CHURCH, The Television Show
“Mehca,” her sister called, “Wanna join me for drinks at The Comrade?”
“The Comrade! Did you get a raise or something? That place is expensive!”
“We’re not spending my money! Officer Dick dropped off a fifty dollar gift certificate to the dispatch center. We could get drinks or dinner.”
“Officer Dick! He’s like twice you’re age!”
“Mehca it’s not like that, I have a boyfriend.”
“Don’t you want to take him?”
“No I want to treat you because you’re always buying me gifts and stuff.”
‘When it gets dark enough, look to see the stars,’ Noodle posted on his PeopleFace page and then left for work. He had no idea what that meant, or why it popped into his head.
It wasn’t a big night; only half the security staff was called in and The Supervisor left three guys at the front door to check ID’s. They stood inside, out of the cold and Noodle shared his peanut butter protein bar with Laos.
“Still pushing heavy weighs?” Laos asked.
“For The Army. But I got sick and was working a lot so I’ve been away from it for a little while.”
“Did the doctor give you steroids?”
“No! He gave me antibiotics.”
“Oh, I just asked because you look like you’ve been getting bigger,” Laos said, inflated his cheeks and flexed his arms.
“Do you take steroids?” Noodle asked.
“Nah. That’s sketch,” Laos responded. “Why…are you trying to buy some?
“Hell no!” Noodle said.
“Noodle wouldn’t do that, his body is his temple,” The Meat packer laughed.
“Where’d you hear that?” Noodle wondered.
“Captain Angry told me.”
“It sounds stupid, but it is! You only get one body to use for your whole life, I try to take care of it as best I can.”
“Do you take steroids?” The Meat Packer asked The Supervisor as he ran downstairs.
“Just a bump at the right time, am I right?” The Meat Packer whimpered in his signature laugh, like he was constipated.
And then The Owner came running out a door leading from Remorse.
“Guys! You have to check ID’s,” The Italian’s voice chased after the one man Noodle had missed; the other two guys were useless, they hadn’t checked one ID all night.
Noodle turned around and wondered if The Italian had been watching them the whole time through the mirror at their backs. On the other side of that mirror was the Hotel Security office.
“Hey Noodle!” The Niece said when she came downstairs. “You’re not going to say hi back? Whatever!”
“I’m working! Noodle said after admitting the last customer in line. “Niece, this has to look a little professional.”
“Oh Noodle,” she sighed, “You’re in love with me!”
Tim Connor got a text from The Host, and called his friend Stryker.
“Are you coming out for drinks tonight? My friend says there are mad chics at the Comrade…Drinks on me.”
“Pick me up?”
“Yeah, I’ll pick you up.”
Tim walked over and gave his girlfriend a hug. “Julie, this is Stryker, he’s an Army Hottie and works with me over at Majesty.”
“Hey Stryker, nice to meet you, do you have a girlfriend right now?” She asked.
“I’m single,” Stryker smiled wide.
“Well, an Army helicopter pilot, I bet you could pick up any girl in this bar,” she coaxed. “Bartender, get this man a drink!”
After a couple of free rounds on the Comrade, Tim and his girlfriend convinced Stryker to hit on a couple of girls at the other end of the bar. Stryker didn’t have to work very hard before convincing Mehca to go home with him.
“Everybody was asking me if I was taking steroids tonight,” Noodle told The Roommate on their ride home, “They said I look bigger.”
“You do look bigger,” The Roommate agreed, “Your arms look bigger.”
“I’ve never taken steroids!” Noodle professed. “I haven’t even been to the gym lately because I got really sick after I came back to Majesty full time in February.”
“Whatever, I heard that The Supervisor is selling drugs out of his apartment.”
“The Supervisor is selling drugs out of his apartment.”
“Roommate, I heard what you said, but you shouldn’t be telling people that!”
“Whatever, that’s what I heard from The Lawyer in coat check.”
“I didn’t hear anything and I have no idea what you are talking about,” Noodle quickly dismissed.
When he awoke the next morning he logged onto his computer and spent an hour designing invitations for the Networking Group, then emailed them to The Director.
“What are you doing up there?” The Roommate asked when he came downstairs from his office.
“Working,” he answered, slipped into the bathroom, and took a shower.
He came out dressed in a lavender button-down and gray slacks, grabbed his briefcase, and walked four blocks to the community non-profit’s office.
“Do you think the invitations are okay?”
“I haven’t read them yet.”
“Do you have a camera to take pictures of the owners for the networking booklet?”
“We don’t have one in the office anymore; I think someone took it home. You didn’t bring one?”
“I don’t own a camera,” Noodle sighed.
“You can use my Wi-Phone,” The Director offered.
“Check the date before I print these,” Noodle said. “Make sure that Anthony can attend. We’re going to need him to lead the group after I’m gone.”
“I called Anthony and he can do whatever date you choose. He’s excited for it. He asked where you are going.”
“I’m going into the woods!”
“It’s not like that. Writing takes up a lot of focus and it’s difficult to be Business Noodle at the same time as Artist Noodle. Keeping appointments and making phone calls doesn’t really work out too well while painting a fictional world.”
“Are you still going to work at The Club?”
“Yup. The Club is a fictional world too.”
“How am I going to convince these restaurant owners who compete in the same neighborhood to cooperate, without you?”
“Are you familiar with John Nash? He wrote a mathematical equilibrium that proves collusion can yield a better result than pure competition. There are a slew of interests like permitting and parking that these owners have in common. They might jointly market the neighborhood as one of the most authentic ethnic dining experiences in The Metropolis,” Noodle said then went to all fourteen restaurants along the one mile drag from the base of Cold Hill to Mulligan Station pitching that these owners need to start working together in order to achieve the best result for their individual businesses.
‘I’m out working the streets for MetroNorth; it would be easy to get on the train if you can you meet today,’ Noodle texted The Manager.
‘Sorry, I’m at an offsite meeting today.’
‘I’m running out of time!’
‘Come in anytime this week between 10am and 6pm,’ The Manager responded.
In lieu of meeting with the Manager, Noodle went into The City to see The Stylist about getting a haircut.
“How is everything?” She asked as he threw his stuff in the corner and sat in her chair.
“Things are good. I was writing a lot in January.”
“Your old book…the one I read?”
“Yeah, what did you think about it?”
“It was crazy: It felt real.”
“Good,” Noodle smiled. “My debts put me in the red, but I have enough cash on hand to survive three months – which is enough time to re-write my novel and try to sell it. I think the conclusion is that True is not absolute: Real is something a majority has softly conspired to believe.”
“So you’d better be careful who you follow.”
“Like girls!” Noodle exclaimed. “How many guys have you fucked up?”
“What is it?”
“I don’t know…girls like being tourists.”
“Power to you,” Noodle winked.
“What about The Army?”
“I love The Army, but I don’t think girls want them. I’m afraid of coming back in six years to find everyone grown-up and hitched-up. I’m not very popular as is, imagine me with shell shock…nobody’s going to want to clean that up!”
“Noodle, you should join The Navy.”
“Why? What do you know about The Navy?”
“They’re a lot less intense. My colleague’s husband is in the Navy; he works in intelligence.”
“But The Army will let me fly for them!”
“Nah. I’m army all the way. I like to get dirty,” Noodle admitted.
“Noodle, you’re special. Be safe out there…”
“Why does everyone keep saying that to me!”
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