A Buncha Cruncha Date

He looked over at her. She was fixated on the screen; her face awash with the flashing of onscreen police cars. She bit her lip, waiting to see what would happen.

He loved it when she did that. He loved it when she scrunched up her nose and chewed on that ruby red lip glistening with his favorite cherry gloss. It was the most adorable thing he’d ever seen. He just wanted to thumb the lip out from under her teeth and kiss it.

“Hey, stop staring at me and watch the movie.”

Her hushed admonishment only made his desire to kiss her that much stronger. She turned back to the screen. Her eyes widened as her eyebrows leapt up into her forehead with each new twist and turn of the plot. The main character whipped out his toy-gun and pointed it towards the monster on screen. He rolled his eyes.

“The New Age Medusa; Dragazilla.” The commercial had screamed the words in vibrant purple beneath the image of this multi-headed dragon. When she had seen that, her age-old love of dragons, retro Godzilla movies, and greek legends had come whirling together. Since that day she hadn’t been able to stop blabbering about the movie.

Her fingers had latched onto his hand, a squid’s tentacles clasping its prey with its suckers. She had drug him to this out of the way theater with crackling lights and sticky week-old popcorn. The clerk behind the glass had been a teenage with a mustache leaking with styling grease and pimple goo. The boy had hardly knew how to work the cash register. He couldn’t help but wonder if the kid was even passing his classes down at the local high school. He hoped so, he felt sorry for him, he didn’t want the poor boy to be working here for the rest of his life. Maybe that was why he’d slipped him an extra buck as some sort of tip.

The tickets had been nine bucks plus that extra tip, way too expensive for an everyday trip to the movies. The place was a rip-off, but it was worth it to see her bite that lip while she smiled. He couldn’t deny her anything when she smiled like that. Her hand dipped into popcorn bucket, stealing another piece.

When they’d got here, she’d slipped a box of Buncha Crunch out of her purse and dumped it in the popcorn. While he admired her resourcefulness in sneaking the candy in, he didn’t understand her obsession with mixing chocolate and butter together. She couldn’t watch movies without it. It was like a blanket for a toddler or a pair of lucky socks for a runner. He turned back to the screen, wondering what was keeping her so enraptured.

Onscreen the dragon was using its head to turn the New York cops to stone. What drugs had the writers been on? Why did this interest her so? He imagined a bunch of old has-been directors sitting around drinking coffee and smoking joints. Their thoughts and conversations filled with wonders of what their next big blockbuster would be. With eyes red and dry, their pencils started scribbling doodles of random creatures and writing half-thought out jokes. They’d ended up with an angry Medusa-Hydra-Godzilla hybrid and stuck it up on the big screen.

The creature’s head appeared in the window of the main character’s apartment. Her hand slipped onto his, her fingers wrapping around his. Her teeth went back to that lip and he couldn’t help but squeeze her hand. If overpriced crappy flicks made her happy, he wouldn’t mind making a habit of eating stale popcorn and Buncha Crunches every Saturday for the rest of his life.


Previously published here. 


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