We drove to Totem Lake in the dark and immediately got lost. I mean, seriously, what the fuck is Totem Lake? (Answer: It's a suburb of Kirkland.) We were looking for Totem Lake Cinema, which, according to www.seattleindian.com, shows Bollywood movies every Friday through Sunday. They serve Indian-spiced popcorn. It sounded like a good time, wherever the fuck it was.
I stopped and asked a gas station attendant (who was medium cute, but possibly missing a tooth) if he knew where I could find Totem Lake Cinema. He looked at me sort of bug-eyed, started giving directions, and then interrupted himself: "You know it's... Indian, right?" I tried to look bug-eyed too. "Yeah, I know." "Well, my friends and I tried to go there once, just to see what it was about, and they wouldn't sell us tickets." He said that the Indian ticket seller told him to go away, because he wouldn't understand the movie and he wouldn't like it. I yelled, "REALLY?" (my favorite thing to yell). He shrugged. "Yeah."
The bar down the street from the gas station is called LIQUID LIME, except that on their sign the "I" in "LIME" is replaced by a drawing of a lime wedge, so it looks unmistakably like LIQUID LAME. We had time for three cocktails. A drunk was watching basketball: "Oh! Foul on that black guy!" He paused. "Whatever, it's not Martin Luther King's birthday yet." The bartender had tattoos. He told us that white people go to the Bollywood theater "all the time," and that Totem Lake is "really diverse." Hmm. I suspected hooliganism on the part of the gas station man. I wrote down "hooliganism?" in my notebook.
For future reference, Totem Lake Cinema sits behind a very bright, very large store called Yuppie Pawn. The name Yuppie Pawn feels aggressively sarcastic, like I might go in there and they might say, "Round here, we don't cotton to city folk lookin' for a cheap thrill," and I'd say, "I'm sorry, what?" and they'd say, "RUN, YUPPIE!" and I would. Luckily, Yuppie Pawn was closed. We went next door.
The man at the ticket window smiled and sold us two tickets to Taare Zameen Par ("Every Child Is Special"), in which handsome Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan teaches many lessons about dyslexia and faux-hawks. It fucking ruled. The drama is so sincere and the archetypes are so pure that you might as well be watching a fairy tale. In fact, I didn't even bat an eye at Khan's suuuuuuuper-zany clown hat and magical panpipe solo (he's an art teacher, you see)! Totem Lake, I will be back. If I can find you again.