They sat in silence until the lights got dark and they could hear the sound of the projector flickering in the booth above them. Dale thought the sound of film running through a projector was his third favorite in existence, right behind a woman’s moan and an old fashioned cash register bell. One of the reasons he loved movies so much were all the ways they kept forgotten little clichéd histories alive, tucked deep inside viewers minds like memories of their mothers.  Whenever anyone broke into small registers or rang up a sale in the movies, there was almost always a cash-register sound-effect accompanying the action. Registers hadn’t made that kind of sound for decades, but the movies didn’t let you forget those sweet, singing chimes of commerce. Go up to any kid working a register and ask him what sound it’d make if you broke into it. Cha-ching, he’d say, even though they really don’t. The sound money made didn’t even technically exist anymore, but enough of that prevailing noise accompanied enough images of opening registers in enough movies that the two became permanently married in everyone’s minds, a truth that became a lie to form another truth, branching out past the constructed reality of the silver screen and into the collective imagination of everyone. Only in the movies, as the expression goes, but that was a lie too, because nothing stays in the movies after people watch them. The things they see and hear live in their heads forever and if they were ever in danger of forgetting, another movie would come along to remind them. Perhaps even the same damn one. Cha-ching.

Notes

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