The day after Christmas, 2000, I was supposed to meet a girl who I had never met before. She and I met online because of out mutual admiration of Acid Bath, a crazy, original band from New Orleans. She wasn't exactly an online girlfriend, but their might have been a romantic element to the meeting, if it had ever happened.

She failed to make it. She lived in Mesa, Arizona and I live in San Francisco, California. This is approximately an 813 mile drive, which she attempted under the influence of sleep deprivation.

Long story short, she spent three months in a halo, a neck brace that disallowed her to move her fractured neck by using screws drilled 1/8th of an inch into her head.

So I got a job at a movie theater. In keeping with my sense of empathy I couldn't let myself sit around with her suffering and not suffer myself. I really dislike jobs. This one was no different. I shoveled popcorn and wasted time for three months. I might even have kept that job actually, if it were not for Lars Ulrich.

During a showing of Memento, starring Guy Pearce and Carrie-Ann Moss (from The Matrix), I was planning on leaving, as my shift was over, and someone asked me for a Diet Coke. Everything in the snack bar had been turned off and I just turned around and tried to explain that, but sorta lost the ability to when I realized that the guy asking me was the drummer from Metallica.

All sorts of memories of being sixteen years old and listening to Metallica rushed back to me. Then all sorts of memories of being nineteen and downloading their songs from Napster. In fact I had my MP3 player in my trenchcoat pocket with several Metallica tracks purloined from Napster.

I could have turned the soda machine back on and gotten Lars a soda, but I didn't. My musical tastes had matured a lot since age sixteen and I didn't look at Metallica as all that amazing, but I think I should have at least broken stupid protocol for a stupid movie theater and gotten a soda for someone who influenced me a lot when I was sixteen. But I didn't, and when I realized that that meant the job was getting to me, I quit my job the next day.

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