Taki: can a lowly reporter ask but one thing?: is everyone in the world just a secret sleazeball? do we only know the façade of everything that exists? I KNEW IT!
Taki: ...and i know what your next sentence is gonna be: this is not what it looks like. gotcha!
Melbourne: this is not what it looks like. dammit! look, just hear me out, this isn't serial-killer selfish, this is about another soul. look at this dirty boy here. i mean literally dirty. look at his shoulder.
Melbourne removes his hand off the shoulder to reveal a ring of garden soot.
Taki takes her notebook to the boy's face and smiles compassionately.
Taki: name. rank. origin. just kidding, we're the good guys. please tell me this sweet young thing wasn't abused.
Melbourne: i saved him from abuse. he would have been. i'm squirrelling him in my grand cubby, holing him from the immigration authorities. and wholing him back again to his original childlike cheerful self. i no longer put ice in my drinks as protest. i don't want to talk about death or the other side or the death of irony in a mining community or the consequences. i haven't time for games in the shallow end. my head is bald enough. i will not besmirch one soul for another. all are precious under Eyes and Evil has no color. for what good is it to gain all the political points in the world but get a Zero on the Soul take-home test? he doesn't speak, except for his soulful eyes. he's the son of one of my gardeners who's no longer with us. his name is Tres Leches.
Taki: why do i have the itchy reporter's nose that it was you who gave him that name? i knew something smelled fishy. not the river. no gardener comes to work at 8PM!
Tres Leches leaves the chamber without saying a word from his ever-worried slink-cupped mouth.
Melbourne: this is my small part in helping ease the global atrocity. i will reunite everyone someday, otherwise what is my money good for? i take in all the strays, never in stride, for i was once a kitten in a dog-eat-dog world. i REALLY love the Wolf's Rain on my face. now i shelter any child i can. the world will reset...someday.
Taki: you better hurry up, you see how the river level is continually rising and no one seems to notice? quick to distract themselves with their palm-tree hammocks? until their hammock bottoms get wet? and then they distract themselves with plucking two coconuts from the treeroof and placing them on their breasts and laughing? but you wouldn't know about that you have a bed. this fulfills a need for you: your desperate lack of a family.
Melbourne: yes it's true. you're good. too good. are you copying off my playlist? i'm sorry, that was chauvinist. i'll only be a sexist pig if you pay me enough. if you need me to be to achieve orgasm with or without a bed. can we change the subject? the adults are in the room. wouldn't you like to inspect my lifesize models more?
Taki: you are the master of the reverse, don't know about your bed skills but i know about your bedroom skills.
Melbourne: Master of the Reverse Universe. i'm also working on the board of the RoundUp lawsuit so it's good to have a witness. i called in a favor from some of my lawyer friends. Bob Mueller as you see out there swimming on my night lawn.
Taki: is that the commercial where the weedkiller-spray hose turns into a scorpion tail and spears the fat exterminator in the mustache?
Melbourne: are you still willing to help me or not?
Taki: sure. kelp. what time's and location's the air race? Brussels or something?
Melbourne: oh no, we're miles of nautical miles away from the actual thing. first i need shitloads of help, i'm losing my shit. where we're going, you need to enter my head.
downstairs. just the lip of outside. everyone's sitting around the circle drinking tequilas. night:
Mueller: so we all square, my nigga?
Roger Stone: yes. you do look like me, like you could be my brother. and you are my biological brother. i've been playing the game thus far, but things have started to heat up for me. i haven't been this hot since the one night i made love to Kristin Davis. that produced a son. an illegal. Kristin is my nice best friend but she, uh, gets around the world. don't worry, i'm stashing away this nondescript boy under my auspices, my rich palatial Woody Allen Manhattan estate. now owned by Ronan Farrow's lips. telling you all this now so i don't get woke up by a raid. keeping it on the up and up and up. do with the boy what you will, but don't send him to Julian tho do give him an Orange Julius and a straw and keep me in this country please.
Mueller: i appreciate that. the law's the law.
Roger: must you? you are musty. that is my son, right? that my boy. yous didn't go down under and fuck Kristin in a tequila bar one moonless Mexican night, right? brushed the scorpions off the counter and onto the stools to make room? bore a son, nine months of pain, simply to have leverage over me?
Mueller: i'm in the Top Ten, Roger. Mexico is so nice this time of election. no of course not, you know i'm a straight arrow, you know i'm with Ashley!
Kristin Davis: i for one have no idea what you're talking about. i have never prostituted myself, except on the set of Sex and the City. for the show. for the script. cos it was written in the script.
