Her Own Cinema Paradiso and my 100th Story!

In the merry and few hours between distraction and disillusionment, Mary found herself the most enjoyable bit of limbo. She was not fool enough to believe that it would last but she was surprised to find that she was smart enough to enjoy it. Tomorrow there would be debt and the crushing loneliness of being a person that chooses not to be people. Tonight though, she would live in the afterglow of a good movie and the wonder of friends.

Friends were such alien creatures, she never knew why they liked her or how they dealt with her ups and downs. Perhaps, they didn’t; absence does make the heart grow fonder. She was a season for them, a week, a day. There she sat on their calendars with a big red circle, same as the podiatrist and the performance evaluation. She was a duty, a task. It was enough to drop her right back into her sad sense of authenticity.

Here she could stay, safe and secure in the knowledge that no one loved her and the world moved logically again. The sun would rise and set and Mary could be fine, just fine. Actually, Mary would be sad and down low somewhere deep in herself but that was fine too. It didn’t matter. Imagined weight sank into her and she could only hold her head down.

Yet, her friends stayed happy and uproarious as if you could laugh against the dying of the happy. The party left the theater and entered the house of William Fleisher. Mary didn’t seem to remember points in between Billy’s place and the theater but she knew they existed. She drank sweet cheap wine and ate wondrous manufactured food. She spoke without logic, she laughed without reason.

Hours later, as she stumbled into her apartment, her weight returned, sinking the world around her slowly. It was all she could do to get to the bed but in dreams, she was not alone; there was another. The wine was wearing off and Mary could feel memories coming to the surface as the stranger rooted through her conscious.

Mary found herself face to face in a confrontation with Sam, a long haired tom who had the misfortune of being loved by an eight year old girl. Ignorant of her strength, Mary had crushed Sam. Now he was in her arms, ready for dinner at her earliest convenience. He lingered like a pungent smell as new memories surfaced. She was in a field in a scene some ten years old and there was Trip, a boy half crucible and half date but all regret. There was her Datsun that died by the hands of crucible.

Mary sort of pushed the two out of her mind, despite dearly missing Sam. She turned and saw the strange lady, in the second row of red upholstered theater seating. Mary snuck up behind her in the ascending row.

“Who are you?”

“I’m sorry sometimes I drift in my sleep.”

“You ‘drifted’ into my head you freak!”

“I guess. I’m not the only one, you’re pretty popular.”

To Mary’s horror, this theater that opened into a field was full of people. On the screen, four different kind of animals were being turned into a woman. She stared at the film and realized she owned this film. As the camera turned to a ringing phone, she realized she owned the camera too. This film was her story, uncut and unedited. The crowd was enthralled.

“I know how this ends.”

“Well, don’t spoil it for me.”

She watched herself fall on her knees. It hurt so much she had to cry, so did they.

“Does this happen to everybody?”

“No, you have to be able to receive and we have to be able to send.”

“Am I a good watch?” This was the most awkward search for approval.

“The best.”

Somehow, the world had found Mary’s Story and they liked it. The theater is always open but the balcony is reserved for VIPs. She tries not to think about it, no one likes meta anymore.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cities of the Mind
    Feb 07, 2011 @ 14:59:27

    I’m not sure I understand completely what’s going on here, but it definitely kept me engrossed to the end!

    Reply

    • Carson Margedant
      Feb 07, 2011 @ 16:06:03

      yeah, I thought about explaining more but I ended up with a surrealist motif and it’s hard to do both a rational flowing story and a depiction of a dreamscape. Coupled with my somewhat obsession contained narration, you have this.

      Reply

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