned with the spurs that make him who he is. I am in the presence of a ghost, I can feel it, and were he to levitate past me down the ramp, I would not give it a second thought. With the speed of a gunfighter I slide my hand into my front pocket and back out again, phone in hand. As I walk silently behind him, I shoot, digitally capturing the moment. I am tempted to speak, but my bladder, the very thing that brought me to this moment, is now demanding repayment of the favor.

When I exit the bathroom, he is gone. The hall is empty, as is the massive courtyard and ticket area. He has vanished, perhaps passing through the walls, a fine western mist that now mixes with the light rain outside.

Tell Jared I said hello, would you please, Mr. BUC?

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Perfect Sunday School Lesson

I was seventeen. She was in her late twenties, and the car was brand new. Every Sunday I would skip out of Sunday School and stand in the parking lot next to that red custom Porsche, taking in the beauty of the slant-nose, marveling through the windows at the black leather interior, and itching to run my hands along that whale tail. How I loved that machine, and how I longed to peel open her door and slide into that soft, inviting, leather seat. I would turn her on and make her purr as we sped together down the back roads of Madison, Connecticut.
“Wanna ride?”
For a quick sliver of time, I believed that the sultry voice came from under the shiny red hood. The car had sensed my desire, and through some mad miracle had crashed mechanics into lust, finding amid the wreckage a magical solution to all my teenage frustrations.
“I said, do you want a ride?”
Reality kicking in, I turned towards the actual source of that lusty query. My cheeks ran instantly to warm; I was sure they matched the color of the car (now all but forgotten) as I faced the other object of my Sunday morning lust; before me stood the nameless beauty who had in recent weeks become a regular visitor to the morning services. Who she was and why she came every Sunday morning I could not imagine, because she herself was worthy of worship, and I was convinced that somewhere out in the wide world was a shrine built to her name. She smiled, the question hanging in the air and mingling with her scent. I could find no voice within myself, and so I took the muted moment to drink in the sight of her; long, dark hair, eyes as green as young blades of grass, and skin that looked to be fashioned of the softest stuff on earth. She wore a dress that made no effort to hide her shape, and she seemed to be made of nothing but curves leading down to legs so long a man might need a map to navigate their course.
She cleared her throat, and I startled just a moment before gathering my senses.
“In this car?’ I squeaked, gesturing at the Porsche with an arm that had gone numb for lack of blood.
“Of course, climb in.” She laughed, and as the sound of it faded my ears begged for more.
         I opened the passenger door, doing my best not to make too much a display of my excitement. I slid down into the leather, and it was even more smooth and dreamy than I had imagined, yet firm and supportive in spite of the comfort.
         “Buckle up.” She suggested.
         I reached behind me to the right, but my hand did not immediately find the seat belt. I was about to turn my head to look for it when I saw her reach down between those two marvelous pillars of soft flesh and pull up the straps to a four point racing harness. My hands went numb again, and my heart began to smash against my chest walls as she snapped the buckle together across her curvy chest, pulling it tight. As she did so, that dress rode up her thighs, making my love life up to that point in time nothing but a waste of breathe and angst. Every girl, every touch, every kiss and every caress was forgotten in that second. Had the angel of death arrived to rip me from that car, he would have had to employ all of the hosts in hell to do it.
         The engine purred into action; she must have turned the key while I was staring at her legs. I fumbled the seat belt across my chest, snapping the buckle into place. I wondered then where to put my hands.
         “Sorry I don’t have a four point for you,” She said, “I don’t make a habit of giving out rides.”
         ‘Heaven! This must be heaven, and I am dead. Is this my reward? To ride around the rest of my days with such beauty in such a beautiful car?’ My imagination mused, and I smiled at the thought of eternity as a road trip worth dying for. The engine revved high as we peeled out of the parking lot and onto the road. She hit a button and the windows slid down, letting in the cool spring air.
         “I love to drive!” She laughed, shifting up a gear as we hit a straightaway. The wind lifted her hair, and my spirits flew with it; I was in love.
         “I love to ride!” I exclaimed, almost shouting the words, a sort of Hallelujah chorus on such a glorious Sunday morning. She smiled, and then nodded her head as she down shifted around a sharp curve. The car hugged the road tight, the way I longed to hug this strange, crazy, beautiful creature sitting so calm beside me in the driver’s seat. The wind rushed through our hair, the road rushed underneath us, and the blood rushed through my veins. For those minutes I was happy, so happy that time meant nothing and reality was nothing more than a skid mark on the pavement of that church parking lot.
         She never returned to church. I waited outside for her the following Sunday and for many more after that, but I never saw her again. I don’t know why she offered me that ride; maybe she just took pity on me, saw me standing there and thought she could make a difference in some dork’s life.
         She did.