Cynthia Nixon: i am surprised. i'm not seeming to be getting any traction. i called O up and asked her advice about how to be a Socialist in New York. it must be the name. the last name.
Roger: you don't understand the way Bill O'Reilly and i get the folks. you can't connect with them. and to them like we do. we know how they think. if the President commits a crime, it doesn't matter, cos EVERYONE has committed a crime. see? *points to his temple* think about it. think about it.
late at night, Taki is calling her sister up from home, crying.
Madame Pons: oh deary, i wish i was there to comfort you. give you a nice big sweater hug!
Taki: then come. you have to stay with me! they don't know where Takahashi went. he's still a missing kettlefly.
Madame Pons: he'll turn up, where you least suspect it, you reporter. are you sure you can't keep the house? you have such a woodsy Shangri-La over there, sure you couldn't just cut down on expenses? don't cut down the trees but maybe it's time to let those parakeets go. let them fly away to their own Shangri-La.
Taki: you need to come and split the mortagage. or maybe just pay for the whole house. the rest of the house. if this big story falls through i'm through. i know it's a lifetime favor, i know i'm uprooting your dreams and leaving you to rot. be my permanent roommate for the rest of your life. now. you will have all my love. i have no one else to love. my gratitude died, flowed out my body, and went to eternity long ago. sorry.
Madame Pons: love you, babe. you know i'll do anything for you. if you really want me to stay awhile, i'll be there at the drop of a witch's pointy hat, at the beck of your silent whistle. i wish i could cast a magic spell through the phone on you to calm you, assuage your fears, subdue you, but i haven't studied long enough the hard stuff yet. i wish i could be there sooner, had a broom, would be much easier than commercial flight. hang on don't hang up, i'll be seeing you.
Taki: bless you, sister. you work hard. work harder than most. harder than the next girl. you work hard on your witch shit. sorry for calling it and you a bratess. i just don't want to lose you before you lose yourself. i will cast a spell on you right now and i'm not a witch. call it a prayer if you like: may you *Taki's voice cracks* never have to tell a client that you can't work at the usual time because you had a family emergency. may your times be ever normal. thank you and goodnight. may you never leave a haunting voicemail on a loved one's machine.
the four have quietly exited the Old Spaghetti Factory without much fanfare from fanboys. they decide to take a nice evening stroll along the bluelit pier.
Dirg: i mean come on! that is so lamey! Silent Sam wasn't bothering anybody, he said nothing! this is why i hate college campuses and stay away from them as best i can, avoid their Unicorn Frap corners at all costs, that stuff is toxic! what happened to frat beer on campus?
Laertus: banned to curtail rape.
speaking of, President Bump rides on his trusty stead Sassy over to his Hollywood Walk-of-Fame ceremony. again. he tried to put a unicorn horn on Sassy but she wouldn't budge.
it is lightly-attended. as in no one is there. except for Giuliani who is presently building a brick wall around himself to keep in his quacks. he lays one brick on top of the other with no cement. Bump uses this brick podium to place his mic.
Bump: hello, everyone, thank you for coming, again, to my Star Ceremony. *shaking his large head side to side* a horse is a horse of course of course. sorry. is this thing on? cos i'm not. there is such a thing as bad magic yous know let me tell ya. bad juju. i'll be honest with yous as i always am, i'm not feeling it this time. i'm presently clutching my chest. feeling the lodged bullet in my broken heart there. see? you can see that squirmily squiggly scorpion thing under my skin struggling to get out. what do you think Paul will tell Bob? i forgot, it's been so much stuff hard to keep track of it all. i think Manafort is the last of the nice guys, last of the tough-guy prophets, he's truly a nice guy, a good fella. i will help Man in any way i can. i'll set him up in Denmark, where the smells are sweet, where everyone goes to college free so they can open up their own bakeries. that's what Paul told me in confidence he did all this for, he wants to open up his own Danish bakery. he'll never be hurt again, cos it's socialized medicine over there. he's a regular joe-schmo who won't get off his lazy ass to work. he's the dough guy.
Dirg: i mean what would MSNBC talk about all day if Hilary had won?
Laertus: just a lineup of all-day lifestyle shows.
Gladyce: we're at the Mexican border, dears. the border line. the Border Wall.
Laertus: may i need to use the restroom please?
