Tuesday, March 26, 2013

now showing

For awhile they sat alone in a dark theater, with many others, watching cars on a busy street filmed in black and white, and listening to the sounds of traffic and honking horns. There were many noises. The cars went from here to there traveling by a marina where boat whistles played a melancholy song, and through the trees past an endless parade of birds and furry woodland animals, all tweeting or munching on solitary nuts. The two, a man and a woman, sat shoulder to shoulder. Their arms touched on the rest, neither noticed, and they grew restless in the stiff seats. The faces in the cars, sometimes they stared out in muted hues of yellow or pink, seemed uninterested in their travels. They were like passengers on a train, even the drivers, fidgeting in the confines of a boundless commute. The man turned his head and looked at the woman's face. He didn't know her. He stood up and excused himself to the row of people whose feet he avoided stepping on and made his way from the maze of the darkened theater.

Through the doors into the light of the hallway he stumbled wearily, in a slow motion fog, until his head cleared and the noises ceased echoing in his brain. Below his feet the thick carpet grabbed at the soles of his shoes, catching him like a fly in syrup, but the man moved forward with an outreached hand to the glass exit door. A bright glare called him forth, until a black figure stepped in his path and looked down its nose sourly. It took his arm and led him around to a door and pushed him through.

Another dark aisle lit theater, and the man looked out over the balcony. The immense screen was white with projection from behind, and the heads below were many, all facing the screen, and shiny. They sat rapt, anxious, and the man wound his way down, down to the seats and found one empty. He excused himself and sat down between a stout man and a lithe woman who had laid her hands upon her cheeks. Her mouth was in the shape of an O. The man once seated looked to the screen and found it white, just white, and then looked at the woman. She was engrossed in the blank white image of nothing. He could hear the clicking of the projector. The non image flickered around the edges and an occasional black spot marred the pristine absence of anything. They sat alone in the dark theater with hundreds. They sat mesmerized, waiting to be amazed, listening to a soundtrack that hummed, building to a crescendo of oppression. She noticed him then, and laid her arm down on his, until their fingers touched and made themselves a flesh pretzel. In the silence of a dry crackle, with a sun white blank looking on, they sat etched upon a bright rectangle, folded into an audience of many alone, together.


  1. so many images to feast upon - the carpet catching him like a fly in syrup, the interlacing fingers forming a flesh pretzel (this made me smile), the darks and lights, all backlit by a flickering screen. reading this, i am transported.