Wednesday, April 28, 2021

VHS Ghazal

Streaming will never be the same as going to the video store.
Watching a movie at home was still an event when you went to the video store.

First you search the new releases, but the movie you want is checked out.
The scent of salty, buttery unpopped microwave popcorn wafts through the store.

Your mom starts to look at the old movies—Hitchcock thrillers and musicals.
Slowly you drift away from her to the other end of the store.

You peruse the boxes of films you’d never be allowed to see.
Screaming beauties, grinning skulls, dripping blood are what lies in store.

You find a row of ‘80s sex comedies: young men—our heroes!— peeking into a locker
room full of half-dressed teen girls—doesn’t this belong in the “adult” section of the store?

Speaking of which, it’s in front of you now, the little room sealed off with a velvet curtain.
You imagine what your mother would say if she found you in this part of the store.

Here is a comedy, but also a romance, but a nice one. No voyeurism, just John Cusack, who is everyone’s true love. Finally, you have found what you were looking for in this video store.

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