Yes, after a long hiatus (cough cough cough) I have returned. I’m sure you’re happy to see me, again, eh? Go grab more of whatever you’re deliriously eating/drinking/rolling around in because you’ll probably enjoy what I’m about to write. Well, I enjoyed it and that’s really the only thing that matters, after all. The fact that you’re accessing this site really only proves one thing…that you like to lurk! This is the only reasonable deduction since very few of you ever bother to comment. Or follow me on social media. Or say, Hey, PF, dude, where the hell you been?
I wrote the follow apropos of a little thought experiment. Basically, I created a character and inserted him into a well known movie. (Kubrick would be proud.) But before you read about it, you really ought to head out to YT and watch the following clip as it sets up the scene I wrote. The audio is really craptacular so be sure to crank your speaker.
Now on to what you really came here for.
Jack Torrance sat at the empty bar and took a slug from the 2-fingers worth of bourbon that Lloyd, the red-jacketed bartender, had just poured into a small highball glass for him. He held it up, lovingly, eyes twinkling, and made a toast, Here’s to five months on the wagon and all the irreparable harm it caused me. As he set down his drink, he admired how the ambient lighting in the ballroom glinted off the crystal. Just then, Wendy, his wife, scampered into the room, carrying a wooden bat and whimpering. Her blubbering snapped his reverie and he was suddenly plunged back into the present –the bartender, his glass and bottle of bourbon all having vanished from sight. His glee had been swiftly transformed into annoyance, and when she put her hand on his shoulder, to force him to listen to her, there was no escaping. The silly bitch was always pestering him with what he considered inanities, and was forever sobbing about Danny, their seven year old. The poor kid couldn’t make a move without the old sperm bank wailing about it. And then, as predicted, she launched into an agitated account about a crazy woman in one of the rooms of the hotel having attempted to strangle his son.
At a table located far from the bar, he watched them, Jack Torrance, the new caretaker of the hotel, and his delirious wife, Wendy, as she described a woman in a bathtub going after their child. He chuckled, softly, to himself, when Jack asked Wendy if she was out of her mind. He had finished his own drink as he patiently waited for Jack to tell her to go back to their quarters before he made his presence known. Excuse me, Mr. Torrance… His tone was as balmy as his mint julep cocktail had been. A word before you speak to Mrs. Abernathy? He asked, affably.
Startled at the sound of the stranger’s voice, Jack spun around, nearly losing balance. The bartender and his bourbon had both reappeared the moment Wendy had departed the ballroom. As his perception settled back into his alternate reality, the intruder strode towards Jack and held out his hand. My name is Thorpe. Nigel, to my friends. Jack shook his hand, enthusiastically, while Lloyd replenished his glass and poured another for the newcomer.
Thorpe reached for his drink and apologized, Pardon me, for saying so, but Agnes didn’t mean to alarm your son. He was picking off imaginary particles of dust from his sharply starched lapels and continued, It’s just that it has been so long since her own son has visited, well, the poor woman was positively delighted for the company! Her, uh, exuberance, was a bit much, admittedly, but she meant no harm. He said, sheepishly.
Jack considered his explanation, briefly, eying the man’s monocle and crisply tailored jacket. The two then clinked their glasses together, amicably, before downing their drinks. That’s quite alright, Nigel, my friend, Jack’s tone was mollifying. Wendy has an over-active imagination and often creates drama where absolutely none was intended.
Happy to hear it, old chum, Nigel’s tone was as superficially magnanimous as Jack’s. What say we both pay Aggie a visit? He suggested, with a wink. She absolutely adores entertaining guests from the comfort of a hot bath!
Nigel, my boy, I think I’m in the mood for a bath, myself, Jack announced, as his face broke into a wide, lewd grin.