Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
So I had this idea for a novel years ago that would be written as a pitch for a novel. Very clever and meta and all that stupid shit that's super dick-erecting when you're 27yrs old. Just found this and am throwing it up for the fuck of it....
Idea for Book.
The Father And The Fangs
(A Broken Novel)
1.) Priest named Fitzwilliam Ferriski—fortyish, chainsmoker, can’t stand still, his legs always shuffling a little bit to the retro-soft-punk band in his head. Bald, with wings of hair over his ears—too young to look that old, to be that bald. An ugly man, pockmarked face, tinted nicotine complexion and overweight. Trying to grow a beard, has been for the past two years but even the hair on his face is against him; there’s just these lines of hair crisscrossing lightly over cheek, chin, under his nose. Teaches English Literature at St. Dymphna’s Prepatory School For Girls. Every day before class he takes his notebook out and writes a new way to kill himself. He’s been teaching for fifteen years. He’s on his twenty-first notebook.
The warning bell rings and the first five girls shuffle into room number 15. Lord, look at them: they’re tit-less. Just these little small mounds. Not like the public school girls. Not like them at all. Gigantic. Frikkin’ huge, Lord. Especially the black children with their gelatinous fun bags flopping soft under designer shirts or thrift store dresses. Father Fitzwilliam casts a baleful stare at Emily Dayton, this little goth chick with too much free time, too much eye-liner and not enough tit. His eyes move from the plane of her chest to the clock on the wall. Three minutes till class starts. He picks up a short stubby pencil riddled with teeth indentations and brings it scratchingly down on notebook twenty-one:
“Eat the raw lung of a mad cow. Vomit it up in
front of Miss Dayton. With your right hand holding
a pistol horizontal to the back of your head at a slight downward angle, pull the trigger and blow your face
all over her chest. Her chest that is not there. Her
anti-chest. Blow your eyes, nasal cavity, teeth and
brain all over her shirt. Make sure your underwear
is very tight so you can die as you lived: full of fecal
Father Fitzwilliam does not smile. There is frustration and thoughtfulness on his face: didn’t I write something similar to that a year ago? He crosses out “fecal matter” replaces it with “shit”: he abhors unnecessary alliteration. More students, more girls with their thin ankles or fat ankles or no ankles at all click their way into class in a giggling blur of white and argyle. Knee-high socks. Thin watches. No earrings. No make-up. Sara McCaffery believes lip balm is allowed. Miss McCaffery is wrong. But let Mrs. Hitch deal with her, he frowns. The second to last girl, Mirror Williamson walks slow into class and takes her seat in the back. She has a chest. She’s got fun bags. She’s a protestant. Prods know chest. Before his vows, he only ever banged protestants. Work ethic. Zero Tolerance. No Catholic girls. No JAPs. No coloreds. Just WASPs. Prods knew how to bang. They banged out a nation, banged out a schism, they used to bang Fitzwilliam. They could bang and bang without any fear of going to hell…at least that’s how it seemed. And they were so slow to fall in love. I wonder—no I don’t; he does this a great deal: interrupts his own thoughts. What he was going to think was “I wonder if Miss Williamson will be just as slow to fall in love?” Such good skin, is the thought that supplants it, you Prods always had such good skin. Though their parents are given to naming children something ridiculous. Like Mirror. Or January. Or Splash.
The final bell rings. Father Fitzwilliam picks his nose, rubs the half-blooded booger under the desk and doesn’t give a fuck if they see him. There’s freedom in the priesthood. Freedom in an existence that’s had sex amputated. It’s empowering. When you don’t care about banging broads, or little girls, you can let yourself go. Become a monster. Don’t bathe unless the mood strikes you. Same with brushing teeth. Toothpaste aftertaste gets in the way of his morning tea; it makes it taste like iron. To hell with brushing teeth. The bristles always bled his gums anyway. Laundry? Ha! To hell with laundry as well. Not that he has a diverse wardrobe. His black shirts, jackets and pants, his collars…aside from a few t-shirts, some old sweatpants from when he believed working out was worth the while, that’s all he has. To hell with laundry. With washing and drying and folding. Cologne’ll take care of everything. It’ll keep him from smelling just a bit too ripe. It’ll keep him from getting fired.
Allison DeLuca, Amanda Riley and Jennifer Garcia all blanch in disgust. They’ll never get over Father Fitzwilliam depositing boogers from nose to desk. It’s their own over-achieving fault, Father Fitzwilliam thinks, they chose to sit in the front row. The girls rustle to silence as he opens up his Norton Anthology of English Literature.
“Alright ladies. Today we’re going to learn why Samuel Taylor Coleridge is in hell. Open your books to page 455 and gaze upon the abomination that is Christabel.”
2.) Maybe there’s Father Fitzwilliam teaching the class and dropping some interesting tidbits about Christabel for the reader. Maybe not. Class lets out. Miss Williamson asks if she can have some extra credit. Father says no. Says he doesn’t believe in extra-credit.
3.) Then we have Father Fitzwilliam eating his lunch later on. The cafeteria is in a basement. It’s only a short fifteen steps to the showers and locker room. He doesn’t sit with the other priests. Doesn’t sit with the lay teachers. He sits at a back table populated with fat girls, ugly girls and girls with learning disabilities. They gave up on trying to engage him in conversation a long time ago. He eats tuna. Washes it down with coffee. Eats slimy Philly pretzels that Lunchlady Hawkins picks up every afternoon on Roosevelt Boulevard. She buys them from a latino named Cecil who has a birthmark on his cheek in the exact likeness of Alfred Hitchcock’s profile. She buys them from Cecil on a stretch of Roosevelt Boulevard right in front of the shutdown Byberry Hospital for the mentally firmed. She buys slimy pretzels for catholic schoolgirls from a slimy man who hangs out in front of a closed insane asylum. And Father Fitzwilliam eats them. Eats two a day with his plaqued mouth—a mouth that’s a wildlife preserve for rot and decay, a biodome for simple organisms, a furnace of filth all lava-ed with coffee. And the girls sit in silence. Afraid to speak to him. Afraid to speak to eachother. Father Fitzwilliam doesn’t care. Isn’t sorry. These girls, even Melanie who approaches early Blake with the tear-trembling anxiety and horror of a normal girl asked to perform brain surgery on her mother or her mother will die; you either operate or your mother will die…these girls are Saint Dymphna’s best students. Father Fitzwilliam believes its because he sits with them. Sometimes he’ll say something out loud, more to himself than the girls, something like “Toni Morrison is a bitchy little cooze of a writer” and the girls will nod emphatically or take out a notebook and write it down. None ever respond. And Father Fitzwilliam will go back to his tuna, his coffee, his slimy pretzels and the comfort of being surrounded by the infirmed and unnattractive.
