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children of men

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so, yeah . . . i haven't slept in three nights.

friday i kind of left work a little early, just in time to catch the matinee for 'children of men'. it was fine. and by the time the movie was over, the sun had gone down, there was that old familar winter chill in the air, and i was hungry. walking from the theatre to my car across the parking lot i meander through a situation. two guys backing out from their parking spots which are just staggered across from one another. but of course, they are in a hurry and each one is trying to get out ahead of the other one. they back up a little. then wait on the other one to back up a little. again and again. honking. then shouting as the words from their mouthgs turn into to steam in the cold night, like two dragons breathing fire at one another. finally one guy gets the advantage and i stop my stride just behind the loser car as the victor blinks his lights and peels out and takes off.

now . . . here's what happens so fast it's impossible to imagine. the entire time these two motorheads or teenages or idiots are dualing with their atuomobiles, people are zig zagging in and out of their self created drama and life essentialy goes on. the thing is, when the men were honking and barking at each other like dogs, to just leave a parking lot mind you, some kids were trying to remember where mommy and daddy had called them and told them they would be parked after the movie. let me stop here and say maybe it's a great idea to just pick your kids up at the lobby of the theatre. it doesn't mattter what you drive or how you look driving it. just call your offspring and tell them when you'll be there and show the fuck up. don't make them watch the new disney shit film and get all giddy then walk through the parking lot like it's an amusement park of good times, ages 5 and up.

so the kids, they wait patiently like i do for the story to unfold, maybe even kind of hoping for a demolition derby to break out or for one of those entertaining controlled fights like they do at hockey games. a couple of the kids, i guess, they scramble off on alternate routes, a couple watch and trade twizzlers for milk duds as if they are still watching a movie. then one kid, when the winner car turns off his lights to signal he is more of a man to the rest of the parking lot, the kid, he decides the guy is done acting like a fucking child with a license, so he makes a run for it. i the direction of where mommy and daddy are maybe waiting in a mini van arguing about each other's familys and why their not appreciated at work. he darts for the same place they have picked him up after every new disney blockbuster was over. not opening weekend, but the one after that. each and every time. but the kid, he doesn't drive a car. he doesn't know this whack job of a motorist is going to floor it and speed off, just to seal the deal and just in case anyone has a kodak digital camera and wants to remember who won the great parking lot joust of january, '07, douglas county oakview odyssey 24 theatres, omaha, nebraska.

the kid is running, the car is accelerating. and they meet. just as the moron behind the metal truns his lights back on, the car still speeding up, the kid becomes the deer in the headlights. at this point i'm thinking how cool i am for sneaking in my own coke to the show. i'm thinking how hungry i am. then i hear the kind of tire squealing that is the opposite of a car racing away. it's brakes. it's rubber melting to asphalt. it's an oh shit and i'm sorry and what the fuck and no way in hell. then there's some screaming. then there's just alot of everything. then there's fight or flight.

i make my way up to where the kid is laying and turn my head to see the loser car in this game of shopping mall tug of war in reverse, as usually soccer moms compete to get a parking spot, the other guy, he is just cruising away in the opposite direction, half happy to finally be on his way, half pissed that his ford lost out to a chevy. also, i look away because the moment i see the kid, he looks like he's been stopped in motion. he looks animated. he's about five feet from the dent in the bumber of the car that had to leave the parking lot so fast that anything and anyone was a speed bump. i look back to him and no a crowd is gathered around me. their standing and i'm knelt down beside the boy. so i'm the hero by default. i'm the shortest straw. and i can tell that the guy in the car, he is still in a hurry to get out of the parking lot. i can't really see him, but i can see the reflection of his back up lights on the two rows of parked cars that prevent him from a traditional hit and run. he could be teenager, he could be a doctor, he could even be michael eisner himself. the point is he's not getting out of his car and the mob is waiting for me to perform a miracle rather than pulling him out of his car. so i kneel down closer to the boy, to listen for breathing i guess, and he simoltaneously coughs and spits blood all over my ear and his finding nemo t-shirt. good, he's alive.

i'm surrounded by cell phones. and people on them. some calling 911, some calling friends and family, as if they themselves are lucky to still be walking around. i feel like i'm at a rock concert as i straighten out the child's limbs so he lay flat and then i take off my coat and put it over him. the crowd, like movie gowers criticizing previews, they say, you shouldn't move him at all, put the coat under him, and i have a knife if you need it. i'm thinking now, more than acting, and honestly, i'm really just trying to escape in every way but physically. i decide to pray but before i can remember god's phone number, the guy from the car, he puts his hand on my shoulder and says "is he ok?" fine, so this is my miracle, the dude didn't drive of. then i look down at my coat which covers the shirt which covers the chest of boy. it's not moving. i mean, there's no breeze, just a heavy chill, but up and down, it's supposed to be moving up and down, right? isn't that breathing? isn't there supposed to be steam coming from his mouth or nose?

cpr. sure. right. of course. that's what the paramedics did. they administered cpr. the police talked to the driver of the car. maybe they even took him away. i don't know. all i know is i felt like shit not knowing what to do. i wasted as much time not doing anything as i did to write the story about not doing anything. even if the kid lives, he might be fucked up for life. not my fault, mabye. but he might just wake up each day and go to bed each night wishing he was dead. it's not like walt disney is going to make sure this loyal fan leads a normal life. i just wish i hadn't gone and seen that movie is all. i wish i wouldn't have been content to watch the second part of the double feature in the parking lot after the show. i wish i didn't have to throw my coat away.