Top Dead Center IX

February 22, 2008

FELLA

Is this?  You’re.  I get it.  Okay.  I get it.  Fine.  You need more money?  Like I said, I have checks, I have credit cards.

MYRAS

Damn it all fella.  This ain’t about money.  It’s about simple truth. Laws of nature.  Laws of man.

FELLA

What?

MYRAS

Rhythm and order.  Balance and timing.  Things run right because we see to it.  Engines don’t start on their own or stop on their own.  They serve us, so we gotta serve them.

FELLA

Serve an engine.

MYRAS

Flesh and blood.  Oil and iron.  No difference.

FELLA

You’re nuts buddy.

MYRAS

Am I?  Am I?  Because I know the whys and wherefores?  Now listen fella.  You can push that piece of junk back down the hill and all the way back to the city and get it fixed there, and it might last ten months, a year tops.  You can make a quick fix.  That’ll hold for a bit.  It’ll have structure.  Structure sure, but it won’t have no damn soul. 

FELLA

What the hell does a car have to do with soul?

MYRAS

Soul is sacrifice fella.  It comes from somewhere, it goes back to somewhere.  Red Injuns and the ancient Chinese and them cannibalizin spear-chuckers, they know about soul.  Paint a snake on your chest, you become lethal.  Pray to an owl and you get smart.  Eat your granddaddy’s brain and you get his wisdom.  Get it? That’s what they believe.

FELLA

Tell me there’s a reason why you’re slinging all this bullshit. 

 

MYRAS

Sure.  That’s what we call it.  Bullshit.  Funny thing is they believe in it so hard that it works.  They don’t know that they don’t know.  They just believe, and that’s enough and that’s a hell of a lot more than most of us got.

FELLA

What kind of ignorant—

MYRAS

You calling me ignorant fella?  Then you put the damn car back together.  You don’t need my ignorant help, do you?  Go ahead.

FELLA

I didn’t mean to say you were ignorant.  I’m just not familiar with the spiritual side of engine repair.

MYRAS

That engine is a living thing.  It needs a living thing.  Ain’t my rules fella. Laws of nature—

FELLA

Laws of man.  Right.

Top Dead Center VIII

January 23, 2008

MYRAS

You gotta kill a dog.

FELLA

What?

MYRAS

A dog.

FELLA

I have to what?

MYRAS

You gotta kill one.

FELLA

A dog.

MYRAS

A dog.

 

FELLA

I have to.

 

MYRAS

Kill you one.

 

FELLA

I don’t understand.

 

MYRAS

You gotta take a dog an kill it.

 

FELLA

I mean why?

 

MYRAS

What?

FELLA

Why do I have to kill a dog?

MYRAS

Make that engine run right.

FELLA

What?

MYRAS

Laws of nature.  Laws of man.

FELLA

I still don’t—

MYRAS

I’ll set it out real simple.  When an engine’s bout to die, it’s because you didn’t take care of it.  It lost its juice, its soul.  Well you gotta sacrifice something that’s gonna put that back.

FELLA

The engine’s about to die?

MYRAS

That engine is dead dying dead fella.  Won’t make it even back down the hill unless we fix it right, done once and for good.

FELLA

I still don’t understand—

MYRAS

Oh yes you do.  You just ain’t comfortable with the concept.

Top Dead Center VII

January 7, 2008

FELLA

So what’s wrong with it?

 

MYRAS

Now let’s pretend I just explained the whole works to you.  And let’s pretend I said a lot of which you really don’t know dick from donuts, and you stand there nodding at me going uh huh uh huh uh huh and when I say that’s that, you say, fine, and I say then I better get to work, so then I fix her.

 

FELLA

So you’re not going to tell me?

MYRAS

I ain’t gonna waste good air trying to explain something that you don’t have no hope of understanding in the first place.

FELLA

So what now?

MYRAS

So toss me one of those beers.  That’s better.

FELLA

So then I’ll just.  I guess I’ll just wait or—

MYRAS

Hold up fella. Hold yourself up.

FELLA

Yeah?

MYRAS

You got a job to do yourself.

 

FELLA

I have a job?

MYRAS

A serious job.  A key element.  Essential.

FELLA

I’m listening.

MYRAS

I’m dead-on serious fella.

FELLA

I said I was listening.

MYRAS

No bullshit.

FELLA

No bullshit.

MYRAS

Not an ounce.

FELLA

Alright what?  I’m listening for Christ’s sake!

 

Top Dead Center VI

December 16, 2007

Scene Two

FELLA

What?  What the hell.  What have you done to my car?

