Second alterview with Film Noir Persona, where shocking revelations about the Beige Boiler are made and Luck & Luckies continue to run out
Film Noir Persona, welcome back, we congratulate you here and now for joining us in The Sewers.
Good to be here in this cold afternoon, in this chill, that makes the city hide inside itself like a decapitated rat. Almost got myself murdered today. Yeah I already saw how it all ends. How do I see myself dying? Gotta tell ya, not like that.
Oh wow what happened?
Just dropped at the store to get myself a deck of Luckies, left the engine running. Yeah it was in the wrong part of town, and yeah, it was a wrong call. But a man needs his Luckies just as much as he needs his luck, and sometimes you got none of the latter, so you hit the first.
You mean sometimes when you have no luck, you go for the Luckies.
God damnit. I don’t need you to explain what I mean. I was reaching for my cash, and saw they had one bottle of that eel juice I like, the rare kind. The kind that sets you straight. When your life is crooked, you need something to set you straight. Then I heard it: a scream, a gunshot, and immediately a second scream. Left my cash and the luckies on the counter and came running out. And then I saw her, right near my car, an elegant broad, dressed in a red evening gown, she seemed like she didn’t belong there, like she didn’t belong anywhere. Her blonde hair –
Again with this fetishist cinematic gaze –
It’s integral to the story. I ran out, she looked at me, our eyes met. “Is that your boiler?” she asked, “you said it toots,” I answered. We looked at each other like there was no one else in the world that moment –
“Well something’s wrong with it,” she said and lit a cigarette, “the engine just exploded or something, didn’t you hear it?” she was right. My boiler went off. “Thank god no one got hurt,” she said, and exhaled a long cloud of smoke, eyeing me under her long lashes. “Not sure god’s the one to thank, sweetcheeks,” I said –
Do you believe in god?
Well I believe you can conclude from this sentence that I’m a lone wolf who believes in nothing.
Do you believe in some higher force or –
I believe men are scum.
Also. “You must have thought it was a gunshot,” she said to me, her eyes burned through me like the sun of august on asphalt. I saw behind her a hack approaching. “Well we can’t always get what we want,” she added, threw her cigarette and turned to leave. I couldn’t let her leave like that. Something pushed towards her. I grabbed her hand –
You did what?
And said to her –
What did you grab her hand for?
She was about to leave –
So what? You perv.
That’s an unwelcomed remark. It’s all part of the story, that’s the way it in those parts of town –
She should have reported you –
To who? To the johns? In this godforsaken city, no one cares –
So you do believe in god?
I believe in nothing. “I heard you scream”, I said to her, “just before the engine went off. That’s why I thought it was a gunshot”. People from across the street, an old lady and two men, were looking at us, at her, mostly. She was a blonde diamond –
She looked at me with a hint of a smile on her lips. “I screamed coz I saw a cockroach,” she said, and turned to leave. Because I let go of her hand once she turned to me, of course.
How noble of you.
“I wanna see you again,” I said as she entered the hack, but all I got as a replay was the slam of the door.
Went back to the store, I needed a cigarette after this encounter. The guy at the counter asked me to pay for them. I told them I did, he said I didn’t. But I know for sure I left my cash on the counter. Anyway, it went back and forth. I slammed the whiskey bottle on the counter, he took out his riffle. The two men from across the street came in to see what’s going on. Sons of bitches. It all went wrong. I left without my luckies.
And without your luck!
That’s implied. God damnit. Started kicking my boiler, it didn’t work. And it was cold, so cold, like frozen metal against your skin, like a cadaver in your bed. The city went grey, grey and more hopeless than ever. I saw a goddamned cockroach on the pavement and stomped it. No smokes, no boiler, I was at a low point. Suddenly I hear a car pulling near –
The beige boiler!
No. god damnit. Shut the fuck up.
Let’s not get aggressive.
I’ve had a rough day –
There’s no excuse for violence –
I need a drink to keep talking to you. As I said, I heard a car, a boiler, pulling near, it was a hack, her hack. The back window slowly opened, and a hand holding a little piece of paper came out of it –
No way –
She had large cheaters on, but I could feel her eyes burning me again, like raw fire. Her red painted nails were like flames when I touched them to take the paper. The hack drove away, leaving frozen smoke on the road. “Same spot, tomorrow, 9PM”, the paper read –
And it was signed: Leah.
Would you describe yourself a handsome man?
I don’t see it. But the dames always saw something in me. Those who like strong cats, not daisies. They tell me I never smile and I tell them, what can a man smile about in this concrete jungle we live in.
