BOOK: Going deeper into the deli scene of Cosmopolis

"Where is your necktie?" she said.

Chauffeur Deb and Set soldier Suzie were fluttering around the set today and spotted Robert Pattinson and Sarah Gadon. There was a rumor about rats on set tweeted earlier:

And a teasing tweet from Caitlin:

With Packinson minus a necktie and filming taking place at a cafe, it could only be one scene. 😉

Book excerpt after the cut *SPOILERS*

From Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo (text edited by me):

He held her hand and they moved single file through groggy traffic to the luncheonette across the street. A man sold watches from a bath towel spread across the pavement. The long room was thick with bodies and noise and he pushed past the take-out crowd and found seats at the counter.

“I’m not sure how hungry I am.”

“Eat. You’ll find out,” he said. “Speaking of sex.”

“We’ve been married only weeks. Barely weeks.”

“Everything is barely weeks. Everything is days. We have minutes to live.”

“We don’t want to start counting the times, do we? Or having solemn discussions on the subject.”

“No. We want to do it.”

“And we will. We shall.”

“We want to have it,” he said. “Sex.”

“Yes. Because there isn’t time not to have it. Time is a thing that grows scarcer every day. What. You don’t know this?”

She looked at the menu that extended across the upper wall and seemed discouraged by its scope and mood. He cited aloud certain items he thought she might like to eat. Not that he knew what she ate. (note: check out Chauffeur M’s visual interpretation of this scene HERE) There was a cross-roar of accents and languages and a counterman announcing food orders on a loudspeaker. Horns were blowing in the street.

“You were one of those silent wistful children. Glued to the shadows.”

“And you?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think about it.”

“Think about one thing and tell me what it was.”

“All right. One thing. When I was four,” he said, “I figured out how much I’d weigh on each of the planets in the solar system.”

“That’s nice. Oh I like that,” she said and kissed the side of his head, a bit maternally. “Such science and ego combined.” And she laughed now, lingeringly, as he gave the counterman their orders. An amplified voice leaked from a tour bus stuck in traffic. “When are we going to the lake?”

“Fuck the lake.”

“I thought we liked it there. After all the planning, all the construction. To get away, be alone together. It’s quiet at the lake.”

“It’s quiet in town.”

“Where we live, yes, I suppose. High enough, far enough. What about your car? Not so quiet surely. You spend a lot of time there.”

“I had the car prousted.”


“The way they build a stretch is this. They take a vehicle’s base unit and cut it in half with a huge throbbing buzz-saw device. Then they add a segment to lengthen the chassis by ten, eleven, twelve feet. Whatever desired dimension. Twenty-two feet if you like. While they were doing this to my car, I sent word that they had to proust it, cork-line it against street noise.”

“That’s lovely actually. I love that.” They were talking, they were pressed together nestling. He told himself this was his wife.

“The vehicle is armored of course. This complicated the cork-lining. But they managed in the end. It’s a gesture. It’s a thing a man does.”

“Did it work?”

“How could it work? No. The city eats and sleeps noise. It makes noise out of every century It makes the same noises it made in the seventeenth century along with all the noises that have evolved since then. No. But I don’t mind the noise. The noise energizes me. The important thing is that it’s there.”

“The cork.”

“That’s right. The cork. This is what finally matters.”

Elise looked into her bowl of soup, bobbing with life forms. “Is this what I wanted?”

“Tell me what you wanted.”

“Duck consomme with an herb twist.” She said this self-mockingly, affecting an accent that was extraterritorial and only slightly more elevated than her normal system of inflection.

She held the soup spoon above the bowl, motionless, while she formulated a thought. “It’s true, you know. You do actually reek of sexual discharge,” she said, making a point of looking into the soup.

“It’s not the sex you think I’ve had. It’s the sex I want. That’s what you smell on me. Because the more I look at you, the more I know about us both.”

“Tell me what that means. Or don’t. No, don’t.”

“And the more I want to have sex with you. Because there’s a certain kind of sex that has an element of cleansing. It’s the antidote to disillusion. The counterpoison.”

“You need to be inflamed, don’t you? This is your element.”

He wanted to bite her lower lip, seize it between his teeth and bite down just hard enough to draw an erotic drop of blood. “Where were you going,” he said, “after the bookstore? Because there’s a hotel.”

“I was going to the bookstore. Period. I was in the bookstore. I was happy there. Where were you going?”

“To get a haircut.”

She put a hand to his face and looked somber and complicated. “Do you need a haircut?”

“I need anything you can give me.”

“Be nice,” she said.

“I need all the meanings of inflamed. There’s a hotel just across the avenue. We can start over. Or finish with intense feeling. That’s one of the meanings. To arouse to passionate feeling. We can finish what we barely started. Two hotels in fact. We have a choice.”

“I don’t think I want to pursue this.”

“No, you don’t. You wouldn’t.”

“Be nice to me,” she said.

He waved his chopped liver sandwich, then took a loud bite, chewing and talking, and helped himself to her soup. “Someday you’ll be a grown-up,” he said, “and then your mother will have no one to talk to.”

Something was happening behind them. The nearest counterman spoke a line in Spanish that included the word rat. Eric swung around on his stool and saw two men in gray spandex standing in the narrow aisle between the counter and the tables. They stood motionless back to back, right arms raised, each man holding a rat by the tail. They began to shout something he could not make out. The rats were alive, forelegs pedaling, and he was fascinated, losing all sense of Elise. He wanted to understand what the men were saying and doing. They were young, in full body suits, rat suits, he realized, blocking the way to the door. He faced the long mirror on the far wall and could see most of the room, either reflected or direct, and behind him the countermen in baseball caps were arrayed in a state of thoughtful pause.

The two men separated, taking several long strides in opposite directions, and began to swing the rats over their heads, voices out of sync, shouting something about a specter. The face of the man who sliced pastrami hovered above his machine, eyes undecided, and the patrons didn’t know how to react. Then they did, half frantic, ducking the arc of the circulating rats. A couple of people pushed through the kitchen door, disappearing, and general movement ensued, with toppled chairs and bodies spinning off the stools.

Eric was rapt. He was held nearly spellbound. He admired this thing, whatever it was. The bodyguard was at the counter, speaking into his lapel. Eric extended an arm, indicating there was no need for the man to take action.

Let it express itself.

Eric’s day is punctuated by his breakfast, lunch, and dinner with Elise. The scenes are charged. Cosmopolis will be shot mainly in-studio so its fun to have these small glimpses and play the film-to-text game we’ve been doing. We don’t have any pictures from the actual deli scene and that’s a good thing.

Suzie got one shot of the exterior. Click HERE if you’re interested in the restaurant interior.

Check out more of our book discussion HERE. Purchase the book by clicking the cover image in the side bar. *points to the right of screen* See?

Now what do you think? How do you smell today? Is it like the sex you want? o.O

PHOTO 1: Source