breaking and entering
Bring the phone, it's mine.
Are you sure?
I know my own phone.
She won't have a phone.
She'll have to get her own. Now help me with this steamer
Is this a B&E?
I thought this was Carla's trunk.
My Grandmother gave it to me, she had it with her when she
came over from the old country.
Shouldn't you end that with, Your Honor?
You're an asshole.
Level with me, this is a B&E, isn't it?
It's not a B&E.
Wow, this trunk is heavy.
What kind of stuff?
What country what?
Did you grandmother come from?
What difference does it make?
It doesn't, except the trunk is stamped, Rome.
Carla's Italian; you're not.
Maybe Granny stole it, I don't know.
I don't think we should be in here.
Carla's not home and technically you don't live here anymore.
It's moving day.
It's B&E day.
You can't B&E your own stuff. Now grab hold of the trunk
and let's go.
There's a bunch of CDs in here.
All of 'em?
Even the Nick Drakes?
All of 'em.
This is a B&E.
I know a B&E when I see one.
Shut-up with the B&E crap and help me, or go and sit in
the damn car.
OK, OK, it's just that these breakups can get pretty complicated.
You got it ass-backwards. The beginning is complicated. The
end is simple. It's over. Now hand me that photograph.
When you and Carla moved in together it was great, like I
don't know, like a TV ad, like one of those smiley commercials.
No. Nice. It was Christmas time, remember? You had a tree
with blue lights. I would stop by and watch the Celtics, drink
your beer, Carla would make those great sandwiches with the
hot peppers, heat 'em up in the toaster oven, remember?
We were playing out a fantasy back then, playing house, it
lasted a couple of months before I caught on.
To the set up. I was set up.
The tall white cake.
Oh, yeah. Starts off pretty as you please with a fluttering
of pouty eyes and the, Don't go, stay the night please
blues, and before you know it, you're moving in, lock,
stock and steamer trunk. And then, boom, just like that they
got you by the short hairs. Now hand me that photograph.
But it's Carla's mother and father.
It's my frame and it's sterling silver. Before long Carla's
going to look like her mother anyway, with the little mustache
and fat ass.
Carla doesn't look like her mother at all. She's got a great
ass, always has/always will with the way she works out, forget
it. And she doesn't have anything even resembling a mustache.
Sure she does. Look close next time. She can't help it. It's
in the genes. Now help me with the TV in the bedroom.
That's a big mistake.
A TV in the bedroom.
Thanks for the tip. Grab my fencing gear out of that closet;
it's in a black case.
Ahh, the red dress. Carla looks outstanding in that dress.
That dress is fantastic, even you'd look good in that dress.
I don't think so.
Sure you would.
I don't think so.
Try it on.
Not a chance.
Not gonna happen. No way; no how.
You got some kind of a problem with your macho?
I don't have any problems with my macho.
Prove it. Slip on the red dress like Roxanne. Do it. Or maybe
you don't have what it takes.
You're not going to dare me into putting on a dress. You wear
the damn red dress if you're so hot on it.
I've worn it.
Butchy the midget takes Carla's order at the pizza parlor
down the block. He's standing on a milk crate so he can reach
the take-out window. He lays his usual moves on Carla. Points
out his new car parked across the street. An Oldsmobile Regency
Brougham, he tells her. A nice ride, he says, like driving
your living room. We'll go for a spin someday, just you and
me. No Slicer.
Sure, Carla says, I'd like that.
Butchy slides the salad out the window. Check out the back
seat. It's huge.
Carla crosses the street, peeks in the Oldsmobile, finds a
metropolitan area phone book on the front seat and wooden
blocks duck-taped to the pedals. She chuckles, nods and gives
Butchy the high sign sending a rush that almost knocks him
off the milk crate while his big smiling face fills up the
take-out window like a creepy carnival poster.
You look great.
It doesn't fit.
It sorta fits.
Help me zip it up.
Slicer and Paulie are standing in front of a full-length mirror.
The bedroom is filling up with a lifeless back-alley city
sunlight angling in through two tall windows overlooking a
rusty fire escape. The shadows from the fire escape section
off the room in jail cell bars.
OW! Paulie yells. Careful of my skin.
Sorry. I can't zip it all the way. So what do you think? Slicer
asks. Am I right, or am I right about the dress?
Paulie stares boldly into the mirror. He adjusts one of the
spaghetti straps over the puncture scar on his shoulder. Not
bad, he says. He turns sideways, puts his hand on his hip.
There are black Chinese letters tattooed down his arm. The
black accent goes nicely with the red fabric. He turns more,
stretches his neck and peeks at his ass. There is extra
room back here, he says and pulls at the dress.
I told you.
Slicer falls on the bed and props himself up with pillows.
Put on that string of pearls. He points.
You're out of your mind.
Just to get the full effect. Carla always wears the pearls
with that dress.
I'm not Carla.
You're getting there.
A hard green olive rolls silently though the shadows across
the floor and comes to rest on Paulie's foot.
Shit, Paulie says without looking up.
Carla fumbles with the salad. A couple clumps of feta cheese
and another olive hit the floor. What in God's name?
He said all this stuff was his, Carla. I swear, that's what
he told me, the trunk Nick Drake the phone.
Why are you wearing my dress, Paulie?
He made me.
Carla glares at Slicer. Are you guys just plain deranged or
are you a couple of thieves and I should call the cops and
report a breaking and entering in progress?
Paulie's not stealing the dress. He's just trying it on.
You're going to have to do better than that. Or I'm calling
It's an experiment. We're just trying to prove that that dress
will make anybody look good.
Carla turns back to Paulie, eyes him up top to bottom.
Paulie looks away, shifts his weight, strangely enjoying
What about the pearls?
I told him, Slicer says. I told him about the pearls.
And the shoes, Carla says. He has to squeeze into the black
leather pumps. If you're going to do this & do it right.
Slicer jumps up. Lipstick, he yells. Don't forget the big
Carla steps over to the closet, pulls out a black and red
leather purse, hooks it over Paulie's bony shoulder.
Let's do him, Slicer says. Let's do him up good.
Carla bends down, shoves aside the fencing gear and fumbles
around in the back of the closet before pulling out a pair
of shiny high heel shoes.
Paulie checks out her ass while she's down there, her stretch
pants pulling at the seams.
Slicer gives Paulie a wide-eyed I-told-you-so nod.
Carla drops the shoes, twists open a tube of lipstick and
starts painting Paulie's lips.
Slicer goes to snap the string of pearls around Paulie's neck.
Move your hair, he tells him.
Paulie lifts up strands of his thin blond hair.
Press your lips together tight, and roll them, Carla says.
Like this. Carla presses her lips and rolls them like a hungry
What's that do?
Spreads the lipstick.
Show me again.
Carla runs a bead of red lipstick across her bottom lip, presses
Paulie leans in real close, inspecting under Carla's nose.
Why so close, Paulie? Carla jerks her head away. What are
you looking for? She covers her mouth with her hand. Get back,
Paulie holds his ground.
Carla unzips the black bag, pulls out the fencing face mask,
slips it over her head, slides the canvas straightjacket on
with the red heart emblem on the chest, picks up the foil,
assumes the on-guard position. She nods once and lunges at
Paulie, pokes him in the chest. Get back, she says, and stay
Paulie jumps back.
Carla turns to Slicer. Waves the foil at him. And now it's
Pick out a dress.
You heard me. You boys want to play act; we'll play. Now pick
out a dress.
You can't be serious?
Carla lunges at Slicer.
He jumps back. OK. OK. Relax. Slicer pulls a black cocktail
dress off a hanger. I'll take this one.