“Your alibi is tenuous at best,” comes Jason’s voice from off camera.
In the frame Tim slumps in his chair, tapping his fingers on the table top as he drawls, “Well it’s the only one I got, and it’s the truth; Frank O’Riley says he saw me stealing all those pizzas, but I know he didn’t see shit because I always spend sixth period taking a nap in the back of the library.”
“Unfortunately no one can corroborate this story.”
Tim sits up, says, “Oh fuck off with that narrator voice, Todd, you pretentious douche. You can corroborate seeing as you were with me!”
Jason sighs, “They won’t believe me, okay, we’ve been over this. Now let’s get back to proving your innocence.”
“Thought you were supposed to remain unbiased.”
“Yeah, well, I won’t stand for my boyfriend being suspended, so let’s do this.”
Link didn’t hear him come in — he never did. He felt a sudden
shiver down his spine, an intangible chill in the air, and he just knew. Link looked up and there he was: crouched on his haunches on the windowsill overhead, the updraft ruffling
his golden hair as he peered down at Link from the shadows.
“You know why I have come.”
“I do,” Link said.
The vampire jumped to the floor, as silent as a cat, and
approached without a sound. Link swallowed, feeling the hairs rise on the back
of his neck. He backed up a step, then another, until he bumped into the table
and could go no further.
“Please — just one more night,” he stammered. “I need time—”
the vampire lunged forward at inhuman speed, seized Link by the shirt, and lifted him until his sneakers dangled above the linoleum.
“I am tired of waiting! You said
it would be tonight! Were you lying to me?”
“No! I’m ready! I just—”
“You said you could fix this! You said you could help me!”
“I can! I will! You just have to be patient—”
“Patient?! Do you know how many years I have been patient? Do you have
any idea what it is like to live like this? Every moment disgusted, repulsed… You said you could end this! I should have known better than to
trust a human!”
“Fine!” Link cried. “Fine. Here. Take it. It might not work. Just take it.”
He held out a beaker filled with something dark and thick.
vampire snatched it from his trembling fingers, sniffed it, then quaffed the
contents in a single greedy slurp. He licked his lips, catching a stray
drop before it could stain his beard. He glared up at Link from beneath his
brows, and dragged the point of one fang across his lower lip before he spoke.
“I like it.”
His silver-gold eyes grew large as he suddenly smiled. He stared at the empty blood-stained beaker and the single line scribbled in black Sharpie: Flavor Test #352.
“I like it! I cannot
taste the blood at all! Doctor, you have saved me! What is the name of this
She froze upon feeling the brushing against her ankle. The Salazars kept no cats, for that she was certain. It didn’t feel like it was friendly, or perhaps her imagination was telling her it was some sort of hideous, scuttling abomination.
“What the fuck??” she backed up into a table, knocking over a vase.
Tim slips into the kitchen, feet bare on the cold stone floor, a long, ornately woven cloak wrapped tightly around him. The fire is burning low in the hearth, the aroma of the day’s meals still lingering in the late night air, and two wooden cups are set out on the prep table alongside a large plate of fruits and cheese and freshly baked bread. He smiles, sits down and waits; it’s not long before Jason is settling in next to him, his rough breeches rubbing against Tim’s silky nightshirt as their legs touch underneath the table, Jason’s rough hands finding Tim’s smooth ones across the tabletop.
built around two solid points: 1) Lois Lane is the lead character; and 2) The audience dose not know who is playing Superman going into the movie.
So the movie centers around a young Lois, who’s desperately trying to get a job as a reporter at the Daily Planet, despite a hiring freeze as the printed journalism business struggles to keep up, and despite the fact she has no prior journalism experience (at least, not outside of an expensive degree that has yet to start paying for itself). Even though no one at the Planet will even return her calls, she barges in in the middle of a work day, trying to get an interview. She bounces off a lot of people (a number of them tall guys with dark hair and nice eyes who she barely notices) until she tracks down Perry White, who tells her, sarcastically, that he’ll hire her on the spot if she can bring him a properly sourced article revealing the story Metropolis’s new hero, who just yesterday stopped a runaway train with his bare hands.
She gets to work. Her friends tell her she’s crazy. Her sister bails her out of jail at least once (maybe a montage of times). Her father, General Lane, threatens disownment and/or military arrest. This “menace” broke a muggers arm last week, and is wanted for vigilantism. If she really does find out the identity of this man (who’s been gaining notoriety with every feat) and brings it to a newspaper before the military, her father would have to take action. (This country is his family, after all.)
