Last Visit to Cinema Palacio

A set of cracks announces the age of its walls, as though, in the end, interiority must reveal the narrow geometries of its veins, distilled in continuous corrugations we liken to the content of maps. The rhythmic sound of creaky seats that are now repositories of encounters, trysts, and numerous intimacies that satisfy the hedonistic proclivities of mandibles attuned to scents that unzip their desperate potentials.

Movements onscreen boast a fanfaronade of D-list actors, the usual cast that populate dailies on the gutters of glamour and fame. But the smell of popcorn still punctuates the smoky air burning through memories of childhood, filled with parents and siblings rushing for the best seats in the balcony where laughter used to be a paradise for families who revere the energies of animated films.

The carnage on a TV set onscreen zings of gunfire little boys might imagine as reigning battalion commanders of plastic toy soldiers in a living room. Their narratives couldn’t have imagined the sky falling that drenches helmets and cakes boots in mud. They couldn’t have imagined how a battlefield is mere preface to a convergence of anatomies feasting on sweat and saliva, a sort of art in the realism of low production values some critics might associate clumsily with cinéma vérité.

Later, the overwhelming smell of bleach in the bathroom declares how management is ever-mindful of pristine whiteness on tiled walls exiled from scribbles and other urban hieroglyphics that love to spill from the pathologies of the male unconscious. Soon, the light that burns the end of a cigarette marvels at the speed of steel balls wrecking through a sanctum of darkness flickering vague memories gone rogue that often usurp fantasies in unscheduled naptime.

M. Leland Oroquieta has been a library page, draftsman, cashier, stray cat, and other things he can’t remember, while reading for a humanities course at university. He lives near the edge of a valley, less than an hour away from an ocean. His work has appeared in Cricket Online Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, Local Nomad: An Online Journal of Writing & Art, and Origins.

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