Roy could see it coming from miles away. All his life it was the same? Sitting in a movie theater by himself he felt normal. Once he stepped out intuit he light of day he was lost. It didn’t matter what the movie was a bout or the stars that were in it. Of course, like anyone else, he had his favorites. The world outside of that gave him palpitations. He could feel his heart pumping through his ears. The sheets would be wet from sweat each morning. No matter what he tried he was always back on the same old merry go round. He couldn’t hold down a job. Sooner of later he would get laid off. Not because he was a slacker! But perhaps, he took it so damn seriously enough that he would piss off his fellow coworkers because they didn’t. And that threw them off their game. But once he got back to the shack and shoved a VHS or DVD into the slot he relaxed upon one of this overstuffed threadbare ‘Barqa-loungers’ he was back in a pleasant limbo of another person’s life and not his own. Of course, that person did not exist. It was a very expensive patch of the collective minds and efforts of scores if not hundreds of others. It was always a strange mental calculation to add up the number of movies he had and multiply them by an average cost that was taken from sources that chronicled their making. If one took the number of films that a given production entity handled per year and multiplied that further against the result already arrived at then you might get an idea of what these characters were worth individually speaking. A useless mental calculation to be sure.
It had of late come down to a point of desperation as Roy’s peculiarities had been getting the better of him. Though he had never allowed himself to go so far as adopting the style and dress of any of the current movie avatars that came and went each half decade he would ten to adopt their scripted mindsets. It might be said this made Roy in line with a favored technique of getting into character. But society did not look favorably upon those who reached too far into the collective fictional narrative other that did not truly exist. The average employer wanted workers that were mentally uneventful, slow and steady whose greatest aspirations in life was to show up on time and work blissfully towards that day at the end of a week when they would gratefully received their paycheck taxes deducted. Those were the only waking dreams allowed by the current culture. All others were shown to the exit doors. That shared manifest destiny of the cataclysmic antihero might work on the page but stayed perpetually unemployed. The unintended consequence of this condition being that any lasting relationship with women was removed from possibility. The modern female too independent in her needs unlike the railroad track prone maidens of a century or more past. A solid home powered by a good steady paycheck was all the romance that most women sought though some considered that though all romance was dead in the current era it was no fault of their own. A fit male for breeding their fondest desires should come pre-equipped in both stamina to endure the most tedious of daily regimens and them return home reliably at the prescribed hour with mouthing more than the needs of his spouse predominately filling his universe. To Roy’s current mental mindset, another futile mental calculation.
The daily procedure of life degenerated into one where at a certain point the imagination of Hollywood having gone brain dead for the possibility of producing anything particularly novel that hadn’t been serialized in some was too many times previous had come to an effective halt. The invigorating feeling of stumbling back out into the light of day of old where one was fresh with plot heavy ideas posed in the corollary of the theme of the particular afternoon matinee needed no further mental energy. Too many of the same gambits explored by the big flickering of movie screen illumination. Where was the former bond of vision that he in the audience had once shared without he director in figuring out the novel plot line and being truly amazed or sometimes alternately disturbed by it stultifying implications? Now the cinema was merely a steady heartbeat of explosions on demand anchored betwixt hackneyed dialogue and a reliable twist int he end where the nemesis was reliably scheduled to by some incomprehensible means return back essentially unscathed bearing an increased amount of enmity for a go at round two of essentially the exact same thing. Imagine if in could bearing children that were cookie cutter copies of the first that you have born and raised but differentiated only by suspiciously similar names?
The rhythm of life for most was conducted by amazingly simple standards of routine behavior. There really wasn’t much complexity when one eliminated the inner workings of the assigned tasks each portion of society fell into. Each operated by he demands of inter connectivity to produce a complete organism of a cellular composition that heeded only the demands of the greater collective. Resources were doled out accordingly to a pyramid system in which those who took an active role keeping surveillance over their fellows in terms of monitoring the constancy of behavior and weeding out the deviants was considered of prime importance to keep the great worm of society inching forward rather thank stalling. The macrocosm of same mirroring any given particular example of the species that was in essence descended from successive direct parentage of a similar species over the eons under the phylum of plumbing dependent. The human body a maze of interconnecting pipes and open spaces where the balance of hydraulics reigns supreme. Any tampering with flow leading to a stoppage or inequality of expected pressure having to be resolved. Thus the ‘bread and circuses’ management of social diversion being key to the husbandry of the species. Where the Romans might have solved a problem on terms of the vitality of their empire by providing unwanted captives to die in the arena as a public spectacle. The modern era provided perpetual reliable boredom as an element of fostering both the flow of goods and the dumbing down of the aspirations of the viewer. By the sixth of seventh decades of existence given the perpetual burden of ennui, most were ready to fall away like dead leaves to make way for their children’s children to take up the dully flicking torch of meaningless existence. Given this reality, Roy felt that it was not unreasonable for him to demand a certain base level of entertainment on the fringes. The truth was that you could only bore everybody so far without occasionally adding a little spice to the same old stew.
The dark halls of public amphitheaters suited the nature of a personalized solitary enjoyment of common cultural celebration of the same old same old without endangering the whole with mutual contact. Isolation was after all the best way to hobble and possibility of deviating from the main game plan. So Roy felt as if he was being carried along in a great river of others that like the current of water of a great tributary was rapidly being him towards the inevitability of the falls. He had to wonder to himself how many others like himself in these auditoriums were as fully aware of this fact as he was. The big budget spectaculars were assessed with care based upon the likelihood of their trailers being too suspiciously as a blatant repeat of the same old well worn franchise waypoints of story and plot. Occasionally one might be surprised but the apogee of the reigning superstar too often leaked the fact of the ingrained repetitiveness to be warily avoided. Even the occasional foreign epic that could sneak through the tight network of distribution too often turned out to be a veiled variety of the expected pattern. It was inevitable that the only choice that this discriminating movie viewer had control over was the repetitive recitation of the lines of favored characters that were too often renewed again, and again and again. Roy sensed his psyche was unwinding slowly losing power like a windup toy. There was only this society to contend with or its total absence. Something that could not implicitly be shared with others because of course everyone had been crafted into the same state of hive-like mind. A consciousness that could only be escaped by the extreme poles of death or complete and total chaos. Not much of a choice feeling ones ever chained to that same old set in the twilight of the cave wall.