TRANSITION to Father Fitzwilliam talking to the headmaster outside St. Dymphna’s in the little stone gazebo Fitzwilliam used to smoke in all those years ago when the school was Saint Brendan’s Prepatory School for Boys. The headmaster is Father Bullwink, only slightly older than Fitzwilliam. Bullwink has all of his hair and teeth that glow an ungodly white. He is not ugly. His face is tanned. His hands are pink with short little sausage fingers. He’s also thin. [mention earlier that FF is kinda fat, not large, but fat enough. Put it in the freedom of celibacy section. List meat-lover’s pizzas and milkshakes and chips.] He’s also a prick.
Father Fitzwilliam can’t wait to get through this cigarette so he can smoke another one and then maybe another one before lunch lets out and he has to teach the senior girls the art of paralipsis in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. He likes to savor each inhalation, every exhalation—the smoking’s eventually going to kill him after all, he needs to enjoy it: it’ll make it worthwhile. Father Bullwink’s ridiculously deep voice isn’t making him enjoy smoking at all.
“Lesbian vampires, Father? Don’t you rather think that’s rather inappropriate subject matter for Saint Dymphna’s?”
“All due respect, Father Bullwink, but Dymphna of all the saints would find some humor in it.”
Father Bullwink does not smile.
“It’s an acceptable interpretation of the text, Father. I’m teaching Christabel from a moral reading of that text. I’m showing the students why Coleridge is an overrated hack.”
“I’m going to have to ask you to abandon the poem, Father. Find something else to teach your class.”
Father Fitzwilliam inhales deeply, the cherry’s ember flares and spits a tendril of smoke into his eye. He doesn’t flinch. He says, “Who told you about this, Father?”
“The who doesn’t matter, Father. You know that.”
“It was that DeLuca girl wasn’t it?”
Father Bullwink says yes without saying anything at all.
“Filthy little bitch!”
“She is, you know. Oh, she looks clean, but her soul is filthy. I can smell it on her, you understand. I can smell the marijuana and semen feeling up her immortal soul.”
“Father Fitzwilliam! Enough! Dear God! What is wrong with you?”
“I’ll show that little succubus. I’ll give her a face of hell next class that no one’ll see coming. Rat me out, will she? Fine! And I’ll respond with a face of hell! Jane Austen. Mansfield Park! She’ll claw her goddamn eyes out!”
“I’m placing you on leave. Effective immediately.”
“God, it’ll hurt me just as much, Fanny Price is an insufferable little—what did you say?”
“I’m placing you on leave, Father Fitzwilliam. You’ve obviously been under a great deal of stress.”
“No, I haven’t.” And this is true. He hasn’t. He is stress free. He is a stranger to stress.
“You are on leave, Father. I’ll shall take over the rest of your classes for the remainder of the week until—”
“You can’t do this to me, Scott! You can’t—”
“I am, Will. I can’t have you here when you’re like this. Not now. After that business with Father Edmund, we’re one complaint away, one news article away from disaster.”
“Fine! I’ll drop Christabel. I’ll teach them innocuous drivel from Browning.”
“It’s more than that, Will. You know that.”
“Why are you being such an asshole, Scott? Those girls are my life. You can’t just take them away from me like this!”
“You’re taking two months off, Will. I’m not firing you. Go somewhere quiet. Work on your poetry. Finish that Mansfield biography you always used to talk about. Just go away for a while. And if you think I’m being an a-hole, it’s only because those girls are my life as well.”
Father Fitzwilliam curls his hands into fists, breaking his cigarette. He stares deep into Father Bullwink’s blueish eyes and lets his mouth do a quivering grimace. He unclenches his fists, says “Asshole” then stalks off to collect his things.
*.) He collects his things. This takes a long while. As he picks through the items there are memories attached to them. There’s a brief catalog of these memories. He doesn’t get sad. Just exhausted. Midway through, Jenny Williamson comes into his office. She says she overheard Father Bullwink talking to Father Joe about what happened. She says she’s sorry and that he was her favorite teacher ever. She says she thinks Father Bullwink is a shithead. Father Fitzwilliam lets himself give just the faintest smile. He says something to her that’s not exactly sweet and inspiring, yet not exactly not sweet and inspiring. He tells her to go back to class. She’s the only one to come and say goodbye. By six o’clock he has cleared his office of everything he’ll need. On his way out, he stops by the front desk and writes up an infraction slip for Miss Williamson. “Cursing: Called Father Bullwink a ‘shit-head’.” He drops the paper in the infraction box and heads to the parking lot.
PLOT starts HERE.
Night out. He carries the last box to his car. His car’s parked in the furthest space, right by the woods. He runs over in his head stuff about teaching. And memory. And how long he was with St. Dymphna’s. After lengthy prose on this, it appears as if he’s going to break down. Then a vampire leaps out from the woods and bites him on the neck.
“Arrgh!” or something to that extent is his scream.
The scream of the vampire, that is.
The crazy lunatic that had just tried to bite him is hunched over and spitting out Father Fitzwilliam’s blood, “Yuck! Owshit! Dammit! Fehluck!”
Father can only clasp his neck hard and stare at the man.
“Priest blood! I am such a doofus!”
TYPICAL GETTING TO KNOW YOU SHIT FOLLOWS.
Example: “I’m a vampire.”
“You’re crazy. Vampires don’t exist.”
“Scout’s honor. I’m a vampire.”
“Thou art mad.”
“Nay, Father, I be one from god shunned. I am nosferatu, wampyre.”
“Dude, you are so not.”
“Dude, I sooo am.”