MYRAS

What do you think I done fella?

FELLA

It’s everywhere! It’s all over the yard! The entire goddamn yard!  The whole engine is.  It’s completely . . .

MYRAS

It’s all there fella.  It’s all there.

FELLA

You can’t.  How can you possibly?

MYRAS

Careful about that beer fella.  You’re shaking it all to hell.

FELLA

Did you?  Have you figured out what’s wrong?

MYRAS

I figured it.

FELLA

And?

MYRAS

I can fix it.

FELLA

Well what is it?  What’s the trouble?

MYRAS

You know much about engines?

FELLA

A little.  No.  Not really.

MYRAS

That’s what I thought.

Top Dead Center V

December 10, 2007

FELLA

What?

MYRAS

It’ll be enough.

FELLA

You don’t even know what the problem is!

MYRAS

I know what my problem is.

FELLA

I get it.

MYRAS

You want me to fix it or don’t you?

FELLA

Please.

MYRAS

Alright then. Let’s have that money.

FELLA

Now?

MYRAS

You keep the seven. You leave me the sixty.

FELLA

And that’ll be enough?

MYRAS

Then you walk back down to the diner, give that seven to Laurine and have her give you a case of beer. Then you bring it back here. Time you get back, I’ll have figured out what’s wrong.

FELLA

Walk down? To the diner? That’s a good two miles!

MYRAS

Two and two tenths. And don’t dick around coming back or the beer will get warm. Now go on fella, for it gets too late.

FELLA

A case of beer.

MYRAS

(clears throat)

FELLA

What?

MYRAS

Keys. Jest toss them.

FELLA

Yeah?

MYRAS

I’ll take that sixty too, fella.

FELLA

Sure.

MYRAS

Just tuck it under the windshield wiper.

FELLA

Right.

MYRAS

Now get on and get back.

 

(Lights Dim)

Top Dead Center IV

December 3, 2007

FELLA

Well you can just take a look at it, right? The car I mean?  I’m sure it’s an easy repair.  It’s not like it’s smoking or making a funny noise.  It’s just the stupid little red light.

MYRAS

With the picture of the engine on it.

FELLA

Right.

MYRAS

Right.

FELLA

This is unbelievable.  Look.  Down the hill they said you would take care of this no problem.  The lady at the counter went on about you.  Top notch, she said.  Top notch!  Top notch! Top notch!

MYRAS

I’m sure she did.

FELLA

Okay now.  Alright.  Let’s get on the same level here.  You’re obviously the kind of man who—

MYRAS

How much you say you have again?

FELLA

Sixty-seven dollars.

MYRAS

It’ll be enough.

FELLA

What?

MYRAS

It’ll be enough.

RIP Robert Craig

November 30, 2007

Top Dead Center – III

November 19, 2007

FELLA

Forget it.  Look.  I have credit cards.  I have checks.  I can leave luggage with you for god’s sake.  I can easily pay.  I’m not out to cheat you.

MYRAS

Ain’t that the first thing a cheater always says.

FELLA

Then just tell me where I can find your payphone.  I can’t seem to get a signal up here.

MYRAS

Ain’t got a payphone.

FELLA

Well then let me use your phone.  I’d gladly pay for the call.

MYRAS

And I’d gladly take it except I don’t keep a phone.

FELLA

You don’t keep a phone?

MYRAS

Never had the need.

FELLA

For a telephone.

MYRAS

Never had.

FELLA

Brilliant.

MYRAS

I think so.

As charged . . .

November 16, 2007

Top Dead Center – II

November 16, 2007

MYRAS

How much money you got?

FELLA

On me?

MYRAS

How much?

FELLA

Don’t you want to find out what’s wrong first?

MYRAS

I thought you wanted to find out what was wrong.

FELLA

Sure.  That’s why I was so glad to find such a top-notch guy right up this old hill.  I just thought that usually the first thing you want to know is what’s wrong.

MYRAS

No fella.  The first thing I want to know is if you got a hundred dollar problem, but can only afford fifty dollars worth of answer.

FELLA

It’s just that traditionally . . .

MYRAS

Traditionally I like to get paid.  Now how much money you got?

FELLA

Sixty-seven dollars and some change.

MYRAS

That’s it?

FELLA

In cash.  I have credit cards.  I have checks.

MYRAS

No help fella.

FELLA

You don’t accept checks or credit cards?

MYRAS

Cash only.

FELLA

That’s pretty remarkable.  For a business today I mean.  Do you realize how much business you’re losing?

MYRAS

How do you realize you lost something if you never had it?

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