May December



East Village, 10003

Neighborhood: East Village

We went to the movies and it was Woody Allen’s latest, about realistic murder, the first time in his career I think the man has been honest or real about anything and I wanted to kill Edward the entire time we were in there.

“Honey put your coat on your seat, you can’t see.” He said, five hundred times.

There were two heads in my way and if there is anything Edward hates, it’s heads blocking my view and I usually hate it too but I just wanted to make him mad by saying,

“Yes I can I’m fine Edward.”

“Honey,” he got up, “here let’s change seats, I want you to be happy.”

“I am happy Edward.” I was not. I had to go to the bathroom again, I had the taste of rubber balloons in my mouth from the other night and I was damn thirsty. “I need water Edward, I should have gotten water while we were downstairs.” I stood up. Edward stood up. “Edward please stop that, you don’t have to stand up every time I stand up, at restaurants it’s fine,” I whispered, “but you do it to me everywhere.”

“Honey, it’s called chivalry and that’s the way I was brought up, I’m sorry if you can’t get used to it,” he opened his wallet, “here’s a ten, or eleven.”

“Just give me ten, I can’t imagine two waters…”

“Honey–it’s going to cost at least five bucks a water, we’re at the movies.”

“For two small bottles, no.” I handed him back the one, then went down the steps.

The theater was mobbed, every Woody Allen look alike in the city was there, all bumping into me. I remember the carpet. It was soft under my feet and there was this very sinister carnival feeling in the air. I stopped to look at a giant plastic crane game where you put your money in to win a stuffed animal, then used the bathroom. After, I went down the stairs because I couldn’t figure out which side of that confusing hellhole theater I was on–there were so many escalators and ramps going up and down and all on the wrong side of the room.

However, when I finally made it to the concession stand (all the way at the bottom) there was a line (all the way out the door) and I didn’t have my ticket stub to get back in and I was not going to wait because there was no way in hell I was going to miss the opening shot of Match Point.

“Line’s too long,” I pouted back into my theater seat and took off my sweater. Edward stared at my breasts.

“I’m sorry honey, I should have brought my water for you, I have water in the car.”

“No it’s okay, you didn’t know.” I stood up. Edward started, “Now where are you going–”

“To the ladies room, to get some water out of the sink,” I said then walked all the way back down and all the way back into the ladies room where I washed my hands with pink soap then ran cold water in them and raised them to my mouth, where out of the corner of my eye I caught two girls staring at me. I don’t know if they were pretty, if they were fat, I don’t know, I just finished drinking like a peasant from my palms, ripped out some paper towels, then hurried back to the black theater where Edward’s bald landmark head was shining in the screen light.

“Honey,” he snuggled over to me, “I thought I was going to have to come find you.” I rolled my eyes in the dark. He leaned over more.

“Sit on your coat,” he said.


“I told you honey, you’ll see better. I don’t know how you can see anything with those heads.”

“Edward I said I am fine, I would tell you if I was not fine, okay. Drop it.”

“Honey, but Match Point, this is your film honey, I just want you to enjoy yourself, my baby,” he said (and I thought I was going to puke on the heads in front of me).

“Fine.” I put my coat under my butt and suddenly felt like a mast. “Edward I look ridiculous.”

“But can you see honey, that’s the whole point, I’m payin ten bucks…there’s no one behind you, don’t worry.” The coat was lumpy on my spine and I was hating Edward, I was even hating Woody, I didn’t even want to be there–I don’t deal well anymore with the scene and the going-ons about town; I prefer the quiet doldrums of my own apartment, locked away in the shadows with glue and paint, not sitting in some germed-out burned-out audience listening to stupid people laugh at lines that are not funny and eat popcorn like pigeons.

I wanted popcorn. I couldn’t wait to get home, watch Cinderella and eat my popcorn (since Edward wasn’t coming over). Since I WAS NOT going to get paid my one hundred and fifty dollars–incidentally, Edward and I have been dating for four years, I’m thirty-one, he’s fifty-two, and it’s a paying relationship… that is getting very old–the only thing I could think about throughout that entire film was the fact Edward said he was coming over but then changed his mind this morning and said he was not coming. “But look here honey,” he said, “I’m givin you the money anyway, I’ll just get a freebee when I return from Cuba, how’s that.”

“Forget it,” I told him, “it’s not the money Edward, it’s the principle,” I’m sorry Reader, if I haven’t told him once I have told him ten trillion times, “don’t tell me in advance you are coming then back out at the last minute like I have no feelings, like I have no say, it’s not fair, it’s not right and I’m tired of it, you do it with everything–to save face in the moment, so please, do us all a favor and stop it.”

When the movie was over Edward told me I was sitting on his hat, and I got mad. “Well then why did you tell me to put my coat on the chair, you’re the one who held it down for me, wouldn’t you have taken your hat off the chair if you knew it was there, god Edward, sometimes I think you do these things–” I stood up, I could see the hat had fallen through the chair crack. “Oh, it fell.” I reached down as slowly as possible and pulled it out (as slowly as possible).

“So honey.” Edward made small talk, “I would watch it again,” he held out his hand for his hat.

“Why?” I pretended not to see it.

“Because,” he said, “it was a good movie honey and that Scarlett Johansson wasn’t too bad to look at either.”

“Really, you think so, you find her pretty.”

“Hot. She’s got sex written all over her, did you see those tits.”

“Yes. Big.”

“Big, honey, you think she’s had them done?”

“No. She’s just a big girl but I don’t find her attractive. Here,” I handed him his hat, then he tried to hand me my photographs, the ones he had so kindly blown up earlier to enter me in this photography contest, but I just stood there gathering my things, watching him hold his hand out some more. “The only thing left for you to do is write your artist’s statement honey.” He opened the envelope and showed me the form. “Do you think you can think of two sentences to say about yourself?”

Elizabeth Schoettle is an artist and writer who lives in the West Village. She exhibits her work at Meredith Ward Fine Art, where she has a show upcoming in 2009. This is an excerpt from her novel in progress.

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