The exterior shots yesterday were a treat. We know that most of Cosmopolis will be shot in studio so the glimpse at exterior shots are welcomed. The images from Thursday evening inspired Chauffeur M immediately and she gave the limo some new art for The Gallery.
A longer version of the excerpt after the cut! *spoilers*
From the book Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo:
He lowered the window and looked more closely at one of the women standing there. At first he thought it was Elise Shifrin. This is how he sometimes thought of his wife, by full name, due to her relative celebrity in the social columns and the fashion books. Then he wasn’t sure who it was, either because his view was partly obstructed or because the woman in question had a cigarette in her hand.
He forced open the door and walked across the street and Torval was at his side, ably containing his rage. “I need to know where you’re going.”
“Wait and learn,” he said. The woman looked away when he approached. It was Elise, noncommittally, in profile.
“You smoke since when.”
She answered without turning to face him, speaking from a seeming distance. “I took it up when I was fifteen. It’s one of those things a girl takes up. It tells her she’s more than a skinny body no one looks at. There’s a certain drama in her life.”
“She notices herself. Then other people notice her. Then she marries one of them. Then
they go to dinner,” he said.
Torval and Danko flanked the limo and it moved deliberately down the street in light taxi traffic, husband and wife assessing the prospects of immediate eating places. One of the screens displayed a guide to the street’s restaurants and Elise chose the old small reliable subterranean bistro. Eric looked out the window and saw a crack in the wall called Little Tokyo. The place was empty.
“You’re wearing a cashmere sweater.”
“Yes I am.”
“And that’s your hand-beaded skirt.”
“Yes it is.”
“I’m noticing. How was the play?”
“I left at intermission, didn’t l?”
“What was it about and who was in it? I’m making conversation.”
“I went on impulse. The audience was sparse. Five minutes after the curtain went up, I understood why.”
The waiter stood by the table. Elise ordered a mixed green salad, if manageable, and a small bottle of mineral water. Not sparkling, please, but still. Eric said, “Give me the raw fish with mercury poisoning.” He sat facing the street. Danko stood just outside the door, unaccompanied by the female.
“Where is your jacket?”
“Where is my jacket.”
“You were wearing a suit jacket earlier. Where is your jacket?”
“Lost in the scuffle, I guess. You saw the car. We were under attack by anarchists. Just two hours ago they were a major global protest. Now, what, forgotten.”
“There’s something else I wish I could forget.”
“That’s my peanuts you smell.”
“Didn’t I see you come out of the hotel just up the street while I was standing outside the theater?”
He was enjoying this. It put her at a disadvantage, playing petty interrogator, and made him feel boyishly inventive and rebellious.
“I could tell you there was an emergency meeting of my staff to deal with the crisis. The nearest conference room was at the hotel. Or I could tell you I had to use the men’s room in the lobby. There’s a toilet in the car but you don’t know this. Or I went to the health club at the hotel to work off the tension of the day. I could tell you I spent an hour on a treadmill. Then I went for a swim if there’s a swimming pool. Or I went up to the roof to watch the lightning flash. I love it when the rain has that wavering quality it rarely has these days. It’s that whiplash sort of quality, where the rain undulates above the rooftops. Or the car’s liquor cabinet was unaccountably empty and I went in to have a drink. I could tell you I went in to have a drink, in the bar off the lobby, where the peanuts are always fresh.”
The waiter said, “Enjoy.” She looked at her salad. Then she began to eat it. She dug right in, treating it as food and not some extrusion of matter that science could not explain.
“Is that the hotel you wanted to take me to?”
“We don’t need a hotel. We’ll do it in the ladies’ room. We’ll go to the alley out back and rattle the garbage cans. Look. I’m trying to make contact in the most ordinary ways. To see and hear. To notice your mood, your clothes. This is important. Are your stockings on straight? I understand this at some level. How people look. What people wear.
“How they smell,” she said. “Do you mind my saying that? Am I being too wifely? I’ll tell you what the problem is. I don’t know how to be indifferent. I can’t master this. And it makes me susceptible to pain. In other words it hurts.”
“This is good. We’re like people talking. Isn’t this how they talk?”
“How would I know?”
He swallowed his sake. There was a long pause. He said, “My prostate is asymmetrical.”
She sat back and thought, looking at him with some concern. “What does that mean?”
He said, “I don’t know.”
Remember when we discussed how Eric’s day is punctuated with Elise at breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Looks like this will be a wrap soon on Elise. The limo will miss her. We’re trying to make conversation. 😉
What do you guys think of the scene? How did you feel when you read this part and beyond? Let’s chat in the limo!
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