I've lost a film.
An entire print, in its cartons, in its case. Gone.
I remember forgetting.
I remember being told it had arrived. A voice on the walkie saying it was downstairs by the film-dump. The place where you dump films. Where films go when it's just not working out between you.
I remember forgetting to go down and collect it. I remember forgetting to tell my relief that it had been delivered.
Then I was away for two days.
When I returned, I remembered.
"The Last Song" was delivered and it isn't in the stack of film cases awaiting construction. It must still be by the dump, folorn and lonely and forgotten.
But it's not.
I looked in the dump. I looked in the corridor outside. I searched the upper and lower booths. I couldn't find "The Last Song" anywhere.
I formulated a theory. The film had been left in the corridor so long that it had been collected along with the departing films. Spirited away and lost forever in the great postal cosmos of the DHL delivery network.
I began to worry.
"The Last Song" opened the following day. I imagined hundreds of weeping Miley Cyrus fans; their innocence and belief in the good in this world torn from them by a blank screen where their idol should have been shining.
I imagined the scores of followers of the modern-day Sophocles, Shakespeare's heir-apparent, Hemingway and Jane Austen's love-child; Nicholas Sparks, left directionless and unenlightened by the absence of their guru's guidance.
Most of all, I thought of that poor film. Lost and alone, never to self-actualise in the manner that all movies are made for. Never to be watched. Spending eternity as a cumbersome red box never to reach the address stamped on it.
Then I noticed a large disc of film propped against the wall in the upper booth.
The title on its edge: "The Last Song".
One of my associates had taken it in, run it on, and put away the box while I was gone. "The Last Song" was ready to meet its public, and I had just wasted half an hour running up and down stairs because I'm too much of a dick-brain to see what's right in front of me.