Rain, Like A Curtain by RS Paulette

John and I thought the movies on a Friday night would be a good idea.

Our mistake.

It seemed every teenager in the tri-state area was swamping our local multiplex—a theatre that only held fourteen screens, so you know life is a little sad when you consider that a “small” theatre.

Anyway, we went, and we forgot that this weekend the latest teen sex comedy opened, so droves of fifteen year old boys and girls were somehow faking, fudging, and forging their way in to see this rated-R opus. John and I thought the latest Kevin Spacey might be decent, as it seemed like his cloying for a Best Actor statue had calmed in recent years.

The wait in line was interminable. With the teenagers slipping under the velvet ropes, high-fiving each other, shoving, stealing ball caps and chasing one another a few paces, we were surrounded by this infectious youth that only made us feel sore and old.

I was thirty when I met John, and he’s only two years younger than me, but sometimes that gulf of age feels unswimmable. He likes the same books I do, our music and movie tastes tend to overlap. His kiss is soft and tender, and in the bedroom we find ourselves matching speeds fairly often.

It was a no-brainer. Somehow, being with him just feels right.

Anyway, so we’re waiting in line, luckily under the theater’s large, domed awning, when suddenly the sky just opens up. Like a man with a knife-wound to the gut, the sky trembles with a groan of thunder and spills its intestinal rain out into the parking lot.

The kids, almost as if on cue, all turn their heads in unison and, for the briefest of seconds, shut the hell up. Then, after a short beat, their chatter fills the domed awning like a shoreside carnival full of seagulls.

I look at John, and he smiles at me. Just gives me the biggest grin I’ve ever seen.

Another minute passes before our turn at the box office, and John hands them his credit card to pay for our tickets. We both have agreed to come to the theatre early—what with the teenagers and everything—so we still have a good fifteen or twenty minutes before they even open our theatre. John retrieves our tickets, smiles at me again, and grabs my hand.

I never see John slip the tickets into a pocket since I’m frantically holding my coat above my ears as we run out into the downpour. John, like usual, remains stoic and just pulls me along through a rain so thick I can barely see him in front of me.

Whenever we pass a glowing-yellow streetlamp, everything flashes with brilliant pinpoints of color; everything is silvered streaks.

John leads us out to the corner of the parking lot, out near the Red Lobster where we didn’t eat dinner, and jangles in his pockets for his keys. He finds them, pulls them out, then looks at me—his hair soaked, his eyelids thick and sleepy from the rain.

He pulls me close. Kisses me. Long, hard, deep.

When he pulls away, I can taste a tang of rainwater on my lips, wishing it was the taste of him. He opens the car door, motions for me to get inside, and follows in after.

In time to the metronome of the loud washboard rubbing of the rain on the roof of the car, we make love.

It was the best it had been in months.

Soaked, we trundle back across the parking lot, drunk off of each other but not caring at all. Teenagers point and laugh at the soaked middle-aged couple, but we don’t care and continue right past them.

At the concession stand, John buys himself some nachos and me a Cherry Coke. We hustle in to the movie, piling our coats on an empty chair beside us to dry. The theater’s mostly empty, but we don’t care and watch the movie anyway, our fingers tangled in each other’s like tired lovers in soggy sheets.

Kevin Spacey was cloying, but it didn’t really matter because, at that moment, it was the best movie we possibly could have seen, on, before, or after that day.

1 Comment

  1. Tony Press

    Good one! This is a sweet, sweet story (and not in the “cloying” Oscar-craving sense).


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