Nov 23, 2016

"Not so difficult to play Sherlock Holmes when you are Dr. Watson" --- This is heaven --- Teaser (16)

(We're still not yet done with this "Heaven," two more chapters to write---two difficult ones, including the climactic scene---and then there's the happy ending, a drawn-out affair because we're completely over the top with five or six separate blissful closures all happening at the same time. As to the teasers, we're back to schedule briefly, so this post follows up on Teaser 14, which ended with a Censured Section---Taylor is one day shy of his 18th birthday as he and John enter the restroom facilities of the festival's Green Room. The censured part ends with the habitual flagrante, this time enacted by Professor Barbette Bienpensant. For more context, have a look at Teaser 14.)

There’s a knock on the door.

She has issues, but she’s not an fool, especially when it comes to two males with vacant expressions on their faces, oiled in sweat, one of them still buckling his belt, them apparently having spent quality time in 120 degrees Fahrenheit and the stench from an underserviced john. The Bienpensant looks us up and down. Bulge check. Are we drunken again?

(This is so subtle.)

Taylor is utterly embarrassed. This will heal him of all homoerotic tendencies. I’m even more embarrassed. But I have my moments. So I say to the professor: “You need to use the bathroom?”

She has to think about this. “You’re asking the wrong question,” she says.

Some real macho-man would now say something like “See you later, Professor,” or “See ya later, Barbette.” But us, we just hurtle away, heads half-dropped, we could be holding hands on the way to the gallows. 

Whatever happens down there, up here, in our heads---most women would possibly deny much is going on there---up here us males get back to normal immediately, it’s an important reason for starting a hand job, and for finishing it, and it’s an important reason for divorces as well. We can’t just trot back together to the stand, ten minutes late. “I need to see a man about a horse,” I utter somewhat incoherently and point into the direction of the trailers along the canal. “See you later.”
He’s getting the message. I will make sure that I’m not the first to arrive back at Alex’s stand, and if Taylor is smart---well, smart---he’ll make sure he isn’t the first one either. I need to hide somewhere, and sit down on a long-suffering outdoor chair behind one of the caravans. Let’s hope Taylor is going to hide somewhere else.

The only thing that can save us now is the washed-up scriptwriter. So the phone rings, my cell phone. No, it doesn’t. Plopping down I feel it in my pocket, in the place where I hid it so Maurice could follow our learned conversation about vampire trivia. It’s disconnected now, the phone, regrettably. I hit the call-back icon.

“Yes?” Maurice says.
“Maurice?” I say.
“I’m busy,” he says.
“Still working on the trivia?”

He doesn’t quite answer. “Trivia, come to think of it. If you will call it that way.”

“Come on, Maurice, I’m sorry.”

"A new British poet subverting, nay, questioning, nay querying literary tradition." 

“Today’s trivia is very inspired, John. Pregnant of minimalism, of Dadaism even. I’ve already contacted The New Yorker. A new British poet subverting, nay, questioning, nay querying literary tradition. Unheard of. The New Yorker requires exclusive rights unfortunately, the festival will have to wait.”

“Come on, Maurice, I’m sorry.”

“Here we go,” (he says) “Question, spoken in the cadences of Anne Robinson, the hag from the Weakest Link, here we go: ‘Francis Ford Coppola, the auteur of Apocalypse Now and many other fine movies, Coppola directed and coproduced a Dracula-themed film later on in his career. Which year saw his cinematography brought into circulation?’ Answer: ‘Aaargghh.’”

“I’m sorry, Maurice.”

“Question: ‘The film carried an unusual, yet informative title; please name that title.’ Answer: ‘Aaargghh.’”

“I know, Maurice, I know.”

“No you don’t. Question: ‘Which fine actor played the character of Count Dracula is said movie?’ Answer: ‘Ooohh-yeaahh.’”

There is a silence.

“You’re still there?” I ask.
“Yes,” he says.
“And Ben?”
“Ben is proof reading.”

I hear him talking to somebody. “Here, Ben, here, there’s a typo, isn’t it? Read it Ben, read it out aloud.”

“Xaaarghh,” I hear an unwilling ebony voice.

There’s another silence and the line seems to die. “You know, John, you know I what I feel for you. Or felt. One can go too far, you know,” Maurice says. The end-of-call icon blinks.

Don’t ask me how, but I’ve somehow made it across the field back to Alex’s stand. He has seen me coming and he knows it. I know it too. The vampire kids are gone.

“This is heaven, isn’t it,” he opens the conversation.
“Do they go on strike in heaven?” I ask.
“Maurice is on strike?”
“How do you know?”
“You forgot to switch it off, your cell phone?”
“So the phone was still on when you introduced Taylor to the on-site facilities?”
“Maurice still on the other end?”

“How do you know?”

“Not so difficult to play Sherlock Holmes when you’re Dr. Watson.”

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