Ladies In Red

To understand what’s coming up, I’ll need to explain the layout of the Cinema Salem. There are two entrances, one of which is in the mall. The outside entrance takes you down a short carpeted hallway past little tables and a wall adorned with artwork in various media from local artists. In that hallway is also the entrance to the Cinema Salem’s in-store coffee shop.

The coffee shop is usually only opened on the weekends, except during special events, such as the Film Fest.

Incidentally, I showed up an hour early for my volunteer shift. One of the employees, whom I will not identify or describe to any detail in case what they did was against company policy, generously gave me the WiFi password, allowing me to kill forty-five minutes in the charming little waiting area.

My fellow volunteers were nice enough. One of them, a woman from near my neck of the woods in Vermont, understood my joke about how the “Vermont Witch Trials” would have differed from the Salem Witch Trials. Incidentally, my typical need to make a running commentary served me well that evening.

It seems one of the films that night, The Optimists, sold out incredibly early that week and a number of Festival attendees had showed up to get on the waiting list, in the even that someone who reserved the tickets didn’t show up on time. A few of them were even waiting in the lobby, hoping to have their names called.

“Well, look at it this way,” I said. “You showed up early for The Optimists, which is strangely… appropriate. Last year we featured a film called The Pessimist and all that happened was an entire town of people collectively deciding that they would never get tickets to see it.”

If only I could cash in the laughs I got for points at the open mics, but that’s beside the point.

The first film to play that evening was Little People, Big Dreams. (I could bore you with the synopsis, or you could click on the links to the websites of these films and find out for yourselves.) The point is, a lot of people showed up for this movie and I was waiting at the front lines, handing out programs and giving directions when asked.

I stood at the table near the mall entrance and I had a clear line of sight to outside the corner of the little coffee shop, from where the outside entrance users would eventually appear. People would stop in the coffee shop for refreshments before going into the theater. There were also a lot of people showing up early and waiting for someone else to arrive, as is often the case with the movies, so if you’re unaccustomed to this behavior, that sentence would have been extremely informative.

One little boy was with two older adults, who I will assume were his grandparents for simplicity’s sake. He and his grandfather were waiting for someone and I saw the boy go to the corner of the shop and glance down the hallway.

“Here she comes,” he said, presumably to his grandfather, unless his name is Martin Moone.

The boy went back to his grandfather and I watched as a diminutive and roundish woman wearing a red coat turned the corner. As she approached, I greeted her politely as I did all of the patrons and offered her a program. When she declined, I said,

“I bet I know who you’re waiting for,” And I gestured to the boy who was standing beside his grandfather.

The woman looked over and frowned.

“No, I’m not with them.”

She proceeded to the counter to buy tickets and I felt a little awkward. After all, the boy said, “Here she comes” and so “she” came. Oh well, it was a little embarrassment that would be short lived. But this is why it became blog material.

A few seconds later, another woman rounded the corner. She was about the same size as the first lady and similarly aged enough to safely guess that she was the matriarchal unit of the boy’s adult caregivers. She held an iced coffee in one hand and the boy approached her asking for the tickets. She told him that he could have come into the coffee shop to get them, where she apparently had gone into at the time when he said, “Here she comes”.

Would you, faithful reader, care to guess what else this woman had in common with the woman I mistakenly believed to be the original recipient of the boy’s heralding? Mention it in the comments section below.




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