9A – Alternate Lines – Plans

“These people in the West, they lie voluntarily.  At least the lie was imposed from above under Communism.”

“Anja, get over it.  You sound like an old woman.  You’re the same age as I.”

“No, you’re right.  I’m older. Always was.  Even when we played hopscotch on the playground.  Only you had a body which could fit in a suitcase.”

“Still mad at me for that?  You would have done in the same if you were small.”

“I don’t regret not being small.  I regret being born.”

“No you don’t Anja.”

“I hate being pathetic.  Look at this shit!”

“Come. Come.”

“Anja.  Anja!”

“Not now, Gabi!”

“Anja, I’ve made some phone calls.  I’ve set up the office again.”

“I don’t have the slightest what you’re talking about.”

“I’ve been doing some thinking.”

“Good. Very responsible.”

“Listen, Anja, you’ve slept for a half hour.  It’s only eight o’clock!”

“That’s wonderful. Let me sleep.”

“I made a terrible mistake.  I got the date wrong.  My boyfriend-boss was supposed to come home today.”

“What?  So, what should we do?  Panic?”

“Please. I’m in trouble now!”

“O.K. What’s the plan?”

“Meeting you again, set me off my daily schedule.  Everything is wrong.”

“That’s not what I asked.  Again: What’s the plan?”

“I called several people and they gave me the landlord’s home phone number.  He told me I can get my security deposit back, by mail order check to wherever I ask.”

“How did you swing that?  That’s a miracle.  Now let me sleep.”

“No, you don’t understand!  That’s the good part.  If my boss has arrived already.  He could already be

to the Danny lunges, cradling his head in his arms, nearly busts away his guitar neck, then ventures his head, peeping from behind his refrigerator. Eric’s ghost or his old friend stands uncannily in gray silhouette in his front room before his ragged curtains. If not a specter, Eric could be vengeful that Danny reported him to the police and press.  Danny edges cautiously from the congestion of his kitchen to the disaster of his living room.

“Eric?”  Danny whispers.

“It’s me.”

“Angry at me?”

“Why should I be?” Eric edges further towards Danny. “It doesn’t strike you that it’s good I survived?”

“It’s wonderful Eric. Really! I’m sorry.  How are you?”

“Weren’t you, I don’t know, worried? What day is it?”

“I’ve been terribly worried! Uh, don’t know.  Friday?”

“Why, you afraid? I’m not a ghost. I’m not here to haunt you. Boo! Danny, why waste your time with horror movies? Why not read good books? Mmmm. I smell.  Guess I need a shower.  Where’s Anja?”

“No.  I haven’t seen her, not since that night. Wanna a beer?”

“Sure. Drank champagne not an hour ago.”

“Where?  What happened down there?  Everything has been fucked since that night.”

“It’s too long a story for right now.  Thanks.  Ah, it’s cold. You know the guy I chased last Monday?  I just attended his marriage.  It was a strange church.  He wasn’t Anja’s enemy.  Where are my keys? Oh Danny, where could she be?”

“Anja took them.  Here’s your wallet. We waited for you that night till dawn.  I offered to look after her for you Eric.  I did.  Anja refused, told me not to see her.”

“Well, if she has the keys she must be at the apartment.” Eric said, doubtfully, then turned on her heel, “You should have looked after her Danny!”

“Please, Eric, forgive me.”

“Danny, I don’t even know if she’s still alive!”

“Why don’t you think she’s still alive?”

“Don’t ask me that fucking question!”

Danny runs back to the kitchen. “I did my best!”

“I know.  Come back in here.  Sorry, Danny.  It’s just, you’re not telling me anything.  Maybe I am a ghost?”

“Don’t say that.  It’s not good.  Look, here.”  Danny unfolds for Eric the tabloid article with Anja’s photo.  Eric reads it.

“Has Anja seen this?  She hates tabloids!”

“I’m sorry, Eric.  Really I’m sorry.”

“If you say that once more, I’ll kill you!”

“What else could I do?  I was afraid you might rot, fry, electrocute down there!  I didn’t talk to the ‘Star’ directly … “

“This is bad. Whew! Look, now, Danny, I’m sorry. You did your best. I’ll  spend the day on the stairs, or on the roof of my building.  Or my sublet apartment stairs!  You can find me there.  Only, don’t send the cops or tell the papers.  She could be there and everything could be fine.  If so, we’ll have a party.  Want a party, Danny?


“Good.  Thanks for the beer.”

“Eric, listen, I’m sure glad to see you back safe.”

“I’m glad too, Danny.  Hold down the fort.”

“You know I will. Promise.”

“But wait, did you say ‘Gabi’ before?”

“Yes.  Ah, I see you have yesterday’s Daily Star, now isn’t that a pretty piece of filth?”

“That’s why I thought you killed yourself.”

“Forget that!  Take the shower, quick, and I keep watch. Go.  With Danny and this shit, I must straighten out my mind.”

“Why a shower?”

“Right now, you’d turn every head, or nose, in a train. Gabi and Anja have a plan.”

Time Line


Monday Tuesday Wed. Thurs. Friday

(Night)  Anja’s trance  Anja’s wakes from  Anja sees

trance/Anja ousted  Gabi/Day

Eric disappears     Eric meets Jakob   Mary Helen   on Insult

(10 hr. sleep)  Swims in Tower/  Line

Anja waits  (must still late  Slavko   Eric completes

with Danny  Tuesday   Eric begins search/  Search?

when he   sleeps in ‘camp’



1. Anja discovers cops outside Danny’s place

2. (Reasons Danny informed them of Eric’s disappearance)

3. Optional:  Gets photographed by reporter

4. Goes home and passes an unrented top floor apartment

5.  Hears Workmen that they’re sending another to clean up later

6.  Anja decides to use her mattress to float on the water in the tower

7. Anja does her best to float there (thinking various things) then    finally dives in.

8. Workmen comes up to clean after Anja’s taken off her clothes &    swimming  around

9. Show down with workman at towertop/ Anja pledges with him to    say  nothing

One good puncture and all our wonderful principles, morality, drown in the spectral turquoise of death.  And death by drowning?

Anja knew the erosion with time which a life on standing water held.  If water wears down the hardest stone it can wear out our skin in hours.