“I don’t like that scene, Rabbit 02.”
“I’m going to change the game.”
“Do what you have to do, Rabbit 01.”
Franklin “Frank” Bowers sits and stares at the river while contemplating his sorry state of affairs.
Across the river, Herbert “The Brow” Dune plans out dollhouses for the rich and privileged. He’s a professional doll peddler. We’ll see where that goes…
Patsy Peggy Jennifer remains lukewarm about being on her on. She’s been separated from Frank for 2 years now, but still lives next door. Why is this so?
Cookie, a big blue yip yip, commands a small steampunk airship currently moored at the Treestone Tower House towering above them.
Blue haired Doris “Diver” Drane goes snorkeling in the river at the center of it all.
“Now you can all relax tonight and not jump out of your seats every time I call out your name. Because I FOUND my HEARING AID! And that’s the last time I’m going to yell, end of story! I mean, end of story. Let’s begin.”
Eraserhead Man at the head of the table pauses to collect his thoughts on the as yet unnamed production. “First, I’m so so glad we were able to gather here today without *much* ado. As you can see from the person sitting directly opposite you on the table, I haven’t got rid of *anyone*. Truth is, you *all* won your parts. And I’d like to introduce to you Desert Knobb across from our beloved Sandy Beech and to my left. Sandy is, of course, seated to my right.” Eraserhead Man indicates these directions with his stubby yellow hands. “Desert will not only play Sandy’s *understudy*, but also his *doppleganger*. Because, you see, I’ve decided this production should be about doubles through and through. It came to me in a dream last night. The dreamer lives inside the dream, but who is the dreamer?”
Mindless mumbo jumbo, Sandy Beech was thinking by his side while glaring at newly arrived Desert Knobb across the table. “And where’s *your* double, EM?” he piped up. Yeah, he had popped a few pills before the meeting — just to steel his nerves.
“Good question, Sandy. Can you hear me in the back there you waskly wabbits!” Eraserhead smiles as Rabbit 01, Rabbit 02, Rabbit 03 all nod their heads. I’ll get to you wackos in a minute. But next we must talk about the *ladies*, Chloe and Jill.” At that moment Chloe Price was playing with her short, blue hair, seeming not to pay attention. But that was just part of her shtick. Jill MacGill, like Sandy for his own counterpart, was just glaring at her, loathing her every petty move. *I* should have won this role through and through. I *nailed* that phone call. ‘Ohh, ahem, eheh,’ she mimicked, to her, Chloe’s frivolous attempts at playing coy in her mind. If you asked her, Eraserhead Man needed to make a new plan, find a new key to this whole production business. She decided to speak up as well (sidenote: wouldn’t Sandy and Jill make a *fabulous* couple. But I jump ahead of myself…): “And *what* is the production’s name, EM? *And*… you haven’t answered Sandy’s question about *your* doppleganger, I’ll tack on.”
Eraserhead Man laughs out loud. “That’s what I love about you, Jill MacGill from Farmington West. *Spunk*. You got it in spades, you and Sandy both.” That’s when it occurred to EM as well that the two would make a swell couple. He decides then and there to work that potential love interest into the script somewhere. Maybe the other two of the doppleganger pairing — Desert and Chloe — *hate* each other in contrast, hmm. EM had trouble shutting his mind off of possibilites. “But we must move on. I assume everyone knows Frank, now. Franklin Bowers.” He indicates the nearest and also darkest and tallest rabbit of the 3 at the meeting. “He’s going to play a man– er, a bunny man with that exact same name, although he’s always just addressed by his first name. Do you have any questions about what’s going on Franklin? OH, and beside him obviously is the lovely Rabbit 02, whom we’ll call Patsy in the production.” EM stops here. “Nah, let’s go with Peggy instead. Peggy,” he repeats. “Change that in all the scripts, Mary. Mary?” He looks around but Mary was nowhere to be found.