Better written of course. It ends up with Father Fitzwilliam believing Elliot (Elliot’s the vampire.) He’s three-hundred years old but doesn’t look a day over thirty. He’s got purple eyes, short brown hair, pale (not white) skin and isn’t very attractive. More attractive than Father Fitzwilliam, of course, but that’s not saying too much. He managed to run away from the ugly stick after about twenty years of being beaten, Father Fitzwilliam is still being thwacked as we speak—look!—another pockmark just appeared. Elliot’s full name is Elliot Arden. He enjoys drinking the blood of anything human—he’s an equal-opportunity night stalker. He’s been hanging around Philadelphia for the past ten years. He likes the live music scene, likes the food (he does more than just drink blood). He’s also quite mad. Well, not really. He has multiple personality disorder. He flips between idiot and suave count…but the body stays the same, you know, the body stays ugly.
He moves into Father Fitzwilliam’s small apartment, promises not to bite him and all that. Somehow Fitzwilliam is able to reconcile all of this.
Two or three chapters about their odd-couple relationship, some embellishment of Elliot’s past.
Father Fitzwilliam sits in gray sweats watching television. Reality programming. Elliot sits cross-legged on the floor, reading aloud:
“Fill a baby pool with gasoline and rubbing
alcohol. Cover body with rubber cement.
Arrange toys from your childhood: stuffed
bears, dolls, etc. in little seats facing the pool.
This is your audience. Light yourself on fire.
Dive into pool. Maybe arrange thirty or forty
nails in the shape of a swastika at bottom of
baby pool. ‘Good luck.’ You’ll need it. The
pain will be exquisite.”
Elliot smiles, his distended canines catching the light of the television.
“Man! That is what I be calling the poetry, my friend.”
“I was always rather fond of that one. The idea of martyring yourself to the past, or rather, to objects of the past always intrigued me.”
“You a good writer man. You a bad priest, though. We got any chili dogs left?”
“I’m an excellent priest. I fear and love God so much I’m afraid to pray to him. Afraid to ask anything of him…for myself or others.”
“Pray me a chili dog, Fitz.”
“Oh, yes. The alpha and omega would be pleased beyond imagination with such a petition. ‘Dear Lord, it is I, your humble servant Fitzwilliam. Pray Lord, could you see it in your infinite wisdom and powers to magic me up a chili dog for my friend the vampire? He finds hot chili and pork cleanses his palate of prostitute blood far more efficiently than a Big Mac. Thank you, Lord. Amen.’ You see the problem, Elliot?”
“When do I get the chili dog?”
Fitzwilliam sighs. He tells Elliot to check the fridge again: “this time look in the bottom drawer.” When he cared about art, philosophy and the universal, when he let his natural ironic cynicism and egotism run wild into imagining the world in terms of popular fiction, Fitzwilliam always believed he was just one oddball supporting character away from being one of history’s greatest protagonists. And now he wonders—no, he doesn’t wonder. He doesn’t want to think about it. He doesn’t want to know if he’s a paragon of pulp or in over his bald head.
Elliot squeals with delight. He leaps from refrigerator to directly in front of the television with preternatural agility and speed. Shaking the last chili dog he shrieks, “God rocks!!!”
Yes, yes, yes is the answer Fitzwilliam’s nodding head and waving hand give. Then he says, “Out of my way. I simply have to know if that twit Harmony will survive another week on the island.”
Fitzwilliam makes himself sick with victory: he hated that twit. Always complaining about everyone else not doing enough work while se spends five hours every afternoon sunning herself on the beach. As the credits roll, Elliot showers. He’s become quite fond of showers, of cleanliness. Though undead and always giving off a rather unbecoming odor of dead meat and earth, Elliot has shaped himself up into the semblance of a gentleman. If he douses himself in Father’s cologne, even the death stench is tolerable and at times even pleasant.
Elliot comes out of the shower wearing red socks, a pair of Fitzwilliam’s black dress pants and a white turtleneck. His hair is combed back hard. He looks kinda like Mickey Rourke in Angel Heart…or Barfly. When he opens his mouth, Fitzwilliam can tell he’s now his erudite self.
“Bloody hell, Ferriski. You’ve been letting me eat chili dogs again, haven’t you?”
Fitzwilliam says nothing. He’s channel changing.
“Excuse me? Ferriski? Dammit man, listen to me! You can not, I mean, you simply can not allow this to happen one more time. I loathe those damn things. It’s such an obvious flavor, such a crude piece of food…I dare say it’s pornographic, Fitzwilliam, and I wonder how a man, a priest no less, could allow such a thing into his residence!”
“You have the strength of thirty men, Elliot. If you really desire a chili dog, there’s little I can do to stop you.”
“That’s utter nonsense and you know it, Fitzwilliam. There’s plenty you could do.”
“You could explain to me when I’m…when I’m him, why chili dogs are wrong to consume on so many different levels. Start with aesthetics then work your way down, man.”
“You have the attention span of a mayfly when you’re him, Elliot.”
“Ha…very clever. Mayflies only living twenty-four hours. Cheers. You know, I always—dammit, you’re distracting me!”
Fitzwilliam says nothing.
“Shoot me in the face!”
“That’s right,” Elliot lunges at his shoes and begins putting them on hurriedly, “we’ll get a gun right now. Grab your coat. And when I decide I want a chili dog, you shoot me right in the face.”
“I’m not going to shoot you in the face.”
“Nonsense. Of course you are. Don’t worry, it’s happened before, I rather enjoy it. But he, he bloody hates it! What are you sitting around for, man? Up n’ at ‘em! Firearms await!”
“Listen to yourself. He hates it.”
“Elliot…has it occurred to you that he might hate it so much that as soon as he gets his wits about him—”
“That he’ll kill me?”
Elliot rubs his chin, quits tying his shoes. “You have a point.”
Fitzwilliam goes back to channel changing.
“The host! Yes! Brilliant! Downright Pavlovian!”
“Hear me out. We go out and buy a basket of chili dogs. Then you bless some wafers and secret them betwixt chili and bun. Oh! I dare say he’ll think twice about eating another chili dog after being scourged by the love of the Lord!”
“Won’t that hurt you as well?”
“Dreadfully. But it’ll be worth it just to see the look on my face!”
“You’re mad. There’s no way on earth I’m using transubstantiation to housebreak a vampire.”
“Oh! But why not?” Elliot cries.
