Flipped on the light in my swanky $8 a night room and waited a few seconds for all the cockroaches to seek new refuge (most likely within my backpack). Showered, packed my mochilla, stowed my pack and computer at the hotel desk, and headed out to the metro to get some video shots of chilangos being over-stuffed into metro cars for their daily pilgrimage to work. Got some great shots of human sardines until I was told I needed a permit to make a movie in the metro. Already had my shot so I just excused myself and off I went.
I stomped down the avenue rounding corners at random until I happened upon the park near the Palacio Bellas Artes. Grabbed a bench, lit a smoke and tried to put the incident out of my head. A Mexican fellow, out for a stroll in the park looked my way. I acknowledged him with a nod, and the next thing I knew he was parked beside me. Went through the usual small talk questions, then asked which hotel I stayed in. I told him, but he wasn’t familiar with it. I said its only 4 or 5 blocks away. Then his hand was on my leg and started to caress it as he suggested we take a walk to my hotel for a complimentary suck. Ok, now the photo shop incident was nearly forgotten history at this point! I explained, although flattered, I certainly wasn’t interested and after a good hour, I’d managed to give’m the shake.
On to more rambling. I found a cine a few blocks from the Bellas Artes that was showing a John Malkovich flick called “El Amigo Americano” I think its called “Ripley’s Game” in English and the ticket price was only half what the big Cinemex theaters charge. It’s started to rain pretty heavy so my mind was set to wait it out in the theater. I asked the doorman which theater gallery it was showing in, but he didn’t seem to have a clue. Neither did the concessions woman. I thought that was kinda odd. But after a bit of exploration, I found the correct gallery.
The film started abruptly without trailers, and they didn’t turn the lights all the way down for the entire film. Only low, bluish lighting. On top of that, the projection and sound were terrible, but with the Spanish subtitles I was able to piece together most of the dialog. Great flick by the way.
Anyway, a half and hour or so into the feature I noticed the huge ancient theater was only populated with male patrons. And, most of them seemed to keep getting up and wondering around the theater paying absolutely no attention to the film. It was when one of the gentlemen stopped briefly in front of me and stared that I began to get a clue. At first I thought, “now surely a gringo in a theater isn’t such an odd occurrence, that a local would be driven to stare…..” Then I remembered my amorous buddy from the park nearby and it all came together. Strange they’d pick a newly released, Italian directed, Malkovich film to use as a gay cruising film, but not much else surprises me in Mexico, so why not?
Film ended. No credits. And, the patrons seemed to all mill about waiting for another film to start. I made my way for the exit and back into the polluted rain.
A day in the life of Mexico City.