Andrew Roe ~ Movie Night

Saturday night was movie night. Dad took us. This was Mom’s time, a few hours of perfume‑y mag­a­zines and white wine and wear­ing her fuzzy blue bathrobe with no one in the house. At the the­ater we gig­gled and threw pop­corn and peo­ple told us to shush. Dad, he didn’t care. He didn’t say any­thing, one way or the oth­er. He’d just sit there in his seat and stare at the ceil­ing like it could open up at any moment and some­thing might mag­i­cal­ly pull him out. It was always the same the­ater, next to the Mexican restau­rant which was next to the ice cream place where teenagers went when they were drunk or stoned or both. I don’t remem­ber the movies much, only the feel­ing of dis­ap­point­ment as we drove home, our tiny fin­gers trac­ing cir­cles on the fog­gy win­dows in the back­seat, there was some rain maybe, a light pis­sy lit­tle driz­zle, and the smell of licorice and sweat, and all of us inside, and every­thing else out­side. My broth­er, my sis­ter, my oth­er sis­ter, me. We were a gang, a force. At some point, how­ev­er, that was no longer the case.

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Andrew Roe is the author of the nov­el The Miracle Girl, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize final­ist, and Where You Live, a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries. His short fic­tion has appeared in Tin House, One Story, The Sun, Glimmer Train, The Cincinnati Review, and oth­er lit­er­ary mag­a­zines.