Scene Title Problems
Synopsis Some of them are more personal than others.
Date April 20, 2010

Vincent's Apartment

“No, I know…I know what time it is, and I'm sorry. I said I was sorry when you picked up the phone. Don't – okay. No, I apologize. You go ahead.”

The apartment's dark, if obviously more alive than most people's at two-thirty in the morning. There's a light on in the kitchen, ghastly pale as the one lying dormant in the fridge and about as ineffectual. Only the edges of immaculate surfaces and contemporary furniture stand out in diaphanous relief, all black cushions and light carpet smooth without wear or tear. No photos, framed or otherwise to offset shelved books and masculine artwork. Everything in its place. Nearly.

Pieces of mail lie scattered on a dining table that hasn't seen much use for all that pragmatism has determined that it should be set with only two chairs. Wind tags at the leading edge of an open envelope from The Art Institute of Boston, bringing cold enough to ache at old wounds and the dusty warmth of familiar cigarette smoke brushing with it. Also, the sound of Vincent's voice from the open balcony, where he stands with a cell phone open in one hand and a cigarette freshly lit in the other.

“Jo, all I'm asking is whether or not she's contacted you about her plans. I'm not going to to 'do' anything. Unless – if she's having some kind of personal crisis…”

There he's cut off again, peacoat drifty and dark at the backs of his knees while he scrubs the back of his wrist to his forehead and subconsciously focuses too hard on not rolling his eyes. Somewhere in the near distance, the Hudson glitters in what little moonlight has managed to choke its way through smothering cloud cover. It looks (and smells) much better from afar.

“I'm not trying to be funny,” is a losing argument at best. Defensive as he is, she's laughing at him anyway, and now he does concede to look surly while she's not here to see it in him. “This is potentially the premature culmination of her education. Dropping out of art school. You can't ever just go back and pick up where you left off, either. There are all sorts of ridiculous complications, and …I'm. …Getting another call. No! Wait. Jo. Joanna.

A beat passes in blank silence punctuated by a drag on his cigarette and a quiet, “Christ.”


“Lazzaro. Yeah, I'm awake. No, no surveillance scheduled. No backup. Everything's already in the file.” Cigarette dropped carelessly into an ash tray stubbled with its frozen predecessors, he pushes his left hand up into the hollow of one eye and keeps it there. It helps less than he'd hoped. He's a few Advil and several hours sleep out from chasing the fissure down the side of his skull into submission yet. “We need another contact, Jonah. I don't care if she scares you. What's she going to do, remember me to death?”


That or something worse. It's a long time before Lazzaro has room to get a word in edgewise. Time enough for him to slip back inside and lock the door after himself so that he can drag a chair out and sit with the rest of his mail in the semidark. All unopened except for the one he turns slowly over under his hand. And over. And over. “…No. I'm not 'with' anyone. Look pencildick, take a Valium and call me in the morning.”

He hangs up before there can be any reply, thumb depressed and Blackberry dropped carelessly away with a lambent spin and clatter. The hand he frees up in the process briefly supports the hang of his head. Then he's pushing back from the table and from the mail, phone snagged up with him along the way as an afterthought.

“I'm going to bed.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License