O MacGuffin

terça-feira, outubro 21, 2003

I KNEW THESE PEOPLE…
(a propósito de uma fotografia publicada no Dicionário do Diabo)

TRAVIS
I knew these people...

JANE
What people?

TRAVIS
These two people. They were in love with each other. The girl was... very young, about seventeen or eighteen, I guess. And the guy was... quite a bit older. He was kind of raggedy and wild. And she was very beautiful, you know?

JANE
Yeah.

TRAVIS
And together, they turned everything into a kind of adventure, and she liked that. Just an ordinary trip down to the grocery store was full of adventure. They were always laughing at stupid things. He liked to make her laugh. And they didn't much care for anything else because all they wanted to do was to be with each other. They were always together.

JANE
Sounds like they were very happy.

TRAVIS
Yes, they were. They were real happy. And he... he loved her more than he ever felt possible. He couldn't stand being away from her during the day when he went to work... so he'd quit. Just to be at home with her. Then he'd get another job when the money ran out, and then he'd quit again. But pretty soon, she started to worry.
JANE
About what?

TRAVIS
Money, I guess. Not having enough. Not knowing when the next check was coming in.

JANE
I know that feeling.

TRAVIS
So he started to get kind of... torn inside.

JANE
How do you mean?

TRAVIS
Well, he knew he had to work to support her, but he couldn't stand being away from her, either.

JANE
I see.

TRAVIS
And the more he was away from her, the crazier he got. Except now, he went really crazy. He started imagining all kinds of things.

JANE
Like what?

TRAVIS
He started thinking that she was seeing other men on the sly. He'd come home from work and accuse her of spending the day with somebody else. Then he'd yell at her and start smashing things in the trailer.

JANE
The trailer?

TRAVIS
Yes, they were living in a trailer home.

JANE
Excuse me, sir, but were you in to visit me the other day? I don't mean to pry.

TRAVIS
No.

JANE
Oh, I thought I recognized your voice for a minute.

TRAVIS
No, it wasn't me.

JANE
Uhm. Please go on.

TRAVIS
Anyway, he started to drink real bad. And he'd stay out late to test her.

JANE
What do you mean, "test her" ?

TRAVIS
To see if she'd get jealous.


JANE
Huh! Uhuh.

TRAVIS
He wanted her to get jealous, but she didn't. She was just worried about him, but that got him even madder.

JANE
Why?

TRAVIS
Because he thought that, if she'd never get jealous of him, she didn't really care about him. Jealousy was a sign of her love for him. And then, one night... one night, she told him she was pregnant. She was about three or four months pregnant, and he didn't even know. And then, suddenly, everything changed. He stopped drinking and got a steady job. He was convinced that she loved him now because she was carrying his child. And he was going to dedicate himself to making a home for her. But then a funny thing started to happen.

JANE
What?
TRAVIS
He didn't even notice it at first. She started to change. From the day the baby was born, she began to get irritated with everything around her. She got mad at everything. Even the baby seemed to be an injustice to her. He kept trying to make everything all right for her. Buy her things. Take her out to dinner once a week. But nothing seemed to satisfy her. For two years he struggled to pull them back together like they were when they first met, but finally he knew that it was never going to work out. So he hit the bottle again. But this time it got... mean. This time, when he came home late at night, drunk, she wasn't worried about him, or jealous, she was just enraged. She accused him of holding her captive by making her have a baby. She told him that she dreamed about escaping. That was all she dreamed about: escape. She saw herself at night running naked down a highway, running across fields, running down riverbeds, always running. And always, just when she was about to get away, he'd be there. He would stop her somehow. He would just appear and stop her. And when she told him these dreams, he believed them. He knew she had to be stopped or she'd leave him forever. So he ned a cow bell to her ankle so he could hear her at night if she tried to get out of bed. But she learned how to muffle the bell by stuffing a sock into it, and inching her way out of the bed and into the night. He caught her one night when the sock fell out and he heard her trying to run to the highway. He caught her and dragged her back to the trailer, and tied her to the stove with his belt.
He just left her there and went back to bed and lay there listening to her scream. And he listened to his son scream, and he was surprised at himself because he didn't feel anything anymore. All he wanted to do was sleep. And for the first time, he wished he were far away. Lost in a deep, vast country where nobody knew him. Somewhere without language or streets. He dreamed about this place without knowing its name. And when he woke up, he was on fire. There were blue flames burning the sheets of his bed. He ran through the flames toward the only two people he loved.... but they were gone.His arms were burning, and he threw himself outside and rolled on the wet ground. Then he ran. He never looked back at the fire. He just ran. He ran until the sun came up and he couldn't run any further. And when the sun went down, he ran again. For five days he ran like this until every sign of man had disappeared.

JANE
Travis?
TRAVIS
If you turn off the light in there, will you be able to see me?

JANE
I don't know. I never tried.

TRAVIS
Can you see me?

JANE
Yes.

TRAVIS
Do you recognize me?

JANE
Oh, Travis.

TRAVIS
I brought Hunter with me...

TRAVIS
Don't you want to see him ?

JANE
I wanted to see him so bad that I didn't even dare imagine him anymore. Anne kept sending me pictures of him until I asked her to stop. I couldn't stand the pain of seeing him grow up and missing it.

TRAVIS
Why didn't you keep him with you, Jane?

JANE
I couldn't, Travis. I didn't have what I knew he needed. And I didn't want to use him to fill up all my emptiness.

TRAVIS
Well, he needs you now, Jane. And he wants to see you.

JANE
He does?

TRAVIS
Yes. He's waiting for you.

JANE
Where?

TRAVIS
Downtown. In a hotel, The Meridian. Room 1520... 1520.


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