Laertus walks slowly across in an evening-stroll pace, leisurely whistling as he paces over to the bathroom in the tequila bar in Mexico. he orders a pizza but a scorpion lands on his pizza and lays eggs on it that look like mini white mozzarella cheeseballs. his first instinct is to stomp it with his boot but he becomes himself in the moment, not his friend. he takes the squiggly scorpion thing by the tail, makes a disgusting face with his tongue, and quickly shoos the creature into a crack in the bathroom tile.
Laertus: there you go, you harrowing beautiful beast. you're free! can't escape the heat nights here, so at least you'll be cool underground if not filthy.
Laertus: ho! i'm back. no pizza this time guys, sorry.
Dirg: so you got the tools? the pieces? you know how it all fits together and is constructed? when the cops come, stop working.
Gladyce: what now?
the crones leave the gents to their wiles.
Dirg: speaking of, Elizabeth Pena.
Laertus: she's Cuban not Mexican.
Dirg: illegal Spanish is illegal Spanish.
Laertus: you're only hearing about her now? i know, sad. she had that classic Hollywood drinking problem kept under wraps. it wasn't vogue in the '80s to admit you were an alky, in fact it was just kinda assumed if you were working in the '80s you had some form of substance disease, an addiction to something illicit, but that made you a better actor, lodged a ball of secret pain inside you which you could pull from, which came out without artifice in your vulnerable moments in front of the camera. if only this sweet innocent linda beauty had lived in another age. *batteries not included, what a claustrophobic movie! i mean the setting for that, this weird dilapidated housing tenement with the Twilight Zone ghost-infested dank '50s café as the bottom floor, which coffee-boy page dreamt THAT up? the whole time i'm watching this film with the characters inside that hellhole i'm feeling trapped and alone, looking for the fire exits. i've never spent two hours in a livable space moving around with characters that was so unsettling. macabre-memoried forgetful grannies, "slow" athletes, and stage curtains.
Dirg: tinny is the word. gaudy and not right. a house that settled. a liver is a precious thing. and Royal Space Force Wings of Honneamise?
Laertus: finally saw to the end of it! there is nothing on God's green earth that is more beautiful than '80s anime. this here is the luxurious licentious wonder of hand-drawn '80s anime animation! all the great anime series started out as one origin '80s-anime film. the level of detail in this film goes deeper than the human circulatory system. as i sombered over that last space soliloquy, i looked at my hand. i asked my hand, what do you say to yourself when you hold Beauty in your hand? when you've just witnessed a perfect film?
Dirg: what about the rape scene? what about that little detail?
Laertus: i'm in the minority, but i actually thought that scene wasn't gratuitous, necessary in fact, all the gory details, needing to be there in stark pull-less punches to expound the harsh message about all humanity. i'm writing a final-exam essay on it right now. it's titled The Impossibility of Censorship. when you think about it.
Dirg: i'm rubbing off on ya. ew. your finals are take-home tests?
back at the OSF, the girls are vacuuming the voluminous carpets. Doryce has fashioned a vacuum out of the parts Dirg handed her in their mutual hand-off trenchcoats. it's noisy in here.
Doryce: few more paychecks and we've paid off the package holiday. check for the cops.
Gladyce: what did you say?
Doryce: yeah, i just got this now in my head: Christopher Cross was the Lost Beach Boy! it all makes sense now, like what do you do when a genius just wants to sit around in a circle, drool all day, and play with his toys?
Gladyce: sexiest man in the world?
Doryce: *over the vacuum noise* i know, i mean Blake Shelton? musical genius? how can the Sexiest Man Alive be a Never-Nude?
Doryce collapses in coughs. not from the smoke in the vacuum bag. from Yuban grounds lodged in her throat.
Doryce: Yuban can?
Gladyce: *hands on cheeks* oh dear! i told you not to eat the grounds straight from the tin! everyone uses water! it says right on there: 1 tspn.
Doryce: i read that as tlspn, i thought the 1 was an L. i ate a tablespoon's-worth. i'm toxiced. goodbye forever.
Gladyce calls on Laertus for help. by watches. Laertus rushes back. he's pushing numbers on his watch as he talks.
Laertus: i'm taking my test as i do this, but i'm here. Dirg, help me pick her up from the ground.
the two boys lug Doryce across the pier on their two shoulders. Dirg does most of the lugging.
Laertus: got any late-night entertainment to kill time? did you see Marvel's Uprising? it was fab! punk-rock-chick ethic, hear me roar!
Dirg: please cancel this show.
Laertus: well since you asked so nicely.
Dirg: why does the Muslim girl have to have such big hands? why did they screw with Squirrel Girl's design? she's squirrelly now.
