The movies became more dense. Cuts lasting only seconds. Whole narratives only a few minutes more. The images now reflected in textures, smells, sounds imperceptible to the conscious mind. The normal two-hour movie, having already condensed the experience of days or weeks — pushed further and further the bounds of human cognition. Soon, we expected the two-hour movie to copycat the experience of years.
Why seek immortality, when you have film?
Side effects, once uncommon, grew more frequent. At first, the hours between narratives seemed too long and too short at the same time. Lacking in diversity, moving too slow — boredom overcame the watchers. Listless, they drove themselves to narcotics or skydiving. Anything to pass the time.
But as the movie became even more dense, a new condition swept in. As the experience of years swung into decades, lovers and enemies became strangers both.
The awakenings were painful. It took time to reacquaint oneself with one’s life.
An equilibrium was reached at last. Today, the average moviegoer spends twenty years between pictures, thereby equalizing his or her first and second (and third and fourth and so on) life experiences respectively. Of course, society maintains movies under strict regulations for the underage. At the end of life, however, the time between movies varies widely and erratically amongst the population. For those still afraid of death, even after the cumulative experiences of four to six lifetimes, the movie is the path to reincarnation, eternal salvation, or damnation – depending on who you speak to. Blackness — that soul-crushing nothingness — that silence — is nothing more than the end credits between double and triple features. The happier ones, in contrast, go to the beach, the farm, the forest glen, or out onto the polar ice. There they relish in the calm. Not a story to be heard.