Tar Baby and I decided to see a movie Friday night and noticed an old Humphrey Bogart movie was playing at the Castro. My cab driver seemed particularly excited about our choice in films.
"God, I love that shit."
"Yeah, me too." I offered, slightly scared. Meanwhile, Tara kept texting me.
"Should I get tickets?"
Jesus Christ, lady! I'm in a cab! But once we pulled up to the theater, I understood her urgency. The place was mobbed, and not mobbed in a good way with drag queens and saucy gays. Oh no. Friday night, the Castro was mobbed with middle-aged women in Eileen Fisher and men trying to wear a fedora that hasn't seen the light of day since The Steinberg's Al Capone-themed Spaghetti Feed.
"What the hell is going on?" I screamed at Tara, trying her best to breathe amidst the crowd, her handbag caught on some 50 year-old's wallet chain.
"It's Noir City, a noir film festival and tonight's the opening. At least that's what I've overheard."
We made our way inside, forced to sit in the balcony which would be fun save for the fact our knees were pushed up to our chins trying not to step on the mix of Dooney & Burke and hemp totebags piled on the floor.
And of course (OF COURSE) we were surrounded by "buffs" who felt the need to gasp through their applause at the odd yet appreciated montage of dead movie stars which preceded the film. I utilized my standard passive-aggressive way of shutting up the talkers seated directly behind us with my patented face-turn wherein they just see my profile which silently asks, "Are you talking to me? You must be ... because I can hear you."
The movie was great! Even surrounded by people who take adult education classes so they can talk about it at progressive cocktail parties, we enjoyed Deadline, USA. I really wish people still talked like they did in 1952.
"That's the press, baby! The press!"
"How're you feeling?" "Amorous."
"I don't like him. I'll think of a reason later."
As the credits rolled, Tara and I squeezed ourselves out and grabbed some nicotine-filled air on the sidewalk. Instantly, some guy who saw Swingers too many times says a great big "Hello!" to Tara and it's clear she knows him, but doesn't remember his name. Thus, I stood there like a doofus because she couldn't introduce me. Quickly, Tar Baby excused herself and finally explained where she knew him from, name still unknown.
"Wait, wait, wait." I stopped her on the sidewalk. "You mean that's the No-Hand-Washer?"
Yeah, this guy doesn't wash his hands after he uses the restroom. That's his most memorable characteristic and one that's stuck with me for months, ever since Tara told be about this fella she knew who silently refused to lather-up post pee.
Since she's met him, Tara's been relaying this story to a few folks and on occasion, tells it to a certain type of single guy "who totally agrees with me but I can tell he's making a brand new mental note that, uh, he should wash his goddamn hands after he pees."
I'm pretty sure Humphrey stopped at the sink on his way back to the bar. And as for me, well, I no longer shake hands with single 30-somethings who seem to return from the latrine fast faster than one might expect. Or hope...