The Living Room of our Dreams

by Geraldine O’Kane

Maybe we were on a mad bonding session
boredom relieving us from the house,
  finally forcing us outdoors;
when we a generation of three found ourselves
looking for a show in Magherafelt.

After parking the car,
we arrived at uninviting doors,
unsure if the place was shut;
a rundown cinema, lacking the faux glamour
and lights, lights, lights, of a picture house.
  No red carpet announced our entrance,

To reinforce the emptiness,
no movie stars smiled seductively
from oversized posters.

The magnolia paint streaking the walls
was as drab as the cashier who offered us
our pick and mix of confectionary;
those just out of date and those
walking off into the screens of their own accord.

We slipped into screen two
to find the lights still up;
the place empty, unsure if we chose the wrong door,
we stood, surveyed – rickety seats, grey stained aisle
accompanied by a definite fust, the smell of forty years of patronage.

It seems the owners stopped cleaning a long time ago,
allowing dust motes to mould themselves into
the shapes of people who took to those seats;
men’s arms draped lazily over there gals
with their hemlines pulled a little higher than usual;
the reason at least two generations could only
make love in the dark.

While the reel would automatically play something old,
chromatic Hollywood oozing,
allowing the room to fulfil its destiny again.

At first we were excited by the freedom,
drinks and popcorn to hand,
different generations in different rows,
we sat with our feet up, the living room of our dreams,
a world just for us.

But as the lights dimmed, the trailers came to a close,
so did our security, and so we four musketeers
banded together, side by side, to watch
“Ten Things I hate About You”.

Julia Styles was my second girl crush,
my mum doesn’t know who the legend Heath Ledger is,
my niece at that point hadn’t come across Shakespeare.

I don’t remember what took us there that Sunday night,
where we had a whole movie theatre to ourselves,
but I like to think we were its last guests,
that we tamed that particular shrew.

I still have the ticket stubs in a box at home,
where I keep all my memories,
maybe I should write more poems
keep them alive and tangible.


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