Kelly Cherry

SENIORS AT THE MOVIE

Hey, isn’t that the guy who was in?
That movie called?
That’s it. He’s married to?
How would I know who he’s married to? That’s your     department.
My department! Aren’t you a married man? I believe I’m your wife!
I don’t care who’s married to whom. Not when it comes to movie stars, anyway.
But you care about who’s acting in what.
That’s different. That has a relation to what we choose to watch.
Maybe. Maybe not.
What the hell does that mean? You know it does.
I just wanted to know if he was the guy in that movie we saw.
We must have seen hundreds of movies.
Thousands.
Millions.
No, we haven’t seen millions.
It feels like it, though.
Look! That’s—what’s her name?
It sure is.
She’s a good actor.
I agree.
But what’s her name?
Tillie? Terry? Tootsie?
You’re thinking of Jessica Lange. It’s not Jessica Lange.
Jessica Lange was gorgeous, though.
She was. Not now.
She’s still a good actor.
Have you seen her in anything lately?
‘Fraid not.
She was doing those horror shows.
I didn’t realize that.
Well, I don’t like horror, so we didn’t go.
Do you remember. . . .What was the name of that movie?
Where she was kind of flaky?
Yeah. She was so good in that.
Blue skies? Something like that?
Blue Sky. That’s right. And that wasn’t the only—
Frances. The one about Frances Farmer.
We saw her do Blanche DuBois. Was that in New York or London?
I don’t recall.
But you remember we saw her.
Yes. Darling, I do not have Old Timer’s.
You mean Alzheimer’s.
Whatever.
Do you know she’s no longer with what’s his name? Sam something?
Really? I thought that was forever.
So you do care about who’s married to whom.
I’m sorry the marriage didn’t last. It looked like they were good together.
Marriage is hard.
Are you talking about us?
Well, you have to admit it’s hard. You don’t always like me.
But I always love you. Like is different.
I’d say I like you.
Not love?
Sometimes.
Sweetie, you don’t always like me, either.
That’s your narcissism.
I am not a fucking narcissist!
Shush.
Don’t shush me.
Okay. I’m not shushing you.
Thank you. Jesus.
Why do we even go to the movies?
Because we like stories.
That’s true. May I have some more popcorn?
He pours more popcorn into her small plastic tray.
I hate this stuff.
I love it.
It’s kind of sickening. I wish they could serve us what? Anything but popcorn.
Steak. I’d like a steak.
That guy! He was in Downton Abbey.
You’re right. It’s him all right. Nice to see him in a movie role.
He’s gotten stockier.
A little.
Well, I’m glad we figured that out.
But what about Jessica Lange?
What about her?
She’s divorced. That can’t be good.
She’s strong. She’ll survive.
Maybe so.
I wouldn’t.
You wouldn’t?
Promise you will never divorce me.
I think I already made that promise.
Promise me again.
Okay, I promise.

~~

Kelly Cherry is the author of 24 books, 10 chapbooks, and 2 translations of classical drama. Most recent: Twelve Women in a Country Called America: Stories. Former PL of Virginia. Member, Poets Corner, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, NYC. NEA, USIA, Rockefeller, Bradley Lifetime Award, Weinstein Award, others. Publication in prize anthologies. Eudora Welty Professor Emerita of English and Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin Madison. Eminent Scholar, UAH, 2001-2005. More info and details on Wikipedia/Kelly Cherry.