Saturday, November 18, 2006

A taxing experience


"Before completion, success," says the I-Ching.
"If, before completion, the little fox dips his tail into the water, nothing will further."

Well, I think I have dipped my tail into the water. Big time.
Why does something as pleasurable as drinking have such severe side-effects?

Discipline, I say. (No, not bondage and discipline, old girlfriend Hah). Discipline. You must use your drinking as a reward for doing something. Like continuing on with your play.
Here is the next installment of THE FIRE IN BRADFORD, ACT VI, Scene Three


Scene:

Interior scene of the professor in his apartment. He is at his computer, typing, typing typing, like the animated
cartoon making the web-rounds these days, of the blocked writer at her desk, keyboarding, keyboarding, keyboarding, finally banging head against computer screen, again and again to the point of bashing her brains out all over the keyboard.

NARRATOR:

February Blues, l987.

I was confusing calculus with cabbage heads.

They were starting to notice at the college. Untenured prof with too many problems. I saw no sign of a new contract.
I had now gone into the construction business to cover my sorry ass, but then taking crazy Willie Safer on as a partner was almost a sure prelude to disaster. Disaster seemed to follow poor Willie Safer like it followed the little old guy in a vintage Al Capp cartoon, the storm cloud always over his head, lightning striking at every encounter, even the most innocent encounter.
We had invested in a Starwars technology backhoe and Willie had succeeded in in cutting a vital TV cable link while digging out a foundation. We were run off the project.
I was certainly cutting my own cable.

I contemplated hanging myself. The frustraion and the impossibilityof he situation, the stress of the so-called love-interest.. And there wasn't just trouble with Celia. The landlord was becoming a problem.
I did own a small property and was considering selling it. Yes! That was it! I would give Celia $50,000 just to have sex with her right now. I was seeing Celia in every doorway and lentil.My bloodstream was awash with alligator sperm. "Stay with the easy conquests," says old Herodotus. An obsession like this will take you right over.

THERE IS A KNOCK ON THE DOOR. IT IS WILLIE.
THE PROFESSOR-TURNED BUSINESSMAN GETS UP FROM THE PC AND LETS WILLIE IN.

Willie: Sorry I''m late. I parked the backhoe just in front, and the super told me to park it in front of the Loblaws instead.

Professor: Willie, Willie. I told Celia about our backhoe, and she said, "Backhoe? What do you do with something like that, carry it on your shoulder?" "You drive it," I'd told her. "You'd drive a shovel?" she had asked. I told her stranger things have happened. In Quebec, frogs chop down trees.

You're much better as a psychiatriest, Willie. What the hell are we both doing wrong?

Willie Safer (settling himself down on the professor's couch, the hiss of soda bubbling in his glass):
We're getting into an Oedipus Rex situation, David. Something is sure as hell wrong in Thebes. Everything is going to ratshit. I think it's your problem with Celia. that's it.

Professor: What do you mean, my problem with Celia. You're the rocket scientist who wasn't watching, cut the TV cable and had us run off the job. Screw. I'm not a builder. I know it now.

Willie (taking another sip of his soda. He belches. It comes out in an underwater gurgle): What the hell are your good for anyway, Perfessor?

Professor: An explanation: Fuck off.
You're better as a Swami. What are you divining?


(Willie takes a draft of the soda, inhales deeply on his cigarette. His eyes seem abnormally large behind the glasses, under the bushy brows)

Willie: I think she has left Les. I think she has taken out an apartment somewhere.

Professor: How do you know all this. You got a rprivate line? Get it off the TV cable?

Willie: I was once a doctor, Nuncle. I know some things. I've seen Celia hanging around the hospital.

Professor: In a professional capacity, I'll bet. Those wigged out psychiatrists are now offering sex therapy for
the handicapped. Migod. Do I have to lose my brains to get a blowjob?

Willie: The way your career is going, you might end up doing the same thing. Have you thought of driving cab or something? Degrading, but it's instant money.

Professor: Well, we just blew $50,000 on a backhoe. The Case man will be around to reposess any day now.

Willie: Take out a cab licence. Do it tomorrow. There's a reason I have for suggesting that. It will keep you busy, keep your from going mad. You have to kind of stand on your ear for three months. Not do anything foolish.

