» Back pressed against a pillar, I steep my pupils in what light is slipping through the cracks of various doors, hoping it’s enough to sustain a fuzzy trek back to my FRIEND, jittering by the T-shirt table. Having given up on the line-up at the bar and subsequently lost my way, this interval is filled with the antics of a spectacled conspiracy of boys before ME. Combined, they remind me of SOMEONE, and I smile to myself at SOMEONE’s memory. Cut to your eyeline, across the bar, having a moment of recognition and hope that my soft, insular smile is for YOU. YOU are pulled toward it, across fourteen months, 746 unmade phone calls, and thirty-five feet of fumbled pocket change. Cut back to ME, handling my glasses and considering slipping them on for a mad, pre-band scan of the room. The profile of the BOY at 3 o’clock throws peripheral shadows of cuteness, however; and the glasses are re-sheathed. I turn to find FRIEND. Moments later YOU arrive at the spot and take a turn around the pillar, wondering if I have snubbed YOU or was ever really there. YOU then slump into the front seat of the Firebird convertible previously hidden by the throng clamoring for the Pabst on tap. The opening strains of “Sandy” sound. YOU warble a soulful version of this Grease classic as the BARTENDER polishes bar glasses meaningfully, CUTE BOY acquits himself admirably with the harmonies, and I squint at the empty stage, willfully oblivious.
» I pause by the pillar to mash my glasses to my face with a haste that belies and defies my desire to be discreet. Re-embarking on my matchstick-laden path, I picture YOU shimmering through the smoke and fetid breath. I left you there fourteen days ago, huddled in the wind-shelter of speakers, with only a flashlight, a tin of beans and gin fizz to sustain YOU. The sheer folly of my unflattering glasses draws the attention of the already suspicious BARTENDER; this is not an all-ages show and the glasses shave five years off my already preternaturally smooth brow, but it was a chance I had to take. I make for the washroom for a preparatory ChapStick session but am overtaken at the cigarette machine by HERR “JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS.” I howl in protest as I am rustled over for my papers, but escape via an obscure hypnosis technique gleaned years earlier from a Moroccan whore in a Burmese prison. Staggering, now, toward the Yamaha Cavern, I was slipstreaming behind the band’s cocksure, latte-wielding tour manager for a couple days. I arrive at the stage to find YOU dangerously depleted of oxygen and languishing in the wake of a second punishing sound check. I gather YOU into my arms and whisk YOU from the bar. As we emerge into the sand and candy wrapper-blasted night, YOU strain weakly toward my ear to call ME an idiot and tell ME you’ve always loved ME. At this, my mouth contorts into a soundless maw of agony that is filled with the roar of the Bathurst streetcar. As I lug YOU across Queen West to my waiting 1965 Cessna 310J, the BARTENDER scampers out into the street, his disconsolate cry paining even the hardest-hearted panhandlers dotting the wheat-smooth horizon: “Shaaaane! Come back Shane!”
Fade to gold.
» I am slouched against the bar, growing antsy in a heavy-lidded, smoky kind of way, for the signal. I ponder which was more exemplary of my ineptitude: forgetting to wear my contacts for OUR last heist – the one that will make us rich and clean and new – or being too humiliated to tell YOU that I forgot to wear my contacts, jeopardizing aforementioned heist. There are the glasses, but they clash with my beret and pencil skirt – and going down or getting made, I’m doing it in style. YOU love to hate that about ME, and if I am squinting correctly, it is a tricky tango these two are dancing in your eye as YOU look at ME from across the club. We planned it all out fourteen months ago, when we last saw each other – it had to be that way to keep the trail cold: when the first sound check for the second band ended, a MAN in a porkpie hat would approach ME from the left, hand ME a bourbon and water and say: “Word on the street is you make a mean peach cobbler.” To which I’d reply, “I wonder if you care one way or the other.” Which prompts his, “I wonder if you wonder.” Then all the lights would go out, PORKPIE would rush the stage and distract the mob with a kung-fu demo to “The Piccolino” while YOU and I run for the exits with fistfuls of greener grass and a gunnysack of unmarked long weekends. But when PORKPIE begins to sing, YOU see ME darting for the “bathroom” exit instead of the “exit” exit. I collide with a deceptively innocuous-looking pillar and holler for my life. The lights re-ignite the room; PORKPIE is overtaken by GENE HACKMAN; YOU drag ME in the other direction, but it’s too late, the crowd has spotted us. We are undone, we know it, and in case we don’t, several close-ups of our eyes ensure the worst. Before we can collapse in one last embrace, the darts start slicing through the air. We take them from every direction in a slow-motion, oddly exhilarating bulls-eye montage. We bounce off the hood and dangle from the doors of the Firebird convertible (now painted to look like a vintage Rolls Royce). The darts, with their feather tails and needle-sharp noses, leave us riddled. Even in our worst-case scenario, we planned for suction-cup darts, which would have left us merely rattled. We slump. We sigh. We die.
Short historical coda followed by credits.
» (Italian re-release only) ORSON WELLES interpreta LEW LORD, potente e famoso produttore cinematografico, contatto per produrre un film con Kermit la Rana e gli altri Muppets, dopo aver trattato con it toro agente. (After several mishaps, a few Brios and much confusion, things begin to come together for us. WELLES cameos.)
» We stand stock-still and a room apart, not from nervous anticipation of our favorite band’s performance, but because we haven’t stirred for months, and have both been carted to the bar separately by B-list but pithy FRIENDS in a gesture of “oh-snap-out-of-it” desperation. Eyes widen as ROBIN WILLIAMS sidles into the club in a flurry of touchingly subdued ad-libs, the tails of his white coat flapping, but YOU and I are engaged in a staring match that is maddeningly devoid of decipherable resolve. WILLIAMS, holding court at the bar, commissions half a lime from the BARTENDER to demonstrate a party trick he picked up from a Burmese transvestite in a Moroccan prison. In one movement, he swivels on his barstool and flings the lime across the room, toward the speakers beside the stage. Our eyes remain locked, though your left arm launches out, catches the lime, and drops back, perfunctorily, to your side. Your non-threatening but third-billed FRIEND declares it a miracle, WILLIAMS takes a bow with a mouthful of beer nuts and I crumple, almost imperceptibly, against the grateful pillar, blinking out exactly two big, fat, bowling ball tears.
Roll Dedication and Credits.