It wasn’t until I went to this evening’s film screening that I learned
that a woman died during last week’s show. I remember last week we were
at the end of From Here to Eternity when Deborah Kerr threw her flower lei into
the Hawaiian sea. The single-room theater was illuminated with
murmurs and movement I couldn’t see from the back of the balcony.
We learned she was a Greek Orthodox woman who went with her loved ones
to see Kerr and Burt Lancaster swallowed by the sea in the throes of adultery.
She may have drifted off around the time Sinatra did as well.
We didn’t suspect anything when we saw the ambulance pull away as we left.
Tonight, I had to sit through a showing of Ninotchka, of Garbo wearing that silly hat,
and wonder if this screening would also end prematurely. If this theater would
take another into the darkened sea that swallows the seats when the projector
kicks on. This theater was opened before Ninotchka and From Here To Eternity,
so there could be many leis thrown into this sea like popcorn kernels on the floor.
After Diane Seuss
About the Author
Alex Carrigan (he/him; @carriganak) is a Pushcart-nominated editor, poet, and critic from Alexandria, Virginia. He is the author of Now Let’s Get Brunch: A Collection of RuPaul’s Drag Race Twitter Poetry (Querencia Press, 2023) and May All Our Pain Be Champagne: A Collection of Real Housewives Twitter Poetry (Alien Buddha Press, 2022). He has had fiction, poetry, and literary reviews published in Quail Bell Magazine, Lambda Literary Review, Barrelhouse, Sage Cigarettes (Best of the Net Nominee, 2023), Stories About Penises (Guts Publishing, 2019), and more. For more information, visit carriganak.wordpress.com.