Fitzwilliam ignores him, flips channels, lands on ESPN2.
“Dammit, man! You’re being completely unreasonable! I need your help, I need—my god,” Elliot’s eyes are drawn to the television, drawn to an ovoid track over which high powered metal monsters compete in a speed ballet, “my word…it’s beautiful…I never dreamed…”
Father Fitzwilliam slowly turns his head to Elliot. He needs to know if what he hears in his voice is true.
The vampire is crying.
“…Fitzwilliam…I shall live that dream…”
Dear God, don’t let him say it, Fitzwilliam prays, please Lord, this is already too absurd; we passed too absurd a while back, please God, don’t let it be true…
“…I shall become a NASCAR driver.”
Father Fitzwilliam Ferriski never had a crisis of faith because God never got tired of fucking with him.
LEAP AHEAD TO DAYTONA FIVE HUNDRED
Monday, March 11, 2013
Rough Treatment I Was Asked To Write For The Movie That Eventually Became "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone."
“I Will Show You Magic In A Happy Rainbow Orgy”
Broose Dickerson is a God of stage magic. For the past fifteen years he has been the number one draw in Las Vegas. Along with his partner, DARE-IT GOSH, they have cultivated and perfected the lost art of magic known as Rainbow Magic. The late Doug Henning is often credited with having invented this flamboyant and often confusing brand of conjuring but there is no doubt as to who is its master: Broose and Dare-It!
Broose is an innocent sort. Really innocent. Almost creepy in his innocent. And there seems to be something vaguely asexual about him. Still, he is beloved by millions and has done more to promote Domestic Monkey Diaper Awareness Week than any other human being (“Monkeys are cute and magical. Like babies! But they are not babies. Don’t put a diaper on your monkey.”)
Broose and Dare-It both live outside Las Vegas in fabulously opulent mansions. While Dare-It is sociable, Broose prefers to stay cloistered in his home inventing new Rainbow Magic illusions and hanging out with the MAGIC MUFFS!
The MAGIC MUFFS have been a regular feature of Broose and Dare-It’s stage show since 1992. The Muffs are three lavish puppets that participate in the magic show. Their names are “Sleepy Sam”, “Steady Freddy” and “Doubting Diana.” The Muffs’s puppeteers are JILL, PERCH and DASH. They were plucked from UCLA’s performing arts department in 1991 and asked if they’d like to take their puppet creations on the road with the fabulous Broose and Dare-It. All agreed enthusiastically. What they didn’t consider at the time was the ramifications of signing a 16yr contract. The Muffeteers, for lack of a better word, are indentured servants to Broose and Dare-it. However, with the exception of Dash (who puppets Doubting Diana) all are quite happy living with Broose in Happy Colorville Estates.
After another award-winning performance at the Coca-Cola/Time Warner Las Vegas Invitational Magic Open Championship Quarterly, Dare-It is approached by XANDER STORM.
Xander Storm is an aging “Extreme Magician” (think of Criss Angel at age 58.) He has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor—he calls his affliction “Mind Cancer.” Xander has been frustrated for years that audiences respond more to Broose & Dare-It’s Rainbow Magic than his streetwise “Dark Adult Magic” (his performance includes walking the streets of Las Vegas with a camera crew, finding two strangers, a male and a female, and then to the amazement of onlookers and his television audience, announces that he will switch their genitals! Over-dramatic hand motions are made and then the two are forced to drop their pants. From the blurred censor mosaic we can see that he was completely successful in switching genitals.)
Just as he is beginning to gain some attention in the media he finds out about his Mind Cancer. He vows that Dark Adult Magic will not die with him and so he seeks a successor. This successor is Dare-It. Broose’s partner is at first reluctant but Xander tells Dare-It that he is descended from a long line of Egyptian Magicians and that it is his destiny to carry the torch for Dark Adult Magic. Dare-It is still a bit skeptical but then Xander takes him on Dark Adult Magic field trip through the streets of Las Vegas. Dare-It is soon seduced by the dark side and agrees to end his relationship with Broose and become the heir to Dark Adult Magic.
The next day Dare-It visits Happy Colorville Estates and tells Broose he is leaving the act. Broose at first doesn’t process this because he is more perplexed over the now jet black hair of his partner.
Dare-It makes his point and leaves with Dash and Doubting Diana (of all the Muffeteers, Dash was the one that wanted out of Happy Colorville the most—he found it incredibly difficult to get laid surrounded by rainbows, glitter and monkeys that don’t wear diapers.)
At first, Broose is resigned to just stay in his home and continue working on new illusions. He doesn’t want to perform publicly again without his old friend and partner. But then he sees a new television program on his Wonder Wall (this is what Broose calls his four-hundred inch flat screen HDTV): “Dare-It Gosh’s Wicked World Of Brain Screwing Magic.”
DARE-IT: “Hello, unsuspecting viewers. Are you prepared to get screwed? Screwed in the brain? Screwed in the brain by brain-screwing magic?!”
Broose sees Dare-It perform on the streets with Doubting Diana (the puppet is now dressed in leather bondage gear.) The act is a combination of Dark Adult Magic and Rainbow Magic: limbs are severed, they spout rainbow blood and then are magically re-attached; an unsuspecting couple has glitter spew uncontrollably from their eye-sockets, they both scream and freak the fuck out until they are returned to normal, etc. At the end of the episode, Dare-It invites us all to tune in next week and then tongue-kisses Doubting Diana as the puppet rubs his crotch.
Broose is disturbed by what he sees but he doesn’t know why and he wouldn’t know what to do anyway.
That night DOUG HENNING comes to Broose in a dream. He informs Broose that he has to do something about Dare-It because he is “perverting and corrupting the wonderful world of rainbow magic.” Broose asks the ghost of Doug Henning if that means he should have another stage show. Doug says that won’t do it. He tells Broose that he’s spent too much time in large venues performing for the rich and famous. The real problem, Doug tells him, is that people have forgotten the wonder of rainbow magic and that the only way they’re going to remember is if Broose takes Rainbow Magic back to the streets!!
