Microsoft word - impact.doc

Los Angeles, CA 90034(310) [email protected] Mid-30’s.
College-educated, smart, sharp,well-dressed; has the relentlessintensity and forced energy of amotivational speaker, underneathwhich lies a deep well ofunhappiness.
Working class background, toughedge but weirdly off, one mightsay diminished; uncomfortable,twitchy, dim, though gives offoccasional sparks of what we canassume was a former swagger.
The front seat of a 2002 Honda Civic, parked on aresidential street in West Los Angeles.
We are in the front seat of arecent model Honda Civic.
TED PHELPS sits in the driver’sseat, TOMMY PESCAR sits next tohim. Ted is inspecting the car’sinterior with a kind of manicattention to detail. He makeslittle sounds and grunts ofappraisal and assessment as thougheverything he touches brings withit a new discovery. Tommy watcheshim, holding the keys to the car.
(Ted loosens up his wrist with acouple of shakes, then plays withthe stick shift. He puts hishands on the wheel. He turns theheadlights on and off.) (trying to work up a patter;slurs occasionally) Yeah so like I was saying she’s been a, she’s been a good,been a good little ride for me, I got her new and she runsgreat, still runs great, I mostly been using her for littleerrands and stuff, getting groceries for my folks and stuffwhen they, you know, need stuff or parking across from thehigh school and watching the kids or going to Long’s youknow they got a good pharmacy there the people are nice.
She’s a 2002, you only gotta fill her up like once a monthshe takes unleaded which is pretty available everywhere.
She’s a 2002.
(Ted closes his eyes, one hand on thesteering wheel, one hand on the stickshift. He imagines driving, upshiftingas his speed increases, HUMMING like a Yessir! Buckle up and point me to the 10 west.
I think I’m gonna need to get gas.
We won’t go far. I just want to see how she handles athigh speeds.
Oh ho ho, you don’t have to worry about that, Tommy. I’msorry, did you say it was Tommy? Or do you go by Pescar? Right, right, “Ground Control to Major,” well, I’m a verysafe driver, Tom. You might even say I’m anal retentive.
Though I wouldn’t appreciate it if you did.
Here’s what we’re gonna do: we’re gonna hit the 10 west,then we’re gonna get off at Lincoln. Then I’m gonna shootdown Colorado, you know, to the pier and, well, basicallyfloor it. ‘Kay? Yup. Take her right off the end of the boardwalk and intothe bright blue Pacific.
You would. You’re wearing a seatbelt. I’ll be jumping outshortly after we zip past that little chowder shack abouthalfway down the pier. While you’re all tangled up beatingyour fists against the window, I’ll be sitting down to anice hot cup of “chowdah.” (Pescar unbuckles his seatbelt andreaches for his door handle. THUNK!Ted locks both doors with the electriclock. Repeatedly. THUNK! THUNK! THUNK!) Electrical’s in great shape. Gimme the keys.
(Ted places a secure hand on Pescar’s seatbeltbuckle.) Tommy Pescar. You don’t know who I am, do you? Venice High, Class of ‘89. You don’t remember? Boy, I’m amazed! We were close at one time. Or so itseemed. You even had a little nickname for me.
Why should you? It wouldn’t have left you with any lastingmarks or scars or complexes. Me, on the other hand, oh my!My therapist found all sorts of high-priced psychologicalGordian knots to untangle. I should say “ex-therapist”because I finally fired the bastard. Or rather, just stopped showing up for my appointments, stopped returninghis calls. I’m sure he meant well, but come on. (MORE) It’s his job to be concerned. He kept wanting me to“process” and “dialogue” and “seek closure” and my bigbreakthrough finally came one day when I realized that allI really wanted to do was stab his eyeballs out with thatdried flower arrangement on his desk. “Closure?!” Gimme abreak! You ever hear the expression “Post 9/11 World?”Post?! There’s nothing “post” about it. It’s a 9/11world! I mean, of course there was the Horrible Event andthe planes and the buildings and the bodies and all that,but post-9/11?! Come on! Look at the news! Are weseeking “closure” with the terrorists? Do we strive to be“at peace” with every shitty thing that ever happened to usand all the shitty people who ever fucked us up. Hell, no!We fight back! It’s a 9/11 world! 9/11 is history, it ismyth, it is context, it is background, it is now,everywhere, all the time, it’s inside us! Because what is9/11? What is it?! At its most basic level? That’s right. That’s exactly right.
And collapsing. Still.
You made me get down on all fours and bark like a dog,Pescar. Among other daily humiliations. Remember? In thelocker room. Naked. I performed tricks for you and yourbuddies for almost two years. And you laughed, god, youloved it, everyone did. I was a show dog! “Bark! Rollover! Play dead!” And I did, boy, I barked my littlecocksucker heart out.
It didn’t matter. You had those eyes. That voice.
I think I remember fuckin’ hating you cuz you were a pussy.
Then I forgot all about you.
I was going to call you, at some point, after high school,I was going to call you and say: Anyway, I never called. Then recently my wife and Idecided we needed a new car, for her mostly, and after abit of number-crunching, it became clear, at least to me,that we couldn’t afford a new one. My wife, she’s reallya lovely person, but sometimes I wish she would make a morespirited effort at masking her disappointments in me, ofwhich there are many. I mean, she really is a lovely,lovely, well, she’s my wife and that’s enough. She needs anew car. So as I was scanning the ads in the Auto Trader,I saw your phone number and I couldn’t believe it. I’dknow that number anywhere, even though the area code’schanged like three times since we were in high school. Ieven recognized the front of your house in the picture,which I used to walk by, quite a lot in fact.
I was depressed, I was an idiot. You dumped me.
So you might say, you might say, I had a, a kind of impacton you? You might say that. Something bad got in.
To tell the truth, I was surprised to find you here. Stillliving at home.
(He pulls baggie with pills fromhis pocket.) Still doing drugs? Tommy Pescar. Is that why you’reselling this car? For drug money? Anti-psycho, anti-sadness, anti-spaz. Here’s my favorite,it’s called Eskalith, for my radical mood swings. I likethat name man, Eskalith, sounds like an escalator, going upto the top floor of my little brain. I wish it had roofaccess, man, I’d take a ride to the top and take a lookaround.
Something bad got in. Bad genes, bad life; I was a badassand now I’m just.bad. Looka my hands.
(He holds his hands up. He hasa slight tremor.) Can’t drive no more, DMV took away my license, freaks.
Won’t be able to do shit for myself in a few years thedoctor says. My parents are dealing with it, they’re cool.
I moved into my older brother’s room, it’s gotta bigwindow, I can see our whole backyard.
Yeah, shit is right. But I have no regrets.
Let’s take her out. I could use a little adventure. Ihaven’t been to the pier in a long time.
Actually, do you mind if we just kind of sit here a minute? All that talk, I talk too much as it is, think too much,chatter, chatter. No.
CD player’s good, I put new speakers in last year. Beforethe fuckin’ diagnosis.
Used to walk through the locker room swinging a towel.
“Where’s that cocksucker Teddy Boy?!” “Where’s that cocksucker Teddy Boy?” “Where’s that cocksucker Teddy Boy?!” “Where’s that cocksucker Teddy Boy?!” “Where’s that cocksucker Teddy Boy?!” “Where’s that cocksucker Teddy Boy?!” “Where’s that cocksucker Teddy Boy?!” “Where’s that cocksucker Teddy Boy?!”


Title: a safety guide for spinal anesthesia

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