For Ernie and Scott...
1 Page/12 Panels
Panel 1: Nick and Jake, two refined, yet ruffled sort of fellows sit at a bar, despairing of their existence and obviously wanting little to do with anyone. Nick is more well-kept, obviously of better means, but he looks as though he’s been through an ordeal. Jake is loose at the collar, with almost a Bogie look about him, but handsomer and less wrinkles. He’s got the look of a journalist, but a sophisticated staff journo, not your average hack who trolls the streets with the word PRESS stamped on his fedora. They’re both silently brooding beside each other with one unoccupied bar stool to separate them. Smoke wafts from Jake’s cigarette.
1 JAKE: So what did yours do?
Panel 2: Close on Nick, obviously interrupted from some silent reverie and more than a little surprised.
2 NICK: I’m sorry?
3 JAKE (off panel): Yours. The one that’s got you turning over glasses.
Panel 3: Jake takes a long, knowing drag on his cigarette as Nick remains poised, staring at his glass. His body language tells us he’s cautious to maintain a façade, but his face is on the verge of a sigh, more than willing to unload it all.
4 NICK: I’m not certain I know what you’re talking about.
5 JAKE: Come on, I know a mirror when I see one. Who safer to confide in than the guy buying your drink?
Panel 4: Nick relaxes, but is a little confused. Jake signals for the bartender.
6 NICK: Buying?
7 JAKE: Sure. Bartender! Whatever he’s having and a double for me.
Panel 5: The bartender is pouring from a bottle of scotch into Nick’s glass as Jake nudges his empty glass away from him.
8 JAKE: So, what did she do?
9 NICK: Thank you. No, actually it was a he and he died.
Panel 6: Jake stares into his glass as Nick takes a drink.
10 JAKE: Sorry to hear it.
11 NICK: No trouble.
Panel 7: Jake uneasily shifts in his seat, slouching somewhat, as Nick pulls out a cigarette case and removes a smoke.
12 JAKE: Mine was a “she.” A “she” I followed all over the goddamn place before I realized I was wasting my time.
13 NICK: Mm. Did you love her?
14 JAKE: Of course.
Panel 8: Jake takes a drink as Nick lights his cigarette.
Panel 9: Close on Nick, exhaling and speaking introspectively.
15 NICK: Mine was pure gold, but not the kind you want to wrap around your neck or cluster into nuggets and lock away in a safe.
16 NICK: No, he was everything to everyone but the one he wanted. He was the best of times and he’s gone.
Panel 10: Jake looks at Nick as though he genuinely empathizes. His mouth is open as he struggles to form the words. Nick takes a drink.
17 JAKE: …so’s she.
18 NICK: Regrets.
19 JAKE: Yeah.
Panel 11: Nick stands up to leave as Jake turns to face him, dragging on his cigarette.
20 NICK: Well, I think I’ve had enough. I’m Nick, by the way. Nice talking with you…
21 JAKE: Jake. Tell me this Nick: Guys like us, why do we always end up in places like this with
the pieces in our hands?
Panel 12: Nick walks away as Jake sits slouching over the bar, dragging on his cigarette.
22 NICK: It’s how we’re made, I suppose.
(c) Diami Virgilio 2006