Xander Storm is in the hospital. His mind cancer will kill him soon. Dare-It is at his bedside. With his last breath, Xander gives Dare-It a sealed envelope. He tells him that his greatest magic trick is inside and he tells him not to open it until exactly one month, two weeks, three days and thirty-five minutes from now. Dare-It nods and sets his watch for that exact time. Xander mutters “thank you” and then dies. Dare-It weeps.
We’ll see a brief funeral for Xander. Sisters Of Mercy perform at the burial.
The next day Broose inform Jill and Perch that they’re going to hit the streets with magic. Jill is worried and asks if Broose is going to have any problems being out in public after a decade of solitude. Perch asks if they’ll be released from their contract if they agree to this. Broose believes he’ll have no problems and tells Perch that, yes, they’ll be released from their contract.
Of course, Broose has terrible difficulty adjusting to the outside world. We see him in a supermarket trying to perform with hilarious results. We see him at a gas station. We see him outside a topless bar. This goes on and on while at the same time Dare-It’s show is becoming more and more popular and large venues are finally opening up to Dark Adult Magic shows. Broose is despondent and is haunted by dreams of a weeping Doug Henning surrounded by sad, gray rainbows.
A defeated Broose then hangs out at a seedy bar with Jill, Perch and their muffets. Here we’ll get to see Broose without all the bizarrely innocent creepiness that has surrounded him from the opening of the film: he is a real person who just can’t seem to accomplish his goal and it’s tearing him up inside. On the television in the bar is a special report on Dark Adult Magic and the harmful effects it might be having on children. We see young kids dressed all in black performing bizarre nearly satanic magic tricks like sawing a baby in half or switching the genitals of their parents. They all say that Dark Adult Magic is cool and that Dare-It Gosh is the Lord Of Cool. Clips of Dare-It’s show are seen and through the censored bleeps we hear a mother say, “And this show? I don’t know much about magic but I know I don’t want my kids fucked in the brain. Frankly, to be honest with you, I don’t want my kids fucked anywhere. What I do want is my vagina back, I’ll tell you that for free.” Broose is more and more despondent until the end of the segment where the announcer shows a young girl dressed in bright colors with rainbow suspenders. She magically takes a flower out of her ear, waves her hand over it, and it becomes a small squirrel monkey wearing a rainbow sweatband on its head.
ANNOUNCER: “Perhaps there is hope after all.”
Jill then tries to show Broose that there is indeed hope; that if just one little girl can discover the joys of Rainbow Magic the whole world could too! Broose starts to come around a little bit but is not convinced, that’s when Jill makes Steady Freddy talk to him in encouraging, soothing tones that come off as highly flirtatious. Broose is slowly becoming convinced…he is also becoming aroused…Steady Freddy and Broose begin making out at the bar….we then go to back to his mansion’s main bedroom where a naked Broose and the naked muffet are making out hot and heavy amongst multicolored satin sheets. We then hear Jill say, “How about a little for me?” Broose gazes at her with great love, “There you are. I thought I lost you forever.” A bizarrely sweet threesome ensues.
The next day Broose and his muffets are kicking ass on the street with their magic.
Word gets back to Dare-It that there has been a resurgence in Rainbow Magic. Dare-It won’t let his mentor’s legacy fade away and he vows to stop Rainbow Magic from making a comeback.
Corrupted by the dark side, Dare-It arranges a grand Magic Competition between his Dark Adult Magic and Broose’s Rainbow Magic. This is the same competition Xander would have gone too had he not died.
The venue for the competition should be fucking extravagant and have lots of rich, gaudy shit everywhere.
Jill and Steady Freddy give Broose a kiss for good luck and the competition begins. From the get-go, Dare-It is wiping the floor with Broose. The judges are firmly on the side of Dare-It. The competition format is a lightning round with no breaks in between tricks. Broose does a trick, Dare-It does one back and forth with no preparation and no breaks. After a while Broose is visibly exhausted and beaten. Dare-It is also tired but he is nowhere near as bad as his former partner.
It is Broose’s turn to perform an illusion. He is going to transform his two muffets into gigantic dancing replicas of the Statue Of Liberty wearing tie-dyed t-shirts and waving sparklers. He botches the trick however and only one muffet changes into a Statue Of Liberty!
It is now Dare-It’s turn. All he has to do is successfully perform one last trick and he will be crowned victorious and Dark Adult Magic will live forever. Just then the alarm clock on his watch beeps. Dare-It smiles a wicked smile, reaches into his tight leather pants and pulls out Xander's envelope. He opens it and reads it. There is only one word written on the piece of paper: “SUCKER!!!”
A gigantic explosion of smoke and razor blades appears on stage! From this explosion steps XANDER STORM!!!!
His greatest trick was pretending he had Mind Cancer and faking his death! Dare-It is betrayed and has a complete nervous breakdown on stage.
Because Dare-It was merely taking his place, all Xander has to do is perform one trick and HE will be victorious and Dark Adult Magic will be considered king!
Xander slices off his arm with a samurai sword, eats it, spins around in a circle, throws up his arm, places it in a large canvas bag, pounds it with a hammer, sets it on fire, extinguishes the fire, crawls into the bag and then crawls out of the bag with his arm re-attached!
The judges award the competition to Xander. He triumphantly declares that Rainbow Magic is dead!!
But just then a weak, barely conscious Broose mutters, “wait…I have one last trick up my tight-fitting effeminate sleeves….”
Broose rolls up his sleeve and a bright, glittering mist flows up out of it and hovers in mid-stage. It slowly takes on the form of….DOUG HENNING’s GHOST!!!!!
The Ghost Of Doug Henning and Xander have their own magical battle but it soon becomes apparent that Xander is no match for Doug Henning's fucking ghost.
Xander is weak and crying. He now sees the glory of rainbow magic and the wonder of using your imagination. Xander asks the (holy fucking shit on a giraffe cock is this true?) Ghost Of Doug-Fucking-Henning if he can ever forgive him. Doug Henning’s Ghost replies that the only thing more wonderful than magic and friendship is forgiveness. Doug Henning’s Ghost gives Xander a big ghostly hug and then STABS HIM IN HIS FUCKING GUT WITH A SAMURAI SWORD!
Doug Henning’s Ghost calls Xander a “pussy-ass bitch” as he dies.
Doug Henning’s Ghost then goes over to Dare-It, kisses him on the cheek and then waves a magic ghost hand over his head. Dare-It’s black hair becomes its natural color again.
