Jeff Phillips: Popcorn Cardigan

Drinkers with Writing Problems

Back in my cinephile days, I used to go to this movie house on the outskirts of town called The Dreamathon. It had that old charm: red carpet in the lobby, posters from the silent era, large prints of Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and Buster Keaton lording over the concession lines. There were only two screens, surrounded by rickety seats with worn cushions. Tickets were cheap. I’d spend Saturdays there seeing the double features. There was this guy I saw there, every time. He was about six and a half feet tall, seemingly more so with frizzy shocks of salt and pepper hair, hard to miss. He also always wore cardigans, even in the summertime, because that theater was generous with the air conditioning.

After the showings, I’d see him stumble out of there, like he was drunk on what was projected, intoxicated by the light that bathed the back…

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