Professor: You back to your psychotherapy mumbo-jumbo again? I know you've had all kinds.

Willie: Never mind. Here is what I get from my crystal ball: February will be a bitch for you, as well as March, April and July, all these months. You're a smart guy. You'll probably be able to track her down, but, don't! Above all, don't try to get her number and phone her. She thinks you're stronger than she. The trouble with your relaionship is you guys know knowing who's boss. If you phone her, you'll screw it up.
But get ready for August. Get your best suit ready!

CUT TO:

Scene Four:

The professor can be seen from outside the Diamond Cab he is driving. He has the FM radio full up

MUSIC: "Dead or Alive," by Bon Jovi, written by Richie Sambora.

It's all the same, only the names are changed
and every day, we're just wastin' away.

I'm a cowboy.
On a steel horse I ride.

THE PROFESSOR IS BOOTING HIS CAB ALL OVER THE DOMINION PARKING LOT, DOING DOUGHNUTS THROUGH THE SNOW.

MUSIC:
Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I think for days
And people that you meet...

A prospective fare approaches the professor's taxicab. He stops the taxi.

Prospective customer: Hey, man, you going crazy or what? Doing doughnuts at your age. Can you take me to the mall?

Professor: Sure thing.

PROFESSOR TURNS THE MUSIC UP:

Sometimes I sleep, Sometimes I think for days
And people that you meet, they just go their separate ways.
Sometimes I count th days, by the bottle that you drink
Sometimes you sit alone, and ll you do is think.

THE PROFESSOR TURNS THE KNOB TO AM. HE IS ALMOST IGNORING HIS PASENGER.

STAGE BUSINESS: THERE IS A BEATLE-TYPE "WOW", as in THE EGG MAN. THE PROFESSOR SETTLES FOR AND OLDIES STATION. IT IS HARRY CHAPIN:

It was rainin' hard in Frisco
I needed one more fare to make my night
A lady went to flag me down
She got in at the light

I said where you going my lady fare
You're gonna lose your gown in the rain
She just kept looking straight ahead
She said, "16 Parkside Lane"

REFRAIN:
You see she was gonna be an actress
And I was going to learn how to fly.
She took off for the footlights.
I took off for the sky.

Passenger to the professor: Hey, somebody been smoking a joint in here? Smells like an armpit.

Professor: The world is an armpit.

THE PROFESSOR TURN THE RADIO TO ANOTHER STATION, ALL NEWS.

SOUND:
Charged with running a common bawdy house was Lief Horvath, of Holland Landing...

Professor (as he is letting he passenger out) Well dog my cat! 16 Parkside lane, huh? Exactly Celia's address.
Willie Safer, get the fuck out of my head!

Passenger: I'll dog your cat, you crazy bastard.

Professor (sotto voce) "Before completion, success.
If before completion, the little fox dips his tail into the water, nothing will further"
Willie Safer, you crazy bastard. What in hell am I doing this for? And what's with this mind contro stuff? Did you get a blowjob from Celia while your were at that mental ward?

THE PROFESSOR PARKS HIS CAB AT THE OLD LOBLAWS PARKING LOT, LOCKS IT, AND WALKS AWAY.

CURTAIN.

.......end Act VI, Scene Three

3 comments:

December Quinn said...

Why does something as pleasurable as drinking have such severe side-effects?


Because God hates us.

Okay, actually I'm a pagan, so I figure it's some sort of lesson, but "God hates us" sounds better.


And I'm just a little drunk right now. But hopefully not enough to feel lousy in the morning. :-)

It's a delicate balance.

ivan said...

I am tickled (uh pickled), December Quinn.
Nice that something of mine has jogged an association.
Migod, you have a supporting army of real authoresses behind you.
Haven't been to London since a kid,but I somehow miss it.
There are people who tell me I'm in the wrong country.
I'm so tired of being employed in portrait-painting crapcans.
"Write about yourself," advises e.a. monroe in these pages.
OK. "Once, I was into paganism..."

December Quinn said...

Well, you need to get out here, and see if you still miss it, then!

I thought I was in the wrong country. Now I just think I'll never be satisfied. :-)