Very modest law office of David Burgess

David Burgess, tall, thin, in his early 50’s, is on the phone with the Immigration Department of the Home Office. He is contesting an injunction ordering the deportation of a Sikh client, KS Chahal.

Burgess has the call on speaker phone as he multi-tasks so we hear the deference with which he is being treated by the official in the Immigration Ministry. What we get is that—despite the modest surroundings in which he works-- Burgess is a very important, respected and even intimidating barrister.

While Burgess is on hold, we see an open and worn copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead on his desk. Burgess takes a moment to peruse it.

CU of one passage.

VO of the passage from the book:

Hey. Now when the reality of the Between dawns upon me I will let go of the hallucination of instinctive terror, Enter the recognition of all objects as my mind’s own visions, And understand them as the pattern of perception in the between.

The official returns to the phone line. Burgess’ challenge has been vindicated. The injunction for deportation of KS Chahal, recognized as an error, has been rescinded.



A Restaurant

A couple is dining.

Sonia and Brian are enjoying the wine, the meal and each other. They are in a heated discussion about the veracity of the latest news bite that seals and cats – the proof is in the whiskers -- are distant relatives of one another. Reveling in the absurdity of each other’s (and their own) arguments, a wonderful gaiety reigns.

In the middle of all this there are exchanges between Sonia and Brian which indicate that each of them feels the other to be a very special—or, to put it another way, they are saying to themselves, ‘I am in love’.

(We in no way recognize Sonia as David, but with the camera—e.g., a shot of her hands or wrists—we might plant an unconscious suspicion that this is not exactly a GG (gender girl.) There could also be a shot of Sonia catching herself as she instinctively heads for the loo marked GENTS.)


Sonia’s apartment

Brian puts down his glass of wine.

He can’t drink and at the same time show Sonia yoga poses, which are good for the back: Pelvic Tilt, Standing Forward Bend.

When Brian lays down to show Sonia a simple back stretching exercise that requires the knees pulled to the chest, Sonia abandons her wine glass and lies down next to him to exercise some amorous fondling.

Sonia: You know what would really be good for my back.

Brian (they’ve been here before): Yes, I know.

Sonia (saying it nonetheless): If you were here more often.


The Bedroom

Candles are lit. The music is in the mood. Brian and Sonia are in bed in the initial stages…The phone rings. It is 1 AM!

Despite his protests, Sonia rolls out of Brian’s embrace and picks up the phone on the night table. Sonia listens to the caller.

She puts down the phone, excuses herself to Brian, gets out of bed, puts on a pink silk robe, goes into the living room for a cordless, comes back into the bedroom to hang up the phone and, closing the bedroom door, returns to the living room.

Brian looks after her, flops onto his back staring at the ceiling. After a moment he picks up a book on the night table, the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It opens to a dog-eared page. A passage has been underlined. Brian reads it.

CU of passage:

Hey. Now when the reality of the Between dawns upon me I will let go of the hallucination of instinctive terror, Enter the recognition of all objects as my mind’s own visions, And understand them as the pattern of perception in the between.


The Living Room

Sonia is on the telephone. Her voice has descended a minor third.

Once (s)he has recognized the caller as David’s client, Karamjit, (s)he won’t let him get a word in edgewise. (S)he cuts him off, reiterating to Karamjit that—AS (S)HE TOLD HIM ALMOST 12 HOURS EARLIER-- the injunction for deportation has been rescinded. There was no need to call at 1 AM.

Sonia is insistent, (s)he’ll call him first thing in the morning. (S)he’s sorry, but there is no need for this. (S)he hangs up.


The Bedroom

Sonia, laughing, comes back to bed. Brian: What was that all about.

Sonia tenderly puts her finger on Brian’s lips. “Please, like in the fairy tale, Brian, when the Princess begs the Prince not to ask all the questions, saying it will be a happy ending so long as he doesn’t ask.”

With a simple nod of the head, Brian accepts her not wanting him to know about the phone call.

But talk about spoiling the atmosphere, Brian says, what about this-- Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Sonia says the philosophy is all right, but what she’s really interested in are the fashions. She thinks the capes, cloaks and shawls that the priests and demons wear could really catch on if they were properly merchandised.

© 2020 by Hugh Levick

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