One Day You May Read This

A single loud speaker hangs on the pole by a single faded blue wire. Should it ever speak again, its voice would be raspy, weak, and tinged with melancholy and loneliness. The pine pole on top of which the speaker sits has lost its creosote shine from the good old days. Listening carefully, over the wind, it possible to hear the pole pining for better days and company.

A large screen stands sentinel over the whole place. But its eyesight is almost gone, cataracts of dust and decay nearly blinding it.  The screen’s former whiteness, bright as a starlet’s smile, is now faded and worn, nearly translucent in places. Once unkind, but now barely legible spray-painted words, as high as the tallest kid from the class 1986 could reach, are the only images left, sub-titles for the foreign language of teenagers.

The individual parking spaces lost their individuality years ago. Now they are nearly one – a pebbly, cracked cloud of concrete, changing shape over time, a plaything of the wind.

Tiny speaker boxes on little poles, offspring of the larger one that were once the mouthpiece of Hollywood, continue their mute stance. Some poles are headless, speakers hit away by drunken members of the high school baseball team more than a decade ago, cracking triples and home-runs not without a few laughing strikes. Others speakers flop down like sleeping heads or broken heads, necks snapped, wires hanging like lolling tongues.

The small building that housed the projector and served refreshments now serves as a secret place for teenagers to drink, smoke, experiment, and doing the things their grandparents feared, but knew, the kid’s parents were doing in the parked cars. The steamy car windows are now replaced with dragon teeth of broken glass from the window through which popcorn and soda were once dispensed.

“Let’s go the drive-in,” one kid, a sophomore, suggests from the back seat to driver, a senior.

“Yeah,” agrees the kid who had called “shotgun.” “I’ve got some weed. And Sam said he and Rob were going out there tonight with some girls and a twelve pack of Pabst that Sam’s brother bought.”

With a wordless nod, the driver spins the car around and cranks up the volume for the upcoming song, track seven on Pixies’ Surfa Rosa.

The stories – dramas, comedies, and more than one tragedy – once told upon the screen at night in Technicolor are now played out down below by bored and angry and horny kids in the colorless night. Atop the small building, the sophomore from the back seat watches as various plot lines touch, entwine, and shoot away. One day, the sophomore from the backseat, awed by size of the screen that echoes the intensity and urgency he feels at these times, will put the stories below him upon page and screen. But now he sits with pen and rumbled college-lined notebook writing this last sentence, while behind the dragon’s teeth beers are cracked open, a joint is inexpertly rolled, and a two faces move hesitantly toward a first kiss, the beginning of a one of the tragedies.

 

drive in

NOTE TO READER: Hello. Thanks for making it this far and reading this piece. This pieve is the be the most read piece by visitors as well as the only one by a vast majority.  Undoubtedly this is the result of the title. For obvious reasons I can’t name every piece “One Day You Might Read This.” This piece is not humorous. Theoretically, the rest are.  Don’t be shy about reading anything else. You might enjoy it.

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