My husband, Bev, and I went to the movies last night. I love movies as did my mother before me. My dad was a different kettle of fish. I think he viewed the dimming of the lights as his cue to settle in for a good long nap. Even so, he wouldn’t dream of not coming along if we decided to head for the theater. He managed to sleep blissfully through the entire screening of the first Star Wars movie when it came out years ago. Completely oblivious to the roar of turbolasers and blaster fire, he sat with his chin resting on his chest and dreamed his way right through to the final credits.
As he got older they stopped going to the movies. I think he was finding the seats too uncomfortable to provide for a good two hour snooze. I finally convinced them that the new Galaxy Cinemas had seats to rival his lazy boy at home and we all went to see the Italian Job when it came out. True to form, he was a goner before the opening heist was even under way. We glanced over at his awkward slouch and the gentle rise and fall of his chest as he breathed. At least he wasn’t snoring. My mother and I shook our heads and smiled at each other in mild exasperation before settling back to watch the action on the screen. It was about three fourths of the way through the movie, right during the famous car chase scene with the three Austin Minis barreling through the storm drain, motorcycles hot on their tails, when my dad suddenly stirred and sat up straighter. He was a bit hard of hearing so the entire audience was privy to his question as his voice rang out into a momentary hush. “So…what’s this movie about anyway?”
Embarrassing? Absolutely! Yet it remains one of my favorite movie memories to this day. My dad is gone now but every time I sit in the Galaxy or watch my copy of the Italian Job I feel a smile tugging at the corners of my mouth. I imagine him there beside me and I miss him.