..."Go, park yourself!" -- a new, if so-so neologism...

Aug 8, 2017

We simply had to --- Cloud fart --- This Is Heaven

We had this firm resolution: no more TIH teasers until the release date of August 27. And then we saw this gif:

So, there we are in Chapter 37. Note the name of Juliette's new boyfriend---Romeo. Romeo's sugar daddy Roper has just been found dead with a kinky dog collar around his neck, and there is more trouble on the horizon.

“Act Two,” Alex says, and fumbles in the pockets of his shorts. Alex always seems to carry a medication bottle lately, and now he unscrews it and hands a pill to Juliette.
“This will do,” he says.
“What is this?”
“A pill.”
“Oh my God, the pill,” Juliette says.
“The pace quickens in the second part of the play, doesn’t it?” Alex says.
“The pill is Act Four.”
“Act Four, then.”
“Alex, please,” Juliette says. “My Romeo, when am I going to get him back?”
“Hold on, Alex. First you say Roper is not a big deal. Next thing you say they will put up wanted bills and he has to go into hiding.”
“Juliette, I’m just thinking on my feet.”
“For how long does he have to go into hiding?”
“Until Strada and friends get distracted by something else. They’re up to their ears in unresolved cases like this-—perverts passing away in seedy circumstances. Nobody wants these cases resolved, it’s much too embarrassing. Give it a week. Four days.”
“John said you know the assistant DA for vice?”

Alex grins introspectively and a bit longer than he should. He has been standing next to me and now he adds his habitual arm to my shoulder. “Yes, we do, John, don’t we?”
This is, or was, the wrong thing to do-—Juliette hands the pill back to Alex, eyes moist. Thunder erupts from a fat cloud out there over the ocean.

“Apologies, Juliette, apologies. Yes, we do know Trevor Howard well, we had a long discussion with him yesterday. He’ll believe us, believe me.”

Alex is back in character-—the big brother that Juliette and John have been missing all their lives-—and it takes twenty seconds for Juliette to give in (“Okay, if you say so”). He hands the pill back to her. “Romeo’s case is somehow trivial, but yours is not. Trust me.”

“Perhaps you could explain…Alex?”
“Okay,” Alex says, “deal. You take the pill, I’ll explain.”

He departs for the bathroom and returns with a glass of water. “Trust me,” he repeats, and hands the glass to Juliette—if he ever put on a silent show of α-power it’s now. We’re so blessed in this soap with three people of real charisma, Alex, Ben, and Romeo, each in his own way, and Juliette swallows the pill.

“Now, your explanation.”
“You should lie down first, Juliette, this is strong stuff.”
“You are strong stuff, Alex,” she answers, but ambles over to the bed anyway and reclines against the bed head. “Your explanation, Alex.”
“This, this is Act Four,” he says.
“That’s your explanation?”
“So, you tricked me into this?”
“I had little choice.”

Juliette’s head has tilted, and a few seconds later her upper body—in an eerie rerun of Roper’s post-mortem performance—-slides onto the sheets.

Alex stoops and flips Juliette’s eyelids with his professional touch.

“Call Barbette,” Alex says, “Tell her we found Juliette.”

(I shouldn’t call Barbette and tell her we found Juliette. I should ask questions and tell him that he tricked poor Juliette into something she didn’t want; that he’s been patronizing her and betrayed her trust. I don’t manage to meet his eyes, but my stare hates his sneakers and his bulge and his abs and eventually his profile. There’s telepathy in the room and he feels me—-my apprehension, fear, despair—-as I feel him; in some sense we’ve never been this close. His α-stare mellows and what’s left thereof is directed at the poor fat cloud out there that stops thundering immediately.)

I call Barbette.

You found Juliette? Has she taken her pill?
“Has Juliette taken her pill?” I relay to Alex.
“Yes, tell her, yes!”
“Juliette has taken her pill,” I say.
You found Juliette? How? Where?
“In her hotel room.”
“Tell her she’s needed,” Alex interjects.
“You are needed,” I say to the phone.
She’s coming. Two minutes.

Alex checks Juliette’s eyelids anew. “I need a handkerchief,” he says. I hand him a Kleenex from the night stand. No, he needs a real handkerchief.
“Nobody owns handkerchiefs anymore,” I say.
“Except people who dwell at exclusive prep schools that incite a need for embroidered monograms.”

Right. Didn’t she used a handkerchief to wipe her tears—-it’s possibly in her jeans pocket? I don’t feel at ease fondling the loins of unconscious teenagers of the opposite sex, but hand the result to Alex nonetheless.
He shakes his head. “This handkerchief is crumpled. I need a clean one, a virginal one.”
Why can’t he try to find a handkerchief himself—-I hand him another Kleenex. No-no, he needs a real handkerchief.
“What if we can’t find one?” I ask.
“Young ladies of Juliette’s station travel with more than one handkerchief, Dr. Watson.”
“This Dr. Watson thing!”
“I’ve already apologized for it, haven’t I? Preemptively, in the car, yesterday, chauffeuring you and Taylor around, didn’t I?”
“Sherlock Holmes would handle this very differently.”
“I’m not comparing myself to Holmes, John. I’m comparing you to Dr. Watson, even though you haven’t finished your Ph.D.”

I give in and eventually find a fresh handkerchief in a drawer of the worn hotel furniture. Alex unfolds it ceremoniously and decks it out atop Juliette’s delicate face. “The game is afoot, Watson.”

He flips the cell phone, swipes. “Amy-Lou,” he says, “did you get my message?” There’s some back-and-forth between the cell phone and Alex—-Alex prevails and ends the conversation.

He’s back studying the Atlantic Ocean and the fat cloud out there which has been replaced by a new one that hasn’t experienced his ire yet and issues a clean, fearless cloud-fart. We’re back to square one except that Juliette looks very much like a corpse.

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