Poor soul, Franklin Bowers thinks sympathetically. Never can remember his wife is actually dead. Going on 5 years now. All we have left are her portraits. Her many many portraits.
(to be continued)
He decided to confront Eraserhead Man when the latter seemed almost passed out from his 4th 4 shot latte of the evening. EM had been wrangling, wrangling, wrangling with the roles of both Smithy and Doris Drone, going back and forth on each one with the different, involved actors. At this very moment, the famed director was even casting about in his mind recasting someone else as Hebert Dune besides Sandy Beech to better fit the mood. Not the best timing for an approach by his antsy production star, then.
“Is that the latest version?” the towering Sandy questioned about the rust colored book on the table. He had a weird notion just to snatch it and run off right here and now. The director didn’t answer immediately, didn’t even look up to acknowledge his presence. *Meditation*, Sandy then realized. EM was in really deep with this one. To startle him might even induce some kind of heart malfunction, he further contemplated. Best to walk away, his better senses commanded. Confront EM another time. But: no. His worse senses shoved their way to the fore again, fortified by insecurity, greed, envy. He slammed his hand down *hard* on the book he knew was the production script.
Eraserhead Man came out of it by shouting “ice cream anyone!!” at the top of his lungs, then slowly, gradually managed to free himself from the self induced trance. He looked around, blinked his eyes. He looked up at Sandy. “Sandy! I was just thinking about you! What a surreptitious interruption of my nirvana state. *You’re* *fired*!!”
Eraserhead Man stared at him blankly, watching Sandy Beech squirm like a fish in front of him. “I’m just kidding!” he then uttered after a pretty long interval. “Sit down!” Eraserhead Man then realized there was not another seat at this table. “Oh, let’s just move to the porch. Give me a bit to further compose myself! You go ahead! Any seat will do! Just give me a moment please!”
A shaken, humbled Sandy Beech dutifully took a seat on the porch behind EM and waited on him, but after about 15 minutes the director simply got up out of his chair and walked in the direction of his bungalow down the street, not turning around. The next day he acted like the event never happened; work relationship back to normal. And maybe, Sandy pondered then, it never did. He was a little high on those wacko pills Laverne Glam had sold him, after all. He remembered Eraserhead Man even glowing a bit in hindsight. *Never* do drugs around EM again, he told himself. Ever.
But: Lavern Glam? How did *she* get here?
Wait. I think it was Franklin Bowers who sold him the pills. Yes. Lives in the zircon encrusted RV out on self named Bowers Beach just outside Urbane Blue. We might visit him next. Not for pills, but just for another shoot.
“Frank Bowers!!” Eraserhead Man shouts upon waking up in the middle of the night.
“I looked good in my pink phase, didn’t I Rabbit 02?”
“Sure did Rabbit 01.”
“But that was before my pregnancy with Rabbid.”
Tired of all the blood rushing to his head, Rabbit 02 declared: “My turn now…”
“Definitely stronger over here at 176/176. You try, Martha.”
“Can I take my lemonade?”
“Ooo, yeah. I feel it a little more, I think.”
“2 meters makes a tangible difference. I’m at 174/176 now.”
“And The Diagonal then continues northeast right through that frog sitting beside us apparent…
… then through the 2 air mattresses over there, and to the tailgate of the old truck on the other side of this pool of water. Then it continues, of course, through the rock, the arch, down to Wash Town and beside the octagonal Joe’s Garage on that queer diagonal line placed directly upon it.”
“Oolala. I feel tingly!”
“Let’s switch to the mattresses.”
“170, 172 for me,” Sid speaks. “How about you?”
“172/172,” Martha Lamb returns, checking her coordinates. “Even the fish seem attracted by it.”
Martha points to the tailgate of the truck. “Let’s go over there.”
“Ooo, it’s so hot in here.”
“Yeah, I’m at 162/164. And you should be at 164/164 as I tested earlier with that pose.”
Martha Lamb couldn’t wait any longer. She planted a big wet one right on Sid’s lips. Keeping close to his face — uncomfortably close, perhaps — she then seductively asked: “How’d I test on that?”