I hopped in my boiler and gave it another go, and then another, and another. The old wreck finally started moving, I stepped on it. And then I saw it again. Just down the street, near the liquor store, parked –
Leah’s hack –
No. god damnit. The beige boiler. It wasn’t there earlier, I know it for sure. This time I wanted to just drive right into it, crash it, finish it all. Empty as always, parked there, staring me down like a beast of steel. It had a dent on its side, I noticed. I just stepped on it, drove away. Knowing wherever I park next, it’ll be there.
Last time you were here, you told us about Lady S, who hired you to follow her because she was being followed by the beige boiler, which was originally hers.
Damn, how long has it been since Lady S? A month? Two? Lost track of time. This game never came to an end, no.
I was going to. It was about a week after I’d started trailing her, a week I’d been trapped in her game. The dame asked to be followed for a reason. She knew what she was doing all along, and I should have seen it coming. There was something wrong about her from day one, but she was too smart to let it to show. Or maybe I was just too dumb to see it. I could tell she was enjoying it just a little too much.
Me trailing her. Being watched every step she takes –
Man, you’re seriously perverted aren’t you?
I’m telling it as it is, as I saw it –
These are two different things, especially when it comes to perverts.
I’m telling you, she knew what she was doing and she enjoyed it. She knew what was coming, for her, for me. She knew. The morning after I pulled an all-nighter was the last I’d heard of her. That morning the beige boiler didn’t move, Lady S went on her business and the beige boiler stood still. At first I thought it’s because I had been watching it. Yeah I thought I’d lost the game, I thought whoever was driving it had seen me before I saw them, and that was true of course, but it had nothing to do with Lady S anymore. Because you see, the beige boiler was never hers to begin with. It was all a fraud.
Whose is it then?
That’s what I’m still tryina find out.
Alright, but I don’t understand, why did it follow her?
Before she came to me, she was following another dame who was being followed by the beige boiler. And that other dame, you see, was trailing a guy who was being trailed by it before that. The beige boiler just starts following whoever’s following it.
I’m still tryina figure it out.
So basically, if someone starts following you now, the beige boiler would leave you alone and start following them?
I guess so, but ain’t gonna try it. I’m keeping it close ’till I figure it out.
It really is like some ghost. Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes, and in fairies and gnomes too. Give me a break. It’s no ghost, it’s some goddamn bastard who belongs in an institution.
Because he or she enjoys following people?
Because they follow people without purpose, yes.
How do you know they don’t have a purpose?
I know what a chase with a purpose looks like. And I know what a psychopath stalker looks like.
Surely you do. What about the woman with the cat-like eyes you mentioned last time?
I’m not sure. I meet a lot of dames with cat-like eyes.
Right. The one who was standing under the street light with the air thick around here and all that?
Oh yeah, that was a friend of Lady S, the one who told me the truth about the beige boiler. Lady S had asked her to follow her before she came to me, but she refused. She smelled something shifty about it. Smart dame, fine-looking, but there was something about her under that street light that had danger written all over it. She knew too much, more then I was ready to know back then. I texted her last week, but she didn’t answer. There’s something about a dame like her that you wanna stay away from.
Right. But that doesn’t sit well with the timeline of your story, because you’d already met her before the last time we talked, and back then you didn’t know the truth about the beige boiler. Or did you?
It’s all part of the big picture. My job is to connect the pieces.
That’s a very generic replay.
My mind’s caught up in her, it’s like I can’t think straight. Leah. What does she know about it? There must be a connection.
She was in a hack, remember?
She could be the driver of the beige boiler!
Took you a while to crack this one, but it was on my mind the second I saw her.
You mean the second you saw the beige boiler after you saw her.
No, it was on my mind the second I saw her, I knew she was waiting for me, like a criminal awaits the right john to catch him, they wait for each other like there’s nothing they want more.
You mean as in every guilty person awaits his judgment? That’s deeply religious.
No. goddmanit. I just knew it when I saw her, coz it showed on her.
So do you have any plans about how you’re going to meet her tomorrow?
I’m not sure yet, gotta think about it. Don’t wanna scare her off, don’t wanna let her know that I know, it’s a very gentle game. But this time I’m gonna win it.
Will you be carrying weapon?
Only for shows.
Right. Any last words, in case we don’t see you here again?
Why won’t you see me here again toots?
I don’t know, you’re playing a perilous game.
I’ll be just fine, sweetcheeks, don’t you trouble your pretty little head about it.
Right, I won’t. Well good luck. We congratulate you!
Right back attcha. Catcha later.