The Optimism of Villains

It began with Vader, 1977. I am there gawking, slack-jawed, at his shiny 6’8” robot/spaceman suit stretched over a 50’ drive-in theater screen. Little me and massive whatever-the-hell-he-is are bonding, alone on a multi-acre plot under the Oklahoma stars. The rest of the audience has vanished. My older brother Darrell and that Ford Ranchero of his, gone. When Lord Vader breathes, I stop. When he speaks, I listen. He wants something… Whoa! Are you seeing this? He’s lifting a guy in a white pee-pee helmet by the neck, he’s…hol-ey Sith!…

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