A Drink After Work At The Pilot Tavern (Chapter 18, Lou Grant)

22 08 2009


A Drink After Work At The Pilot Tavern

MURRAY: I’m getting a  headache, Lou. First you’re in the Blue Lagoon spooning with a blonde. Then you’re in a backyard having a stroke. Then you’re moaning for Helen. Who the hell is Helen?

LOU: She’s my wife… was my wife… in the other world. The guy who’s having a stroke in the backyard. We divorced.

MURRAY: When did you have a nervous breakdown?

LOU: Nervous breakdown… don’t you remember when I said I had food poisoning? Chinese food. I’m allergic to the meat tenderizer.

MURRAY: You barfed all over Ted’s suit. I remember because Ted tried to charge the cleaning bill to the station.


LOU: I lied, Murray. I was having a breakdown.


LOU: Right over the edge. Splat!

MURRAY: Did you ever consider the possibility, Lou, that you might be having another breakdown? That all this dreaming was another emotional collapse?

LOU: Breakdown? Maybe.

MURRAY: You’ve got everything in some kind of reality blender. Your dreams, the real world. Or worlds. Who the hell knows which ones are real? And its all going swirling around. Like some freshman in a drier.

LOU: I don’t get that reference, Murray.

MURRAY: You don’t get it? Freshman. Driers. College…. Oh, God Lou, you’ve got me doing it.

LOU: Can I say something?

LOU: I have a story to tell.

MURRAY: Really, Lou. I’d rather not hear it.

LOU: You kind of have to, Murray.

MURRAY: Because this is your psycho dream.

LOU: That and I’m your boss.

MURRAY: Go ahead. Don’t be concerned with my feelings.

LOU: You’ll like this one, Murray. There was a man in the Middle Ages who kept an extensive diary of all the events that passed through his life. He owned a large plot of land in Northern Italy and much of his diary was taken up with his crops, the new grapes he tried to introduce, the wines he created, and family and local matters. There was no mention in all of this of the barbarians who had to pass his lands on their way to ransacking Rome. The greatest event of his time had occurred and it was not mentioned in his diary. Why Murray?

MURRAY: You said I’d like it.

LOU: Well…

MURRAY: What’s this story got to do with your nervous breakdown, Lou?


LOU: Think about it, Murray. We are so cocooned in our own lives, in our joys and pains that we understand almost nothing of the history we are living through. We operate in a limbo of reality. Who are we, Murray?

MURRAY: Lou, these people in your dream, Michael, Harry, Bud, are they people you’ve met?

LOU: Who’s Bud?

MURRAY: You mentioned him in our last conversation. At the Silver Rail.

LOU: I don’t remember that. Why do you ask about this fellow Bud?


LOU: Ya.

MURRAY: I think I know him.

LOU: You think you know him?

MURRAY: He works at a bar we go to with Mary.



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