Meet Me At The Movies

by Chris Okum

At The Earth's Core

"It's time to come back," said Mission Control. But they didn't want to come back. They wanted to stay below the surface. "It's so dark," they would say to each other, and, "It's so hot." Mission Control negotiated with them at first, told them if they came back up to the surface there would be awards and money. "Who wants that stuff," they said to each other. They took a vote. It was unanimous. They would stay at the Earth's core. Mission Control gave them orders. They ignored the orders. Mission Control pleaded with them. "It's so nice up here," said Mission Control. "The world misses you. Your families miss you. We miss you." They took another vote and decided to stay indefinitely. No one would find them. No one would ever know what was happening down below. "It's so beautiful," they said to each other.

Colossus: The Forbin Project

From Page 337 of Franco 'Bifo' Berardi's And: Phenomenology of the End: "The automaton is pure functionality, even when it is endowed with self-regulating evolution. So the prospect we will have to face is not the sweetish transhuman alliance between friendly, hyper-intelligent machines and human beings; rather it is the final subjection of humans to the rule of non-organic intelligent automata whose behavior will be regulated according to criteria inscribed in their by their maker, bio-financial capitalism."

Beyond And Back

A week before my high school graduation my girlfriend was in a car accident. She was driving. I was in the passenger seat. My girlfriend ran a red light and we were t-boned by another car, which hit the driver's side. My leg was broken. My girlfriend was in a coma. When I got home from the hospital my dad told me I had to take summer school. If I didn't pass math I would not be allowed to graduate. Even though school was over I still had to go. Every day I sat in class and listened to my math teacher explain things to me I would never understand. After class I would go and visit my girlfriend at the hospital. I would sit next to her and read passages from Michael Herr's "Dispatches." My girlfriend's grandfather like to sit in the room while I read to my girlfriend. One time he said to me, "I told her parents I would take care of her and now look what I did." The doctors watching over my girlfriend said she could be in a coma for another day, another month, another year, or another decade. When I wasn't reading to my girlfriend I was staring at her, wondering whether she knew what was going on, if she knew she was in a coma, and if she did, how she felt about it. One time I whispered in my girlfriend's ear, "Where are you and when are you coming back." I thought about my girlfriend while I was in summer school. I thought about all the times we made out in public. We used to make out everywhere, right in front of people, we didn't care, we did it at the In 'N Out, at the movies, at school, in the car, in her room, it didn't matter where we were. My dad asked me if I was going to be able to pass my math class and I said I didn't know. My dad said, "Look, I know your girlfriend is in a coma, but that doesn't mean you can just forget about everything else." I spent most of the summer at the hospital waiting for my girlfriend to wake up. I was either in summer school or I was sitting at her bedside. My girlfriend's grandfather invited me over for dinner. He told me about his time in Vietnam. He showed me pictures. I hung out in my girlfriend's room and went through her stuff. I tried on her clothes. I took some of her t-shirts home with me and wore them to summer school. I read more of "Dispatches" to my girlfriend. I fell asleep in the chair next to her hospital bed. I dreamt I was my girlfriend, walking down 50 flights of stairs, deep into the basement of an office building. I took my math test and I felt confident that I would pass. I didn't. I failed. I would not be allowed to fail again. My dad asked my what my plan was. I told him I was going to get a job. I told him I was going to become an ambulance driver. I told him I could see myself racing through the streets, lights flashing, serious business going on in the back. Until then I would wait for my girlfriend to come out of her coma. I drove to the hospital every day. When visiting hours were over I drove around the city at night. I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain by myself. I rode every single rollercoaster in the park. I raised my arms and screamed as loud as I could. The summer ended. My girlfriend woke up. She looked at me and smiled. I told her I loved her. I told her to never leave me again. They took the tubes out of her nose and mouth. She said, "It's like time stood still." We made out in the hospital. 

Millhouse: A White Comedy

"How many times do I have to tell you this, Howie," said H.R. Haldeman, Richard Nixon's Chief of Staff, to White House Staff Assistant Howard A. Cohen. "The President and Vice President are eternal entities. They don't exist only on the mortal plane with you and I. Should their bodies die their souls will continue to do the Lord's work in someone else's body. That's just the way it goes with these kinds of beings. I don't know why you're so resistant to this idea. It shouldn't be very hard to comprehend. Security should be tight, but not too tight. Because no matter what happens, no matter what these bums have in store for them, Dick and Spiro aren't going anywhere. They can't. God forbid something does happen on our watch, our job is to figure out whose bodies they have jumped into, and then make sure we proceed accordingly. Am I making myself clear?"

Savage Grace

Every once in a while he'll be invited to a party. It happens maybe once a year. And it's usually not him directly who's invited, it's someone he knows, and they ask him to go with them. He has to say yes. He has two friends, and he's owes both of them money. He will never pay them back, and they know this, so when they ask him to go to a party with them, he says yes. He never knows anyone at these parties. He might have met a few people once or twice, but they don't remember him, so he pretends not to remember them. At these parties he sits in the corner, or he stands, it depends on whether or not there's anywhere to sit. He doesn't drink or smoke. He listens to what everyone is talking about and he has no idea what they're talking about. Yes, he understands the words, he just doesn't understand what the words are referring to. He listens and he laughs when other people laugh. Everyone seems to know everyone else. It's like they all met at another party, a party before the party. He always leaves these parties early. And when he leaves he never remembers to say goodbye.