Friday, 24 May 2013

Flash Fiction: Sleeping in the Cinema

This week's Flash Fiction piece is by Anna Lawrence Pietroni. If you have trouble with nodding off in the middle of a blockbuster, then you'll identify with it, we're sure!

Do you fall asleep in films? It’s hard not to. It’s warm and dark. The seat is deep.

It doesn’t mean the movie’s bad or boring.

I’ve slept through great films even when I strained to stay awake.

Take TRUE GRIT, the Coen brothers' Western.

Jeff Bridges' low-throat rumble and the horses' hooves? I was clopped and mumbled into sleep and woke only for gunshots and the credits.

Do you fall asleep in films?

Do you get angry with yourself? Does your companion elbow you and scowl? Do you worry that you dribble, that you snore?

“Why pay good money to fall asleep in someone else’s dark when you could switch the lights off in the living room and sleep for free?”

They should institute a Standing Cinema for sleepyheads like you and me. Ushers, crouching, running between rows to pinch the nodders or spray us with cold water.

If you’d rather stay awake today and see the film, do this before it starts, before you get too settled in the dark:

Place your palms on your belly. Feel how it swells with every breath. There is a space between the in-breath and the out.

There. You’ve had your rest. You will not fall asleep here. Not today.

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