city cinema

A man and a woman are sitting in a car outside the grocery store, parked within the pool of the store's fluorescent light. Their eyes are closed; her head on his shoulder, his arm around her. They could be at a drive-in movie, or taking in the view on Mulholland - oblivious to anyone or anything else. I only see them for a split second as I'm walking by, and their expressions don't betray whether they are in the throes of bliss or the depths of consolation. Whatever it is, they look for all the world to belong together, and to feel safe in that belonging.


From the side entrance of a restaurant, a man emerges, carefully navigating his road bike through the doorway. Over his shoulder I catch a glimpse of the kitchen: just-scrubbed pots, stacked sacks of rice, the mess of day's cooking slowly being cleared away. He lights a cigarette as the restaurant's manager steps outside, carrying a chair. Standing on the chair, the manager reaches up to click off a neon OPEN sign. One click makes the sign pulse. A second click sends ribbons of blue and red racing round the letters. A third click and the sign goes dark. The two men exchange the briefest of words and nods. Then one goes in and one goes on, and I am driven further into never ending cinema of the city.