DOUG HENNING’S TOTALLY GRATEFUL GHOST then thanks Broose for ensuring that Rainbow Magic will live forever. He then fades away.
Broose, Dare-It and then muffeteers live happily ever after promoting Monkey Diaper awareness. Except for Dash and Doubting Diana. They betrayed Rainbow Magic and must fulfill the remainder of their contract volunteering at marmot rescue centers.
The moral of the movie is simple: If you are ever compelled to fuck with THE GHOST OF DOUG HENNING don’t do it. Because you will get fucked the fuck up.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
The medium retreats into the cupboard.
She says, "Now sit yourselves down, sirs. Madames. Hold the hand next to you. Let your mind clear. Let it all go and become an open channel to all the Goodness of the world. Make your mind and your heart a warm home for our spirit friends."
The lights are dimmed, the gas hums from behind walls.
Richard's grip on Miss Wexley's hand is gentle. His grip on Mister Meredith's even more so.
With a sluice of mucas and a small cough, he can tell that the widow Manwaring is already breaking down. A turn of the head and he can see her eyes rimmed and moist in the candlelight.
The piano is played by an assistant of Madame Crain. Spirits enjoy music, she says. Music makes them feel welcome, she says. The notes are slow and they meander. For an instant Richard imagines each gentle press of keys caught in time with the gentle wave of candleflame.
Sound to sight.
And then a waft of roses, frankincense, violets.
Miss Wexley's eyes are wide and afraid; not of spirits, Richard imagines--no. She is afraid of this half-life. This wraith she has become since her dearest Michael passed "to the other side." Afraid of the woman that would rather drop a pound on a medium than feed herself.
He gives her hand a slight squeeze and when she closes her eyes in response, a sheet of tears crisscrosses a mouth neither happy nor sad.
A light thud on the table. A button or a seashell. Apports.
There are sighs choked in awe.
The widow Manwaring exclaims through a broken throat, "Bless you."
A candle is blown out. Only one remains.
A small trumpet rises from the floor across the room and accompanies the piano.
Another thud on the table. An earring or a pinecone.
Richard does not expect to hear from Anna tonight. He does not expect to hear from her ever again. He thinks all of this bunk but for the life of him, he cannot stop attending these orgies of incomparable sadness.
The curtain to the cupboard parts. First a line then a pyramid of white plunging upwards to reveal the face of a very pale young girl whose motions swim in an underwater slow-time.
No Lord Manwaring.
"Blessed are you, my dearest friends. I bring you joyous news of life without end, of love without termination. No tears, my loves. Let us talk..."
The Baron knew this was doomed as well but he couldn't stop the terrible momentum.
The café is dark, the wood is polished. Even the floor appears to have a sheen. Gaslight lamps flicker on walls. Candles flicker on tables. A glass of port sits before the baron, untouched. Next to the glass are a pile of handwritten notes and photgraphs. A single waiter with a thin moustache, bowtie and jacketless suit slowly makes his way from one customer to another. He does so with a straight back and dignity. His words are often followed by a tiny bow. He makes his way to the baron.
"Are you situated comfortably, Herr Von Notzing? Perhaps some beef?"
"No beef. I am fine. Danke."
"You have not touched your port. Is there a problem, mein Herr?"
"No thank you. I am fine."
A tiny bow, a dignified departure.
Across the room the baron recognizes a woman in her mid-thirties. She has short brown hair and wide dark eyes that squint and twinkle when her gentleman companion speaks and places his hand close to hers on the table. The baron was introduced to her briefly at a sitting last month. He shook her hand. He did not smile. The baron moves his chair so he cannot see her anymore.
The café door opens and it sends a cool breeze over the few wisps of gray hair that cover the baron's head. He puts his hand over his long goatee and mouth. He closes his eyes. He is old. He is getting older. His hand moves over his deep-set eyes. He reaches for the port.
The baron returns from the toilet and is careful to avoid the young woman's eyes. The waiter brings the baron his third glass and bows. Pages are pushed aside as the photographs are taken in hand and the baron's eyes soften.
How long have I been like this? What was the cause? These two questions are sovereign in his mind. The answers are quick, ellusive, incorrect:
Six years. It was Elizabeth.
Eight years. It was a profound disappointment in the exploratory approach as utilized by the natural sciences.
Sixty-five years. My mother.
Only three years. It is all the cause of Gretchen and her whorish affection for the present and pleasure.
Fifteen years. Hypnosis.
Twenty years. A desire to do something wonderful for humanity and myself.
Oh, sweet God, I do not know.
She will be no different, he thinks.
The photograph is placed to one side of the table. His attention falls on the remaining glossy sheets. In one a melting face has replaced a woman's ear. In one a bright deformed mass hangs suspended behind another woman. In one there is a mist in the middle of a table. In yet another is a small girl with short hair and a dark dress. She is smirking and a floating man with a long black beard is behind her. He places this one with the other photograph he has laid aside. The next photograph has the same girl and he places this aside as well. And the next one. And the next one. A long sip of port. And the next photograph. And the next one. And the one after that and the next one.
The waiter brings the baron his fourth port.
A pocket is searched, a pipe is withdrawn and sweet, moist tobacco is introduced to flame.
The baron leans back in his chair and then decides to lean forward. He is old and love has lost him. He is old and his knees are weak with time. He is old and nothing can smooth his cheek.
"My wife is a dead thing," he mutters, "and this child will be no different." His hand brushes the photographs he has placed aside.
In the margins of the notes written at Mme. Bisson's home he scrawls, "Spirits do not do this justice. She is shark. The line of luminesce light between her wrists speaks to me and I want to weep. Why do I find myself longing for what I know to be half-true?"
"Another port, mein Herr?"
The baron is slow in his response. His voice stops in all the wrong places, "One more. Yes. I. Shall have. One more, my friend."
The waiter smiles, "Mein Herr. You have become drunk."
The baron looks down at his notes, the photographs, then turns his eyes slowly back to the waiter, "Yes. I suppose."
"I will return immediately with your port, mein Herr."