But the more Lois looks into this ‘super man’, the more she likes what she sees. It’s hard without credentials, but she’s been collecting eye-witness reports for months trying to find the pattern to track; the pattern that everyone’s been looking for. She has dozens of interviews with police, and store owners, and caught criminals, but it’s in the interviews of the regular folk that she finds the pattern:
This man is kind.
Every headline is about a larger-than-life figure who catches falling statues, wins chases with cars, and stops bullets with his pecs. In the words of the innocent people of Metropolis though, is someone else. Someone who flies broken cars to the shop from the highway during rush hour. Someone who takes a sobbing child from the scene of a bike accident and drops off a smiling one with their parents. Someone who’s been spotted leaving flowers by the headstones of the ones who didn’t make it out of that train crash. Someone who sits in a secluded corner of the park and plays chess with the old woman who’s husband can no longer leave the house. Someone who literally pulled a dog out of a river and a cat from a tree.
So, to find the Man of Steel, Lois searches for kindness - and she finds it everywhere. She finds all the coats freely shed for someone cold. She finds all the grocery carts paid for by the previous customer. She finds lonely veterans offered a seat at the family table in restaurants. She finds hate symbols painted over with cute cartoons and symbols of love. She finds dozens and dozens of volunteers who help clean up and serve food and rebuild after train crashes and car wrecks and robberies.
She finds Superman.
And then she finds a man in the park.
He’s not doing much, just sitting on a bench with his head in his hands. The copy of the Daily Planet on the bench next to him speculates on the dangers of super humans, as it has every day for the last two weeks. Some have even suggested that the Man of Steel is an alien, though those theories have only barely broken into mainstream. Whatever this man is worrying over, whatever weight is on his shoulders, seems much heavier than a newspaper, though. Lois hasn’t worried herself with the same issue’s as her prospective employer, either. Thoughts still on the group of teens she’s just passed, each promising to beat up on some boy for their friend, are still fresh on her mind, and she takes the spot next to the stranger on the bench.
He’s not a stranger, though. Lois recognizes him. She doesn’t know his name, but she saw him that day at the Daily Planet months ago, and she’s seen him across the police tape at scenes she’s investigated. He wrote today’s front page article: “Man of Steel, or Menace of Steel?”
He’s politely flustered when she sits down, and she promptly tells him that everything about his article - she’s already read it, of course - is absurd. She doesn’t care who “made him write it”, the entire thing is just plain wrong. She finds herself repeating stories she’s read and re-read at all hours of the morning. Stories of regular people who’d told her how they’d been inspired by Superman. How they’d taken leaps of faith toward recovery and new lives thanks to Superman. Teenagers have chosen to live because of Superman. She quotes sources, and sources of people, including herself, who have said that the city of Metropolis - maybe even the world - was so much better because of Superman.
“Superman?” the reporter asks.
“It’s just something I’ve been calling him. He’s got that big S on his chest, right?”
The reporter laughs. He hasn’t smiled the whole time, only looked at her with wide eyes. His smile is… nice. His glasses are dumb though.
“Yeah,” she admits, “it’s a dumb name.”
“No,” he says. A weight has fallen off his shoulders while she was flipping through her notebooks. He sniffles a bit. Lois had just torn into his article with all the fury she could muster, is he crying about it? No, he’s smiling, still. “I really like it. Have you written all this down?”
Lois Lane writes it all down. Her new friend (who proofread the hell out of it because Lois is driven as hell but can’t spell) Clark Kent turned it in to his boss. The newest headline reads:
The Story of Superman -by Lois Lane
She’s getting paid more than Clark in under a year. He just seems to be so distracted all the time. Maybe she should look into that…
You worked with Tupac Shakur a few years after that on Gridlock’d.What was your impression of him?
Tim Roth: I adored him. I initially didn’t want him for the role – it just shows my white ignorance. I was just this pasty-faced London boy who didn’t know who he was, despite the fact that he’d gone double platinum by that point, I think. But what happened was, I was attached to the project and we had another actor who was interested in the role, then backed out at the last minute. So we suddenly found ourselves without a second lead. Tupac’s name came up – “He’s a rapper, he’s a really interesting guy and he’s really up for doing this” – and I just said, “Can you get me an actual actor, for fuck’s sake? Please?” I had no idea he was an actor before he was a musician, that he’d gone to the Fame school in Baltimore, none of that.
While this was going on and they were looking for someone else, I got nominated for Rob Roy. And during one of those silly party things you have to go to while it’s Oscar season, Quincy Jones came up to me and said, “Hey, Tupac, you should really give him a chance.” And it’s like, Aw, fuck, okay. Quincy is vouching for him. Let’s set up a meeting.
