Rachel from The Cruise and I planned to meet up in front of the Tivoli at 7:15 to watch the 7:30 showing of Sleepwalk With Me, then go get dinner.
You'll remember Rachel From the Cruise as the person who made me look so good at the BNL concert last summer. If I have a frailty, she will out-frail me. I look hot? She almost faints. It's a wonderful quality.
I left so early that I was able to wait out one traffic accident and still hit U. City at 7:00. However, there was some big event at the Pageant, and a possibly unrelated slow-moving police presence, so I didn't get to the theater till 7:20.
Rachel was not there: outside or in the lobby. That was odd because Rachel and I have a magnetic pull that leads us to each other. There's a BNL concert in Nashville? I turn a corner and Rachel is next to me. I didn't know she liked Mike Birbiglia until she was there next to me in line at a show once. I felt we wouldn't even need to set a time to meet for the movie because we always find each other anyway.
I thought: she doesn't have my phone number, but I've got her number: I'll call her. But no! Somehow I left my phone at home.
I went ahead and got the tickets, and still no Rachel. I peeked at the lobby, hesitantly, because you never know if you can come and go out of a theater. No Rachel.
And now we meet the hero of our vignette: Ticket Taker Man. TTMan said it was fine if I wanted to bop between the lobby and outside. I checked outside, inside, and at 7:30 I checked the packed theater. Still showing previews.
I became convinced that Rachel had my phone number and left a message explaining all on the cell phone that was at home, where Gary was. So all I had to do was call Gary. All Gary had to do was answer his cell. I stated to panic a little. I asked TTMan where I could find a phone.
He proudly said the only pay phone in U City was right behind me on the wall.
The last time I used a pay phone it cost 25 cents. I estimated up and got two dollars worth of quarters at the (now empty) concession counter. And though I read the phone closely, I couldn't get a dial tone.
"Your phone is broken!" I accused TTMan. And he, a hero, said I could use his phone. (Really, if anyone knows the Tivoli management, tell them the Friday night ticket taker is a hero. He not only helped me, he helped other people simultaneously. Multitasking Hero.)
I called Gary, and asked him to check my phone.
"It's not on the charger in the kitchen," he said.
"Yes I know," I snapped. "I must have left it in the guest room."
He said it wasn't in the guest room. I felt no sense of doom (obviously Gary was blind), so I asked him to call my cell with the landline and he could track it by the ring, he could look at the messages, and we could figure out where Rachel was, or I could at least get her number.
And he did. My cell phone rang! Rinnng!
I said, "Pick it up!"
"I can't see it," he said.
"It's right THERE! Even I can hear it! It's right NEXT to you! "
TTMan said, "I think you have it."
"Huh?" And then I realized ... the call was coming from inside my purse. Rinnng!
"Damn! I'll call you back." Click.
The phone was tucked into the cash pocket, where it is not allowed, and I was able to call Rachel who was late and searching in vain for a parking spot. I told her to pull in front of the theater, I'd give her two dollars in quarters, and she could park in the manned/metered garage across from the Tivoli.
I tossed quarters in her car while she drove past at 10mph. She kept saying she was sorry, and I said, you have NO idea how good you have made me look. I'm late, she's later. I misplace my phone, she doesn't call. If she hadn't been late I would have been apologizing to her.
While she parked I went back in and told TTMan what an idiot I was, in case he hadn't realized it fully when I shoved his phone back at him. I felt as if I had been somewhat rude. Then I said, "My poor husband."
"You were yelling at him!" TTMan said. TTMan makes us all better people. I called Gary and apologized.
And then Rachel showed up and apologized more and made me look calm, poised, on time and capable.
We only missed about 10 minutes of the movie at the most. And it was terrific, see it if it's in your area.