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Pillows of Angels
KHALIL: You sure this is still okay?
BRUCE: Relax. No one ever comes up here. Not this late.
KHALIL: I’m binding you to your word, okay?
BRUCE: (with a familiar grin) You always do.
KHALIL: Like a criminal to the precinct’s rusty rail.
BRUCE: (bewildered) Sure. Let’s go with that.
I assume you brought the stuff. No point in even being here if you didn’t bring the—
KHALIL: Have I ever not brought the stuff?
KHALIL: Don’t even start. You know as well as the entire world knows—
BRUCE: (guffawing) By that, I assume you mean all 77 of your beloved Facebook friends?
KHALIL: 78, asshole. My Uncle Ivan just got one. I was his first friend.
KHALIL: Anyway, we all know Black Friday 2007 doesn’t count. I made you sign that contract!
BRUCE: (deadpan) Contract?
KHALIL: Yeah. Contract. The one that says you acknowledge that I can bring any kind of marshmallows I want to for batting practice. Can’t always be strawberry marshmallows ‘cause they don’t make as many of those as they used to. You don’t remember the contract?
BRUCE: I vaguely remember the bottle of Nyquil I drank after you sneezed in my face when we saw Scott Pilgrim last winter. But that’s it. Everything beyond that glorious little solstice chug-a-lug was a blur.
KHALIL: (sarcastically stern) Whose fault is that?
BRUCE: I should sue your ass, man. There’s gotta be some sort of thing in the Bill of Rights about signing contracts while under the influence of alcoholic pharmaceuticals.
KHALIL: Yeah, it’s right next to the first amendment. Written in invisible ink: The Dextromethorphan Clause of 1791. They meant to make it the Second Amendment, but they were all too sleepy to remember.
BRUCE: Fuckin’ James Madison, man.
KHALIL: Doing our country proud, one sip at a time.
BRUCE: True that.
KHALIL: You got the bats?
BRUCE: Yup. Wiffle ball bats.
BRUCE: Yeah, I know. It’s a crying shame. Aluminum’s always gonna be better for pancaking marshmallows, but you remember last time, don’t you?
KHALIL: I’ve never run so fast in my life.
BRUCE: You should have done track, man.
BRUCE: Man, I won league meet bronze in the 200 and you still kicked my ass.
KHALIL: Three years at a grocery store’ll do that to you, tubs.
BRUCE: Uhhh boy. Don’t even get me started on this place. Want a marshmallow?
KHALIL: Is that even a question?
Bruce tosses him a pink marshmallow. Khalil swipes it out of the air and takes a whiff.
KHALIL: Mmmm, strawberry. This here’s the pillow of angels.
He tosses it up and, with a mighty swing, whacks the marshmallow into the parking lot three stories below. The marshmallow, now shaped like a malformed pancake, flutters through the open sunroof of an empty Mercedes Benz.
KHALIL: You know... you do have the option of quitting. You realize that, right?
BRUCE: (simultaneously sighing and rolling his eyes) You know... I do have to make $1,500 by the end of the month. You realize that, right?
KHALIL: Sorry. I didn’t mean to—
BRUCE: It’s okay, man. It’s alright.
Bruce reaches into the plastic marshmallow bag, tosses a pink pillow in the air, and foul tips it back toward the door.
BRUCE: (frustrated) Daaahhh!
KHALIL: You close to making that much?
BRUCE: I put in for more hours—God help me—
Bruce reaches into the bag and tosses another marshmallow in the air.
And they know about my dad, so I’d say there’s a good chance—
He bites his cheeks as he smacks it four parking spaces past Khalil’s pancake.
That I’ll make it. Beat that.
KHALIL: Great! Gimme a few more of those.
Bruce grabs a handful and playfully whips them all at once at Khalil.
BRUCE: Grenade! Take cover!
Khalil stands perfectly motionless as Bruce’s cluster bombs miss the mark entirely.
KHALIL: (deadpan) Pathetic.
BRUCE: But yeah, that should be enough for the radiation treatments.
KHALIL: That’s rough that you have to do that, though.
BRUCE: Rough? Good Lord, try excruciating. Agonizing! Squelching torture and misery forever and beyond! There aren’t enough words in the fucking dictionary! Spending most of my day catering to the compulsive minutiae of Civil War wives and their Wiccan spell books filled with coupons and having Adolf Hitler’s secret grandson in charge of everything? I’m surprised no one’s snapped and taken their anger out on Der Fuhrer’s precious Frito-Lay end cap!
KHALIL: I can’t even imagine.
BRUCE: Don’t start now.
KHALIL: Can’t say this enough, though: you deserve a Silver Star for sticking it through. I couldn’t fathom spending more than an hour there, let alone three years of Kafkaesque servitude.
BRUCE: Just call me the Elie Wiesel of part-time employment.
Khalil whistles the theme to Schindler’s List as the two of them continue to send strawberry marshmallows soaring through the air. Bruce’s shot bounces off the hood of a Lexus while Khalil’s shot makes it into a stray shopping cart.
BRUCE: NICE! That’s gotta be some sort of record, man!
KHALIL: Fuck, I wish I brought the camera!
BRUCE: You always say that.
KHALIL: Such is life. The greatest moments are always un-documented, mere dust bunnies slipping through the crevasses of space and time.
BRUCE: That reminds me. How’s your novel coming along?
KHALIL: Okay, I guess. My publisher wants two more chapters by the end of the week, so I’ve been busy with that.
BRUCE: You almost done?
KHALIL: Between you and me, I’ve almost started.
BRUCE: Can you do two chapters in two days?
KHALIL: Probably. I figure if I can get a book deal from HarperCollins straight out of high school graduation from Nowhere, Wyoming, I can probably do just about anything I set my mind to writing-wise.
BRUCE: Just saying, man. You don’t wanna get too confident.
KHALIL: No such thing as too confident, Bruce.
BRUCE: Remember how confident I was about med school?
KHALIL: (hangs his head) Sorry. I didn’t mean—
BRUCE: It’s fine.
KHALIL: Speaking of which, how’s school going for you?
Bruce seems to ignore the question as he continues to get a marshmallow pancake into Khalil’s shopping cart.
He’s just off the mark.
BRUCE: (almost startled) What?
KHALIL: How’s everything going at school?
BRUCE: Oh. Shit. Sorry. Fine.
KHALIL: Just fine?
BRUCE: Yeah, it’s community college, man. All the classes are a fuckin' joke and I’m not learning a damn thing, but it’s better than nothing.
KHALIL: I guess. Is your mom getting better?
BRUCE: No. She’s still got a ways to go before her legs can mend.
KHALIL: (shaking his head, visibly sympathetic) I don’t know what to say, Bruce.
BRUCE: Not much to say, I guess.
KHALIL: Just know that, if you need anything—anything at all—feel free to give me a holler.
BRUCE: Thanks, man. I appreciate that. You’re a good friend.
KHALIL: Any time.
BRUCE: All right, enough of this shit. I’m getting fuckin' depressed here. I’m gonna repeat history right now. Give me one of yours. I think mine are hexed or something.
Khalil tosses one from his pile towards Bruce, who winds up and smacks it, flattening it upon impact. It soars through the stratosphere and, as Bruce coaxes it toward Khalil’s shopping cart with the repeated mantra of “Come on, bitch, come on,” it crash-lands directly next to Khalil’s marshmallow right smack-dab in the center of the cart. Even more joyously than before, Bruce and Khalil hoop and holler it up in the vacant night air as the nearby light pole flickers as if to join in on the celebration.