originally published July 18, 2012
Two old friends, Peter and Ian, are having a drink in Ian’s apartment.
IAN: “Peter, what’s wrong? You seem to be under pressure. Do you need one more night of magic with those West End girls, buddy?”
PETER: “I’m gonna tear your playhouse down with this news, Ian. It’ll sound cold-hearted, leave you with broken wings and might push you to the borderline of becoming a maniac. Just don’t react in the heat of the moment.”
IAN: You may be right, but it’s a matter of trust, Peter. I’ve been keeping the faith for the longest time that you’re an innocent man. Don’t ask me why, ever since we lived in Allentown I go to extremes while you have the ability to leave a tender moment alone. Just tell me, old friend.
PETER: It’s your wife…
IAN: Sherrie’s quite an uptown girl, isn’t she?
PETER: Ian, she’s a modern woman.
IAN: What’s that supposed to mean?
PETER: It’s hard to say I’m sorry. If I could turn back time, shake it up and change things…
IAN: Relax! The truth is a good thing, and I’ve got my mind set on you speaking it.
PETER: We had sex.
IAN: Oh, Sherrie! My sweet valley girl!
PETER: It was urgent that I tell you tonight, tonight, tonight, Ian. I’m in too deep in this land of confusion, that’s all. Our friendship? Sure, maybe I’m throwing it all away, but if you could have no reply at all for just a moment, let me explain…
IAN: I thought Sherrie and I were on the holiday road to Paradise City; instead these dreams are breaking us in two! I want to cry all night long (all night)!
PETER: It happened when you were on that Africa-Panama trip.
IAN: Weren’t you dating Rosanna then?
PETER: I know, Rosanna was my angel of Harlem, my Caribbean queen; she’s a beauty! But when we were alone, she was a funky cold Medina.
IAN: A what?
PETER: I mean she was no wild thing in bed. We were free fallin’ out of our jungle love like a two of hearts down a wishing well. Just like that, abracadabra, another one bites the dust.
IAN: But Sherrie…
PETER: Remember your white wedding? It was hot in the city that night and I was dancing with myself. Sherrie brought me an Orange Crush. Don’t get me wrong, nothing happened then, but I knew that night that someday we’d get it on (bang a gong).
IAN: This is hitting me like a sledgehammer. What have I done to deserve this?
PETER: She was no easy lover, and you can’t hurry love, you know. Months later I was on my own, when…
IAN: Say, say say! Was this the night you were airing your dirty laundry when she worked the night shift at the Sunset Grill?
PETER: We got caught up in the rhythm of the night, yes. I remember there was a photograph of some China girl over the deep-frying machine, we were little wasted on the way, and our hormones just seemed to… sail on.
IAN: Do you really want to hurt me with this?
PETER: No! It was no endless love, just part of the walk of life is all.
IAN: That heartbreaker. All she wants to do is dance, ever since she was a centerfold.
PETER: Hey Ian, you’ve got a view to a kill in your eyes…
IAN: Why not? Why shouldn’t this nasty torture make me the king of pain? I oughta rock you like a hurricane, the same way you managed to rock me. Amadeus once said, “never trust a smooth operator.”
PETER: Did he say that?
IAN: I’ll knock you from here to Kokomo.
PETER: This is really turning into a manic Monday.
IAN: I’m sorry Peter. The calendar says it’s a new moon on Monday, and that always makes my inner rebel yell like an old pink Cadillac. Besides, I don’t like Mondays anyway.
PETER: You know, you can call me Al before you can call me someone who’d hurt a friend.
IAN: What about that time you hooked up in that love shack with Sara? Wasn’t she Jesse’s girl?
PETER: I guess I just feel forever young. My desire becomes an obsession. I want someone with angel eyes to be near me, so I get all lost in love like some jukebox hero, then one thing leads to another and I end up making love out of nothing at all.
IAN: I had faith in you, Peter. You were like a father figure to me. I feel so out of touch, like I need to hire private eyes to follow this maneater to see who she gets all one-on-one with. It feels like every kiss on my list of greatest kisses has been a fraud! Say it isn’t so, Peter. I can’t go for that. No can do.
PETER: Ian, it’s a small world, and if this is it, it’s as much a perfect world as we’ll ever see. Sure, the power of love can rip apart your heart and soul, and have you walking on a thin line because of her devil inside. But no one is to blame, and really things can only get better! Before you know it, you’ll be back in the high life.
IAN: I can’t just roll with it, not if this is true. It’s a tainted love now.
PETER: She was a part-time lover to me. But she’s still head over heels for you, she’d shout it from the rooftop! She and I were puttin’ on the Ritz, maybe once or twice we’d pump up the jam, but she’s been sowing the seeds of love with you for years.
IAN: She’s just a private dancer. Our relationship has been on the road to nowhere, it’s a wonder I’m not burning down the house!
PETER: Come on, you’re simply the best. You wouldn’t do that.
IAN: And you! Maybe it’s time you beat it, get out of here. You’re just a gigolo!
PETER: But what about love?
IAN: What’s love got to do with it? I’m all out of love.
PETER: Look Ian, just bang your head against the wall a couple of times, and let’s go out. Yah mo B there for you, man. Throw on that raspberry beret you bought in 1999, I’ll call up 867-5309 (Jenny’s number, I think), get her to invite Mickey and that darling Nikki, and you and I will hop in my little red corvette and get delirious! Come on, let’s go crazy!
IAN: Oh yeah… blah blah blah, de do do do de da da da… forget it! I’m the owner of a lonely heart, remember?
PETER: Bull. Even when you wear your cheap sunglasses at night you’re a sharp dressed man. Remember the freedom of our dance hall days? We’d chug down some red red wine and scream, “We are the world!”
IAN: But Sherrie…
PETER: You got lucky when you married her. I know you’ve felt a heartache tonight, but if you love somebody set them free!
IAN: Keep it down, voices carry through these apartment walls.
PETER: Sorry. Come on, Ian. We built this city in our wild electric youth. Sherrie just can’t get enough of you, I swear. But you’re in the danger zone, dwelling on this, and it’s the final countdown before you get hungry like the wolf and do something stupid.
IAN: I guess this is why she was doodling “P.Y.T.” in her notebook instead of “I.G.Y.” She was thinking of your monogram.
PETER: Forget that. So what, so this is the end of the innocence. I guess that’s why they call it the blues, right?
IAN: Oh, Sherrie…
PETER: Enough! I’m still standing, you’re still standing. Don’t worry, be happy Ian! This isn’t the wild, wild west – you’ll forgive those hungry eyes of hers and stay together forever. Sherrie’s never gonna give you up, you’re simply irresistible!
IAN: If you say so…
PETER: For me it was a brief infatuation, and I’m sorry. But some guys have all the luck; she’ll always be your emotional rescue. Sherrie is wrapped around your finger! She’ll always be right here waiting to give you the look when you come home, and I’ll be alone. So what? C’est la vie. Listen to your heart, Ian.
IAN: I guess you’re right. Pretty smart for a super freak.
PETER: Let’s go. Let’s have one last worthless evening like a pair of Ghostbusters under an invisible sun.
IAN: Let’s do it. Let’s go runnin’ down a dream and do some dancing in the dark.
PETER: These are our glory days, my friend. Leave the shattered dreams for the old man down the road. Don’t stop believing!
IAN: Should I call my cousin, Eileen?
PETER: Please. I wouldn’t come on Eileen undercover of the night, brother.
Ian and Peter grab their coats and leave.