As I walked into one of my usual three sole menu restaurants yesterday, I noticed that the place was packed. Not that it´s unusual for a menu place to be busy, but there are so many of them that almost never is one place more busy than any other. Something seemed out of place, but I wasn´t sure what. I was too hungry to notice just then. Matt and I took the only open table, the one in the middle of the room.
We were talking and not really paying attention to what was going on. That´s when I noticed the entire place was dead silent and that we were being very loud in comparison. ¨I feel like we´ve come at the wrong time,¨ I said. ¨I feel awkward but I don´t know why . . . ¨
We sat in the middle of the restaurant, surrounded by people and every single eye in the place was glued to the television. I noticed a Pervian lady two tables over. She was staring at the TV, looking horrified but in ecstacy at the same time. Without really considering what in the world she and everyone else, even the waitress, could possibly be watching at 12:30 on a Saturday afternoon, I looked up at the television. After all, it could be my favorite soap opera, La Hija Del Mariachi.
I could not be more wrong.
The program was the most graphic and bloody depiction of the life of Jesus Christ that I have ever seen. I glanced up at the television at the exact instant when a soldier hit Jesus in the eyeball with a rock, leaving a bloody socket where his eye used to be. Ugh.
What was so amazing to me was that everyone was absolutely enthralled. The beating of Jesus continued unchecked, with sound effects and lots of blood and gore and gratuitous missing eyeball shots. I ate my soup in silence and tried to ignore the pitiful moans on the TV. I counted a total of ten children huddled around different tables with their parents, mindlessly shoveling their lunch in their faces while they watched the suffering cinematic Jesus. A group of at least eight people had gathered just outside the door to watch too.
Finally the waitress turned the movie off, but not because of it´s violence. There was a problem with the sound. Within two seconds of the movie being switched off, the crowd outside dispersed. Everyone inside eating at the tables seemed disappointed. As for me, I could finally eat my lunch.