I was standing at the back of an old run down theater waiting for the others to arrive. It was already half past midnight and there was still no sign of them. Where the fuck are they? The movie was about to end in an hour and I was starting to worry. The others have never been late before… so something must’ve gone wrong, very wrong.
I started pacing back and forth just to loosen my nerves but it didn’t help. I was getting more and more anxious by the minute. I checked my phone for the nth time but still no answer.
WER D FUCK R U?
The theater was very old and it smelled like it hasn’t been cleaned for days, weeks, or even months – or years who knows? I didn’t even dare take a seat, I was afraid to find something unpleasant.
This particular movie theater was just one of the many art deco theaters built in the 30s. It’s unfortunate that some of these theaters are now closed, demolished or converted to commercial spaces. While it’s sad that only a few had survived and operating as movie houses what’s sadder (or actually depressing) is the fact that the ones that had survived have become infamous for prostitution.
I couldn’t help but wonder what it was like to be in this same spot during its heyday, watching bodabil shows, an indigenized form of vaudeville, or black and white silent films in Cinerama format. But now, these theaters are either showing second-run Hollywood films or adult movies.
Aside from the “X” rated movie playing on the screen, which stars a handsome young actor who could barely act, you can actually watch other people in action. There was an old man seated at the corner, probably asleep, a middle-aged man cruising back and forth and teens to twenty-something guys looking to make a quick buck by having their dicks blown and ass fucked or whatever.
There was a man standing a few feet away. He was around 6 feet tall, wearing a shirt too tight for his built and shorts that reach just below his knees. He looked too stiff with his arms crossed and feet apart watching or pretending to watch the film. Beside him was a boy, just a teenager no older than 18, who seemed to be new at this game. I think. He was too fidgety for a pro.
The boy was wearing a t-shirt with some tacky print on it and a pair of jeans that sagged to show off his boxer shorts. He was inching closer and closer to the man beside him, making his move.
My phone rang. I looked at the screen and it was Robert calling.
“Asan ka?” I answered.
“Jake?” Robert asked, sounding very nervous.
“We have a problem”