Episode 14: Marche Slav

Simon, this is Lana.  Quero Taco Bell.  She laughs.  Simon, will you be my date on Saturday?  Where are we going?  Symphony with Jax and Bettina, and Rolf and his date.  Rolf’s bringing a date?  I’ve got to meet her.

Are we dressing up?  You can wear whatever, as long as it’s plaid.  Simon laughs hard into the phone.  You’re on, he tells her.  Do you want me to pick you up?  Lana asks.  I’ve got the use of the Mustang.  Sure.  Are you bringing your gun?  He asks her.  Of course.  Cool, I’ll bring mine too.  Are you going to be wearing something fancy?  Just a floral dress.

You look great, Simon tells Lana as he gets into her car.  She grins at his outfit.  Thank you for doing this, Simon.  Thanks for inviting me.  I’ve got plenty of room in my handbag if you want to smuggle in some drinks and munchies.  What do you got?  He asks her.  Just a flask and some mentos.  What’s in the flask?  Something medicinal, she replies with a big grin.

Kostamo sits in a booth on the other side of the theater with the mayor, and watches as Lana and Simon come laughing to their booth and sit down over in a corner.  Then he sees Rolf push a bald girl in a wheelchair into the booth, followed by Bettina and Jax.

Rolf helps her out of it, and seats her next to Simon, who ignores her and keeps on talking to Lana.  The mayor’s wife laughs as she sees Simon rub the girl’s bald head briefly as Lana digs in her handbag.  She hands him her compact, and he looks at himself in the mirror, and strokes his chin in admiration and nods at what he sees.  The bald girl laughs.  And reaches over and rubs his bald head.  He takes off his glasses and hands them to her.  She puts them on, and elbows Rolf, who is reading the program.  He grunts at her, and doesn’t look up.   She elbows him again.  And Rolf says something to her, and she gives them back, frowning.

Bettina latches on to Rolf’s forearm with her hand.  Rolf hands his program to the bald girl.  Takes Bettina’s arm, and lays it on her armrest.  And pretends to nail it there.  She reaches over with her other arm and runs her fingers through his hair.  He makes an exaggerated exasperated gesture, and then nails her free hand to the other armrest.  Bettina pouts.  Jax tries to free the arm closest to him, but Bettina makes a pained face.  Rolf hands him the imaginary hammer, and Jax frees her hand, and then kisses it.  The mayor and his wife are laughing at their antics.

The orchestra begins to warm up.  Kostamo watches as Rolf points out each section of the orchestra, and then goes through the motions of the conductor.  Lana pulls out a flask from her purse, and says something to Simon, and takes quick hit.  He grabs it from her and takes a long pull.  He makes a horrid face.  And immediately rushes out of the booth, as Lana laughs with her eyes closed, as she puts away the flask.  The bald girl tugs her arm, and the mayor and his wife watch in horror as Lana hands it to her.  She takes a sniff.  And makes an awful face, and closes it.  Rolf takes it from her, and takes a quick hit.  Then hands it to Bettina, who sniffs it and has the same reaction as the bald girl.  She hands it to Jax.  Who drains it, and abruptly hurls, and rushes out of the booth.  Lana and the bald girl are laughing so hard that they’re crying, and Lana gets up and sits next to her, and puts her arm around her shoulder as the lights dim. What do you think she had in there?  The mayor asks Kostamo.  I’m guessing apple cider vinegar.

Simon comes back and motions Lana to move out of his seat.  She ignores him and doesn’t budge.  Jax comes back with a roll of paper towels, disinfectant, and a garbage bag, and cleans up the mess, as the concert plays.  The mayor’s wife watches as Simon makes a paper airplane of his program, and pretends to throw it. Bettina glares at him, so he drops the plane and slouches in his seat and looks up drolly at the ceiling in an expression of utter boredom.  He digs into Lana’s handbag, and pulls out some mentos, and throws one in the air, and catches it with his mouth, and eats it.  The next one he misses and it falls on the floor.  Bettina snaps her fingers at him and mouths, knock it off.  Then she whispers to Jax, who gets up and switches seats with Simon.  She takes his left hand in her lap and starts rubbing it.  Simon sighs contentedly and starts swaying his head to the music.

When the program comes to the finale, Kostamo watches as Rolf closes his eyes and starts to conduct an imaginary orchestra with his hands, his head moving with the music.  He slowly stands upright as the music builds, his arms trembling in exultation.   As the music comes to a crescendo, Rolf's head is back and his mouth is open.  Then he kneels down and collapses against the balcony railing as the music deflates.  But soon his head is rolling again, his arms waving, conducting the orchestra.  He slowly rises to his feet once more, as the music builds, and starts to headbang and thrash around.  When the tempo shifts back to adagio, the bald girl tugs the back of Rolf's tuxedo, and he sits back down, and she holds his arm for the remainder.  

BRAVO.  Jax erupts from his seat.  WOOO.  Simon yells.  As the audience gives a standing ovation to the orchestra.

The other concertgoers look up at them and laugh, and the elderly conductor salutes Rolf, who makes a clenched fist and shakes it as he holds it up.  The elderly conductor bows in appreciation, and beams back at the audience, and the members of the orchestra all laugh.

The bald girl beams up at Rolf in admiration.   Bettina remains seated.  And is pulling at her remaining nailed arm, and looks up pleadingly at Rolf.  He motions over Jax, who frees her.

I have to meet them, the mayor’s wife tells Kostamo, who lets out a piercing wolf whistle that makes everyone stare.  Kostamo points at the mayor and his wife, and then toward the orchestra pit.

I’ve got to get going, Lana tells the bald girl, and gives her a hug.  Let’s get gone, she tells Simon.  I want to talk to Kostamo, he tells her.  Get a ride home with Jax then.  And she leaves.

I wanted to talk to Lana, Kostamo tells Simon.  She and Bettina left.  Why?  The mayor’s wife asks.  They’ve got church tomorrow, Jax replies.  Oh, the mayor’s wife replies.  When are you guys doing the concert?  The mayor asks Simon.  We’d like to do it next weekend.  Can you get me in?  Sure.  Simon says, and he takes the mayor aside.  Lana is probably the coolest girl I’ve ever met.  What’s it going to take for her to get her badge back?  Kostamo asked me the same thing.  She can be an investigator with the State Police, but NOPD is not an option.  That’s the best I can do, the mayor tells Simon.  Simon shakes his hand.  What did she give you to drink?  Vinegar.