Thomas Wictor

Movie Beds and Food

Movie Beds and Food

I’m a film fanatic. Movies are my favorite art form. The last time I went to a theater was in 2002, to see the Mel Gibson movie Signs. I stopped going to theaters because the audiences were so ill-mannered, loud, and crazy. At the showing of Signs, a guy two seats away from me had a loud, interminable conversation on his cell phone; people went in and out the doors constantly, slamming them every time; people talked nonstop; and when people went to the concession stand, they’d go down to the door and shout up to their friends, “You wanna hot dog? Yeah? What about something to drink? Any candy? Hah? HAH? WHA?

So I watch DVDs now. My TV set is just a DVD player; I haven’t watched TV in almost four years. I don’t stream or rent films, because I watch them over and over. After the acting and plot, what I love most are movie beds and food.

The beds always look impossibly comfortable. I don’t know how they do it. As a lifelong insomniac, I pay attention to beds. In movies the beds are lush, inviting, and clean. You’d never have a hard time falling asleep in them. And when couples wake up, they’re rested.

A revelation: I love the tousled look women have right when they wake up. “Bed head” is a turn-on. A woman with bed head, a big T-shirt, and a sleepy smile? Yikes.

I also love the food in movies, especially old films. When someone goes to a deli and gets a thick sandwich, or when they’re served a steak with a side of fried potatoes and a salad… Heaven. Since it’s just a movie and none of it’s real, they can eat whatever they want! Lucky bastards.

Fantasy is perfectly fine, as long as you recognize it as such. I can’t eat the way they do in old movies because my diet is very restricted. Even if I didn’t have the restrictions, I’d end up weighing five hundred pounds if I scarfed down those deli sandwiches, dill pickles, steaks, and potatoes. Or the crispy critters on spits roasted over bonfires in Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns and Errol Flynn’s The Adventures of Robin Hood. I love barbecue Texas style: no sauce.

(Speaking of Robin Hood, Olivia de Havilland’s sister Joan Fontaine is the sexist, kinkiest woman to ever appear on film. Just had to get that in.)

But it doesn’t bother me watching others get to do the things I can’t. I went to the eye doctor yesterday for my six-month checkup. There are optic-nerve issues left over from the pseudotumor cerebri and something else. I’ve asked my doctor to be very honest with me.

“Would it be accurate to say that given my age, I’ll be in the ground before I completely lose my eyesight?” I asked him.

He smiled. “That’s an accurate assessment, I think.”

He likes me because I don’t get hysterical or feel self-pity. One of his office workers is a beautiful young woman named Lori. When she prepared me for my exam—putting in the drops that numb your eyes for the glaucoma test and then the drops that dilate your pupils—I noticed a piece of red velvet cake in a little plastic container on her desk.

“You’ve got cake,” I said. “Is it your birthday?”

“It is,” she answered. “And you’re the first person to ask. Thank you for that. Everybody else just said, ‘Oh. Cake.'”

So I sang “Happy Birthday to You” and told her that birthdays are your best day, because the day you get your name is the day you become an individual. Knowing someone’s name allows you to better protect them. Birthday gifts are a holdover from ancient times, when the entire clan offered up gifts to the gods as protection for the newest person to join them.

Lori was glad to hear that. She said her husband brought her a cheesecake, her favorite. It’s mine too. I don’t care that I can’t eat it anymore. Lori will have a slice for me, as a token of her husband’s love and protection.

It was a good day. Tonight I’ll watch a movie with great food and hopefully a great bed in it. If I choose wisely, it’ll have a tousled, bed-headed woman in a big T-shirt smiling sleepily.

I remember, which means it lives on.

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