The Holy Cinemas of California

 

BLAZE

No mom. I don’t know. I can’t talk right now. I’m on the phone. What? Aaron Litchfield from Somerville, Massachusetts. He sends his love. Sorry about that. Did I tell you I took my math final? Brrrrrrr, it’s cold My body is a freaking iceberg.

AARON

Yeah, you did. what grade do you think you got?

BLAZE

I think I got at least a B. I have a good feeling. GEEZ It’s freaking cold out here!

AARON

Good. How cold?

BLAZE

53 degrees. Hey, have you ever worked with someone who reminds you of the bad parts of you?

AARON

Yes, I have.

BLAZE

This girl I work with, she cries at her job all the time. She’s 20 years old. She’s cried at least half a dozen times.

AARON

Where do you work?

BLAZE

The Holy Cinemas of California.

AARON

What’s that?

BLAZE

You haven’t heard of it? It’s this nice, big movie theatre where you just push a button and a server brings beer out to you. Mitt Romney has come in TWICE since I started working there. TWICE. Can you believe that? They’re from Mexico.

AARON

Mitt Romney is from Mexico?

BLAZE

No, the theatres started there.

AARON

Oh.

BLAZE

Anyway, the girl’s name is Mercury! Do you see how ridiculous it is that her name is Mercury!?

AARON

Yes, I do.

BLAZE

Thank you. Thank you. She’s 24 years old and she’s pregnant. MERCURY! C’mon. What would you name your children? Tell me you would never name your child MERCURY! What would you name your children?

AARON

Franklin, Phillip, Jordan for a girl, maybe. Not Mercury.

BLAZE

GOOD! It’s just asking for trouble, naming your child MERCURY. That’s what my grandpa says. It would be torture. Being around her is torture. It’s hinderous.

AARON

Torture? Why?

BLAZE

Oh, because I kind of have a crush on her.

AARON

Oh.

BLAZE

She lost her phone in a theatre once.

You had a girlfriend once, didn’t you?

AARON

I’ve had about two, Blaze. How do you like your job?

BLAZE

Oh, It’s OK. It’s a lot better than the grocery store. That was a terrible place to work. They said all the time that they cared about people with disabilities, but they didn’t. Vons is the last company to care about disabilities, THE LAST.

AARON

Why?

BLAZE

Because if they cared about people with disabilities, they’d have put me on day stock.

AARON

What did they have you do instead?

BLAZE

Collect carts. It was a total bitch. I’d be pushing like a hundred carts and idiot drivers would see me and they’d zoom forward to try to get out of the way in time like “I’m in a hurry asshole and I don’t give a fuck about you!” And I’d have to stop and struggle to get my momentum going again. You know what they should do? They should stop their cars and wait for me, but they don’t. They’re like “FUCK ALL YOU GUYS, I’M GONNA GET WASTED BECAUSE I’M MAD THAT THE CHARGERS LOST, AND I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU!”

Hey, was it hard when you broke up with your girlfriend?

AARON

Yeah.

BLAZE

Really?

Yup.

BLAZE

If I remember correctly, wasn’t she significantly younger than you? Wasn’t she five years younger than you?

AARON

Yes Blaze.

BLAZE

Well, so what did you do, why was it so hard?

AARON

It made me realize how stupid I’d been about everything. Did you read ETHER 12:27? That story is about her. Anyway, I don’t know, I just drove around crying. Work was a nightmare. I tried to call in sick. That’s about the time you met me, when I worked at Starbucks, and you were collecting carts. I tried to call in sick, with depression. Stephanie, you remember her, she was just like “Are you really gonna do this to us Aaron?” It was such a struggle. I’d leave work and get in my car and just cry uncontrollably.

BLAZE

Did you get pulled over?

AARON

…What? Oh, for crying? Haha. No. That would’ve been funny. I only really did it a couple times.

BLAZE

Have you EVER gotten a ticket?

AARON

Yeah a couple.

BLAZE

For what? What did they pull you over for?

AARON

Speeding, registration.

BLAZE

So, you’ve been pulled over two times?

AARON

Oh, I’ve been pulled over maybe ten times, but I only got a couple of tickets.

BLAZE

Oh wow. How did you get out of it?

AARON

I don’t know, I would just act sheepish.

BLAZE

Do you believe in Heaven and God?

AARON

I don’t know, not really.

BLAZE

Oh. Uh. Oh, really? Hmmmm. Really? You don’t believe in Heaven? What’s your explanation for that, for not believing in God?

AARON

Well I’m agnostic I suppose.

BLAZE

What’s that?

AARON

I think it means you just admit to not knowing.

BLAZE

Oh, so you don’t know, huh? Do you think- well when you envision Heaven, do you see clouds?

AARON

Yeah, actually.

BLAZE

I do. I see clouds. And a forest with roses. It would be like the movies. That’s what it would be like. There’s a river too. The idea is that there’s no birth or death. No time. I don’t believe in Hell. Do you believe in Hell?

AARON

No.

BLAZE

I DEFINITELY don’t believe in hell. NOPE. It’s like when you’re driving and you hit the curb. It’s an automatic disqualification.

AARON

What?

BLAZE

It’s like when you’re taking your drivers test and you hit the curb. It’s like an automatic disqualification and you have to take the test again. You made a BIG mistake and you have to do it again.

AARON

You believe in reincarnation?

BLAZE

Yeah, you hit the curb and you have to do it ALLLLLLL over again. You made a big mistake, you did something totally immoral. Like if you killed someone.

I like believing in God, that we’re not trapped here. That not all we have is death, that death is the only way out. There’s not even electricity in Heaven, is there? There’s no gravity. It’s like a float. It’s hard to explain.

AARON

Eternity would be different.  I mean, we wouldn’t need to sleep. Our whole existence would be turned upside-down.We’re only supposed to live a certain amount of time. Our bodies and brains are aligned with this planet and its cycles. Eternity would be a completely different experience and it would change our perspective. We’d essentially be different people. We wouldn’t even be people.

BLAZE

In heaven, your soul is aligned with the light. But I disagree about sleep. I might want to take a nap. You don’t need stuff. Tickets and nonsense, you don’t have to deal with that stuff.

What do you think the lighting in Heaven is like? Do you think the lighting is dark like how it is at Starbucks and Vons?

AARON

No.

I don’t think so either. Heaven, it’s nice. Do you ever get the feeling when you talk to people, that they’re not listening to what you have to say?

AARON

Hmm?

BLAZE

Do you ever get the feeling that, you know, you’re talking and stuff and going along, and the person you’re talking to isn’t listening?

AARON

Oh, I’m sorry. I know I was quiet for a while, but it’s because I’m scribbling down everything you say. I think you always have interesting things to say and it would be a crime if I didn’t write it down.

BLAZE

Oh, really?

Yeah, I think I’m gonna try to write about you on my blog, try to show people that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you.

BLAZE

Really?

AARON

Yeah, is that OK? I can change names and stuff.

BLAZE

Sure, yeah it’s OK!

AARON

Oh, good. What do you think I should call that pregnant girl you work with?

BLAZE

Umm, hmmm…how about Martian? Martian would be good. MERCURY MERCURY MERCURY. There we go! Her name should be Mercury. Oh, and call the place I work “The Holy Cinemas of California.” People will search for it online forever and ever and THEY’LL NEVER FIND IT! I love it!

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