pages Netflix Thriller

by Paul Rabinowitz

Published in Issue No. 277 ~ June, 2020

we watched free solo about the guy who climbed el capitan with no ropes always one finger grip away from death and as we sat glued to our computer screen for two hours without moving as the next american hero begins his ascent and remember the climber’s girlfriend with wide eyes and wispy hair trembling with fear knowing at any moment it might be his last and wondered how it would look as the camera team shouted oh god while his helpless body fell to the beautiful valley floor but that didn’t happen so we watched the netflix thriller that is all the rage and in real time the hottest thing since free solo where a marine soldier somewhere in the middle east has a camera attached to his helmet so the viewers can follow him with his unit on a search and destroy mission as they penetrate deep into villages looking for this enemy sniper who put a piece of shrapnel into their platoon leader’s cheek and how we watched as he went down holding his eye and the soldier who had the camera on his helmet said oh god but we didn’t think a marine should shriek like that while our tongues burned from eating our favorite chili glazed popcorn that we break out when binge watching and hope today will be the day they find the sniper and sit frozen in suspense with curved spines at the edge of our couch staring wide eyed into the computer screen waiting as our hero appears to make a wrong turn down a deserted street and feel we are right there with him when he enters an abandoned villa our hearts racing as we are sure that he has walked into the crosshairs of a sniper and wonder if our latest american hero might go down today and how cool it is when a spiraling piece of lead enters through kevlar like in slow motion and the body slowly jerks back from the force of the bullet and our hero goes down his body bouncing off the intricate patterns of the tile floor like rubber balls but then we are reminded that this is a reality show and slow motion is off bounds so we scoop our hands into the hot chili popcorn bag feel the burn like fire in our digestive tracts then hear the sound of a bullet whistling and a thud like a car hitting a wall his helmet bouncing over the beautiful tiles spreading blotches of dark red blood as it rolls then silence and we say oh god then lick our fingers as a blurred nothingness is frozen on our screen and tear open another bag just in time to catch episode one of the new comedy series about a group of ivy league students who succumb to the academic stress and devise creative ways to end their lives



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Paul Rabinowitz is an author, photographer, and founder of ARTS By The People, a nonprofit arts organization based in New Jersey. Paul’s photography and short fiction have appeared in many magazines and journals including Long Exposure Magazine, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Pif Magazine, and others. Paul is the author of Limited Light, a book of prose and portrait photography, and a novella, The Clay Urn, (Main Street Rag, 2020). Paul is at work on two novels Confluence and Grand Street, Revisited. Paul has produced many mixed media performances and poetry animation films that have appeared on stages and in theaters in New York City, New Jersey, Tel Aviv, and Paris. Paul is a spoken word performer and the founder of “The Platform,” a monthly literary series in New Jersey, and Platform Review, a journal of voices and visual art from around the world.