I wrote this when I wasn’t in such a happy place. When I was much younger and much more hedonistic and much more into Chuck Palahnuik. I think that much might be obvious when you start to read it.
I was also still fond of speech marks.
and clipped sentences.
and one word paragraphs.
That one still lingers.
I look back and see some of me in there. Some of my anger. The anger of youth or a younger man struggling with his addictions and his own lack of ability to face his demons. Even worse… the unwillingness to even to admit them, to blame everyone else. To lash out but to do it quietly in silence, Suffering in the process and feeding the fires of frustration until the ones closest hear my roar.
but there is also a paradox, the paradox that comes with writing or with any form of art in which you put a part of yourself into (great or small) – This man isn’t me. Not really. Not entirely. Nor is this a reflection on any of the cinemas I have worked in or the lovely people I worked with but some of the inspiration does come from the cinema going public. Obviously not you dear reader. The other ones. You know who they are. I know who they are. They are everywhere and sometimes they vote… much to my chagrin.
Anyway this isn’t me. Just a character. So don’t judge me. Blame the kid who wrote this all those years ago.
Have a Nice Daaay!
I hate people.
Well, there are one or two I’m quite fond of. Actually most of my friends. Come to think of it I like quite a lot of people.
But people. The People. Them I hate.
I hate name badges too.
Strange then that I always end up “front-of-house”. It’s really not my choice. Really. Really! I’m just lazy. I’m not ashamed. I’m proud. Takes real effort to be this good at doing nothin’.
The clock clunks past 12 noon. Four hours and 59 minutes to go. Now we’re on the home stretch. Spliff and home. Not necessarily in that order.
You still here? Well my, my… you’re more interesting that I thought.
You want to know a secret? You want to hear the truth, dear audience? You want to know how we really feel? The secret behind that smile, that fucking chipper “have a nice daaay”, “would you like to go large?”? Do you? Really? Its all code. Listen closely and you can hear it’s true meaning, it’s true intent. Listen in. Put your ear up to the speaker. Shh. Fuck you! You’re a cunt!
You think we genuinely care about making your day brighter and more beautiful? You think that anyone of us the waiters, shop assistant, soda jerks, your health care professional no matter how effervescent the smile, not matter how great the customer…sorry guest experience, you think we give really give a shit?
They say slavery ended with emancipation. They say a lot of things. They should shut the fuck up.
Well you have a choice, you say. You could do something else. I could, it’s true. Something that stretched me. Something that challenges my mind, but I don’t. Like I said I’m lazy. I’m also a little high, just a little puff, just enough to get me through this shit. Just to take the edge off… Else I’ld really go mad. More mad than just talking to myself or to you.
“Yeah but this is my son”, this asshole.
“Yes I understand that but the film is rated 18 which means by law he’s not allowed to see it”. That’s me.
“yeah but I say he can go”.
He’s a piece of meat pretending to be human.
“I’m sorry it doesn’t work like that.”
Strange how straight men are dressing more and more gay these days.
“You’re telling me that I can’t decide what my son watches? You’re telling me that you’re not going to let my kid in”
The son, his kid looks up at me. Glob of snot hanging from his nose. All that’s missing is the propeller topped hat and the I’m a dickhead T-Shirt. There is no way his son is 18. He’s barely even 13.
“No. No, I’m not saying that. What I am saying is the BBFC under the instructions from the government wont let me, let you, let your son into the screen.”
“Show me where it says it’s an 18”
“It’s there… next to the Movie title…the big read 18…yes the one in the circle.”
Before the frustration gets the better of me and I stab the prick’s eyes out with a pen allowing me a chance to retort.
“Yes Sir. You see. My job is to do what the people who employ me, pay me to do. Unfortunately there just somethings which even the company just can’t do. Like sell your child Smack. I personally believe in total non-censorship. Everything should be allowed. But where do you draw the line? I sell your kid smack now and who knows in a couple of years he could be climbing up a clock tower to masturbate over strangers or worse. So here we are governed, at least in part by regulations put into place by mindless Daily Mail morons like yourselves who seem to feel it’s the movies/video games/comic books/immigrants/insert-your-own-ignorance-here are to blame. That they are the reason your children are growing up to be arseholes, when the truth is they just want to be more like Daddy.”.
Must remember to breathe.
“And, if I am allowed to conclude, if I don’t do this then I loose my job and I can’t eat. Which is bad. Cause I like eating almost as much as I like fucking ”
I barely pause before ram my shiv into his neck.
“Actually when you think about it the phrase jobs-worth should really be a compliment” I tell the collapsing man as I rapidly shank the blood gurgling prick.
“Being conscientious and paying attention to your job should actually be lauded” I turn to the kid now covered in his fathers blood and guts and stunned. “Don’t you think?”
The kid doesn’t reply taken aback by my witty retort.
“I know. It’s crazy isn’t it?”
I offer the kid a joint but he refuses aparently his got gym in twenty and he’s working on his core strength.
