A drug is designed for escape.
the taste of fear
in favor of adventure
with no thought of consequence
it was years of challenging the restrictions
of previous generations
not seeing the worth of bold gyrations
they were stuck, we were wild
with the sun fully shining
there is no cover from trees
in the middle of the lake
beer is guzzled and laughter ensues
fish are caught in abundance
as the sunburns are doled out evenly
when the bright sun fades
behind the sky-darkening clouds
the boats and people return home
The Brighton Plaza Cinema 5/2/21 – Edward
It had been a long day for Edward. A long month. Looking over the number of movies he’d projected, it seemed on the high end of regular showings; the average was about seventy-five per day. Today, ninety-eight films ended up being projected, and such a variety too—everything from slasher movies to comedies. Edward felt put through the wringer, so to speak, throughout the day. But that was his job. It came with the territory. He looked forward to turning it all off when he got home.
The theater was closed on Mondays, so he looked ahead with relief to a day off, and Tuesdays tended to be slower than the weekends. He was glad—a bit of a break.
With the cinema’s popularity increasing since it opened last month, Edward wondered if they would add another screen. Perhaps, but not likely. It seemed reasonable to him as the attendee numbers continued to climb, sometimes even turning people away, although not that often yet. But they were always at total capacity. If not another screen and projector, he just wished they would hire someone to be a backup to run the equipment. He lamented to himself being the only person doing the work was exhausting.
Wrapping up for the day, he went over the log of the movies shown, making sure he’d listed them all. Someone in management expected them as they were tracking the shows’ statistics—genres and viewers. Edward surmised they were following what the trends were. Eventually, probably within the year of opening, the corporation told him they would make it public how The Brighton Plaza Cinema was doing. It would help boost the sales of the franchises coming into play in the future. This recordkeeping would show this new fangled way of projecting movies was good business. Good for the public, excellent for the company, but damn, it was hard on the projector. Sometimes, it just got to be too much. Edward found ways to numb himself when he got home, drugs or alcohol, but mostly, he stayed holed up in his apartment, away from the world and any more stimuli.
No one knew that the eye scan each moviegoer used to check in was pasting clear, thin strips of plastic onto their eyeballs. The film was a neural link connected to Edward, “the projector” of their movie, who was symbiotically connected to their film choice. He “streamed” the movie they selected directly into their view after having it downloaded to his brain. It was genius as it didn’t require huge movie theater complexes to stream a variety of movies. One and done, everybody got what they wanted. The best part, the plastic strips dissolved after the movie.
Being the first of its kind theater, no one knew that this projector, Edward, would eventually feel his mental health decline severely, and fairly quickly. He would, in a sense, implode from the emotional burnout of having to handle simultaneous realities. The patrons had fun, had a good cry, swooned, were entertained and thrilled, but not so for the projector. His senses were bombarded throughout his 8-hour shift, putting his nervous system into overdrive and devastating his sense of reality. Edward was being used as their guinea pig.
Ain’t capitalism grand?
Thanks so much for your support of this series! See you next month!
The Brighton Plaza Cinema 5/2/21 – Elizabeth & family
“Ginger, move down a few more, please,” Elizabeth says, nodding to her daughter to keep moving, the frustration evident on her face. “Hurry up. The movie is about to start.” Ginger looked back to her mother to make sure that she’d gone far enough. Elizabeth gave her the thumbs up as there were now enough seats for the entire family. One by one, each child sat down, Elizabeth taking her seat at the end. She sat down with a loud sigh, looking forward to taking a long sip of her vodka-laced soda. The kids weren’t aware, of course, that she’d slipped a handful of mini-bar-sized bottles of vodka from home into her purse. Thankful for the noise of toilets flushing and handwashing in the bathroom, she was able to tip those bottles in without detection.
The day certainly started well, but getting the five in her brood together, in the direction of a planned family outing, had been a bit stressful. She was looking forward to just sitting in the dark and letting her mind be distracted by the light-hearted film they’d decided on. Elizabeth definitely needed some comedic relief. The movie – Bodega Blues – starred two hilarious women comedians. Both were blind trying to run a small grocery store. It was rated PG, so fine for the whole crew. She anticipated there would be a lot of slapstick humor, something the girls would enjoy.
Unfortunately, Elizabeth was also dealing with a bit of PMS, making everything worse. Her candy bar was looking better and better. Thankfully it was a large one; she kept thinking. Chocolate, vodka, popcorn, the kids being under control in the theater, and everyone laughing. Oh yes, it was going to be a good afternoon!
“Everybody, quiet down! The movie is starting!” she half-whispered in their direction loud enough for them to hear but quiet enough not to upset the rest of the patrons in the theater. They piped down and faced forward. Ginger, Jennifer, Shelley, Beatrice, and Sophia looked excited about the movie about to start. Elizabeth was beginning to feel the effects of the vodka. All was well in the world.
For an hour and a half, laughter spewed out of all of them. Bodega Blues did not disappoint. She wasn’t quite sure if it was because of the vodka or the antics. Regardless, Elizabeth was happy to be feeling much better than when she arrived with the kids. She hadn’t had tears running down her face from laughing so hard during a movie in a long time. Who would have thought a story about two blind women in a bodega could be that funny?
“Anyone need the bathroom before we go home?” Elizabeth asked as they walked towards the exit. A chorus of “me, me, me” prompted her to lead the way to the restrooms. Once inside, she pulled out the last mini-bottle and chugged it straight down. Again, the kids were none the wiser.
At the sink, “Wasn’t that a great movie, kids? A woman standing next to her looked at her very strangely.
TO BE CONTINUED ON THURSDAY…
tastings leave me feeling shiny and new
selecting the best, we all win
the atmosphere delightful, taking it all in
friendships cemented over wine, so happy are we
I was inspired to write this after Christine – Stine Writing posted about this interesting form. It’s called an “In One Word Poem” and it is an absolute delight to be challenged to create in this way! My husband supplied the first word and I hope you enjoy what it prompted me to write. 🙂
The rules are:
- choose a word
- list words that you find within that word
- choose words from that list
- write a poem in which each line ends with one of those words
Have fun if you decide to participate! I hope you do and and look forward to reading what you come up with!
to be inviting to touch
to need me for comfort
to make you want me more
to make you want to tame me
should you have me
i beg you, never let me go
because when i’m yours
i’ll be with you always
…unless you shave me. please don’t. sincerely, your beard
The envelopes piling up on the credenza,
a daily ritual every afternoon
of dumping from the mailbox to the top of the desk.
Out of sight, out of mind, they say.
Having fun, feeling free with friends,
enjoying life to the fullest meant
barely a thought given to the duties of adulthood.
The distraction of coffee, a record playing or a good movie
always drawing her away to a better place than what was around her.
Not that it couldn’t be better.
She didn’t know how or want to acknowledge her inadequacies
staring her in the face each time she walked by the roll top.
She never excelled at math, couldn’t balance her checkbook and
never understood the value of money.
Always being reckless and not knowing she really should save.
Sadly, the day of personal reckoning finally came,
the sheriff’s insistent hammering at the front door.
“Ma’am, you’ve been served an eviction notice.”
we need six degrees of separation
from the despair
what a better way
come on, give in to the music
let it take us elsewhere
watch the wooden faces
check us out
in awe and confusion
how it’s done
to break free, to let loose
and put our energy
into being deservedly exhausted
innocence openly displayed
the naivete is heartwarming
adventures and giggles galore
the carefree laughter of yesteryears
oh, how i wish i could return…
Image credit – pxhere