A white-haired gentlemen is next.  He sports a moustache.  And a pipe.  He wears one of those wool suits from the forties.  And something is sticking out of his jacket pocket as well.  A folded screenplay.  With ink corrections apparent on the pages.  He takes a card.  Then he speaks with a quick, Southern accent.

SCREEN WRITER

Seems like the bad writers of songs these days reflect on the past too much.  Dwell on it-you know.  Due to control issues—I imagine…  You see you have to compartmentalize your work.  Just like your life.  You can’t dwell on things.  Once it’s done, move on to the next thing.  It makes memories all the more passable.  So when you face them again, you see them… the right way…  Course you can’t look ahead either.  Then you either numb up, or get wound so tight the whole thing just unravels…  You gotta control your thoughts.  Ask you yourself what you’re thinking about—and why.  Is it about things you wonder if you had control over?  The sad thing is good writers have to do it too.  We all abhor silence…  And my song is about over.  I’m afraid that face card did me in…  Don’t get up, Gentlemen.  Adieu…

You watch him rise to take his leave.  Gathering a cane he had hooked to the back of his stool.  And then you see a stage.  The red curtains closed.  A spotlight center stage.  Johnny Tribout walks out to it in front of the curtains.  Not in close-up, but from the back of the audience.

JOHNNY

I thought it was my fault.  When I heard that she was dead—murdered—I thought I had some hand in it.  I went over memories.  Trying to see if I missed something. If my gut reaction to the moment was wrong, and in reflection meant something else.  I went through all my moments with her…  But then I had a thought.  A thought on how to change my thoughts.  I realized I wanted to be in control of something that nothing in my imagination could control.  Those stoned imaginations where my importance is all the more greater, and you get stuck there–frozen.  The threats to an image…  But then I realized something.  Something I try not to forget though the thought tells me to.  And I forget so easily…  I try to remember to forget.  And maybe not forget, but just really not remember until later, until maybe there’s some judgment for it.  And judgment is fickle.  Really the only judgments you face are from others who judge the same criteria.  The rest is just misreads, and the only time you really feel judged is when you judge yourself…  And I don’t know—maybe I did have some hand in it. With Nina’s death.  Maybe I never really listened for what she was judging me for in our time together.  Maybe I was too busy listening to what already happened, trying to find in it all the reasons she should love me.  When really she just wanted to love me being there—right there—with her…

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