My grandfather died in a movie theater. The story goes like this:
A fine summer day. The couple who would be my grandparents could hear the river from their house. Their porch smelled like lilacs. Opening their front door was a purple slap to the face. Those lilacs liked to give them a licking.
They walked to the movie house. I like to think they saw An American in Paris. That movie seems beautiful and sad and appropriate.
During the movie, my grandfather stood up. My grandmother asked him to sit down. And then he collapsed. And then he died.
Later, my brother got a job in that movie theater. We would take girls there and tell them about the lilacs and my grandfather.
I like to think he felt useful. The lilacs of the theater, my grandpa. No way around him. Always standing up. Always blocking the view.