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Jamesdean's Writing > Sittin' round a table

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message 1: by Grouphug (new)

Grouphug | 14 comments I was sitting in a diner. Not thinking much, stirring a coffee for someone else at the counter. Round and round and round and round, not thinking very much. Sam was banging his head down on the table.
Couple in the corner with their cheque forging business, practising signatures of the rich. I pointed out one when I went past, said it looked realistic enough. They told me to buy them a coffee and I sat with them. They showed me proudly the cheques. Asked for my opinions. They looked good. Patrick walked in and, of course, the diner went quiet. Illegal activities tucked under coats and tables. I’m not sure why people worry. The couple don’t. It’s not like Patrick is a jobsworth, it isn’t like he does his job well.
I called him, pointing to our table where Sam and me had set ourselves up for the morning.
‘Coffee’s cold’ I told Sam, drinking it for him. ‘Patrick, hey, sit down’ He was making people nervous. I wasn’t sure why he was here.
‘He has to wear his uniform’ Nel said in disgust, spitting in his Cola and stirring it with a finger.
‘He’s proud’ I said ‘Good fro him. it’s not a bad job, can’t be’
‘It ranks with the rest of the uniformed brigade’
‘You were the same’ Sam pointed out ‘Working for that company, nightwatchman. You didn’t take your uniform off’
‘I was broke’
‘They pay you a bonus for wearing the ridiculous uniform?’ I asked
‘I had to be recognized. People were looking up to me, with respect. But them’ Nel wagged a finger at Patrick who was looking more bemused at Sam’s head banging, thinking of talking to him. I tried heading him off without effect.
‘Actors wear uniforms’ I said
‘Yeah, exactly’ Nel said although Sam wasn’t listening.
‘We all wear uniforms’ I went on ‘As humans we wear legs and hands and eyes and - to be recognised as such’
‘What if we were naked?’
’Skin is a uniform. Naked - um - ness is a uniform. Not a disguise like clothes can be’
Harold was set up with his easel by the window. Painting the scene as it went on by. He couldn’t get people to stop for a quick sketch. Harold was rarely quick. He had been working on the same painting for ten years.
Ted Carter was with us too. He was a truck driver and he had his baby son with him. I myself had brought Lance with me.
‘Whoa re you?’ Patrick asked Sam quietly, choosing to drink his cold coffee.
‘That’s Sam, he’s an actor’ I jumped in
‘Stop speaking for everybody’ Harold grumbled
‘Sam, look, I'd like you to stop with the-’ Patrick gestured
‘It’s none of your business’
‘I’m a nosy person, humour me. It’s ‘cause of my genes, and my mother, bless her. Sam...Corey?’
‘You were the man who found that body, the woman. I heard of that’
‘You found her?’ This I hadn't heard. ‘You didn’t say’
‘In the toilets. I could sense something’ Sam explained ‘In my family there has been people with the sight. They can see and contact the deceased’
‘Can you?’
‘I can't speak to spirits, I can feel them. I was a disappointment, you see ‘cause there hasn’t been a person with the sight for three generations’
‘Oh’ I was disappointed too.
‘It’s a pain’ Sam nodded
‘Dead is dead’ Nel shrugged
‘Gypsies, travellers, bums’ Harold told us ‘The same - cheats’
‘I b-b-believe in recarnation’ Lance spoke
‘You would be glad of something that hasn’t got a stammer’ Harold retorted ‘Knowing you’
‘You don’t’
’You’ll come back as a mute or a hunchback. The Bells, the Bells Esmeralda’
‘Leave the dramatic interpretation to me’ Sam offered
Lance heaved a breath that could of shattered the world if it had been weaker.
‘Aw you’ve upset him’ Patrick said
‘He’s sensitive, you know’ This was Sam.
‘Cissy, is he? Alright’
Speaking as if Lance wasn’t here.
‘Should keep his mouth shut though. I don’t want to hear him stuttering up a sentence. You can get electrocuted for that kind of thing now, stops you from stammering. Stops you from breathing too in some cases I heard’
‘Travellers travel, bums do nothing, like us sitting here’ Sam was incredulous how any one could be this thick and not know this. ‘My family ‘he said slowly ‘Can talk to the deceased’
‘Same thing, ain’t it? Screwy’
Patrick nudged Sam ‘Whats eating you?’
In strangled cries Sam said ‘My agent dumped me’ he felt the lump on his forehead, it was blooming into a haze of purple and blue.
‘I’ll manage your career’ Patrick said
‘What career? I ‘m no good, no good. I followed the herd of other desperate actors and they aren’t as desperate as me’
‘If your going to think like that you won’t get anywhere. Whats the biggest thing, Sam listen to me, what is the biggest thing you have done in the last few months, on television, film, theatre, radio’ Patrick quizzed him. ‘Focus on the positives’
‘In the last few months I have done nothing but gone mad’
‘Are you, have you slept with any famous women lately?’
I laughed at this.
Sam lit a cigarette, let it rest in his mouth before answering, mouth billowing with smoke. ‘I have not slept with...a single woman’
‘Should if said men, any famous men’ I grinned and Sam kicked me in the shins.
‘You can't be my agent, you are a policeman’
‘I work to pay the rent, yes’
‘What would you know of the threatrical world?’
‘I arrested someone who had come off a set’
‘You are not managing my career’ Sam said firmly. Sure, what the hell. What could possibly break his career anymore than it was already. Not even Patrick could have the pleasure.
‘You need high profile work. What have you done?’
‘Walk on parts. Thrusting a sword’
‘You are going to need bigger parts. Something that will challenge you. Something that gives you scope as an actor and something that will get you seen’
‘Thrusting a sword without killing a person is challenging. I have auditions coming up. I am not a complete fool. I know why I can't get a job in this city’
‘Suicidal Sam’ Harold reminded us.
‘Yeah, what is that about? Interesting story, isn't it?’ Nel said
‘I am a loony, people know it’
‘Don't be an idiot’ Patrick snapped at Harold
‘Don't call me an idiot, communist’
‘I am on duty. I might choose to arrest you’
‘I work harder than you’
‘What do you do?’ I said thinking, in fact, I am sure Harold had told me he was out of work.
‘I’m looking. Anyway I am busy painting my masterpiece’
‘He was flipping burgers last week’ I said, looking out of the window. Meeting lance’s eyes, winking. Patrick chuckled.
‘Shut it, will you can it?’
‘Been cleaning places too, toilets’
Patrick laughed harder.
‘Alright, what have you done in your life, huh?’
Patrick coughed ‘I, er, boxed. A boxer. I was also in a band for a while, with a boy - Jackie. he’s been in the movies, you see him round? I hear he’s about. You want to talk to him Jacob, he knew your father. Yeah, he did. Those were the days’
‘Who?’ I asked, having missed the first half of what he had said.
‘I must go’ Patrick made his excuses.
‘Why is he ignoring me, did I do anything?’
‘Probably’ Harold assured me. He too was getting up ‘Some people have to work’
‘You don’t work so where are you going?’
‘The world does not revolve around you’
‘You think the world goes round you’
‘It does most of the time’
‘Who are you then?’ I asked the man who had slipped into a chair that had snugly fit under our table.
‘Wanted to see you ‘bout somethin’’
I didn't say anything.
‘I know your bother. William, Will?’
I nodded
‘Decent guy, yes, decent. His release won’t be long now, yes, won’t be long. I just came out of prison myself’
‘I need a place to stay, don’t need much. Only what I have become accustomed to, only that’
‘Wha-what did you do?’
‘I got ten years for self - defence murder’
‘You go to jail for defending yourself?’
‘Yes, extortionate’
I didn’t know the word, what did it mean? the man didn’t look smart. ‘What is your name?’
‘I’m Jacob and you can stay’
‘Thank you, won’t be for long. I promise, not for long, yes. getting a job. Not here, too big. This city is too big’
‘There is work here’
‘Work, yes. The factories are good places. Factories have jobs. No prying neither’
‘Nobody prys here. Not me or my friends’
‘The man, Patrick? Yes he prys’
‘He’s in uniform. He’s a , a cop. They pry’
‘It’s what I mean, prying. One person is enough, yes, to ruin you’
‘Ruin, yeah. What are you worrying about?’ I was suddenly on the alert and my stomach was starting to churn.
‘I ain’t worrying, no, not worrying. Want to keep my life private, my sentence’
‘Patrick keeps private, you can tell him anything. He’ll judge but he won’t arrest you’
‘Can’t be bribed, yes. Bribe the cops’
‘That’s if you can, if you.’ I feel my chest heaving.