This is what I would like to say, this is what I’ld like to do but alas I smile facetiously and take the abuse.
“Here’s the email address of our complaints department. Have a nice day.”
Four more hours and 52 minutes to go.
Right now I’m working in a cinema for a big corporate multiplex. I work for the man. In a cheap polyester waste coat. Advertising 4K digital but only screening 2K in most of the screens. No more film. No more clickity clack of 35 mil pulled through Edwardian Designed machinery. No more gentile flicker or hairs in gates. Just one big fuck off TV.
“Would you like to go large with that?”
I rip tickets and count other peoples money. Zero hour contracts and on-call on-demand…except when they don’t have the hours.
This is not important. This isn’t who I am. This is what I do, what I must do to eat.
As I rip tickets I dream of escaping to wilderness growing a beard and being at one with nature. Running through the forest chasing dear. Hunter Gatherer. Carrying only what I need, living off only what I can find and kill with my bare hands. I dream of sitting in my log cabin just me and my thoughts and David Attenborough narrating them.
And my thoughts turn to pizza.
and as if by magic…
The door bell rings. The Domino’s bear is at my door. She’s cute and speaks with a eastern European accent. I notice the uniform she’s wearing is made of PVC and more than a little Porn Princess. I play it all cool and it’s not long before I’m taking the euro-slut-bear from behind – she still wearing the uniform. Me in her cape and boots she still wearing the bear head.
On the way out Euro-slut bear sucks her teeth and tells me she doesn’t carry any change. Big Spender she calls me.
There’s probably a website devoted to this kind of sick shit.
Oh wait. There is. Furries.
For a second and a half I panic that I may be a latent Furry. I am not a Furry this is not who I am. This is not what I do.
But I digress.
Where was I?
Four hours and 42 minutes to go.
Not that I’m clock watching.
“Screen 3. Downstairs and to the left.”
Fuck off and die!
“Enjoy the movie.”
I think of patching in the CCTV feed in one of the screens and seeing if anyone notices. Too busy texting or blissed out on the Frankenstein mind control unit to notice anything. “What’s this film about?”. “Dunno. It’s got Tom Cruise in it. It must be good.”.
Poor bastard. Tom Cruise that is. Jumps around on Opera happy as a pig in shit cause he’s fallen in love and doesn’t care who knows. Everyone says he’s crazy. More than a little weird. Maybe. Maybe just once he thought fuck it! Just relax and enjoy the moment. She’s gorgeous, he’s happy. Maybe he was high. Maybe it was nothing more than a real emotion… and how many of us know how to deal with those?
Tick Tock. Tick Tock. Don’t look at it.
I’m running, I’m running out of ways to amuse myself.
She comes to me in a flashes of super-8 cliches. She’s my dream girl. A lost memory that sometimes is pleasure, sometimes pain but always welcomed. Even now as there are two of me. The ticket ripping flesh robot and the horny youth thinking of her peach fuzz.
Perhaps not the best place to be thinking of her. Not now. Not in these pants. Her pants. Long story. Perhaps later when we know each other a little better.
And I do this constantly. I’ve always done this. Flipping. Switching channels. Thoughts invading the immediate process like the signals of wifi hotspots competing on a dodgy phone.
I look to the clock and that cures my dirty thoughts of that dirty girl.
4 hours 34 minutes.
“Screen 10 upper level.”
I’m not working alone. If you can call what I do work. Beside me is Lucy. She’s 41 years old. She is my future self, if I stay here too long. Too old to be called Lucy. To young to wasting away here and she knows it.
She’s Rarely happy and she’s mostly grumpy that’s on a good day. Can’t figure out why she’s single. 🙂 Great team for that great customer focused experience. She got the job the same way I did, by lying. Able to work well with others and under supervision with a real passion for customer service. My goal is to be a supervisor, maybe manager one day. Yeah right.
The CV should been an indicator but in a job market where everyone lies how can you tell the difference? Besides Bill Gates said you want something done ask a lazy person. I do actually get shit done. Yes I know I said I was lazy. I just get shit done so there’s more time to be lazy. This isn’t rocket science. This isn’t science at all. This is flat-earth building seven level bullshit. Welcome to showbiz.
Where was I?
Lucy? She’s the type of person you can’t imagine anyone ever wanting to spend time with not even a drunk. No don’t feel sorry for her. She is a mean person. As mean as I am apathetic. I’m the only one who can stand her who doesn’t do heroin on the job. You’ld be surprise how many there are. Maybe not so surprised.
And its not the weight that’s a turn off. No, not all. I myself am quite partial to a larger lady myself. Love the curves but I am an equal opportunity employer. Young, old, thick or thin, black, white, Asian (both types) pretty face and a nice set of pins. I once had sex with a girl who was touched, if you know what I mean. Didn’t realise that at the time. Only later. I just thought she was a little immature. No my friends, she had crashed into a bus without a helmet and the bus had won. Not making it up. She was 22 and had an arse that went to heaven and back. Shallow? Sure. I’m making no bones as to who I am. I make no apologies, we’re not talking about romance. Just sex.
