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: She's a transvestite. Terry Crabtree
: You're stoned. Grady Tripp
: She's still a transvestite.
: It's just... for good luck. Some people carry rabbits' feet... Grady Tripp
: ...You carry firearms.
: You're not like my other teachers, Professor Tripp. Grady Tripp
: You're not like my other students, James.
: Professor Tripp? Can I ask you a question? Grady Tripp
: Yeah, James. James Leer
: What are we going to do with... it? Grady Tripp
: I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out how to tell the Chancellor I murdered her husband's dog. James Leer
: You? Grady Tripp
: Trust me, James, when the family pet's been assassinated, the owner doesn't want to hear one of her students was the trigger man. James Leer
: Does she want to hear it was one of her professors? Grady Tripp
: ...I've got tenure.
: Now, that is a big trunk. It holds a tuba, a suitcase, a dead dog, and a garment bag almost perfectly. Grady Tripp
: That's just what they used to say in the ads.
[Crabtree and a student drag James, hopped up on codeine, out of the auditorium
] James Leer
: The doors made so much noise! Grady Tripp
: Is he all right? James Leer
: It was so embarrassing! He had to be carried out. Terry Crabtree
: He's fine. He's narrating. James Leer
: They were going to the restroom. But would they make it in time?
: You drivin' this car? Grady Tripp
: Excuse me? Vernon Hardapple
: This 1966 maroon Ford Galaxie 500. You drivin' this car? Grady Tripp
: It's mine. Vernon Hardapple
: Bullshit! It's mine, motherfucka! Grady Tripp
: You must be mistaken. Vernon Hardapple
: Let me get this straight. Jerry Nathan owes you money, so as collateral he gives you his car. Grady Tripp
: Only I'm beginning to think that the car wasn't exactly Jerry's to give. Terry Crabtree
: Ah, so whose car was it? Grady Tripp
: My guess? Vernon Hardapple. Terry Crabtree
: The hood jumper? Grady Tripp
: He said a few things that lead me to believe that the car was his. Terry Crabtree
: Such as? Grady Tripp
: "That's my car, motherfucker."
: Whose tuba is that, anyway? Grady Tripp
: Miss Sloviak's. James Leer
: Can I ask you something about her? Grady Tripp
: Yes, she is. James Leer
: So is your friend Crabtree, is he... is he gay? Grady Tripp
: Most of the time he is, James. Some of the time he isn't.
: You want a bite? Grady Tripp
: No thanks. James Leer
: That's why you're having them. Your spells. Grady Tripp
: Spells? Jesus, James, you make it sound like we're in a Tennessee Williams play. I don't get spells.
: I'm a teacher, not a Holiday Inn.
: Where's the cake? Terry Crabtree
: Right behind you. Grady Tripp
: That's not what I meant.
[Sara smells Antonia's perfume on Grady's clothes
] Sara Gaskell
: Is that Cristalle? Grady Tripp
: Mm. Sara Gaskell
: My God, I wear the same scent as a transvestite.
: Shit, James. You shot Dr. Gaskell's dog. James Leer
: I had to! Didn't I? Grady Tripp
: Couldn't you have just pulled him off me?
[Grady offers James some codiene pills
] James Leer
: No thanks. I'm fine without them. Grady Tripp
: Right. That's why you were standing in the Chancellor's back yard twirling that little cap gun of yours tonight. You're fine, all right, you're fit as a fucking fiddle.
: Fine, just fine. James Leer
: Yeah, fit as a fucking fiddle.
: What do we have here? This looks like... that's our old friend Mr. Codeine. That should take the old pinch out of the ankle. Want one? James Leer
: No, thanks. I'm fine without them. Grady Tripp
: Right. That's why you were standing in the chancellor's backyard spinning that "cap gun" of yours. You're fine. Yeah, you're just as fit as a fuckin' fiddle.
: James like it or not those people out there are your parents. James Leer
: They're not my parents. Grady Tripp
: What? James Leer
: They're my grandparents... my parents are dead. Grady Tripp
: James the man is obviously your father... you look just like him. James Leer
: There's a reason for that.
: Why did you keep writing this book if you didn't even know what it was about? Grady Tripp
: I couldn't stop.
: I hope you don't find this forward Amanda, but I wonder if I might ask: Did you ever go to Catholic school? Amanda Leer
: Excuse me?
: Okay, James, I wish you hadn't shot my girlfriend's dog. Even though Poe and I weren't exactly what you'd call simpatico, that's no reason he should've taken two in the chest.
: You're mad at me, aren't you? You're mad because I shot your girlfriend's dog. Grady Tripp
: It wasn't her dog, it was her husband's...
[looking at James
] Grady Tripp
: Who said anything about a girlfriend? James Leer
: [smiling back
] Grady Tripp
: Okay, James, I wish you hadn't shot my girlfriends dog. Even though Poe and I were not exactly what you'd call simpatico that's no reason he should've taken two in the chest
: Are you drinking, Professor Tripp, right now? Grady Tripp
: [smoking weed
: I know you. Double Dickel on the rocks. I never forget a drink. Grady Tripp
: And I never forget an Oola.
] She was a junkie for the printed word. Lucky for me, I manufactured her drug of choice.
[eating a box of white-powder donuts
] James Leer
: These are incredible. Incredible! Grady Tripp
: Finish the rest of that joint, James, you can start chewing on the box.
] So there it was. Somewhere in the night, a Manhattan book editor was prowling the streets of Pittsburgh; best-selling author at his side, dead dog in his trunk.
: [Looking at James Leer's book
] The Love Parade... I've got a feeling about this, Tripp. I feel this kid in my bones. Grady Tripp
: ONLY in your bones?
