Young man, chemo look, shaven head, loose clothes, shuffling back
and forth on the pavement, cell phone to his ear: aye, I'm outside the pub...
aye, I'm walkin'... aye, I hear ye fine... aye, same here... aye, it might
rain... aye, that's brilliant... aye...
Young man, single cutaway acoustic, doorway near Glasgow Central,
singing Lennon's classic, I'm Just A Jealous Guy.
Gaggles of young girls prowl the concourse of the train station
with cell phones, excited, laughing, spinning... pigeons forage the marble
floor, startled, fly up into the heavy steel spans of the glass roof... people
ebb and flow like the tide, the years.
TVs in window, all tuned to the same show, Pinball Warrior, battle
of the robots... Steg 2 flips Iron Aw into "the pit", is bushwhacked by
Matilda, the house robot... Steg 2 counter--attacks with a concealed hammer...
bullets ricochet off its armoured plastic skin... Mortus vs. Crusader 2 (who
has more processing power than the lst space shuttle)... but Mortus has an
all-kelvar body shell and a lethal robo drill which mortally wounds Crusader,
leaves him destroyed and burning as the spectators roar in the stands and in
direct to video: Allah Akbar!
The Middle-East farrago continues. Terrorist armed (he says) with
TNT threatens to blow up a Heathrow-bound Boeing 777-200, 40 British
passengers, plus a member of the Saudi royal family... aircraft diverted to
Bagdad... Bin Laden is blamed.
In Gaza City a mock coffin with Clinton's picture is shouldered
through a screaming mob of Palestinian youths wearing sweatbands and waving 9
Two Israeli soldiers (part timers) wander by mistake into the Arab
sector. One is lynched, the other torn apart... muzzle flash... body part goes
missing. Direct to video.
In the lobby of the Millennium Hotel the elevator music is like
dust in the air... ambient, the smell of coffee, scotch and cigarettes.
Floods in England. Scotland watches and waits.
devoted to the dead master
Evening. Hotel room. Johnson, naked except for jockey
shorts, lies on top of his bed flipping through the TV channels with a remote.
Boswell, fancy stripped robe, sits at a bistro table nearby, smoking,
reading a newspaper.
Enter "13" with a flourish.
13: I realize we're had a false start here, gentlemen...
let me make amends.
13: I too am devoted to the
J: Aren't we all.
13: That's my line, I
B: He's not dead.
13: Come on... my best
informant tells me a) he's deceased, b) his ashes are in Glasgow.
He faked his death.
13: Are you guys employed by the University of
B: Why would we be?
J: University of Wash
holds a collection of Trocchi mss.
13: Indeed they do. I know they
want his ashes... they've put out a contract before.
B: We're not
here for ashes, 13. We're here for him.
13: Trocchi has a great turn
of phrase but he isn't Jesus Christ. He's dead.
B: Fuck, you're
worse than TV, man.
13: Your problem, pal.
B: Well didja
bring us a joint?
13: With your intense skepticism and hostility,
think I'll keep my joints to myself.
J: Pay no attention to him, 13.
Have a seat. Help yourself to a beer.
13: Good cop, bad cop, eh.
13 sits down, lights up a joint.
B: (watching TV) Is this how the British see life?
13: (passing him the joint) How, what?
commercial. Did you have a car accident... did you have a work-related
accident... did you trip or fall... then you might be eligible for some free
freakin' money, gouge the fuggin' system, phone this fuggin' number....
13: True, some people are looking for freebies.
Regional soap-operas, game shows, cop dramas, tabloid newscasts... yikes, how
can you stand it?
13: Fortify myself with Stella beer and McCoy
potato crisps -- fuck, yer askin' me?
J: No different in North
America. Hucksterism and freak shows.
B: Fewer laugh tracks, is all.
13: Fewer laughs?
B: American sit-coms use laugh tracks.
13: Boswell -- is that your real name?
B: Well, uh, how
real is "13"?
13: The reason I'm asking is, do you know who
B: I am "Boswell"... Mr. Rizzio.
friends call me David.
B: How about Dave?
13: No, I
prefer David. You can call me Rizzio if you want.
J: Like Trocchi.
13: Aye --
J: So who calls you 13?
13: That's just a
J: I like it. I'll call you "13".
J: So are you a relative of Trocchi?
be. Might be a cousin.
J: How about Alex Nails -- you know him?
13: (pales) No such person.
J: Really? He knows
13: No such person, I'm saying.
J: No kidding. I
must've spoken to a phantom, then.
13: You spoke with him?
J: Yeah. He said you were a crook... a con artist.
(a stiff laugh) Haw haw -- you jest, sir. Old Glasgow has infected you
with its karma.
J: So Mr. Nails is just some old guy who hangs around
cemeteries, shakin' down the dummies, eh.
13: You saw him at the
J: Don't matter where I saw him, 13. Just don't jerk us
around -- dig?
B: Maybe we underestimated you.
(coughs) All I want is a second chance.
B: Alright -- you
know who Leni Riefenstahl is?
13: I know Leni, sure.
Familiar with her work?
13: As an actress? Movie director?
Photo-essayist? I can get you her new African book.
B: Mmm... o.k.
dope, by the way. How about her secret sex journal?
13: I have
B: What -- you got coke?
unpublished ms. by Trocchi.
Johnson sits up.
J: What is it?
13: A story... could be a
fragment of his journal.
J: You got it with you?
do you think I'm here?