Avery, an avid movie buff, works as an usher at ‘The Flick’, a rundown cinema in Worcester County, USA. He works with Sam, also an usher and Rose, the projectionist. Their main duty is to sweep and sometimes mop between the seats after screenings. He and Sam were awkward when they first met, but their relationship quickly relaxed into light banter, often movie-related. In this speech, the others have gone out to lunch, and Avery is on the phone to his therapist…

 

Okay. So in the dream I’m dead. I mean, I’ve just died. And I’m in this weird room. Which is basically like purgatory. And there’s a whole bunch of us, a bunch of people who just died, and we’re all waiting to see if we can, you know, move on. To the next level. Oh. And my dad is there. Because he just died too. And then the room suddenly turns into my dad’s study. And this person starts scanning all the books on my dad’s bookshelves with this ISBN-type scanner thing and they run the scanner over all of his books and eventually one of the books goes like BEEP BEEP BEEP and the scanner recognized it and that means my dad is going on to heaven. And then it’s my turn.

(pause)

Um. Wait. Sorry. Are you bored? I just got scared you were bored again. When it’s a phone session I can’t tell if you’re –

(pause)

Uh-huh.

(long pause)

Okay. Um. So I’m up next. And suddenly I’m surrounded by all these shelves and on every shelf is every movie I’ve ever seen. And like some are like DVDs and others are like old VHS tapes from like the ‘90’s and some are even like old thirty-five-millimeter reels, like movies I saw in the theatre. And like – yeah. Everything is there. Like The Wizard of Oz, which is the first movie I ever saw. And like old Jim Carrey movies and the entire Criterion Collection…and then they hand me the ISBN scanner and I realize, like, I realize that the way they decide whether or not you get into heaven is through, like, looking at all the movies you’ve ever watched or all the books you’ve ever read and figuring out whether there was one book or movie that you truly truly loved. Like one movie that like symbolizes your entire life. And I think, okay, I’m gonna be fine. I love movies and I’ve seen all these like awesome movies, this is gonna be no problem, and I start running the scanner across the shelves. I run it across all these Yakuza movies I watched in high school, I run it across all the Truffaut movies, and the scanner isn’t beeping. It’s weird. It’s not recognising anything. And then I run it over Pierrot le Fou and Barry Lyndon, and I’ve seen those movies like literally dozens of times, and it doesn’t beep. And we’re going past hundreds of movies. Really good movies. Movies I like really really love. And I start getting nervous. There’s only a couple shelves to go. And I run the scanner over Andrei Rublev and nothing happens. And then I run it over Fanny and Alexander and I can’t believe it, but…nothing happens. And then I think to myself: I’m going to hell. I haven’t truly like, loved or whatever in the right way, I thought I did, but I didn’t, and I’m going to hell. And then I’m on the last shelf of movies and I’ve already like completely lost lost hope at this point but then suddenly the scanner starts beeping and beeping and I look at the movie that made it beep and it’s this like old cruddy VHS tape of Honeymoon in Vegas.

(pause)

Honeymoon in Vegas?

(pause)

It’s like this terrible movie with Nicolas Cage and Sarah Jessica Parkter from like 1989. I was obsessed with it when I was like four. I watched it at my cousins birthday party. It’s like a really bad movie.

(pause)

And at first I’m like: what? My entire life can be represented by Honeymoon in Vegas? Honeymoon in Vegas is like the one movie I truly truly loved? But then I’m like, wait, it doesn’t matter, I’m going to heaven. I must have done something right in my life because I’m going to heaven. And that feeling of like … of like knowing that I made the right choices, was like the best feeling I’ve ever had.

(a long pause)

Yeah.

(pause)

Yeah.

 A long pause.

 .….Okay.

I guess like….Well, yesterday I had this thought. I was like: okay. Maybe it’s never gonna get better. Maybe I’m gonna live with my dad for the rest of my life and like the actual problem is just that I’m waiting for things to change. Like maybe I’m just gonna be that weird depressed guy and I should just like accept it. And that’ll be the life I get. And that’ll be okay.

(a long pause)

Yeah

(he laughs and rubs a few tears out of his eyes)

Yeah.

(pause)

No. That’s okay. I think I can wait until Tuesday.

(pause)

Uh-huh. Well, I hope you’re having a good vacation. Sorry that you have to talk to me during it.

(he winces, pause)

No, I didn’t…sorry. Yeah. I know that. I was just – It was like a stupid joke.

(pause)

Yeah. I know that. Yeah.