"Coctails"

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Copyright 2007 by the author, Larry Stark



PLACEBO COCKTAILS

"Dottore come quick! Duse won't wake up!"

Phil ran for his little black bag and I ran for my minicam, but I only made it to the door of her bedroom as he came out pushing Casanova back down the hall saying "Go get Fra'ngelico ... Run!" and mumbling "Damn it, I Told her to quit the oxycontins!
Aah, shit!"

"She dead?"

He nodded. "Probably took too many. Do that and they don't pass, just sit in the stomach eating holes in the lining. She kept digesting her own blood till there wasn't any left. That's my guess anyway. Someone better call the hospital. And the cops." Then he noticed the camera. "What the fuck you making now, Federico?"

"Your bio-pic," I said, adjusting focus.

"Fuck you are. All you make is re-makes."

"Okay, so I'm doing a modernization of NOT AS A STRANGER. Look helpless and sad for me."

"She's DEAD, you heartless Papparazzo!"

Joe ran up, and Phil just said "Extreme unction, Padre," so he pulled a rosary out of a back pocket and hurried through the door.

"You did all you could," I said, lamely.

"I Lost Another One!" he screamed.

He hated to lose one. Walked away from his residency after five of his patients died that first year --- none of them his fault, but it kinda left him a little too angry with God to try anymore.

"I need a drink," he said, and headed back to the living-room. We had pulled an all-nighter listening to Bush and planning more and more outlandish protest-stunts --- none of which would (or could really) be realized. But there was half a bottle of bourbon left by sun-up, I think.

Maybe every college town of any size has its own sub-culture clutch of rejects who still think they're in Graduate School, or majoring in Extra-Curricular Activities, or otherwise pretending they'll get it together and do Something Important one day. I'm going to make us deadbeats and failures famous some day. I said once I was making a re-make of I VITELLONE, and ever since I've been Federico. I don't know why we all got the Italian nickna... No, by god, I do, It was Duse. She got a part in THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS and christened us all a Commedia del'Arte group, living in the same sprawling old house. She used to be a pretty good actress before she decided she was getting too fat and the anorexia brought on joint-pains. Joe insisted she thought the oxy's could cure her psychological pains. Maybe they did, in a way.

Casanova said he was trying to prove to her she was beautiful, but he's got to believe he's doing a favor for every woman he fucks, or what's a heaven for? Anyway, it obviously wasn't working. When I got back to the living room Santa Maria was trying to apply psychological cold-packs on both of them. Suze wants to be the Mother of Us All, but I think we're all a little too aware of flunking our own personal Life Courses for it to do much good. I mean, when Jim came in he threw the rosary into the ash-can and slugged a big mouthful of the bourbon and burst into quiet tears. Real priests don't act that way. Do they?

We were trying to decide what sort of memorial service we could do for poor Duse when the cops arrived and fucked up the party. Fra'ngelico found a phone number in her room and told her family. They had disowned and disinherited her when she dropped out of school, and I guess it wasn't a very pleasant conversation for Jim. They thought he had seduced their daughter and blamed him for killing her. Jim's gay --- he left the seminary when he admitted it, but he insists its the Catholic thing to do these days.

Anyway, what with the ambulance people and the police people running around taking pictures and asking peculiar questions, the plans for Duse's memorial service didn't get very far. I don't think the old gang will hang together much longer. And that's a shame. We had something, and it won't really work now that the circle's no longer unbroken. I felt it. I was trying to film it. But the one thing nobody ever noticed was, I only had the one casette. I just kept filming back over it again and again whenever I came to the end. But maybe they all felt better, knowing I took them seriously enough to want to make them immortal.

I hope so, anyway.


FINISHED WRITING AT 1:06 p m Tuesday, 30 January '07


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