: Grady, you know how in class you're always telling us that writers make choices? Grady Tripp
: Yeah. Hannah Green
: And even though you're book is really beautiful, I mean, amazingly beautiful, it's... it's at times... it's... very detailed. You know, with the genealogies of everyone's horses, and the dental records, and so on. And... I could be wrong, but it sort of reads in places like you didn't make any choices. At all. And I was just wondering if it might not be different if... if when you wrote you weren't always... under the influence. Grady Tripp
: Well... thank you for the thought, but shocking as it may sound, I am not the first writer to sip a little weed. Furthermore, it might surprise you to know that one book I wrote, as you say, "under the influence," just happened to win a little something called the Pen Award. Which, by the way, I accepted under the influence.
: [after he lost Grady's manuscript
] Naturally you have copies. Grady Tripp
: I have an alternate version of the first chapter.
: Say, Professor Tripp, is all that stuff true about Errol Flynn? How he used to put paprika... on his dick... to make it, you know, like... more stimulating... for the chick? Grady Tripp
: Christ, Traxler, how the hell should *I* know? Traxler
: [gesturing to James Leer's rucksack that Tripp is holding
] You're reading his biography, aren't you? Grady Tripp
: Oh. No, it's true. He used to rub all sorts of things on it. Salad dressing... ground lamb... Traxler
: What are we doing? Grady Tripp
: I'm gonna get you a nice meal, a couple cups of coffee, then I'm taking you home. James Leer
: Take me now. Grady Tripp
: What? James Leer
: I'm not hungry. Grady Tripp
: James, you gotta eat. James Leer
: I'll get something out of the vending machine. Grady Tripp
: Vending machine? What are you talking about? James Leer
: At the bus station, they have these cheese sandwiches. They're pretty good. It's better if you take me now. That way, Carl won't get my spot. Grady Tripp
: Carl? James Leer
: Never mind. Grady Tripp
: James, go get us a table, will ya? I'm not letting the most talented writer in my class eat some week-old cheese sandwich, okay?
[Grady and Hannah are putting a stoned James Leer into the back of Hannah's car
] Grady Tripp
: All right. Let him crash at my house. Hannah Green
: Where should I put him? Grady Tripp
: In the shape that he's in, you could stand him up in the garage next to the snow shovels and he'd be all right.
: You didn't happen to call our house last night, did you? Grady Tripp
: I think I might have, yes. Sara Gaskell
: What do you think you might have said? Grady Tripp
: I think I might have said I was in love with you.
] Grady Tripp
: He told you? Sara Gaskell
: He told me. Grady Tripp
: And what did you say? Sara Gaskell
: I said it didn't sound like you.
] Grady Tripp
: "The young girl sat perfectly still in the confessional listening to her father's boots scrape like chalk on the ancient steps of the church, then grow faint, then disappear altogether. She could sense the priest beyond the grate..." On that particular Friday afternoon, last February, I was reading a story to my Advanced Writers' Workshop by one James Leer, Junior Lit major and sole inhabitant of his own gloomy gulag.
] Grady Tripp
: As for me, I lost everything: my wife, my book, my job, everything that I thought was important. But I finally knew where I wanted to go. And now I have someone to help me get there.
: There must be two dozen windows, how do we find his? Grady Tripp
: I told you, they keep him "chained" in the basement. Terry Crabtree
: - Music Coming From Within The Windows Of The Basement - Rodgers & Hart? Grady Tripp
: James Leer.
Antonia "Tony" Sloviak
: Oh, that's such a beautiful Greenhouse. Grady Tripp
: It's Mrs. Gaskells, it's her hobby. Terry Crabtree
: I thought YOU were Mrs. Gaskell's hobby. Grady Tripp
: Piss off, will ya Crabs? I lost a wife today. Terry Crabtree
: You'll find another one, you always do. She'll be younger,prettier, they always are.
: I have to go over to my wife's parents house today, to gather a few things. James Leer
: The one that left you? Grady Tripp
: Yes James, that one.
: Sometimes, people just need to be rescued.
: It's been a long time since someone wrote a really good book in jail.
: So is he any good? Grady Tripp
: No, not yet. Terry Crabtree
: Well, I'm going to read it, anyway. Grady Tripp
: Aw Crabs, C'mon will you? He's one of my students for Christsakes. Besides, I'm not even sure if he's... Terry Crabtree
: He IS. I'm sure, take my word for it, I see myself in him. Grady Tripp
: Oh, I'm sure you do.
: I had no business trudging up to James Leer's parents' house in the middle of the night. Not when all that really mattered was trying to make things right with Sarah. But we had decided to rescue James Leer. I wasn't quite sure from what because I was pretty much convinced that everything that came out of James' mouth was basically horseshit. But maybe that really didn't matter. Sometimes people just need to be rescued.
: I don't drink - normally - but this was turning out to be one fucked-up day. And now I found myself in close proximity to Sara's husband and his dog, Poe. Despite his much-vaunted Harvard education Dr. Walter Gaskell didn't have a clue about his wife and me. Poe had been onto me from day one.
: Whenever I wondered what Sara saw in me, and I wondered more than once, I always came back to the fact that she loved to read. She read everything every spare moment. She was a junkie for the printed word. And lucky for me, I manufactured her drug of choice.
: I'm not the downy innocent you painted me as. Grady Tripp
: That's a shame, we need all the downy innocents we can get.
: At least you're thinking. Most people don't think, James.
: "Arsonist's Daughter" wasn't a fraud. It made me want to be a writer. Grady Tripp
: And for that, James, you have my eternal apologies.