CHURCH, The Television Show
Noodle waited outside The Tavern to meet with The Good Looking Guy, who had quit Majesty sometime over summer.
“I’m glad you could meet up before The New Year,” Noodle sighed.
“Dude, I’m glad too. You’re one of the few people I hung out with at Majesty; you and The Ballerina.”
“Ballerina’s awesome!” Noodle exclaimed. “I really liked her because she’s a nice person.”
“You don’t see her anymore?”
“I haven’t seen her dance at The Club for a few months. I don’t know what happened, but it’s better not to ask about the people who disappear from there.”
“Maybe she quit.”
“Or maybe she got fired; she sent a text the other day which said she really missed working at Majesty and that she loved her friends there.”
“What about you? Do you like working at Majesty?”
“I don’t know,” Noodle sighed. “It is what it is.”
“Tell me more.”
“Well, I like the job. And I really like the people I work with. But the pay is shit. I wish they’d throw me a couple of shifts as a bartender once and a while. It sucks to hear that a cocktail waitress made a thousand dollars and then you get handed fifty bucks for confronting some guy who wants to stab people. I’m going into debt from working there, I mean, I don’t make enough to cover basic expenses.”
“Then how do you pay them?”
“You’re really fortunate.”
“What do you mean fortunate? Debt will kill you!”
“I could give you a loan.”
“Really, you’d do that for me?”
“I could, but trust that you do not want to accept a loan from me, Noodle.”
“Majesty should pay me a living wage.”
“I think it’s bad management. They still owe me forty bucks from my last shift.”
“I asked The Manager if he had your check so I could deliver it to you. Forty bucks isn’t really worth your time to commute to The Club just to pick it up.”
“What did they say?”
“The Manager said that he didn’t know who you were; so I reminded him. He asked The Supervisor, and he too said that he didn’t remember any guy fitting your description– so of course – they didn’t have a check waiting for a guy they say doesn’t exist.”
“I’m not surprised. They don’t even take my calls.”
“Did something happen?”
“Nothing happened. I have a full time job and I’m a bartender in Inland City. It didn’t make sense for me to commute all the way into The City for, like you said, fifty bucks a night. Noodle, why are you still there? Do you want to be a manager or something?”
“Are you offering me a management position?” Noodle wondered.
“I’m just curious what you’re working toward.”
“Well, if someone offered me a management position, I’d probably take it. Otherwise, that place is beginning to frighten me.”
“Tell me why you feel that way.”
“Do you remember when The Patsy got stabbed? That was fucked up. Then they told everybody to lie to the cops, the guys who quit were beat up in the street, and The Club brought in a whole new security staff.”
“Yeah, what was up with that? Is that what you were drinking to forget when you came over my house a while back?”
“I don’t know anything because I was in the lobby all night, but I had a vision that The Orphan ran up the stairs and stabbed the guy.”
“Jesus Noodle!” The Good Looking guy exclaimed and looked around with paranoid eyes. “You can’t say stuff like that, you never know who’s listening,” he warned.
“I don’t want The Orphan to get in trouble, it was just a dream. He was nice to me, he looked out for people, and I liked him. I would protect him.”
“It’s okay, it doesn’t look like anyone heard,” The Good Looking Guy said and relaxed in his chair.
“I have this theory that you shouldn’t think thoughts you don’t want to come true. Saying them out loud is worse. It’s a physical principle, energy keeps moving.”
“What do you mean?’
“Like in terms of heat, or a multiple car accident, energy travels before it dissipates. Not only does your voice create actual physical energy, my vibrating vocal chords are creating ripples in the air…but talking creates metaphysical energy, too. Speech echoes as it gets passed around from person to person. Sometimes it’s stored; it can travel through time as written word or a record. Most of the time, it hides as chemical energy inside people’s brains.”
“You’re really smart, maybe you are too good for Majesty,” The Good looking guy said.
“I don’t believe that; I don’t believe that I’m too good for anything. I take out my own trash.”
“Then what do you want to do with your life?”
“I really wanted to join The Army. It was a great opportunity.”
“My flight instructor never wrote the recommendation. I know he thought I’m a great pilot, I don’t think he’s keen on killing.”
“What else can you do?”
“I used to be a volunteer firefighter, so I took the civil service test; but even with experience living at a fire house for a year I’m still going to have to sit on that list for two years and probably never get an interview. Two thousand people showed up to take the test in MetroNorth alone! I did great on the written. I passed the physical, too, but I was sick and didn’t score as well as I would have liked.”
“Noodle, take my advice, you have got to quit smoking cigarettes.”
“How do you know that I smoke too many cigarettes?” Noodle wondered.
“Well…,” The Good-looking guy smiled.
“There’s a law in our state making it illegal for police or firefighters to smoke.”
“What else can you do?”
“I used to work at The Technology School, I’ve been an entrepreneur, and I manage real estate.”
“Noodle, I’d love to get a copy of your resume. I mean, is there anything else?”
“I wrote a book once.”
“What was that about?”
“Recollections of a burned on the job firefighter.”
“Is it true?”
“No! It’s all fiction.”
“Well, I would love to read what you’ve written.”
“Maybe someday you will.”
“So, what do you really want to do?”
“I have all these things in my head; designs, models, products, pictures, entire movies. I can see things. I have dreams of a beautiful world. So what I really want is a job where I can take what’s in my mind and turn it into physical form for everyone else to enjoy. But it’s like God didn’t give me the right skills. I can’t draw or sing or anything.”
“I really like listening to what you have to say,” The Good Looking guy encouraged. “Text me if you ever want to do it again.”
They split the check and hugged goodbye.
“How did it go with Noodle?” The voice on the other end of The Good Looking Guy’s phone asked.
“He really opened up this time.”
“Perfect,” The Prince congratulated. “You can tell me what he said at Inland City Bar on Wednesday.”
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