Spoiler Alert! Do not read if you have not seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens
If you do not care, keep on keeping on
Lincoln kept his hat on. Not sure why. It’s not like we were going to have our pictures taken or anything. If anything, people would think he was an actor on his way to a local theater production. They probably turned up their noses to that kind of thing. If he were Titanic Leo, they’d be on him like flies on fecal matter, but this is local theater we’re talking about. Abraham liked the look. He knew it screamed his name. No one really copied his style after he’d been assassinated, so it was all him.
But that hat would cheese people off in the row behind us.
They came to see if J.J. could pull off a new Star Wars movie – as in making something we’d all like, non-fans, monster fans, women, men, transexuals, Republicans, Democrats, Muppets, kids, dogs and cats. So many waited like hungry zombies to see if he’d fail, so many thinking it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype, to the sickening level of abject fervor, and were ready to devour those responsible with one out of place sentence – to digitally shame them for the rest of their natural lives – and if they came back from the dead like Abe did, for eternity – or as long as online fanboy trolling stays a thing – one or the other.
The tall former president leaned forward in his seat and snatched the popcorn as the lights dimmed. “As I was saying, Patrick. Being a writer, whether in the world of journalism or fiction, means you must teach humanity how it can grow, how it can be better than it was yesterday.”
“The hell it does.”
“Show your readers the true path to wisdom,” he said.
“The movie’s starting.”
“Yeah, shut the hell up,” someone said a few rows below us.
I looked behind us to make sure no one had their view blocked. Thankfully the seat was empty. Lincoln stuffed his mouth with popcorn, but kept speaking.
Bits of yellow filth jumped out of his mouth. “Wisdom can be found in any man, but most don’t know to look for it. A writer must teach these things.”
I couldn’t think of anything clever to say, but I kept thinking about how I love Six Million Dollar Man novelizations and read those more often than I did Strayed or Angelou. “Writers are no smarter than anyone else. Dumber probably. You’re not supposed to talk during a movie. I saw this on opening night remember. It’s a cool movie. Take your damn hat off and enjoy it.”
“This is why you can afford to listen to me, Patrick. You’ve seen this movie.”
I began to wonder why Lemmy from Motorhead, or Kubrick, or even Rowdy Roddy didn’t show up at my front door. It had to be Lincoln. The same dude from a row down shushed the sixteenth president before I could.
Abe continued. “You’ve seen this Star Wars. You already know Han Solo dies at the end.”
“Are you serious?” The man from a row down again. This time he was on his feet. Anger surged through his tall, muscular body. The evening deteriorated from there into a bloody mess of sneers, foul language, split lips and white hot pain. Security, police, rage and the realization that theaters and Abraham Lincoln do not mix. Spoilers trump wisdom. Experience can make you bleed. And humanity can grow backward. One thing I know for sure?
Abe punched first.