It's a Wonderful Life
Mike Flannigan: What are you laughing at, Billy?
Billy Frazee: This is kinda the same way that movie started out.
MF: What movie?
BF: It's a Wonderful Life.
Rob Svenson: Why, Billy, I'm touched! I didn't know you were into feel-good movies.
MF: He's not. He just watches it so he can root for Mr. Potter.
BF: Spoken like a true bleeding heart liberal asshole. No, I ain't usually into those kinds of movies, Kung Fu, but I do have a kid. We've watched it a few times together.
Jo Jo Vandermeer: Oh, I see what you mean, Billy! You're referring to God and the angels talking about George Bailey.
BF: Bingo, Jo Jo. Poor bastard's got his plate piled high right now.
MF: Well, the name of the place is Pottersville. I've posted here a few times, myself.
Dave Carmichael: Guy was even thinking about offing himself.
BF: Dave, is that you? I thought you were chasing fame and fortune or peddlin' your failed album out of the back of your truck.
RS: Billy, come on. We've moved past all that. The road trip with Jo Jo? Remember?
BF: Alright, alright.
MF: So, how are we going to help out this poor guy?
DC: Not by bitchslapping eachother like we were the 3 Stooges, that's for sure.
JJ: Pray for him, I say.
MF: Go ahead but poor JP's like me, babe. Religion really isn't efficacious in the secular world and he needs someone with a pulse to help him out.
DC: That effectively puts us at a disadvantage.
BF: How do you figger, boss man?
DC: We're fictional, remember?
BF: Right. Gotcha.
RS: On the other hand, maybe we're real and JP's fictional.
BF: Christ, there you go with the Zen shit, again.
RS: It's not Zen. Just a simple shift in perception, is all.
JJ: Hey, I got an idea! How about we get our instruments and play that Pearl Jam song "Alive" for him?
MF: Oh, I get it. "I'm still alive." Nice try, kiddo, but his computer got fried last summer, remember? He doesn't have a sound card and he wouldn't be able to hear us.
BF: Besides, "Alive" doesn't have a keyboard in it, Jo Jo.
RS: Well, we have to do something for him. In 24 hours, he's losing the two biggest parts of his life: His home and his family. If anyone knows what that feels like, it's me. I can't trust he won't do something stupid.
JJ: Like kill himself.
MF: Let's not go there again, OK, Jo Jo?
JJ: Oh, right. Sorry.
DC: Well, he can still read this. If we put our heads together, we should be able to come up with something that'll...
BF: What're ya, fucking blind, Dave? Look at him. He's busy packing and lookin' like he can't decide to shit or wind his watch.
DC: He can read this later.
MF: He won't have internet access where he's going, either. Or even a laundromat within walking distance.
BF: Boo hoo. Those're the least of his problems.
DC: For once, you and I agree, Billy.
BF: I mean, the fucking dump he'll be livin' in is a lot like the place I'm livin' in now. It's the kind of place where you're tempted to wipe your feet before you walk onto the street.
JJ: Billy, why do you have to be so gauche?
BF: What did I say? I'm just sayin', this is a helluva drop off for him.
MF: OK, why don't we all just think for a minute and each give him a piece of advice? Maybe he'll log on later tonight and read it.
BF: Hm. Thinkin' ain't exactly my long suit.
DC: Oh, you're just being modest, Einstein.
BF: Fuck you. Put your thinking cap on and shut up, Dave.
JJ: OK, I'll go first.
JP, I know what it feels like not to have family or any kind of a support network, to be exposed, scared, vulnerable. Like my husband Jeremy said, that's exactly what it feels like to be gay. Not that you're gay or anything...
BF: Jo Jo, you're fucking this up.
JJ: Shut up, Billy.
Anyway, JP, know that for every person in the world, there's at least one angel looking out for him or her. Everyone gets their turn in the sun. Everyone.
BF: And every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.
DC: Can you do better, Frazee?
BF: Hell yeah, Carmichael.
OK, Rob, listen up. You ain't gonna get anywhere in life keeping your head below your shoulders and crying, Poor me. I been there. I know. OK, you're getting kicked to the curb like toxic waste and I left my wife and kid voluntarily, but aside from that...
JJ: Ahem. And you said moi was screwing up?
BF: Shut up, Jo Jo. I still got the floor.
Look, you remember that conversation I had with Mike in Springfield, right, Rob? Take a lesson from that. Write your own fuckin' ending instead of letting some ghost writer asshole do it for you.
DC: "Ghost writer asshole." Very poetic, Billy. You ought to take that next time you go to the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference.
BF: Why would I go to a baker's conference?
DC: Oh, brother. Anyway...
Robert, we all feel like we have a stake in this. After all, we all came from you. We're all a facet of you to some degree. But, look, while it may've cost me some friends, when I signed with that record label 30 years ago, at least I was chasing my dream. I just thought my shoulders were broad enough to carry everyone eventually but they weren't. You're our hope for immortality. Publish your book and bring us back for the sequel. We'll be waiting.
Who's next? Mike, Rob?
RS: OK, listen up, dude. Sometimes the cow shows itself, sometimes it doesn't...
BF: Cow? What the fuck are you talking about, you Swedish meatball?
RS: He knows. The Zen exercise. Anyway, all you need sometimes in life, Robert, is a little revelation, some tiny bit of information that allows the truth to suddenly present itself. I'd take up Zen, if I were you. Get a Zen garden. Listen to your namesake.
BF: Zen, cows. Yeah, that'll get him far.
MF: Billy, can it.
OK, JP. I've enjoyed posting here when even my editor in chief Ari considered my stuff too hot to handle. I'd like to do so again. And I'd wager that many of your readers, believe it or not, care whether you live or die. I'd like to think that, however bleak life is for you, for all of us at times, there's someone out there who cares about you.
Sometimes silence isn't death or apathy or despair. Sometimes, silence is just opportunity taking a breath.
BF: Bravo! Robert fucking Frost, we got here!
DC: You guys want to head back to the barn and grab a beer? I'll buy.
BF: Fuck yeah! Let's go. We're done here.
JJ: Uh, do you have Pepsi, Dave?
DC: (Chuckling) Sure, little guy. Hop in the van.
BF: I got shotgun!
(For Minstrel Boy more than me, since he wanted to hear from the guys one last time.)