Considerations | BTL SRVC LVIII

Via Issue 189, The Besties Issue!

Written by

Bill DiDonna

Photographed by

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Styled by

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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. “Hormonium” (2022). Custom Software (Black And White, Silent), Computer. Courtesy Of Antimodular Studio And Bitforms Gallery.

What did you say?

We’re going to find the flame, put it out and open the gate to Heaven.

OK. Look, in theory, that sounds pretty good, but are you 100% sure its going to do what you think it is?


Dude, I’ve watched a lot of anime, and typically when somebody thinks they are, I don’t know, activating the robot, unlocking the door to the basement, opening the portal to heaven, shit like that, real bad things happen.

This isn’t some horror movie; this is real and its right in front of us.

Real? A 500-year-old story from a defrocked priest? An uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific?

That slow-motion plane crash? None of this is real.


Yes Nels?

I thought of you as a friend, as my best friend. I figured we were going on the adventure of a lifetime. Together.

We met like 12 hours ago.

Ricky, we ate sushi, I recommended a Sake, we had a Champagne toast after surviving a plane crash, if that doesn’t make us besties I don’t know what does.

I convinced him to go back to the group to check on their enthusiasm level for this undertaking. He only agreed because he was worried the Captain would kill the rest of the bubbly.

There were 12 of us in all, two other passengers and eight crew, including Niko the sushi chef, the bartenders, the masseuse, and the co-pilot slash tapas maestro.

Human nature being what it is, the staff wanted to defer to whatever the passengers decided to do. The Captain would have a vote, of course, so the five of us would hear the arguments and take a vote.

Nels opened his argument with a round of French 75’s, Gin, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup and Champagne. A fantastic icebreaker and definitive deal sealer.

Heaven is literally right around the corner. Imagine if you will, opening our own personal gate to the afterlife. We can stroll in, possibly with a fantastic cocktail and scout out the best possible locations for our eternities. We can meet the immortals, Dom Perignon, Louis Latour, George Dickel, imagine the possibilities. Join me on our greatest adventure.

I had to admit it was a compelling argument. I was unsure how they would react to my counterpoint, but I had to give it my all.

This is a truly terrible idea. In the first place we have no idea if this crazy rumor is true. If there is an Eternal Flame and we blow it out the odds are no better than 50-50 that we won’t trigger the end of the world. Indeed, rather than ensuring our eternal salvations, we could ultimately be judged as the destroyers of civilization and the executioners of earth’s population. Is that something you would want on your conscience, because I certainly don’t want it on mine. 

Lefrac, please make another pitcher of 75’s, they will be available to you all when we reach the Eternal Flame and enter Heaven.

In the end, I lost 4 to 1, pretty humbling. I had thought Dith Sen would vote No as he had endured the Killing Fields and certainly wouldn’t want to unleash that on a global scale, but I guess there is no outdoing a well-made Champagne and Gin Cocktail.

We walked into the cave almost giddy from the bubbly and the promise of eternal bliss. Miraculously there was a blue flame.

I tried one last time.

Don’t you guys read any Science Fiction at all? We absolutely cannot do this.

Suddenly the two bartenders and the masseuse grabbed me and held me down.

Come on Bestie, watch and be amazed

They all gathered around the flame and on a countdown to three, blew it out together. A crack opened in the cave wall and something started coming out.

It was Nels who spoke.

Oh Shit. 

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Flaunt Magazine, Issue 189, Besties, BTL SRVC, BTL SRVC LVIII, Bill DiDonna