‘I’m going home for a while’ Sam said ‘See my parents, get money off them. Get out of here, take a break’
‘What am I supposed to do without you?’
‘Let Ray in, the stray rat’
‘Does he offend you?’
‘He killed, that’s wrong. It is wrong to murder somebody murder’
Again the heaving in my chest. Memories coming in, I couldn’t shut my eyes to them. ‘I ain’t stupid, I know it is wrong’ then why did you? Why? why? Why? why?
‘I want a break from here. Away from television and the pressure, you know?’
‘I mean Ray might be a nice man and everything. I am sure he is but you can't ever be certain your not going to wake up without a knife at your throat’
‘It is Ray, he needs a place to stay, needs a chance. You know from the movie ‘coulda been a contender, coulda been -’
‘Not that again’ Marlon bloody Brando.
‘Ray is too old to be anybody. He’ll wind back in jail and you will be a fool, so naive for thinking he can change with a chance. He’s a murderer’
‘You snore’
‘That’s not against the law’
‘Should be’
‘Your opinion’
‘Who made those laws? Nobody important and they don’t change. Who told us murder was wrong and eating cheese is right? Who said’
‘Sam stopped me ‘I’ll take your word for it’
‘You going by train?’
‘I don’t know, might hitch’
‘I got money, saved it. You can go class’
Sam laughed ’I ain’t taking your money runt’
‘Yes, you can, please, take it’
‘You didn’t work hard to put me on a train’
‘I don’t know what else it is for, you can pay it back’
‘I’m going to! Thank you’

message 2: by Grouphug (new)

Grouphug | 14 comments Peter wrote: "Very nice. You should think about plays, if you haven't already."
i hadn't thought about plays but thank you for the tip

message 3: by Allison (new)

Allison Smith (allycat210) | 2 comments i like it nice very cool keep it up you got talent.

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