The café empties. The young woman passed him on her way out. There was no recognition. The baron is alone save an elderly couple and the staff. Halfway through his final drink of the evening, the baron struggles to put a name or a face or even a simple word on this strangeness inside him that anchors one far from home on a late Summer night. What can hammer a life of cold obstinance and reticence into something sad yet hopeful? What can spill doubt into a mind once devoted to science? What awesome force was exerted behind his old eyes that could cause the baron to weep deeply over the prospect of true magic?
"This is doomed. But I will go to her again."
The baron gathers his papers. He lingers briefly on a single photograph and a smile replaces his quivering lip almost immediately.
"I will go to her again."
He can wait another minute or two. This has been sixty years in the making. What’s another minute?
Eugene Flanks stands outside the cafeteria window of Fitzgerald’s Assisted Living, a half-burned Camel Light smoldering in his liver-spotted hand. Through his grey-blue exhalations and the smudged glass he stares at an old woman sitting alone and struggling with a carelessly assembled pasta dish. He smiles as she sighs in frustration, drops the fork and closes her faded brown eyes in exhaustion. Thin, pale fingers run back a strand of storm cloud colored hair that had almost dipped into her lunch. Eugene smiles again.
“This will be my last cigarette, girl,” Eugene whispers, “then we can get back to seventeen and do the past sixty years right.”
Eugene met the old woman when he was seventeen and neither was an old woman. A mutual friend introduced them after they’d auditioned for the school play. He can’t remember the name of the friend, can’t even remember his face, but her—her: She seemed to him a cool, tall and charmed glass of iced tea, purple in hue with the magic of seventeen in her every word. That’s what he thought. When he first shook Judy’s hand and stared smiling into those chestnut eyes he thought, That is the magic of seventeen, even though he was seventeen himself with no disappointing shipwreck of a future to use as reference against the slight and pale embodiment of an age that would over the decades become the center of and meaning for his existence.
The initial meeting soon spilled into a connection. They had three years together. Three charged and wholly teenaged years together where single Summers could see lifetimes, where Winter blizzards chanted songs of sticky fire into their hearts, where Falls and Springs didn’t seem depressingly drenched in symbol because he had Judy—his talisman against time.
Another drag is taken. Another smile. A man, a woman and a teenaged boy sit at Judy’s table. Eugene recognizes them as Judy’s son, his wife and kid. They have what might possibly be the broadest and falsest smiles ever to grace faces. The man leans into Judy gently, kisses her on the cheek then steps back. The woman follows suit, but gives a kiss that falls short of the withered target and retreats quickly. The teenager is prodded by a palm to the back and then he too steps forward, but these steps are reluctant and his blinkandyou’llmissit kiss lands on her shoulder. Alida stares up at them, almost through them, and mouths, “Who are you?”
A drag. A smile.
Eugene has trouble remembering how it all ended although he is convinced it was his own stupid fault. Something about not caring enough. Something about something being taken for granted. Something about being hateful and evil.
He has no difficulty remembering his attempts at reconciliation. He knew there was still love in her heart. There had to be because they were meant to be and they were meant to be like people are meant to be in fairy tales or mythology. There was no denying the outcome, they would be together. They were the prince and Cinderella, they were Ceyx and Alcyone, they were fated. Armed with this conviction Eugene tried to fan the slumbering flames in his true love’s heart. Fully believing in destiny, he wrote letters, sent gifts, had lunch and dinner with her family to survey the topography of her affections, followed her home, waited outside her window, conveniently appeared at places she frequented, intercepted her mail, tapped her phone...
Eugene lets the cigarette fall and peers inside once more. Alida’s guests are still there. He reaches inside his tweed sport jacket pulls out another cigarette.
“Stupid shits,” he mutters as the flint catches and flame wrestles upwards.
Inside, her son’s smile has faded a bit. He’s trying, gently, to express something to his mother but she just sits confused and half-afraid. Her daughter-in-law reaches across the table and tries to hold Judy’s hand but it flutters up to her dusty brow before it can be grasped. The boy shuffles in his seat, stares out the window. Eugene mouths, “Go home, you little shit.” The boy yanks his gaze to another window.
On average it takes six minutes to smoke a cigarette. Eugene can wait another six minutes.
“I fucking hate you! Stay away from me! I fucking hate you!”: these were the last words Judy said to him. She said these words after spotting Eugene at the far end of a bar in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Judy had made plans to meet her new boyfriend there for drinks. Eugene knew this because he was outside her window when those plans were made. She hadn’t gotten a third of the way through her gin and tonic when she saw Eugene staring at her out the corner of his eye. She muttered something to her boyfriend, got up and walked over.
“What are you doing here?” she said.
“Huh? Oh! Hey, how are you? Haven’t seen you in a while.”
Eugene had thought he’d become pretty good at feigning surprise. He’d thought wrong.
“This has to stop, Eugene. This has to stop. You’re sick. This is the third time in five months I’ve seen you someplace you shouldn’t be—”
“It’s a public place.”
“Where do you live?”
“Listen to yourself! You live in Wilmington! What are you doing here on a Tuesday night? What were you doing in New York? What were you—this has to stop. I don’t want to see you ever again. I don’t like you. I sure as hell don’t love you. This is—god, I can’t believe I have to say all this! We broke up eight years ago! Eight years! It’s over—no, it’s not even over! We passed ‘over’ a long time ago!”
The boyfriend rose from his seat with Judy’s voice and walked over. Relative quiet descended upon the bar. The manager was coming out of the kitchen. Eugene reached his hand out to her arm.
“Look, if we could just go somewhere and talk for a while, I’m sure that—”
“No!” Her arm snatched back, the boyfriend said something unintelligibly threatening and protective.
Eugene wanted to say something fiercely poetic at this moment. He wanted to distill his pure, choking love for her into a series of syllables that would take the hate from her eyes and the breath from every lung in the room. He wanted the past eight years of loneliness, despair and sanctioned love to condense into an irresistible sorcery of words that could shatter the hardest heart, that could make time travel possible.
But seeing her there...with him...with NotEugene...and her senseless hatred...
He wanted poetry. What he came up with was, “Remember when my dick was in your mouth?”
“I fucking hate you! Stay away...”
Eugene coughs up a slimy blackish red thing, wipes his mouth with the back of a cicatrized hand and takes another drag. The family is getting ready to leave. Judy seems thankful.
“Hurry up, you bastards.”
