The first was to see the move, Carrie, based on a novel by Stephen King. We found that it was playing at a theater not too far from our hotel, a theater which soon became my favorite theater in Denver. It's the only theater in Denver that I've been to, but still . . . .
The place was a dive. You could buy beer at the concession stand and you could smoke during the movie. Many took advantage of this option, and not just tobacco smokers. This place had character.
Well, enough of that.
There is much carnage in the movie, mostly toward the end, mostly caused by Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), although to be fair to her she was provoked. Before she dies she absolutely terrorizes her whole community, and after the destruction, as the movie nears its end, there is a scene showing a "For Sale" sign, marginally resembling a cross, on which has been painted
Now a movie has to be more intense than this one to get me really involved. I enjoyed the movie but was never for a moment frightened by it. Until . . . walking down the sidewalk, wearing virginal white, carrying flowers with which to make a small gesture of atonement for the things done to Carrie, comes Sue (Amy Irving). She reaches the cross, bends down to put the flowers at its base, and OUT OF THE DIRT SHOOTS CARRIE WHITE'S HAND, which grabs Sue's forearm.
Even this would not have bothered me but for the fact that Ginny had been a nervous wreck watching the last third of the movie, and the instant that Carrie grabbed Sue's arm, Ginny grabbed mine
In exactly the same place that Carrie grabbed Sue's.
For a split second Carrie White had me and I was gonna be dragged down to Hell.
Knowing nothing about the seamier side of Denver, I checked the Yellow Pages (Well, what would you have done?) and found a club that advertised strippers. We cabbed it to what might (or might not) have been Denver's equivalent of a "red light district," or at least a mini-equivalent, found the club, and entered. If you've been to one of these you've been to all of them. It was dingy, deliberately under-illuminated, mostly empty, and absolutely voracious regarding the price of a drink.
We grabbed a small table (we had our choice of the entire array) about ten feet from the stage, ordered drinks, and waited. We sat through numbers by two different strippers, the second of whom had a scar running from her unowhat to her sternum. Nice. (Caesarean? I dunno.)
Ginny was satisfied after two strippers and three drinks, and we left.
Donnie: "So, what did you think?"
A different but related incident occurred with my then girlfriend, Dee Dee, in Boston. Her request was that I take her to a porn movie. She had never seen one, some of her girlfriends had, and she felt compelled to close the gap.
I knew that we wouldn't last a minute in something akin to Deep Throat or Behind the Green Door, so I settled for softer porn in the form of Emmanuelle. Or perhaps Emmanuelle 2. (As if there were a difference. Like dives with strippers, if you've seen one . . . .)
This was at a theater in what was definitely Boston's red light district.¹ We entered, got popcorn or something, and went to find seats. As soon as the movie started, Dee Dee started fidgeting. She was manifestly uncomfortable with this movie, but I figured that if it was going to last her a lifetime she needed to see a few more minutes of it. I gave it perhaps twenty or thirty minutes and then asked her, "Do you want to leave?"
Now it turned out that she had informed all her girlfriends that I was going to take her to a porn film (closing the gap, remember?), and a while later I learned that the next day her girlfriends asked her how she liked the movie. Her response? "Oh, Donnie wanted to leave so we didn't see it all."
¹ Boston's red light district was not far from the center of town, and occasionally a couple of us would spend lunch there, checking out the titles of the movies that were playing. They were funnier than anything you could make up:
- I Wish I Was in Dixie
- Hot Cross Buns
- A Hard Man Is Good to Find
- If You Don't Stop It . . . You'll Go Blind, and its sequel,
- Can I Do It 'Till I Need Glasses?