The Music that Ate the Movie

… I had never noticed that little cinema in the back alley. It looked more like a shop, a liquor or tobacco store, but over the shop window there was a neon sign CINEMA Ω that was humming and crackling, and in the shop window there was a poster, DR CURSTON’s ULTIMATE EXPERIMENT it said, with a picture of a long-faced man with ruffled hair, like static, and electric flashes all around. I wanted to ask Geoff, Is this some kind of horror movie, but he said, Come on in, with a smile I had never seen on his face, but it was kind of nice. Still an odd choice to take a girl for a first date, if it was a date, we could have gone to Asphalt Jungle, or Gunfighter with Gregory Peck, I like GP, or Solomon’s Mines with Stewart Granger, who’s a bit of a creep. It felt like he had taken me to some kind of obscure sect or anarchist cell or don’t know what, and I thought that maybe I shouldn’t have said yes, maybe it was just because it had been so unexpected, his asking Want to see a movie tonight? that I couldn’t think of an excuse right away, not of anything that wouldn’t sound too lame, homework, or piano practice, but I’m too shy, I guess, and I said yes, and since we were there I should give it a chance, or so I thought.

Don’t worry, Geoff said, I know the place, and I, What kind of reassurance is that? or so I thought. He bought tickets inside at the counter, and Want a drink? and I had a 7up, and him too, didn’t look like there was much choice, and we took our drinks inside, but first we had to go through a long passageway, awfully long it was, the theatre must have been in another building, far away from the street, which gave me a panicky feeling, suppose there was a fire and no other way out, or so I thought. When we passed a mirror I pulled my beret straight and saw Gff looking at me and our eyes crossed in the mirror, he still had that smile on his face, which was nice but also a bit weird. Two or three corners and finally we were in the movie theatre, which was dark and pretty small, and nobody else there, even when the movie started we were alone, and I didn’t like that at all.
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