It's come to a point, it seems, that some kind of support group should be formed...
Lost, labeled, branded and generic, it's all a lot of running around goals that flicker between destination and chimera. Keep on keeping up, you'll be fine, maybe even found, because, at the end of the day, it's one big unexpected...
It's Sunday and John Littlefeet is on his fifth gin tonic of the night, fondling his crotch and staring at Baby and DaDa through a heavy alcoholic glaze that coats his eyeballs and pulls down his eyelids.
The rest of us are trying not to notice this and drinking drinks more appropriate to the environs - beer, Fernet and tonic, red wine and cola, the occasional round of turpentine that the locals call 'Pražská vodka'.
There's the usual backdrop of burning filter and smoke and clashing voices, coated in thin blue conversation. The service is fast and surly, the setting is as dull and wasted as the players. You know, nicotine-stained whitewash; scarred wood tables and crippled wood chairs; never washed green tablecloths; chipped brewery-issue ashtrays; beer and spirit signs and ads; and toolmaker calendars featuring beautiful half-naked women holding hammers, wrenches, drills, and so on with all the faked fascination of porn queens handling dick.
I said it was Sunday, but, now that I think about it, it's definitely Monday. Could be any day of the week, actually. Whatever day it is, Baby lights a cigarette then asks DaDa how The Book is coming along.
"Well, I haven't really had time to work on it lately. I think I'll take a week off from teaching so I can focus more energy on it. I've been writing quite a bit of poetry, though."
Theo's voice comes through the nonstop din, "What's your book about?"
There's a long silence, the question hanging around like a bad odor, and DaDa gets all meek, looks at her drink for that quiet moment, handles the glass, then goes for Baby's smokes.
"It's kind of a, it's, uh, it's about life in Prague, I mean expat life in Prague, you know, things I've experienced and heard about, you know."
"Oh, yeah?" says Theo, "I'm writing a screenplay about the same thing. It's all I can think about these days, makes it really hard to teach. But this movie is the main thing. I've got this one great scene where the main character - a teacher who teaches at this major import/export firm that specializes in CD's and videos - gets this really, like, straight-laced middle-management type dude stoned for his first time, and dude just freaks and man it's gonna be really funny, f*ckin' pantswetting hilarious!"
John Littlefeet stops rubbing his balls and stifles a yawn and the service makes a cameo. The orders stumble out in sad excuses for Czech. Service grunts and leaves and John Littlefeet speaks, "I've written a new song. It's definitely hit material. All I need to do is get a band together. The teaching isn't so bad, it really doesn't interfere all that much, I just need some people to play with, y'know?"
We all nod our heads and most of us take a drink and John Littlefeet gets back to his self-groping. Cigarettes are lit. Shank throws in his commentary, "There's just too much to do, you know, the teaching, the drinking, the dabbling, the recovering. I've finished a book, got piles of poetry, short stories and various bits of prose, along with f*ck knows how many consciousness-droppings that I've typed and written up at cafes and pubs all over the city, but what am I gonna do with it all?"
Theo says, "Why don't you read it, man, you know, get some reactions, spread your gospel, get some rep?"
"Ah, f*ck, I dunno. It seems like such a pointless hassle to do it here."
"Well, the movie, man," says Theo, "The movie is the only thing on my mind, on my agenda, in my life right now. There's really no money in literature these days, unless it gets adapted to cater to Hollywood tastes and trends. This movie, my movie, is gonna be great, it'll be the life of your average Prague expat. It's got it all."
This self-confidence comes out like arrogance; the rest of us nod politely and look at our drinks. Meanwhile, I'm compiling notes, making up names and twisting dialogue in my mind. This'll be a great f*ckin' scene, man, recognized and awarded for sure.