It's Day Three of the festival, and the boys are prepping Godehart for The Debate, today's criterium. Let's take the plunge (apologies for the repeat of the Ben-scene):
Now, the handshakes,” Maurice says to Godehart.
“It will be more like a square dance, on account of the number of candidates. Make sure you won’t forget anybody,” Alex says. “John, you’re on the jury. How many candidates left?”
I have to use my fingers. “Five, I say, Haagen, the Fox woman, Blanche Dubois, and that shady character. Plus Godehart.”
“Godehart,” Alex says with another sip, “the handshake is just the libretto---we all know your grip is firm and sweat-less---the music is in the shoulder slap. You step forward, clutch the foe’s arm with your left hand, clutch his shoulder with your right hand, bring your left arm around, and now you tap his left shoulder, several times, with measured force, palm fairly flat, from behind. It’s almost an embrace. No pelvis action, mind you.”
“The way you stretch the back of your hand, darling,” Maurice adds, “says it all. Don’t stretch it too much. That’s anal. Americans don’t like anal. Even Southern Baptist don’t like anal.”
“Especially Southern Baptists,” Alex says. “They like barbecues.”
“Why do you say barbecues?” Godehart asks.
“Oh---you don’t know,” Alex says. “Americans always vote for the candidate they’d love to have over for a barbecue.”
And the corresponding fragment from the Green Eyes? No prob, bro. Étant donné (given that) the depiction of the auteur (self-centered film-maker) is Jean-Luc Godart, author of Pierrot le Fou, and other nouvelle vague movies. Here goes (beginning of Ch. 23 of Part I, titled "In flagrante masterclass"):
There isn’t much left of Gohard's casual-ceremonial ways, the dildo has him in its grip, or counter grip, whatever. And while the situation is serious enough, I can’t suppress another collateral thought, this one involving the washed-up scriptwriter and an art house flick in which Gohard would try to answer the doorbell now, dildo and all, somehow haunching to the door, shifting from leg to leg, perhaps groaning. He reaches the door, opens it, and gulps “Hilfe.” (Come to think of it, didn't Godard (Jean-Luc, not Gohard) make a movie exactly like this, with Woody Allen as a peripatetic porn star and a peripatetic flower pot that’s always blotting the view of the adult parts of the unfolding drama? Did Allen survive?)
The door bell rings again. So it’s the postman. No, it’s Sunday. No, it’s Monday. It's not for nothing that us escorts are paid well—if we are paid at all—there's so much learning by doing involved. Shall we open the door? My budging A-level instincts tell me to stay put. Godehard moans softly, it's unclear whether he's praying or trying to say something. He rolls his head, that's what Buddhist monks do a lot.
We expect the echo of a failed doorbell initiative, silence followed by departing footfalls. Instead we get the clanky noise of metal on metal. There's something tentative to this, perhaps it’s a burglar who’s been pushing the bell to see whether the residents are at home and is wielding a picklock now. Godehart can't really roll his head any more. In flagrante masterclass.
I wonder whether the burglar could sue us for emotional damage done to him as he unsuspectingly tumbles upon harmful obscenity. While I thus wonder, the door swings open and clear, female eyes, enhanced by manly glasses, come into focus. Dr. Dyke.
Godehart can't speak at the moment, but Dyke can, presumably, although she doesn't. She ceases all activity whilst her medical mind assesses the situation. There she stands. It would be an understatement to say that we stared at each other (the more so because Godehart cannot really participate, his eyes left to dangle at the pond boys on the wall).
What's the washed-up scriptwriter doing in all this? He has a writer's block, I have to carry on alone. When you're in a hole, stop digging. That's perhaps a good idea, the more so since you’re in panic and can’t recall Dyke's real name, it could be a bad idea to use her moniker at this delicate hour. When we met for the first time, Dyke and I, her first words were "Your work?" That was twelve hours ago. What will she say now? Will she ever speak again?
"Your work?" she asks.
"Welcome to Godehart Wagner's home," I reply, one of my better lines today.
"I'm unsurprised," she says.
"Que sera, sera," I say—what can I say, there's no way to take this seriously. Even the dildo victim sports a smirk on his lips, a painful smirk at that, but a smirk nonetheless. Even the washed-up scriptwriter chimes in, we hear Doris Day singing in the background.
Are you still there? Then you'll possibly like the
GREEN EYES. The first part is out now, available as Kindle book on Amazon, under this link: