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"I found it curious that someone would have enough imagination to invent a new religion, but not enough to make up an original religious symbol."
- "Solo Max"

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USA

Not your typical Hollywood experience
by Solo Max, 22, on the road somewhere
Feb 6, 2000

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December 29, 1997
Hollywood, California, USA

Sometimes I’m a big brother, but more often I’m a little brother. While writing emails home to Dad, I’m a son. When I knock on a door I’m a nobody. Hopefully when I leave I will be a friend. I am in love almost always. I’m a lover almost never. But that night on top of the O, I was an action hero in Hollywood. I felt unstoppable. I could do or say anything. I was the producer, the director, and the props man. I had total creative control. I wrote the script. What happened next was up to me.

On the way to Riley’s apartment from the movie theater, Riley and I stopped to check out the Church of Scientology. It was a massive building that was once a hospital and later renovated. A lot of celebrities go there; John Travolta for one.

I got out of the car to take a photo of the enormous eight foot high and thirty foot long SCIENTOLOGY sign that loomed above the building -- illuminated Hollywood style. As I put the camera up to my eye, a teenager wearing a security guard uniform sped over to me on a mountain bike and asked me not to take any photographs if I was a newspaper or magazine reporter. I assured him that I was not, and he like let me continue.

Strangely there was a cross on top of the building. I asked the young man if the church belonged to the Christian faith. He told me that it did not. I found it curious that someone would have enough imagination to invent a new religion, but not enough to make up an original religious symbol.

Later that night I found myself lounging on a couch in Riley’s apartment, sucking back an egg-nog while watching the uncensored version of Natural Born Killers. As I laid my head down on the pillow, I recounted the events encompassing the preceding 40 hours - 39 and a half hours of which I was conscious and active. It was undoubtedly the most diverse 40 hours of my life.

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