The Movies by Michael Melville
(This is part one of a short I’ve been working on. It’s more an experiment in writing in different genres and expanding my writing abilities than anything else. Let me know what you think)
The Movies – A short story (Pt.1)
By Michael J Melville
Jason Perkins stood outside the movie theater. It was one of many, another added to his list of theaters he went to hoping for the miracle to happen that he could not find on his own. This one was in another town and in a different state than where he once lived. Yesterday it was another town in another state and another place he had never been. It had been this way for over two years now. Jason wasn’t traveling for fun he was traveling for a purpose and his purpose was to die.
He looked into the rearview mirror on his pickup truck and say the gray in his hair. The wrinkles stretching across his face and near his eyes. He rubbed his scraggly beard and breathed hard then pulled out a picture from his pocket. He looked older than what he should at 40 years old. The small four by six picture was of a woman holding a small boy. He was sitting on her lap and smiling, his bright eyes, innocent smiled and curly brown hair seemed alive and moving. The women had curly brown hair, a sweet and tender smile and her face radiated joy and motherhood. The picture came from one of those photo booths found in malls and movie theaters all over the world. Jason touched the picture with the tips of finger remember the way their skin felt and the way their voices sounded. The last time he had seen them was nearly two years and six months ago.
“Maybe this will be the night. I hope this will be the night,” He said aloud. Jason looked away and towards the theater across the street. The theater was in the worst part of Miami that he could find. The neighborhood was filled with drug dealers, gang bangers, and prostitutes. Three people were murdered here just four days ago. They died just feet away from the theater’s entrance. He read about it on the news when he was researching and that’s why he made the drive from last the town he was in, Savannah Georgia. Before that is was Hoboken New Jersey, before that Queens New York and before that some shit town in the middle of Ohio with a giant meth problem. Before that…well, he could remember. Jason opened his door and walked across the dark street. Instantly he felt eyeballs on him, he heard people whispering and footsteps behind him.
A woman passed by and toucher his shoulders she walked. She leaned into him and whispered, “You want a date pappi. We could have some fun in that dark theater house?”
He smiled politely, “No, I’m fine.”
“Your loss old man,” She said as she kept moving and eyeing other men nearby.
He walked up to the window and smiled briefly at the girl working behind the bulletproof glass. Jason could feel people behind him just a few feet away.“Are you lost, sir?” She looked nervous and saw the gangbangers and dealers eyeing him.
“No, miss. Just here for a movie. I’m not from around here.”
“I kind of knew that.” She replied.
He scanned the board with the listings. The theater was small and only had 4 movies. He picked the first that was closest to the time. He didn’t care about the move just what happened afterword; or what he hoped happened after.
“One ticket for Star Trek,” He said then slid a 10-dollar bill under the glass.
“Here you are sir, enjoy your movie,” she said. Then she leaned forward and wrote something on a piece of paper and showed it to him. It said, “Be careful, they’re watching you.”
Jason nodded with appreciation then walked through the door. He stopped and got a drink and some popcorn, his choices were slim at this theater so he kept it basic. Then he walked into the dark theater. On the way to his favorite seat towards the back, he passed by two teenage girls snorting a line of something and a couple making out and possibly having sex. He pretended not to notice and continued on. He found his seat, sat down and grabbed a handful of popcorn that was now cold but shoved it into his mouth anyway. Shortly after the movie began. He had seen this one before, ten times in fact. It wasn’t good or bad but just was. Twenty minutes into the movie he nodded off.
Two hours later Jason woke up being nudged by another man. His eyes cleared and he looked into the stranger’s curious face. “Sir, are you okay?” The younger man asked. He looked at Jason with bewilderment.
Jason looked down at the popcorn which was all over his lap. It had spilled during his nap and he couldn’t remember that last time he had actually slept that long.
“Yea, I’m fine thank bub,” Jason replied.
“You missed a good movie sir.” The young black man said with a smile.
“I bet,” Jason laughed. “Thank you for waking me up,” he added. He noticed a younger woman in her early twenties or late teens waiting down the stairs. Jason realized it the couple he had seen when he walked in. The young man walked away and took the girl by the hand and left the theater leaving Jason alone. Jason stood up, brushed himself off and began walking out of the now lit theater. Before he walked into the lobby he pulled the picture from his pocket. He looked at it and smiled, touched it once again. I miss you two so much. I’ll be seeing you soon. As he spoke his voice was soft and solemn.
Jason breathed deep, stuck the photo back into his pocket and walked out into the lobby. As she walked toward the door his head was down and his footsteps were confident purposeful. There was a flurry of movement around him; none of which he noticed as he moved ahead toward whatever came next. His sweaty hand grabbed the faux gold door handle, he pushed it open and he walked out into the night air. Suddenly he was confronted with bright lights and loud noises. It wasn’t something he expected to hear in this shitty part of town; police sirens.