After kissing a long time and doing some other stuff, they found popcorn in the cab and enjoyed the view.
“Do you think you can manage to be happy today, Rabbit 02?”
“I’ll try Rabbit 01.”
“Rabbid… rabbid!” spoke the littlest, newist rabbit from his smaller seat at the table.”
“Aww, his first words! He turned rabbit into rabbid. How cute!”
“And so that shall be his name from here on,” decreed Rabbit 02. “Rabbid Rabbit.”
“Not Rabbit 03?” Rabbit 01 was puzzled. Rabbits always number their children.”
He looked toward the child, who was drooling on the upholstery. “We’ll talk about it later.”
“I just want to repeat that it was so nice of you to come Alices. And your little boy — Francis isn’t it?”
“It’s Paris,” spoke Alice 02 bluntly. She was tired of all this name confusion. Rabbit 01 had prattled on for what seemed like hours. But it was only 20 minutes ago that the party started.”
“And he’s — don’t tell me — *10* years old.”
“*12*.” Alice 02 almost shouted the number. They had gone over all their ages about 3 times now, to her counting. “I’m 15, she spoke plainly and levely, like you would to a child. “Alice 01 over there — in the *blue* dress, and with *blonde* hair — is 9. And our son is 12. We just divided the difference and… there he is.” Alice 02 effected a smile across the table at Paris, who brightly returned it. He was use to the temperamental nature of his mother and didn’t take it personally any longer, thanks to the counseling of 2nd mother Alice 01.
“And how old is *your* son again?” started Alice 02 once more. “*5*?”
“1,” answered Rabbit 01 patiently, although she had answered the same question 2 times herself now. Not that she was counting. “1 day old.” She looked down and beamed at the tiny bunny beside her. “And he said his first words today! Didn’t you Rabbit 03?”
“*Rabbid*,” snorted Rabbit 01 harshly, then realized the social faux pas. “I mean, ahem, *yes*. He said his first words. And they were: *rabbid*.”
“Rabbit 03,” recited Alice 01, staring across the table at him sweetly, almost dreamily one could say. “What a cute name. I sometimes wished we’d numbered Paris.”
Alice 02 shot a stare toward Alice 01 with this, thinking: We *did* number Paris but you wanted a singular name. So we threw a dart at the world map and he became what he is. What kind of parents name their child after a French city? But Alice 01 said she had a niece who was so nice to her that use to name her children with that method. Moscow, Adelaide, and Brazilia they were called. Ridiculous. “If only the dart,” Alice 02 would say sometimes to Alice 01 — and she usually cried here a bit, then start again — “If only the dart would have hit Alice Springs, Australia all would be well in the world.”
Later in the day only the, er, grownups remained. Paris was playing with Rabbit 03/Rabbid down at the beach, making sure he didn’t wade into the water over his head. But he failed in his mission a couple of times. He obviously didn’t tell his mothers this.
Then lo and behold the table they were sitting at disappeared before their very eyes. All looked around at each other, all automatically standing now. Only a teapot remained.
“Looks like the party’s over, Alices,” managed a rattled Rabbit 02. Thank God, Alice 02 rapidly thought.
“And his name is *Rabbid*” he snarled at them just out of earshot as they walked away.
Sidechick Corea was in back preparing the lamaze pool, but there was no time for all that foolishness. It was to take place on the beach in front of the smaller white house that replaced the white Mockingbird sometime in the last day or so. Rabbit 01 meditated as Sidechick taught her to. The body didn’t foam and writhe as she had worried. Just calmness. Slow and easy…
And then: there he was. On the sand before her. Rabbit 03, the new love of her life. Or Rabbid as he would come later be called. If only Rabbit 02 was here to see this, but he had that conference in Wichita his boss wanted him to attend. Shame, though.
“Bracket, I mean, *Sidechick*, forget about that silly pool and come see!”