Benaulim Beach: A Legal Octopus

 

            The girl was at the airport to meet me. We easily spotted each other: we were the only foreigners in the small terminal. She watched me clear customs, and arranged a taxi to take us to Benaulim Beach.

            "Where are you from?" I asked her in the taxi.

            "I'm English," she said and smiled as if she'd told a joke.

            The girl's dark hair was bleached white on the ends and her face was paled by makeup. She looked tired, with rings around her eyes and her eyelashes coated with mascara. She was darkly and loosely dressed, thin, her movements as gaunt as her face.

            "How long have you known Spikey?"

            "A few weeks," she said, shrugging, "Perhaps."

            "What do you think of him?"

            "Compulsive. Lovely. Dangerous."

            The girl looked out of the window as we drove in silence for an hour. I occasionally watched her until she turned to look at me, when we would both smile.

            “Do you know if Spikey is in some kind of trouble?” I asked.

            “I think he just needs money.”

            “Isn’t he in police custody?”

            “That’s why he needs money.”

            “What did he do? Insult an official or shoplift in a supermarket? How serious is his crime?” I asked in a joking tone, but the girl’s cool composure woke me to the realization that Spikey Blue might be in more serious trouble than suggested by his late-night phone call the previous week. The girl chewed her lip as the taxi swerved to avoid hitting an ox-driven cart. “Did somebody die?”

 

Benaulim Beach: A Legal Octopus

 

The girl was at the airport to meet me. We easily spotted each other: we were the only foreigners in the small terminal. She watched me clear customs, and arranged a taxi to take us to Benaulim Beach.

            "Where are you from?" I asked her in the taxi.

            "I'm English," she said and smiled as if she'd told a joke.

            The girl's dark hair was bleached white on the ends and her face was paled by makeup. She looked tired, with rings around her eyes and her eyelashes coated with mascara. She was darkly and loosely dressed, thin, her movements as gaunt as her face.

            "How long have you known Spikey?"

            "A few weeks," she said, shrugging, "Perhaps."

            "What do you think of him?"

            "Compulsive. Lovely. Dangerous."

            The girl looked out of the window as we drove in silence for an hour. I occasionally watched her until she turned to look at me, when we would both smile.

            “Do you know if Spikey is in some kind of trouble?” I asked.

            “I think he just needs money.”

            “Isn’t he in police custody?”

            “That’s why he needs money.”

            “What did he do? Insult an official or shoplift in a supermarket? How serious is his crime?” I asked in a joking tone, but the girl’s cool composure woke me to the realization that Spikey Blue might be in more serious trouble than suggested by his late-night phone call the previous week. The girl chewed her lip as the taxi swerved to avoid hitting an ox-driven cart. “Did somebody die?”

 

BUDDHA

I'm afraid I can't give you any more information unless you guarantee me a chance to talk with her before you catch her --

WHITE

The radiation tracking will be over in less than an hour, and if she's in Sector 147, we'll be able to track her.  I'll talk to you then and see about arranging a chat between the two of you.  I know what it's like to be in love and searching frantically for reverse when the chick in your life starts acting weird.  I'm not iron-hearted.

BUDDHA

Why can't you take me with you?  Have I broken the law?  Am I charged with any crime?

WHITE

Stay here until we catch her.  You'll get good food, and if you need anything, just ask the wardens for it. (Pause)  I can't take you with me right now, because I'm going home to my wife and I'm going to throw a fuck into her that she'll start a new religion about.  (He gets up to leave)  Even if you want a woman, just let the warden know; but I have to ask you to stick around for at least a few more hours.  Ciao.

 

7 p.m. Monday Evening

DETECTIVE FASSBINDER ORDERS A GEISHA GIRL FOR DINNER
AND THEN HAS A STRANGE & DISTURBING VISION

WHILE DETECTIVE WHITE IS SPURNED AGAIN
BY HIS LOVELY & MASSIVELY PREGNANT WIFE

 

 

(Fassbinder is undressing in his hotel room; he is on the phone with room service.  The hotel room is a sterile peach- and apricot-colored affair evocative of contemporary America’s tomb-like inns and lodges.)

 

 

FASSBINDER

I need a geisha. And a ham and cheese sandwich with some kind of German beer.  (Pause)  No meat?  Well, then just give me cheese.  Jesus.  What?  Put it on anything made of wheat, I don't care what kind of bread it is.  And don't put any goddamn sprouts on the sandwich, okay? 

 

(He hangs up as knocks sound on the door.  Fassbinder answers and is met by a young woman in a geisha costume.  The woman strolls into the room carrying a tray with teapot and tea cups.)

 

FASSBINDER

That was extremely fast.  Do you have my sandwich?

 

BUDDHA

I'm afraid I can't give you any more information unless you guarantee me a chance to talk with her before you catch her --

 

WHITE

The radiation tracking will be over in less than an hour, and if she's in Sector 147, we'll be able to track her.  I'll talk to you then and see about arranging a chat between the two of you.  I know what it's like to be in love and searching frantically for reverse when the chick in your life starts acting weird.  I'm not iron-hearted.

 

BUDDHA

Why can't you take me with you?  Have I broken the law?  Am I charged with any crime?

 

WHITE

Stay here until we catch her.  You'll get good food, and if you need anything, just ask the wardens for it. (Pause)  I can't take you with me right now, because I'm going home to my wife and I'm going to throw a fuck into her that she'll start a new religion about.  (He gets up to leave)  Even if you want a woman, just let the warden know; but I have to ask you to stick around for at least a few more hours.  Ciao.

 

7 p.m. Monday Evening

DETECTIVE FASSBINDER ORDERS A GEISHA GIRL FOR DINNER
AND THEN HAS A STRANGE & DISTURBING VISION

WHILE DETECTIVE WHITE IS SPURNED AGAIN
BY HIS LOVELY & MASSIVELY PREGNANT WIFE

 

 

(Fassbinder is undressing in his hotel room; he is on the phone with room service.  The hotel room is a sterile peach- and apricot-colored affair evocative of contemporary America’s tomb-like inns and lodges.)

 

 

FASSBINDER

I need a geisha. And a ham and cheese sandwich with some kind of German beer.  (Pause)  No meat?  Well, then just give me cheese.  Jesus.  What?  Put it on anything made of wheat, I don't care what kind of bread it is.  And don't put any goddamn sprouts on the sandwich, okay? 

 

(He hangs up as knocks sound on the door.  Fassbinder answers and is met by a young woman in a geisha costume.  The woman strolls into the room carrying a tray with teapot and tea cups.)

 

FASSBINDER

That was extremely fast.  Do you have my sandwich?