Sergey Kendricks

“Here,” Nico in his pink fatigues, leaning back against the balcony railing in the calm and balmy afternoon, offering a knurled black pipe. “Try it. Bubble hash.”

“No thanks,” rubbing his eyes, dry eyes, he feels like he has been awake for weeks. “Got any cigarettes? I’m out.”

Non fumo, but Angel might, her shitty spearmint menthols—Angel,” calling back into the apartment, “hey Angel—So you’re leaving tomorrow, back to Hollywood, ha, right? So your movie’s done?”


Vérité!” on a long exhale. “Can’t wait to see it! We heard the opening was crazy, cops had to come.”

The scent of the hash blends with the faintly sour blooms of the white street trees, the burned pizza from some other apartment, his own tired t-shirt dried with last night’s sweat: he had worked all night again, editing through the footage, rubbing his eyes, rubbing his eyes . . . Whatever he tries to make of it gets worse every time—the trashed gallery and blown-out lights, the gallery owner’s sad pointy dick, the sparse crowd shouting and pounding to get out, Alistair wrecked on coke and hubris, screaming at the irritated gendarmerie who barked back at him through the metal doors, Verrouillé, verrouillé! Locked! It took two hours for them to open the doors again, by that time Alistair was incoherent and the director had locked himself in his office . . . And how many weeks had he wasted, following Alistair around, Alistair always refusing to be filmed, Wait till the opening, Sergey, the opening is going to be everything. For now you need to learn, get solid about my process—that processfueled by the gallery owner’s coke, Alistair had fooled that guy too. Don’t ever let the talent make the movie, who told him that? and why didn’t he listen? All that planning, all the hustle to finance a nearly professional rig, hire a professional sound recorder, all for what? this mess? No matter what he does, none of it works, everything he shot is still just stupid chaos, the best he can get out of it is a clumsy slapstick narrative. And this was supposed to be his First Doc entry, the beginning of his film career, how can he submit this? But too late now to shoot something else, so what else can he do?

And when he still does not answer, says nothing, Nico asks again, “What’s with your movie? The cops ruin it, or what?”

“Not the cops.”

“Then what?”

“It’s—It could be better.”

“Ah Serge, come on. You’re a great shooter.”

“Thanks,” but he shakes his head as he says it, rubs his eyes, opens his eyes to see Angel on the balcony, yawning, offering him a cigarette, not her spearmint sticks but a Marlboro Gold, Nico lights him up and “Someday,” Nico says, “someday we’ll be watching the Oscars or Cesars or whatever, and I’ll say, See that fucking genius Serge? He used to smoke on our balcony! But nobody will believe it.”

He shakes his head again, a final kind of disbelief, but “Andrà tutto bene,” Angel says, she yawns again. “You wait, Sergey, and see.”

What do you think?

70 Points

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