When does the last plane for Lisbon take off? The background mutter of the Lost waiting for exit is sisyphian. No white house, but white minions hovering. Sam tickles a low hum-hiss tune with no melody–lower key from an apiary. No one will buy his piano at auction–you can get this noise from any HVAC unit.

Rick watches.

Table number 1 for the Hero’s party.  The geography does not matter; the Germans (actually it was the Japanese) are gone. Drinks arrive–plastic bags with long twisting straws. No color, salty taste that doesn’t kill the Hero’s real pain. Your cash is good at the bar. Nothing is ever on the house. Casablanca is a gold mine.

Rick watches.

Ferrari sweeps in, a bombast of certainty. Draws and gulches gullied in his face.  Opinions for sale; remember last week, or was it earlier today? Our conversation is self-generated. It is nonsense; it is all we have.

Rick watches.

Uncertainty is the fog. The parrots are green not blue. They hover and flit with the metronomic regularity absent from the flight schedule to Lisbon. Ilsa waits too. Can there be two exit visas? Most certainly, but not with the same date. Will she take the plane if the Hero is on it? Everyone arrived with letters of transit—Ugarte is already gone.

Rick watches.

Inside the Hero’s compressed world the desert of time and an unseen sab0teur have destroyed the travel schedules. This morning you are the valued Carl; at midnight the breakout was on and you were the mirage-guard in need of a thrashing. Now you are No One in his desert. Ilsa is his only constant. Oasis that is evaporating as her shores erode under the weight of the waiting.

Rick watches.

Watching the old man wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait. Louis brings the news. No plane to Lisbon! Casablanca is terminal, but not this week.

Rick watches, but not in Casablanca.


One response to “CASABLANCA 2014: RICK’S PLACE

  1. “Rick watches, but not in Casablanca.” How ’bout in Smyrna?


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