Saturday, December 04, 2004

Hustle

EDDIE: You look different ... More relaxed.
SARAH: It's the lights. And the scotch.
EDDIE: How come you didn't catch your bus?
SARAH: I wasn't waiting for a bus.
EDDIE: Then why go to the bus station?
SARAH: Same reason you went: at that hour of the morning you haven't much choice. Besides, I only live three blocks from there. Where do you live?
EDDIE: Around.
SARAH: I know where you live: in a locker, in a bus station. What's it like living in a locker?
EDDIE: Cramped. (she smiles) You always drink like this, so early in the morning?
SARAH: Do you always ask so many questions?
EDDIE: No, not always.
SARAH: Sometimes I wake up and I can't sleep, not without a drink. The bars don't open until eight. Mack over there has faith in me. When I'm broke, he trusts me. Don't you trust me, Mack?
BARTENDER: Check!
SARAH: When I'm not broke, I usually have a bottle in my room, in which case I sleep very well indeed.
EDDIE: You talk kind of funny, but I like it.
SARAH: I used to be an actress.
EDDIE: Yeah? What do you do now?
SARAH: I'm a college girl. Two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, I go to college.
EDDIE: You don't look like a college girl.
SARAH: I'm the emancipated type. Real emancipated.
EDDIE: No, I didn't mean that -- whatever that means. I mean, you just don't look young enough.
SARAH: I'm not.
EDDIE: So why go to college?
SARAH: I've got nothing else to do on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
EDDIE: What do you do on the other days?
SARAH: I drink.
EDDIE: (to the bartender) Hey!
SARAH: No. No more. I'm getting sleepy. (puts a scarf around her head) Thank you very much, Mr... ?
EDDIE: Eddie. The name is Eddie.
SARAH: (studies his face) The name should be Eddie. What should my name be?
EDDIE: I don't know. Whatever you like it to be.
SARAH: I like it to be what it is. It's Sarah. That's a biblical name. You want to know its meaning?
EDDIE: I could always get us a bottle.
SARAH: (a little alarmed) No.
EDDIE: Fifth of scotch?
SARAH: What do you want me to do, just step out in the alley? Is that it?
EDDIE: No. I'll take you home.
(There is a long pause as she tries to read his face.)
SARAH: All right.
(Eddie finishes his drink, rises, crosses to the bar, pays the bill, and returns to the booth. As they go out, Sarah stumbles, and he catches her by the arm.)
SARAH: It's all right. (smiling) I'm not drunk ... (serious) I'm lame.

marble
white monolith waits
noontime glare
hammer and chisel
David waits
weaverfinches bathe in dust
Michelangelo waits

4 comments:

Radish King said...

Sublime, both the conversation and the poem, taken altogether. Honest, clean, the best thing I've read here.

Peter Garner said...

Hi Rebecca. Thanks. the poem's mine, the convesation's from the old b&w movie "The Hustler" (Paul Newman). I guess I should credit that. In fact, I'm probably breaking copyright...

Radish King said...

Nope. Steal it. Change a couple of words, make it yours.

Aisha said...

I was puzzled -- the poem is a new you, the dialogue isn't really you -- very Bogart/Bergman somehow-- but it fits as a brilliant understated contrast to the poetic take on beginnings :)

Aisha