The Sandbox: Outside The Box 1
Keep It Sleazy
The time is late, the day doesn’t matter, and the movie’s long ended. Rawly, accompanied by his significant other Braguette, are riding the waves over a sea of humanity attempting to leave the theater so he can empty his bladder of the soda and awful memories of the sub-mediocre movie that occupied the time he spent drinking said soda. There are many extra-large soda buyers in this theater, so the current is not a fast one, but eventually they spill into the flickering yellow light of the theater hallway, they have to.
“I’ll be right back hun, I need to use the restroom.”
“Oh would you just say you need to pee?”
Never indeed. Rawly gives his woman of the last two years the politest kiss on the cheek, as to avoid publicly displaying his gross affection in a non-European way, and releases her hand, letting her brave the ocean of the hallway, and its ocean dwellers, all by herself. He begins to butterfly, nay, backstroke through groups of movie-goers over the 90s-era mahogany carpet, dotted with only the most faded yellow and blue squares which form patterns with circles, rectangulars, and tetrahedrons alike. Before long, Rawly transcends the theatric atmosphere and embraces the fluorescent odor that is a not very often cleaned movie theater bathroom. He seems to be the only one who just needs to pee. He internally laughs at the line of poopers-to-be waiting to sit upon one of the three dirty communal porcelain thrones.
Just as Rawly unzips and releases his furry little friend, none other than Thom from high school pulls up beside him and begins his own sweet release. To Rawly’s absolute, unadulterated horror, Thom recognizes him.
“Woah, Raúl? Raúl from high school?? Hey man, how the hell are ya? I’d shake your hand, but both of mine are a bit preoccupied right now!”
‘Oh my god, this fucking guy. I thought I saw the last of him when I graduated.’ “Oh, uh, hey there man. It’s actual Rawl, not Raúl; it’s pronounced like Paul but with an aRe.”
“Oh cool, cool, yeah, so what are you doing here man? It’s been, what, two years already?” Thom retorts with glee, nothing but the most genuine of smiles on his face.
‘Did he just brush me off? It’s my name you prick, you say it right.’ “Uh, well, I just saw Bar Wars Episode Seven, the Last Lime. It was–”
“No way, man! I saw that too! Theater seven, right? Was that flick abysmal as fuck or what?”
A chubby kid wearing a Bar Wars shirt who’s waiting in line to lose five pounds overhears this and his face turns redder than the carpet outside. He starts whispering backwards words to himself, only to have his feet stepped on by the six-foot-tall full bladder standing in front of him.
‘Oh my god, why is he talking to me? We’re in a bathroom for crying out loud. Hasn’t he read the latest edition of the Manual of Social Guidelines?’ Not wanting to sound anything like a displeased patron of this fine establishment, Rawly checks his thoughts and comes back with, “I actually didn’t think it was that bad, to be honest. The action was cool, I knew exactly which characters to like and dislike, and the bar creatures were–”
Thom’s stream increases tenfold, as it do when somebody says something stupid. He braces himself and says, “Okay, I can admit that the creatures were cool, and the action was all right, but it was so unrealistic. The characters were beyond the realms of idiocy, story more predictable than where this night is heading… the only cool part was when the speakeasy’s ‘tender drove his car through the government bar’s front window.”
‘Good grief, this guy is still talking to me. He must have some kind of mental condition. What is he, a movie critic or something? Why do you care so much you sad, sad little man?’ “Uhhh yeah, I,” dribble shake shake zip “guess I didn’t think of it like that. Well it was good seeing you, uh… uhhh… Thumb! That’s it.”
“Yeah you too man, have a good night Rawly. Keep it sleazy! Remember, like our high school’s slogan?”
Rawly offers an uncomfortable laugh as he turns and attempts to find a sink that 1.) has a working hot water handle, and 2.) doesn’t have any yellow stains. Unfortunately for Rawly, these qualities seem to be mutually exclusive in this most privately owned and operated of local theaters. He sees Thom quickly rinse his hands and dry them on his jeans before leaving, Rawly laughing to himself about how funny it was that he pretended to forget the man’s name. Roughly twenty minutes later, once Rawly has finished washing, rinsing, drying, washing, rinsing, drying, and repeating, he goes through five cycles of the hand dryer before taking a piece of paper towel to open the door handle. Yuck, other humans touched this handle tonight after washing their hands. The travesty.
The tide has lowered considerably since he first entered the bathroom all those minutes ago. He looks left, then right, then left again before crossing the hallway to the precise spot where his girlfriend would normally be waiting for him after their weekly visit to the matinee, but she is nowhere to be found. He removes a sealed plastic bag from his pocket and takes out his cell phone, hoping to find a text message from his missing lovebird. He does find this text message, and it reads:
Heyyyy Rawly, so here’s the thing. Do you remember Thom, from high school? I ran into him when I was waiting for you to come out of the bathroom, and… wellll… I don’t know if I told you, but he and I used to date in high school and we got to talking tonight, and… I’ll just be honest, the way he so openly told me that he ran into you when he was peeing, I just… I wasted the past two years of my life with you, Rawly. It’s over, you’re just too sensible for me. Have a nice life, Rawl, and keep it sleazy! Remember, like our high school slogan?
Rawly drops his phone to the floor in a fit of sadness that only increases when he realizes he must now abandon his phone due to the excess of floor germs contaminating it now.
‘There’s no option to italicize the text in a text message, how did Braguette figure that out??’
He can’t believe he hoped to read that message. Rawly exits the theater into the cold, brisk night air, walking towards his car at an abnormally slow pace with his head down in an attempt to project his sadness to everyone around him in the least intrusive way possible.
He climbs through the driver-side door only to see Thom and Braguette hooking up in the back seat. Embarrassed and unsure of what to do, Rawly turns the car on and drives the new couple home, Thom leaving an open condom wrapper in the cup holder as a tip, the phrase Keep is sleazy! etched into the wrapper by the fingernail clipping stabbed through the unused, still rolled condom sitting on the passenger seat.