Musette loses track of time. She’s been Skyping with her mom and watching Long Island Medium. I have to wait for her at the subway exit.

She arrives from the other side of the street than the one I’m waiting for her on. We look up directions to the theater on my phone because of her phone’s gps problems and get back on the train, riding into Williamsburg. On the way there, I tell her that I am nervous about tomorrow’s work party.

She tells me that I need to regulate myself.

You’re going to be a pop pop soon, she says. You can’t be coming home wasted all the time.

But I know that I probably can, because fathers have been doing it throughout all of history.

You see, what she’s trying to do here is continue the molding of me into a father. It’s been going on ever since our first teddy bear, and then Charlo.

Speaking of Charlo, did you puppy proof the apartment before you left?

She hesitates for a second before telling me that she did.

It’s fine, she says.

Arriving at Williamsburg, we get off the train, and I navigate us to the theater. Musette bought our tickets online. We have to claim them from the box office which is simply a register next to the concessions. There is nobody in line, and there is nobody behind the register. We stand in front of it for a couple of minutes before a girl leaves her place at the concession stand and prints us off our tickets.

We ask her if there is a line already formed.

She tells us that there’s not.

How early should we arrive, we ask.

Forty five minutes to an hour.

Where does the line form?

On the stairs.


We leave the box office and head to the stairs. The girl was right; there is nobody there. We are just under two hours early. There is a sleepy black boy guarding the theaters at the top of the stairs. We ask him how early we should arrive, and he tells us fifteen minutes.

We decide to trust the box office girl instead of this sleepy black boy. The decision has nothing to do with the color of his skin. Fifteen minutes just seems too risky.

But we have time to eat regardless, and we are both hungry. So we leave the theater and wander around until Musette remembers that there is a very inexpensive dumpling place nearby. It’s the one that we went to with her brother – the one with the very graffitied bathroom.

I start looking it up on my phone, but Musette finds it before the results are loaded. We go in and order six dumplings, some pan fried noodles, a pancake sandwich and some bubble milk tea.

It’s about a ten minute wait. We sit in a seat that is right in the path of the cold breeze blowing in with each opening of the door. There are tables surrounding us. The people sitting in them have to squeeze around us to get out.  

Our food comes, we eat it, and then we then leave the restaurant. It’s just over an hour before the movie starts. The line has begun forming. There are only a few small parties waiting at the top of the stairs. We take our place behind them. The line behind us forms rapidly. A couple of slightly intimidating boys are directly behind us. They keep giving me nasty looks. I’m wondering if tonight is the night I am shot.


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