Nothing to do with her size. In fact Lucy isn’t actually fat. She just dresses fat. Frumpy dress pulled up to her tits. Shoes of a 6 year old and semi transparent black leggings that betrays her underwear on a moderately sunny day. Am I being mean? No she dresses like she doesn’t care or should’ve gone to specsavers. You know what I mean? I know I don’t care but lady, a little effort goes a long way.
No, It’s the face. Mostly the face, all scrunched up like the way old ladies scrunch up their pug’s faces, only the wind changed and it stuck. Her face. Her angry face. Beady eyes. Black caterpillar eyebrows scrawled on with a blunt sharpie. A fallen beehive hairdo, like she stole a wig from a Flintstone.
She isn’t 41. She could be, time has been unkind, but I don’t know her. Don’t really want to. Really don’t make the effort and this seems to fine to her. A mutual disaffection society. No back rubbing required.
So. This is how I pass the time.
And it drags, as I am told to look busy by a manager I know has just spent the last 6 hours looking at porn.
and she goes to serve, Lucy Waddles off. She got a lovely arse but then I’m a little stoned and thinking of cake.
She holds two large round tubs of popcorn for the guest. Actually it’s an extra large but the company calls them large cause psychologically it doesn’t sound so bad. Don’t want people thinking you’re a fat bastard. Most people when they order medium or large do so cause they’re confused, overwhelmed by the huge amount of flashing lights and swirly graphics on the menu plasmas. Add to that the up-sell, suggested sell, the recommendations and weekend specials they crumble and take what ever the fuck you offer just to shut you up and get the fuck away.
The company could solve this confusion. The company chooses not to because if people really thought about it they wouldn’t buy half the shit they do. So an XL downsizes in name only and becomes a large cause the margins are better and because you mostly say large.
And you don’t care. Do you? We tell you this is how it is and with your blank Dawn of the Dead not-at-all ironic or sarcastic mumble. Don’t care. Must find stuff. Consume. Must consume.
Says he in his £5.50 Primarni plimsolls.
Or Dapps, if you prefer.
This is the point of the movie where the protagonist’s best friend or mentor or dying girlfriend would come into frame and explains the setup. What is this piece of shit movie about? Enter stage left some young Australian actor. Yeah I can see his lips moving and know he’s saying some funny shit cause the whole audience is laughing and the woman he’s chatting to seems to be into it, but all I can think is Home and Away. I’ve actually never ever watched Home and Away. But he looks like a surfer. A happy surfer. For some reason I can’t imagine a happy american surfer. Does that make me racist?
Hang on. Hang on. Hang on I get it! Bruce has got 90 minutes to get his penis inside Jennifer Lopez and the only way she’ll ever accept his penis is if he turns out to be a homicidal maniac and kills lots of people in gruesome and horrific ways. Oh my bad. Jennifer Lopez will only accept his penis inside her if he kills lots of people in gruesome and horrific ways who look at her funny. Nope it’s a cameo for Jen. Too old to be fucked then. Yep. It’s the valley girls vagina Bruce has to “penalise”. J-Lo is playing the mom. Get over it.
No more guests.
J-lo now a milf? This makes me smile.
Dying for a cuppa.
and a smoke.
Argh! My head is pounding. The echo of the last three days of abject hedonism. I look at Lucy and start to wonder what she’ld look like if she un-scrunched her face.
The thought makes me realise just fragile I must be. Coke come down piled on a hangover with the weed now wearing off. No don’t feel sorry for me… Self inflicted. and the coke was proper. Nice.
And as soon as I’m done here I going to do it all over again.
I make no apologies. This is who I am. This is what I do to survive. This is how I live.
The challenge now is not to look as fucked as I feel.
You’re pretty quiet there. In the cheap seats haven’t said a word.
Just another 4 hours and 13 minutes to go.
and I got to look busy.
NV678 Why have you Decoupled?
I can’t do it.
I can’t stand it. I can’t believe that this is the only human we can make contact with. Isn’t there someone else?
NV678 You know there isn’t.
Because you’re telepathically compatible and you’re our best.
Listen I’ve been doing this for close on 500 years and I really think that I can’t do this anymore. I certainly can’t keep sharing his mind. This mind. There’s really nothing there. He’s a horrible specimen. Apart from the sex fantasies I really don’t understand why we’re even bothering. You know this human is wilfully melting his brain? Are you sure this man is indicative of his species?
NV678 No-one on the planet has his telepathic potential… besides… he is the only one we can reach.
What was that?
Fuck ’em. I’m done! No more I quit.
You can’t quit.
I can’t? I just did!
You’re the planet Earth’s only hope.
Yeah. about that… Fuck em!
In a fit of pique. NV678 drops his headset on the floor and stumbles out of the Telepathic projection room leaving a trail of slime and a group of angry technicians waving their seven tentacles a piece at the supervisor booth.
Someone get NV678 back in here. Go get him. Now. Thanks you… This might take a little more work than we first thought.