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Daydreams

(Eli talks to himself

as he sits alone

in his 5th Avenue loft)

 

How lonely Peter makes me.

What might Elvis have sung

had he seen this?

 

I can’t sing. I’d turn and run.

I’ve lost again. I’m done for this time.

 

Well, there’ll be other Christmases.

 

(Eli picks up a necklace

and speaks to it)

 

I’d hang you from my nipples,

but you’d shock the step-children.

 

They kissed sweetly, didn’t they? I’ll have

him next time. I can wait.

 

(Eli walks over to

a liquor cabinet,

removes a key from his pocket

and unlocks the cabinet

and speaks to something)

 

Ah, there you are;

my comfort and my company.

 

(He reaches into the cabinet

and removes

a diamond studded tiara)

 

We’re locked in

for another year: four seasons more.

What a desolation, what a life’s work.

 

(Eli puts the tiara on

as Jeff knocks and

enters the loft

without waiting)

 

Is it too much?

Be sure to squint as you approach.

You may be blinded by my beauty.

 

Merry Christmas.

 

Is that why you’re here…

to tell me that?

 

I thought you might be lonely.

 

(Eli offers the tiara to Jeff)

 

Here, Chief Financial Officer.

 

Try it on for size.

 

It’s puzzling. I remember my sixth birthday.

Not just memories of the mansion or the gifts,

but who did what to whom and how it felt.

 

My memory stretches that far back, but never once

can I remember… anything from you or Father

other than indifference.

 

Why is that?

 

I don’t know.

 

That was not an easy question from me,

and I don’t deserve an easy answer.

 

There are times I think we loved

none of your father’s sons.

 

Still too easy,

don’t you think?

 

I’m weary,

and you want a simple answer,

and I haven’t one.

 

I’m so sick of all of you.

 

(Joey knocks and enters the loft

without waiting)

 

I thought I’d come and gloat a little.

 

Mother’s tired.

Come stick pins tomorrow morning.

I’ll be more responsive then.

 

It’s no fun goading anyone tonight.

 

(Dick also knocks and enters

without waiting)

 

The bastard’s boxed us up.

 

What’s that, dear?

 

We’re his prisoners,

if that interests you.

 

Why should it?

I’m his prisoner anyway.

 

It was…

correct me if I’m wrong – – – 

but it was my impression

that you wanted Peter’s CEO chair for me.

 

We can’t win, Dick.

We’ve lost it this time.

 

You think I’m finished, do you?

 

I do.

I’ve suffered more defeats

than you have teeth.

I know one when it happens to me.

Take your medicine like a good boy.

Swallow it and go to bed.

 

I will be CEO.

 

So you will, but not this year!

Leave it alone, Dick! Let it go for now.

 

I can’t.

 

It’s not so hard. Try saying after me:

“Joey wins, I lose.”

 

And what if Joey died?

 

(Dick makes

the sign of the mob)

 

You wouldn’t dare! The mob?

 

Why wouldn’t I?

 

He’s connected! Of course he is connected.

 

He has always been connected.

 

We all have connections.

 

Some legal, some not.

It’s 1983 and we’re barbarians.

 

How clear we make it.

Oh, my three little step-piglets,

we are the origins of corporate war.

 

Not history’s forces,

not Rome’s legions,

nor the Visigoths,

nor justice,

nor the lack of it,

nor causes,

nor religions,

nor ideas,

nor kinds of government,

nor any other thing.

 

We are the destructors of souls.

 

We breed corporate wars.

 

We breed it, like syphilis, inside.

 

Wounded bodies rot on wall street,

and main street,

because the living ones are rotting.

 

For the love of capitalism,

can’t we love one another just a little?

 

That’s how peace begins.

We have so much to love each other for.

 

There as so many possibilities,

for my step-children.

We could change the world.

 

And while we hugged each other,

what would Phil do?

 

Oh, good God, Phil – – I forgot about Phil!

Are we supposed to start a war?

 

If father finds out, I’ll be ruined.

 

Steady, Joey. Don’t panic.

 

Some adviser you are.

 

(Joey exits the loft)

 

Don’t do anything without me.

Let me handle it.

 

He’s made a pact with Phil.

You advised Joey into making war.

That fearless boy…

he’s disinherited himself.

When Peter finds out…

when I tell him what Joey’s done,

I need a little time.

 

Can you keep Joey from Phil till I say so?

 

Anything you say.

 

(Jeff also runs out of the room)

 

Dick, I want you out of here

before this news breaks.

 

And that requires Philip on our side.

Go to him, be desperate, promise anything…

the shares, the company.

Once you’re free and Joey is out of favor,

we’ll make further plans.

 

You go to see Phil. You’re the diplomat.

 

You’re a friend of his.

You know him, I don’t.

And Dick! Promise anything.

 

(Dick leaves and slams the door

behind him.

Eli continues the conversation

with himself)

 

Oh, I’ve got the old boy this time.

The damn fool thinks he loves Joey.

He believes it.

That’s where the legal knife goes in…

Lawyers,

lawyers…

 

Where is that mirror?

 

I’m Eli,

and I can look at anything.

My, what a lovely lady I am.

How could her CEO have left him?

 

Tomorrow Next Post:  PHIL’S TERRITORY

 

 

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