Eugene’s savage poetry and the black eye he received from the boyfriend didn’t end his pursuit of Judy and the past. For a while he still managed to show up at places she was at. But a restraining order and the private community she moved into put a stop to that.
Still, he had managed to keep the odd friend or acquaintance handy that knew a little bit about what Alida was up to. He kept tabs, quietly, invisibly on how she was doing, where she was. He had given up on being assertive. Time, once his great enemy, soon became the most comforting of silent partners.
He would wait.
He would be patient.
Years might have to pass before they could see each other face-to-face again, before his great pal Time could heal the wounds and lay the scar tissue. He imagined conveniently running into her at a mall or supermarket years down the road and when that happened she’d see how much better he was. How, yes, he realized he was a bit obsessed back then and was terribly sorry for the whole ordeal...and she’d laughingly accept the apology and say, oh, don’t worry about it, it was so long ago anyway...and he’d make like he was about to leave then hesitate and harmlessly ask if she wanted to grab some coffee and she’d accept and there’d be the long-awaited happy ending.
The family leaves. Eugene waits a moment, takes a last drag of his cigarette and flicks it to the ground. A voice from behind takes his eyes from the door.
“Mister Flanks? Are you lost?”
Eugene regards the young nurse or assistant or caregiver or whatever the hell she calls herself with contempt. He can’t tell her to fuck off, which is exactly what he wants to do, because he has to keep pretending he’s a harmless old man stricken with Alzheimer’s.
“Hello darlin’,” he says.
The nurse cocks her black, bobbed hair to one side and says with a little smirk, “Were you smoking again? I thought we agreed that we’d try not smoking for a week?”
Eugene cannot say, “We didn’t agree to shit, you filthy little sperm toilet.”
He can only say, “I like my cigarettes.”
She smiles and sighs. “Would you like me to walk you back to your room?”
Eugene shakes his head, points inside, says, “I’m gonna eat.”
“Okay. You sure you don’t need any help?”
She lets him go and strolls away.
Eugene coughs a bit, feels butterflies in his stomach for the first time in years, takes his first step towards the door and mutters, “Epipsychidion.”
When Eugene found out Judy had married one Jack Pearce, he wasn’t too worried. Oh, he had a drinking binge that lasted the better part of four months, but the knowledge that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce as well as the knowledge that they, Eugene and Judy, were absolutely meant to be quickly restored his calm. He could wait. Time was his buddy.
He bought a house in the same development as Alida. He gained fifty pounds and let his hair grow long so he’s be nearly unrecognizable when he waved hello to her from across the street as he walked his pit bulls, Daisy and Jay.
For five decades he watched and waited. He saw her children brought back from the hospital as infants, saw them play as children, saw them yell and rebel and waste their precious teenaged years, saw them move out as adults—he once helped to lift a box into the minivan when Jack Jr. went off to college and wasn’t even faintly recognized. He saw her go through eight different cars. He saw her arrange the landscaping in the front yard twice a dozen times; one wet Spring even found her experimenting with a wishing well.
He waited. He walked his dogs. But never did his love diminish. Never did his conviction waver. Never did he doubt that they were destined to be together. And never did he doubt that together is to get her.
When Jack died three years ago he attended the funeral. Uninvited, but unnoticed, he watched from a small knoll, smoked cigarettes and could tell that Time was about to pay up.
A year after her husband’s death, Eugene noticed that Judy spent a great deal of time being driven to and from places. Simple inquiries of neighbors revealed that poor Mrs. Pearce was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. Simple late night walks of the dog revealed that she often wandered aimlessly in the street before her house.
When Eugene learned she was being put into a home, he dressed up in clothes that hadn’t fit him since he was a teenager, set fire to a part of his house and called his sister. Eugene was placed in Fitzgerald’s Assisted Living two weeks after Judy. That was three days ago.
Eugene’s steps are deliberate and slow. Sixty more paces and he’ll be standing in front of her. Their reunion is sixty paces in the making.
Alida has pushed aside her lunch. She sits with one hand lazily caressing the other. She stares out the window with angry-sad eyes.
Eugene’s steps quicken and his hands start to tremble but he is not nervous.
Alida wrinkles her nose, turns her eyes back to the table and pushes the untouched meal further away from her.
Forty paces, thirty paces. Eugene can see her clearly now. But the storm cloud colored hair, the arched nose, the crenellated cheeks, grey folded throat and thin cracked rose lips don’t reach his eyes as what they are...
Judy leans back in her chair. Confused thought eddies in her chestnut eyes.
...he instead sees dark brown eyes and crushed velvet hair of the same hue resting like mist on even more insubstantial flesh. Twenty paces. Ten. He sees seventeen and thanks Time for telling him its great secret: The past is a place. Look. See? There it is.
Judy gives a tortured, soul-destroying sigh as she bends down for her little handbag. When she rights herself...
Eugene sits down across from her. He is wearing the same tweed jacket, blue jeans and baseball cap he had on when he first met her that day after school. He takes a deep breath, smiles deep into her lovely face and says, “So how things going, Judy-Fruity?” He was the only one to ever call her “Judy-Fruity.”
When she rights herself...
Jeweled tears crease her smile. “Geenie?”
“Yeah. It’s me.”
“I thought you’d never come.”
His hands reach for hers and she clasps them tightly. They are soft in his hand and they are smooth. “I’m here. Right where I’ve always been.”
“I’ve missed you so much, Geenie. I was so lonely. I thought...I thought I was all alone.”
“I’m right here.”
“God, I love you, Geenie. I love you so fucking much it hurts.”
When she rights herself...
Eugene clutches her hand tighter. Peace descends upon him and it’s brought love along for the ride. The world has righted itself. Things finally make sense now. There is Eugene and there is Judy and they are together as they always should have been as they always will be forever and ever. He does not feel the urge to look back on the past sixty years and decide whether or not it was all worth it. And not because he emphatically believes that, yes, it was worth every terrible feat of endurance, but because there is no sixty years for him to look back upon. Holding her hand, hearing she loves him so fucking much, has snuffed the years. He has boomeranged. He knows it when he looks at the seventeen sitting across from him.
When she rights herself, when she pushes the thin cloudy strands away from her eyes...she sees seventeen as well.