Farewell, My Porcupine, by Michael Solender

I decided 30 minutes into the film. I am breaking up with Donna. Once again, I deferred on Saturday evening’s entertainment choice and let her drag me to the art-house. I didn’t even have to ask her, nor was I surprised to see the film starred that famous Chinese actress, destined to die in one more Toronto Film Festival award winning film.
“I think she starts the Boxer rebellion in this one,” I whisper to her sarcastically, greasing the skids for the inevitable breakup dinner that only I know is coming after the movie.
I can’t figure out if I should do it on the way there , at drinks or after dessert.
She sticks her bony elbow into my ribs and manages a grimace. “Why can’t you ever let me enjoy a movie?”
I move in towards her left lobe, another one of her rules is that I always sit on her left, and start to tell her how bored I am when she lurches back, spilling half her Coke between her legs and onto the floor.
“Shut up..ferchristsakes, just let me watch this in peace willya Marvin?”
“Leave her be Marvin, for all our sake.” Some smart ass chick with a giant shock of white hair and popcorn and Bianca breath has leaned over from directly behind me and, grabbing my shoulder, is admonishing me. A chorus of shushes fan out in concentric circles like waves from a pebble in a pond as I slink down low into my BARCO-lounger premium theater seat.
Dark and weepy, all these flicks are the same to me. Misogynists, really momma’s-boys, are always beating up on vulnerable waifs. The heroine’s are always destined to be the “one” who escapes being vanquished or lives of supplication. There is a bad sex scene and crying, followed by long scenes of staring and looking forlorn. It is bad enough that these flicks run two-and-a-half hours, but Donna makes me stay through the very last credit as she dabs her eyes and puts on fresh lipstick before venturing out from the darkness.
24 bucks I pay for these weekly endurance tests. Then dinner, I insist on Chinese, and home with no possibility of sex. It is out of the question because when she asks me what I thought of the movie, I yawn, say something non-committal and she pouts, says “men” in a disgusted tone and takes out a half gallon of chocolate and a single spoon, and starts reading the paper. That’s my cue to go home and try another day.
“No dinner tonight Donna.” I say as the credits scroll into oblivion. She almost drops her lipstick.
“Whadya mean? I’m starving.”
“Donna,” I start right here still in the theater, virtually everyone is gone and I just can’t take a restaurant scene, “This just isn’t right.”
“What isn’t right, you don’t want Chinese, we’ll go for Italian.”
“No not dinner, us, we’re not right. We’ve been kinda going through the motions and I don’t think you’re really happy. If I’m honest with myself, I’m not really happy. I just don’t think we should continue to go out.”
Donna starts laughing hysterically.
“What’s so funny?” I’m starting to get pissed as she is laughing so hard she’s crying.
“”What is so funny is that you are breaking up with me, when I’ve been sitting here for the last hour figuring out how I was gonna tell you I’m moving to Minneapolis and want to make a clean break.”
“You’re taking that bogus promotion?” I ask incredulously.
“They sweetened the pot, are making it a VP, paying a full bore move and I found a house on the same block as Mary Tyler Moore.”
“What? Does she really live there?”
“No but her TV house is there and I am getting this great Victorian right down the street, oh Marvin c’mon let’s get some Chinese, I’ll tell you the whole story.”
“OK.” I’m actually happy for her and strangely more attracted to her now that I know she’s moving. “Can we fool around after?”
“Sure Marvin, you’re gonna help me move right?”
Bio: Michael Solender is the editor of Full Of Crow’s “On The Wing” section, and blogs daily at “Not From Here, Are You?” which can be found here.
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