Farshad Returns to the Cinema Ch. 02

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He looked at the screen. A suave Englishman dined with a beautiful American woman. She had no veil over her face and her beauty was on show to all the viewers who had seen this film all over the world. This was the first woman he had seen without a veil, except for his wife and his mother, in many years. Excitement would have lit up his face, but in the protective darkness of the cinema none could see. Probably that was just as well. He could see there were other men here, like himself eager to see the old films, to see the faces and as much as possible of the free women as they could. But after the experiences of the recent years his trust of fellow mankind was no longer good. Men, and women, had told tales, spread rumours which got people arrested or punished, scores had been settled, justice was simple, uncomplicated, and had been designed by men with half a brain. Justice itself had been turned over and had become unjust. Right had become wrong, somehow. And wrong had for a long time seemed right. Education had no longer been desirable, knowledge became useless. Skills and passions had been unwanted. Decency became indecent, and disloyalty became rewarded. Most of all, life, instead of being celebrated, had become grey, dull, every day the same.

If it had been daylight he might have recognised many of the faces in here. They were doubtless his fellow citizens of Kabul. How many of them were the regulars who used to come here before the civil wars affected the city too directly, before the religious zealots closed it down for good, or so they had thought? Perhaps it was just as well he could not see them clearly and they could not see him clearly. Anonymity had always been the way for the male regulars here in the past. At those times when the cinema had not been open to women and families the men had sometimes been able to watch films which would have caused great punishment to those involved in the times which were to come, and would have caused shame and maltepe escort gossip even in those days. He wondered if perhaps times had changed sufficiently now for the proprietor to play any of those men only films once again. He doubted it very much. Just to see a female face and a shoulderless dress again would be quite sufficient to raise his blood temperature, and would be something he would be forever thankful of.

She was very beautiful, the American actress. It had been so long, he could not remember which actress this was. He had seen her before for sure in films of high drama, war and romance. None of those wars, portrayed by the films, had banished female flesh from being seen. None of the evil despots or revolutionary tyrants had gone so far as to ban beauty or to prevent the female race from playing a part in society. For that reason he regarded the Taliban as one of the worst misfortunes which could ever befall a society. At least they had not killed too many of their countrymen, although no one knew for sure what those statistics might be, in a time when statistics were not kept, and statistics counted for nothing against the supposed words of the Prophet.

He came down the isle, smelling the perspiration of his fellow men. There were many here, although the cinema was far from being full. As far as he could tell they sat mainly in polite separation from each other, as had been the way in past times when the screenings had been for men only. Not wishing to be noticed too clearly by any fellows here Farshad saw his opportunity to sit in a quiet row, closer to the back than the front.

She was tall, the actress on the screen, but feminine and shapely. The glossy dark brown hair was perfect. Her eyes twinkled with knowing confidence. All men admired her. As if she could see the audience she spoke with her eyes to every man in the auditorium. The features of her face, so perfect, so sweet made him so excited that mecidiyeköy escort if she had been before him in reality he would have had to avert his gaze. Only the privacy of the cinema could allow him to view such beauty without shame, guilt or fear of the consequences. The skin was pure, white and unblemished. Together the men sat, each in relative privacy from each other. Unless they were close by they could not see each other. The dark protected each of them. Yet together they could worship, not just Hollywood and its entertaining and stirring tales, but the beauty of the female.

A man in the row in front is moving imperceptibly. There is a slight shuffling amongst his clothing, which can hardly be heard above the dialogue and volume of the film. If Farshad had not been so close, he would not have been aware at all. If he had not been feeling the same thoughts of attraction to the female form displayed upon the screen he would never have connected the movement and the shuffling with the act of love and eroticism in the film.

The actress appears undressed on the bed, although not all of her body is shown. The English actor makes love to her and they talk. Occasionally beautiful full breasts can be seen, a smooth shapely stomach, an arm or a leg. It is more than enough to inspire a male audience, deprived of such imagery for so long to a form of worship which has occurred only in the flawed imaginations of the men, or in the private moments with wives these last few grey years.

The grey veil of public conformity lifts here in the cinema. Male excitement surges, and in the relative privacy of cinema seats more than one man surreptitiously submits to the inspiration of the love scene. This brings back memories for Farshad from before the cruel religious bullies came to impose their limited imaginations upon the country. For a short while he fights temptation, worried about who would see, whether the Taliban will nişantaşı escort find out, or the local mullahs, whether the men nearby would notice. He can hear shuffling from behind and further. He is not the only one who would like to relieve himself. The woman reveals her flesh, although this is hardly what would have been called a pornographic movie. The love scene is extended. She is so beautiful, artistic representation. He could be beheaded for watching this sinful fare, but he doesn’t believe it should be wrong to watch this. It is enchanting, worshipful of the female form, and uplifting to the blood of a man. He has to seize the moment, his cock already twitches.

It has been a long time since he felt this excitement, having to rely on old and imperfect images within his head, not to omit his wife, who he has come to love, although she does not hold the passion of this American actress for him. His wife was given to him by arrangement of his father and mother, and the encouragement of local mullahs, even before the Taliban. He has learned to love his wife, but she is an ordinary and ill educated woman. She would have no understanding of this act or appreciation of female actresses. He might have aspired to a woman from the city who would have been more interested in the wider world, a woman perhaps more like the American or European women in the movies. There were women like that in Afghanistan before the Taliban, but maybe that kind of woman could not exist here any longer, after what the gunmen and mullahs did to their hopes and dreams? His sexuality has been deprived and his wife did not want too much of him either.

He needs this release and he gets it, concentrating on the dark haired woman on the screen. Other men betray the signs of excitement and sexual release, a lot of shuffling, some of it noisy. Farshad too reaches satisfaction before the story moves on. He can be his true self here in the cinema, hidden from the outside world and the prying eyes of mullahs or the Taliban, amongst other men, worshipping women, the women they cannot have, the women of their dreams.

*

(The descriptions in this piece are not from direct personal experience of Afghanistan, but are impressions, ideas and feelings inspired by what I have heard.)

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