My Favorite Cinema, I Could Watch You Forever
“What movie should we watch?” We’re standing in the foyer of the cinema, this old turn of the century building (the previous century, not this one) where there are posters on the wall, depicting all of the currently aired movies. “Not the one with the talking raccon”, Nevena replies. “I have already seen that one.” “How about this one then?”, I nervously sputter.
The cause of my nervosity is her presence. She is close. We’re not holding hands or anything, but she is close. Close enough for me to see the sheen of makeup on her face. “… besides, I am not in a mood to see another romcom.” “Ah cmon, it’s got timetraveling.” “Mm. This then?”
/Don’t be so nervous, Rune. She isn’t even in heat./ I miss a step. From now on, you don’t comment on Nevena’s inner chemistry. Alright? He grumbles, which I take as a yes.
“Excuse me, what did you say?” She points to a poster of serious looking man. “I have heard about it. Supposedly, it’s based on a short-story by Robert Heinlein. Although….” she glances at me. She is so close that when she speaks, I can feel breath against my nose. “What?” “It features timetravel.” She throws up her hands. “I just want a simple movie where bad guys are blown up, the boy gets the girl, nobody important dies.” I shrug. “Real life isn’t like that.” “But these are movies we’re talking about. Fiction.”
“That one?” I point to a poster of man holding a futuristic-looking rifle. “Nah, don’t like the main actor.” “Hmm.” “An animated movie then”, Nevena suggests. “If it doesn’t involve clown-fish, then I am not interested.” “Comedy?”, I wonder out loud.
She inspects the three posters of the current comedies being aired. She points, casually, at the first one, which depicts a man and a teddy bear. “Childish. Crude.” Her finger switches to a poster with a man clutching a book. “Boring, and not really funny at all.” And the third poster, which shows a famous actor, several historical characters at a museum, at night. “And that one suffers from the sequel-disease.” “Alright. No comedies.”
We stop before a poster of a European city being invaded by alien creatures. She gives me an glance. “Sure.”
As we pay for the tickets, the cashier, an older-looking woman outright stares at me. My eye-patch. The scars on my face. The things I have taken for granted, taken for granted that nobody will notice. I don’t notice them anymore, and the people in my class sure have have become used to them. They’re like the cameras in a soap-opera: they’re there, but you don’t notice them anymore.
We walk past a stair, turn left down a corridor, and enter a big room with the word ‘Five’ stenciled on the door. There are ten seats on every row, and there are eight rows. All of them unoccupied. Not strange considering the time and the population of Fallowfell. “Let’s pick…. the seventh row. Yes, the seventh will have the best vantage point”, Nevena says with rogueish smile and a flash of golden eyes. “But we have seats for the fourth row.”
She motions to the vacant room. “I don’t think anyone will complain. Come on, don’t be such a stickler for rules all the time.” /Yeah, don’t be such an stickler for the rules all the time./ What, are you my personal echo-chamber now? I grumble something and we sit down in the seventh row, right in the middle.
I gesture at her buttery popcorn, bought at an seriously overpriced price. “No, Rune, you can’t have any.” “That wasn’t what I was going to ask.” “What were you going to ask?”
The curtains on the stage separate, and a bunch of commercials start to screen.”Nevermind.” “She shouldn’t have done that”, Nevena sprouts out of the blue. “Who, what now?” “The cashier. She shouldn’t have looked at you like you’re some kind of freakshow.” I shrug. “At this point I am used to it. Besides, that only happens when I am meeting new people.” “Still. Rude.” It might seem ridiculous, but it makes me happy that she is standing up for me. It’s a sensation that I haven’t felt often in my fifteen-year old life.
The movie starts to roll with a close-up of a square-jawed man in profile.I realize, that without meaning to, I have put my hand behind her seat. I freeze. What do I do? Do I retract it? Do I put it around her shoulder?
/Don’t be such a coward. Fortune will always favour the bold./ Smaug, shut up. /I don’t know this Smaug./ Would it kill you to be silent, for say, an hour or two?
About twenty minutes into the movie, where our steeljawed main character has meet the Love-Interest with gravity-defying boobs I decide to proceed. If Nevena’s seat can be divide into tens, then my hand covers two tenths. I move it forward til it covers four tenths. /Chicken./ Dragon./….!/
Half an hour later, there is an explosion on the screen, and the main character’s sidekick, who is of a suitable and appealing minority runs away laughing. I move the hand further. Six tenths. /By Baleye and madness, please get this over. The wait is excruciating/ Verde, you don’t shut up right now, I’ll find an terrarium big enough to hold you.
The antagonist, who, of course, is doing this for the sake of misguided justice kills the Love Interest in the end of the second act. Eight tenths.
Nevena moves in her seat, and she accidently touches my hand. I stop breathing. She turns her head towards me, away from the screen.
— and puts my hand around her shoulder.
And so we sit there, shoulder to shoulder, forehead leaning on forehead, and watch as the main character kills the antagonist with a machine-gun that proclaims his very large American penis. Oh yeah, and Verde won’t shut up inside my head. Pesky dragon.