Conversations Seldom Overheard (Whistleblower)

Arthur Meiselman

Scene4 Magazine — inSight - perspectives on arts and media
writings: story

September 2013

August 2010. Overheard in Singapore at a bar in the old quarter. Two men sitting with drinks at a small table in the shadows.

"This is a come-down isn't it for a reunion? Not like old times."

"I thought it'd be good, no unexpected interruptions."

"Are you sure we're alone?"

"I'm sure."

"Why do you have your raincoat with you on your lap?"

"I just have it."

"I'm trying to remember the last time we met."

"Don't bother, this isn't a social meeting."

"Then what is it, why are we here?"

"I'm on the edge. They've effectively shut me out… with your help. And Sarah  has shut me out… with your help. I'm asking myself every minute of every day, where do I go, what do I do? I can't live on the outside, and you knew that".

"I knew you couldn't go on doubling yourself, dancing around both sides of the table. You can't be a dealer and a player in the same game. I knew…"

"We were friends!"

"We were colleagues, back-watchers first. Then friends."

"I never thought…"

"I turned around too many times and you were missing, you weren't there. And then when Sarah…"

"I don't want to talk about other people, I want to talk about us. I want to know what you thought I was going to do when you chopped my legs off."

"Disappear, fade away, don't be seen."

"They won't let me, they're going to make my life a living nightmare."

"You're clever, you're resourceful, you've been invisible before."

"I'll go to the Director. He's my friend. He was my mentor."

"What? Who do you think is hunting you?"

"I'll go to the Minister."

"He won't see you, at least not on your terms. You disappoint me, you seem to think that these are all disconnected parts. They're not. You know that. It's all the same team, only one team in the same game."

"I'll go to the Press."

"That's good. Do it. They'll cut your tongue out before you're half way up the stairs. What do you need? Do you need some money? I don't know why you would, you collected what I collected and more. What do you need? Let's have another drink. Do you want another drink?"

"I'll go to the Press."

"I'll get the drinks."

*  *  *

"Sarah knew nothing until you told her. You bastard, she's my wife and…"

"Sarah was your wife and she knew much more than you realized. You scared the hell out of her."

"So she ran to you."

"You scared the love out of her."

"So now she's with you."

"You nearly scared the sanity out of her, I helped her."

"The way you helped me."

"This gets us nowhere. You're in a deadly bind now and you've got to get yourself somewhere. I have to go take a piss."

*  *  *

"What did you do with the documents? Is that what you have under that raincoat?"

"They have the documents, you have the documents."

"Everyone knows you have copies."

"It wasn't just the money, you know."

"I don't know that."

"It's also what they were doing, what they were planning, what they were planning to do. The money was my excuse, but the informtaion ate my guts out."

"Suddenly after all these years you found some righteousness in your bloodstream? I don't believe you. Give me the copies and we'll figure out how to get you into deep cover."

"Do you know what I did with that money, with all that money? I gave it to Sarah."

"I don't believe you. Give me the copies."

"And now you have it, and her, and you're holding me upside down by the balls. Yes, I have the documents under my coat, and I have this."

"A gun? You're pointing a gun at me and that's going to fix everything? Here, I'll put my hand on it and hold it with you."

"There's no longer anyone watching our backs. One of us will end this right now, right here."


Silence. Then a shot was heard. Amidst the resulting clamor, a man walked out of the shadows and out of the bar.

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Arthur Meiselman is a playwright, writer and the Editor of Scene4. He also directs the Talos Ensemble and produces for Aemagefilms. For more of his commentary and articles, check the Archives.
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©2013 Arthur Meiselman
©2013 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Scene4 Magazine - Arts and Media


September 2013

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