My husband and I were at the Roxy Theatre to see Jodorowsky’s Dune1. The sides of the theatre are like a castle with odd painted figures in the windows. Ed asked me if I was going to take a picture of the creepy monkey in one of the windows. I told him there are enough pictures of the creepy monkey on Instagram. Everyone takes a picture of the creepy monkey. We watched the blinking start lights on the ceiling before the trailers started and the memories began.
I’m 5 or 6 or 7. I’m wearing red rubber boots and tights and a skirt that is stuck to my legs in the winter static that comes with living in Saskatchewan. I’m at what I called “The CASTLE Theatre” in my mind. Ornate carpets. Baroque scrollwork. Balconies. I’m here with my father to see Disney’s Fantasia. I’m smitten with it. I don’t know where my mother is in this memory. Perhaps home with my baby brother. It’s me and my dad with a big bag of popcorn. I love the music. I love the surreal wordless stories. I’m sure we come to watch it more than once and that it starts my obsession with Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. I drove my parents crazy playing that record over and over and over.
My friend Liza works at the concession at the Roxy Theatre. We are 15. We are obsessed with Stephen King and rent horror movies on the weekends. We dress in black. We are not old enough to see whatever horror movie is playing at the time but Liza uses her free passes to get us into some romantic comedy and we sneak into the horror film. We are suitably horrified. We are fifteen and not ready for something that is rated R. We are attending a Catholic high school and the movie has something to do with the devil and possessions. We are more attentive in Mass and Christian Ethics class for at least a month after seeing the film.
I’ve just moved back from the UK. I’m recovering from colitis and can’t walk very far but the Princess Bride is showing on the big screen at the Roxy Theatre and my two younger sisters convince me to go. The theatre is full of people in their late 20s and 30s and groups of teenagers. My sisters and I sit behind a group of giggling teenage girls. Only one of them has seen the film. My sisters and I are veterans. We giggle before the punch lines. We whisper along with the script. We don’t jump at the ROUSes or at the Screaming Eels. We succeed in disturbing the teenage girls.
I am 14. We are on a family road trip in BC. I’ve run out of books and comics to read because what else is there to do while my parents are dragging us between campsites and hiking trails. We stop at a gas station and I peruse the paperbacks. Westerns, Romances, Bestsellers, and Stephen King books that I’ve already read. Near the bottom I see it: DUNE. It’s science fiction so it might just be interesting enough to hold my interest. I begin reading it once we’re in the car again. I can’t stop reading it. I’m done in a day. I read it again. And again. And again for the rest of the camping trip3.
If you want to see a documentary about a crazed visionary I highly recommend this film. It is completely worth it to get inside this man’s head. ↩
Which appears during the film. ↩
I still have this copy of DUNE and reread again it on our December trip to Mexico. I consider it a masterpiece and have read the other five books in Frank Herbert’s series numerous times as well. I’ve tried reading the spinoffs written by Frank Herbert’s son but they’re just not the same. DUNE becomes more and more interesting with each read, especially its messages around dependency on resources, thirst for power, sensorial control, and ecological change. ↩
My Locker Room Epiphany
How Finding Nemo Gave Me Hope.
The House that Built Me.
A Curse for This Town; What a Beautiful Town
Words to Places; Scents to Memories
Move Around - Around - Around - Around
Why I hate going to public pools and the beach.
Spring and Such