Smallish, smoke-filled club. Small stage. Piano player and female singer. Piano player looks like Bill Evans, complete with cigarette. Female singer looks like Chrissie Hynde, sounds more like Diana Krall, but a bit more smokey.
I am played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I’ve actually been dead since that day at the beach, but here I am, sitting alone at a small table about twelve feet away from the stage. There are a few other customers. I’m smoking a “cowboy killer;” that’s what many of my adolescent acquaintances used to call them. In front of me is a half-finished pint of stout.
The player caresses the keys with a foreplayish intensity, and the singer croons.
“I aim, beyond his qualities, at an inexhaustible ground…”
I know these lyrics. The slow and sensual tune is vaguely familiar.
“…which may one day shatter the image that I have formed of him.”
She backs away from the mic briefly as the piano tentatively drops a few notes into the pause. When she steps forward again, of course, she looks directly at me.
“This is the price for there being…” Pause. “…thiiiiiiiings and…” This time the pause is pregnant. The piano is silent. The next two words are slowly and lovingly enunciated. “…‘o-ther peeeeeeeo-ple’…” Her eyes close, and the rest is almost whispered. “…for us.”
That’s all. Just hearing it sung. I take one more gulp of the stout, smash out my cigarette, and go back to being dead.