Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread ★★★

Tonight I watched Phantom Thread. There were so many food scenes and I had not eaten dinner. By the fourth breakfast scene, I had a real hankering for a grilled cheese. I would say I spent the final thirty minutes of the movie fantasizing about grilled cheese.

I knew I didn't have the right kind of cheese at home. There's a Vons right across from the movie theater, so I figured I'd stop there quickly after. Instead, my movie friend and I went to say hi to our other friend at a bar down the street.

My bar friend has other friends with her -- they're going a club that's on my way home, so I offer to drive them. I've naturally already mentioned my grilled cheese fantasy. The Vons nearby is 24 hours. The one near the club closes in 20 minutes. It's gonna be tight.

There's a dispute with the bar bill and time passes quickly, so I look at my phone clock sadly, thinking I'm not going to be able to make it to the grocery store near the club and I don't want to drive all the way back the opposite way after dropping them off to get cheese.

A non-anxious person would just say, "Hey, I want cheese so I'm gonna stop to get some while dropping you off." I am incapable of doing that. Thankfully, my friend suggested it herself. So! We got in my car and pulled into the Vons parking lot. My friend and her two friends stay in the warm car.

I went in and grabbed good cheese and some wine. Of course, it's midnight at Vons and there's only one register open with fifteen people waiting (I assume we all saw the same Phantom Thread screening and got hungry).

Five minutes into being in line, I feel bad for making my friend wait for me to buy a block of cheese. Just as the guilt is setting in, she texts me to say someone hit my car.

Naturally, I think this means my car is totaled. She clarifies that it's just a small dent but that they guy who hit it is a Scientologist. He has a Scientology bumper sticker and everything. He's waiting for me to come out in order to get my information.

Five more minutes later, I'm at the cashier who rings up my cheese. I don't have my Vons card with me and he refuses to swipe his as they usually do. The line behind me is eternal. He says they need to price check the wine. I explain that it's $12.99 (it is).

He demands that his co-worker go price check it as I plead that I really don't need the wine. The co-worker is new and does not know where the wine is. There are eight people behind me in line. My car has been hit by a Scientologist. People are waiting for me to drive them. I have bad anxiety.

"I don't NEED the wine," I cry to the empty void that is Vons and also apparently my night. The guy working the register finally listens. I pay for my cheese and go to meet my Scientologist. His name is Mike. He is wearing the classic Scientology recruitment suit. I look at his car and the Scientology "bumper sticker" is not so much a bumper sticker, but an expensive looking emblem that seems to have been carefully torched onto his bumper. It is not a particularly nice car. Scientology is clearly important to him.

I turn my phone flashlight on and see that Mike has, indeed, scratched my car. However. I've seen "Going Clear" and lived next to a Scientology building for a year. I know Mike could make shit go down if I give him my insurance information (aka he would sent me recruitment stuff).

I pride myself on few things, but one of them is that I've gone seven years in LA without the church of Scientology trying to GET to me. With one of their billboards looming right over the Vons parking lot, I told Mike that it was fine. We shook hands.

He had very soft hands and a good shake. I'm sure that is required for all Scientologist recruiters. I got in my scratched car and my friend's friend who is visiting from New York was so pleased that she met a real life Scientologist.

Now I am on my couch staring at my block of cheese, wondering if it knows how fucking good the sandwich it is part of needs to be to live up to the expectations I've set for it.

By the way, yes, I do consider this a review of Phantom Thread.

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