It is cold, dark and foggy outside my favourite bar and not so radically different inside. ‘Favourite’ probably deserves a qualification even though it is unlikely get one. No matter.
Whatever the physical deficiencies it is a deliciously atmospheric night if one prefers the real thing. I’m not so sure about that either - so often the movies do it better and if that isn't the ultimate sadness I don't know what is. A guy I used to know pushes his way into the bar, admitting ghostly tendrils of fog and mystery.
Hey what brings you here? I ask with tepid interest.
Oh – a few things. Mind if I join you?
Of course not and forgive my surprise but round here – well it just isn’t what I see as your kind of - tippling establishment.
You were going to say dive – not my kind of dive.
Yes I was - because it is and it isn’t.
No it isn’t.
So maybe I was brought up round here and that’s all there is to it. Sentimental attachment. Scratching a very old sore even though I know I shouldn’t.
Okay – I see. Sentimental attachment. We all play that game which for you is just as well.
I don’t play it though – not usually.
No perhaps not. In fact you never really did - you just faked it. Speaking of which - how is that sexpot wife of yours? Number four is it – or is it five? You see I do keep up with your career – in my own way.
It’s number three and she is fine thank you.
Well that’s nice. And are you still making movies?
Yeah, I’m still making movies.
I only ask because –
Because you don’t go to see them. Since we parted company you never did as I recall.
I saw one –
But you don’t remember what it was called, what it was about.
Well – you know.
Yes I do know. You think movies are beneath you and that includes mine.
No I don’t and please allow me buy a round of something strong and cheap - my usual tipple.
Thanks and yes you do think movies are beneath you and you’re right, they are. All of them. Including mine.
Ah so that’s why you’re here. It’s the angst again. It’s such a swine isn’t it – the angst?
It’s what keeps you going though – lots of lovely angst. It’s where your inspiration comes from.
You’re lying to me again.
Yes you are. You always lied to me in spite of everything. I don’t do inspiration. You always knew that but you always lied to me about it.
You needed me to.
Needed you to what?
You needed me to lie to you – about inspiration and all that shit. You knew I was lying but you needed it so I gave it. That was my job – lying to you. That was why you paid me. Nothing else.
I paid you for your creativity –
I wasn’t creative. You didn’t need it. Movies are like a kid’s jigsaw. A star or two, so much romance, so much pointless violence, so much pathos, so much exchange of sexual fluids, so much prissy politics, so much clunking drama. Put it together in roughly the right proportions and you have yet another movie. The ratings and the audience don’t allow for anything deeper.
So that’s why you think I’m here – the creative angst finally got to me.
I thought it might – eventually.
Well it hasn’t – I don’t care for any of that.
I don’t believe you but do carry on – tell me why you’re really here.
Boredom? Well that’s new – boredom. I never saw you as a victim of something so banal, so juvenile as boredom.
Yeah - juvenile. Good God you must know that – boredom is essentially juvenile. Always.
I’ll say this for you, you still have your old genius for spinning reasons for – for whatever. That’s certainly one you never dropped on me – boredom is juvenile. Christ I could even have used it.
You would have used it.
Yes I would - I shall.
No you won’t.
You won’t use it –ever. You’ve jumped ship.
Yes you have.
Maybe I have – although technically not yet. I need to sink or swim and know for sure which it is.
Sink or swim? On what I may as well ask but prefer to guess. The medium of which you speak is the sea of lies - you must sink or swim on that. But how prosaic – even by your standards.
Nevertheless that’s the deal.
My word it’s almost worth a movie – the great man, the spinner of a million fantasies becomes a victim of the most banal and sentimental fantasy. He must save himself from drowning in the sea of lies. He’ll need a heroine of course – a large-breasted heroine if I’m any judge.
You always were a bastard.
You paid me to be a bastard.
Indeed I did.