Inhabited Space

Giles Carter

After two sober weeks of sitting all day in the sun writing, Giles did produce a scenario finally, a good one he thought. And so in the end it turned out all right, or at least that's what he told himself.

But that first day Giles lay in bed well into the afternoon, thinking of the drive from the airport to the hotel. Nobody in the limo said the screenplay wouldn't work and would have to be scrapped. Nobody said it. But everybody knew.

Giles reached for another cigarette on the table beside the bed, lit it, and began to replay yet again the drive to the Hilton from LA International, feeling only the oscillation of panic and awe. The scene inside the stretch Lincoln had played so smoothly, unfolding seamlessly, every inflection perfect, every pause charged with silent meaning. If he could just remember how it had really happened, he might be able to use it sometime. He had lost so much because he'd forgotten how things had really been.

Now all he could recall truly was the blood rushing through his ears and an internal voice saying, Something is wrong here; something is very, very wrong. He couldn't remember a single line of dialogue from the thirty-minute drive. He had lost it.

When he finally got dressed Giles was still on East Coast time, and he went for a walk in the gray mist because his internal clock said it was time for a drink. He had the small blue notebook, which he carried in his pocket to remind himself that it didn't necessarily have to be a lie, his saying he was a writer.

The next day, after Giles had searched until he'd found the bar again, the barman, a Swede, refused to return the little notebook. "I'm gonna fuck up your world, Bubba," Giles had said with such conviction that the Swede, who had thirty pounds on him, reached for the phone and called the police.

But that first day, the Blonde had taken the notebook from Giles's pocket and laid it before him, then opened the button on his shirt and pressed her fingers on his nipple. Later, he vaguely remembered some shouting from the Swede about the bill.