Laertus: nuts. when will you learn women have different body types? with some shapes suitable only for women. being fat is a lifestyle. normal. regular.
Dirg: she's not fat, she's thicc. spell thicc.
Dirg: this proves you're not black like me.
Laertus: you're not black.
they easily float Doryce's body on the rising water to the hospice. Laertus takes care to brush the scorpion bites away from her. Dirg covers them up.
Melbourne: your eyes are red again. and i know that's not cos they're evil. i wish i could comfort you when you cry.
Taki: oh shut up. so do you want to change the subject? let's do your first session.
The Line: i can't let you go out there! i have express orders from O.
Omarosa: you called me? no one calls me, i have it on video. you can't hold me, i do what i want. i got all of it all the time no matter what.
The Line: okay, it looks like the coast is clear. those Q guys were a one-week story. hopefully our resistance group won't be as well.
Omarosa leaves the compound and makes one final jump in her heels with her remaining strength so high she flies into the cloud-covered sky.
Melbourne is in the cockpit of his air-race plane. cobalt-blue plane. the first stanchion to turn is dark lime green.
Melbourne: i see the Concours d'Elegance down below, waiting for the construction to end, the yearly road roace everyone gets excited for. i see all the cars all strawberry-red and decked out to curve: the Honda S500, the '80s GTR, the '90s 944 Porsche.
Taki: that's it, nice and easy. those cars aren't a shitload of red scorpions swimming stealthily, rising with the tidewater, cresting over the wave, toxifying all the oceans with their space and stings. only i see that. water water everywhere and only tequila to drink. when you're flying, it's as if you're driving one of your famous sports cars. they handle so effortlessly, the steering wheel's a feather, you do no work, you merely ride. hugging each curve with the grace of a ballerina's curve, never a thought of driving over a cliff. flying is driving, only easier. do not keep your eyes on the air road, distract yourself with anything else. you said you liked having Robert Mueller over? so you do like men.
Melbourne: more so. at least men like Bob. his integrity is sexy. he's my hero. i call him my penis hero. but we do more in our sessions than compare penis sizes, which we do lovingly using a rubber ruler. and then we have a serious talk about curved erections and curved elections. his tenacity is so tender. an evening with him is extraordinary. he pays for it but i can't lead him. i can't stay up late studying for him. while comparing our dick bombs we discuss the philosophy of evidence for objective reality, art, and legal terms of art. he was like a kid with me, hollering out the balcony at the grass, shout-singing in an airport-lounge-singer kind-of-way all the style hits from the '80s, he'd sing till you were sick of his voice. he had so much nervous energy and tension and bits and spikes and butterflies in him he let it all out. on my face in the form of cum. he is ready for the big day tomorrow. ready to be stern and steady and severe. ready to show. his big day.
the plane is straight and carries the first turn with ease. Melbourne looks to his side calmly and sees Aretha Franklin flying with Omarosa biting Aretha's heels trying to hold on.
Omarosa: you're fat.
Aretha: girl how can you say that? i mean i'm the one carrying you! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!!? call me fat again so i can sundeck ya!
Omarosa: DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!!?.................................................no really i'd like to know.
Melbourne: fly high, my queen. you never have to fly a plane again to get anywhere. you're there. over water. you're not like me still, you're lucky. you never have to be caught dead in a strange gothic non-deluxe highrise apartment.
Aretha flies to a circular stage of clouds in the center of the sky and drops O in the hole. amazingly Omarosa had one more jump in her. Aretha grabs the mic and the bottle coming out of the sun and belts out forever without a choir. and without needing a belt for her gown no more. so forever the angels weep.
Aretha: and now, right now, ladies and gentlemen, i want to invite another singer to the stage, burgeoning young singer with a song to tell, she will do it ably, she will carry the rest of the show for you. carry on. ably. i'm tired. please make her feel at home. a welcoming circle of applause please.
Omarosa gets up on stage and starts to sing but she can't sing so she kinda just mulls along in a speechifying lilting cadence:
Omarosa: is this thing on? i want to thank everyone and dedicate this to my will! this is why i did it! did everything! this is all i've ever wanted since a young shunned girl: to be fully accepted into the black community. embraced with open arms!
the audience is dead Belgian hipsters with wings who smoke on candles and snap their wing fingers at her.
Aretha has to sit down on a stool to rub her winged feet. she wipes her brow of prismatic rainbow sweat and her eyes start pawing at the audience.
Aretha: oooh weee! so many European dates to make. and make up. i'm in love with each and every person in here!
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