So the director Vonde [Curtis-Hall] and I are sitting in this restaurant I used to go to, waiting to meet him, and in comes a security team. sweeps the place and then they go out. Then a group of women enter; they go and sit at this table in the corner. And then in comes ‘Pac, who sits down, politely says, “Hi, how are you?” At which point, he proceeded to totally lay out the character. He had it down. And I’m just thinking, This guy is fucking amazing! I want to work with this guy! What do we need to do to get him in the movie? Meanwhile, Vonde is sitting there with a Cheshire Cat grin on his face, just going “I told you so…”.
I had two issues with him. One was the fact that he was writing, he was directing and starring in music videos and recording an album. He’d show up on set exhausted, and I just told him, I need you for five weeks. Let’s make this together, concentrate on this and then you can back to doing the other things. Which he did, and he was really cool about it.
The other thing was guns. We were sitting on the back of a truck, waiting to do a scene in Downtown L.A., and I said to him, “What’s with all the guns, why is there all this drama, what have you got yourself into?” And he very calmly explained to me the world he was living in at that moment, then said, “I think there’s a bullet out there with my name on it, man.” He and I were supposed to hang out the day after he ended up getting shot; we were really excited because he was coming back to L.A. and I really missed him a lot. The joke was that he had to re-record some dialogue for the film, and since I’d already been in the Death Row Studios with him and we’d recorded stuff, it was like, “Okay, 'Pac, you’re in my territory now!” And then, you know, we got the word he was in the hospital, and then a few days after that, he had died. I still miss him.
i am not god; i sometimes think about how much doesn’t have to exist, myself included. it’s a problem i find a lot. i don’t feel necessary.
but then, neither is my dog. he is a sheepdog with no sheep. he has nightmares a lot. his purpose is moot.
one of my cats only eats bugs. he won’t catch mice. for an obligate carnivore, he loves moths.
is it required that i or you or anyone else exists. maybe not. but i kind of think of it as a small miracle. you do exist. despite how scientifically improbable it was for you to be created, you were. and something in that is beautiful, you know? the universe needed eyes to watch all these unnecessary things it created. you don’t spend hours on your sim house just to put no people in it. does a house require people to exist? no. but it does require people to be a home.
i know the world demands you Fulfill Thine Divine Purpose. i think that’s kind of bogus. you don’t have to be useful or valuable or exceptional to be worth something. my dog is worth so much to me. the idea that he’s not necessary is silly to me.
yes, i know. life goes on when people leave. true, and true indeed. i think about that a lot. but i also know that my sister’s cat goes to check to see if she’s home every night, and she’s been gone for months.
grand scheme? who knows. but the truth is that other people need you because you help them feel like they exist with purpose. maybe you haven’t met the right people yet. i felt strongly in senior year of high school that nothing i did mattered - after all, i had no friends. i was bullied. if i died, it would make zero difference. and maybe it would have. maybe the gap would have filled after me. maybe my cat would learn that i was gone, that nobody was coming. maybe my mom would foster a new daughter. who knows. i’m not god.
but i do know if i didn’t exist. if i had taken myself off the table because i didn’t have to exist…. i wouldn’t be here talking to you and all of my new friends here. i wouldn’t tell you that, since you’re here, you might as well enjoy the rest of the things that shouldn’t exist. televisions are sound and image boxes. music and art and dance and writing don’t have to exist, but they do because they bring us joy, fill us with harmony. airplanes are godless flight machines and if god wanted us off the ground he would have given us wings.
airplanes were someone saying “this doesn’t have to exist, but i want it to.” and i want you to exist because it’s worth it. it’s worth it for the dog you might adopt or the tattoo you might get or skinny dipping or writing songs or planting a garden. all things in life that won’t exist without you, that won’t happen without you around to make them happen. that need you to exist so they can exist too.
please stay on this earth. i can’t force you, i can’t offer you a promise that the world ever stops hurting. but i can say that somewhere, to someone, you matter. and you matter to me, because you exist, because you reached out to me, because you have a question that i ask myself daily.
here’s my suggestion. when i’m at the point that the rope has a stronger pull than the art of the world, i make myself count the things that are good, and didn’t have to exist, but do. libraries. books. bath bombs. me and you. because i know we can be a force for good, you and i. somewhere on some level we can help others or just help ourselves and that’s…. good. and i think, really, in this universe that loves entropy, yes, absolutely, we need you. we need the good you can do. and we need you. or, at least: i do.