Locked Down (2021) – Transcript

Locked Down follows a couple who plan to execute a heist of a jewelry store. It was entirely written, financed, and filmed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Locked Down (2021)

Paxton and Linda are a disgruntled married couple living in London amid the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Paxton is only able to get jobs as a delivery truck driver due to an assault arrest 10 years prior, and is upset how his life has turned out.

Due to stores being shut down there are a limited amount of drivers available for high-value deliveries, so Paxton’s boss reaches out and asks him to make runs under a false identity for him. Linda, who is a CEO at a fashion company, is tasked with clearing out inventory at a nearby Harrods department store. The pair soon realize their delivery schedules at the store overlap, and Paxton would not get past the security checkpoint Linda has set up.

Linda discloses that there is a £3 million diamond in the vault at Harrods that has been sold to an anonymous buyer, and the store keeps a duplicate on-location. She and Paxton agree to take the real diamond for themselves and send the fake one to the buyer in New York City, splitting the sale between themselves and the National Health Service.

Upon making it to the store, Linda and Paxton retrieve the diamond and swap it out with the fake. However they are confronted by Donald, a former co-worker of Linda’s whom she had fired earlier in the week, who called the police after learning of Paxton’s fake identity. She reveals their plan to him, and he agrees to lie for them.

Paxton and Linda, who originally planned to go their separate ways, decide to reevaluate their relationship after the COVID lockdown is extended by another two weeks.

 

 

[sirens blaring]

[thunder rumbling]

[tablet chimes]

Before you say anything, I’m not your brother.​

I’m your half-brother.

What was that?

Why would you begin a conversation like that?

Because you are about to ask me for money, and when I always say, “Why should I give you money?” you always say, “Because I am your brother,” and I never point out you are my half-brother.

I never say it. But things happening around here lately…

Hi, Paxton. How are your erratic head movements?

I ask because I read an article.

Yeah, they’re under control.

How’s the, uh, cement art work?

She just sold a piece for $50,000.

A frozen waterfall.

It felt appropriate for the times.

How is it appropriate for the times?

You know what? It doesn’t matter.

I was actually calling to see how you were.

‘Cause I heard it’s bad in New York.

It is bad. They canceled the NBA.

We heard London’s under total lockdown.

I’ve been furloughed by the way.

[David] That’s great!

Yeah.

Now there is literally zero purpose to my life.

How is Linda?

Yeah, she’s somewhere in the house.

Is there some type of issue?

Is there an issue? Let me see.

Convenient lie to avoid forensic examination of our domestic circumstances or tell the truth?

Okay, convenient lie.

No. There is no issue. We are fine.

Can you tell her I’m gonna Skype her?

Also, David, I’ve sold my motorbike.

You’ve what?

Yeah, I have a buyer. He’ll pay me when we are all unlocked from this fucking prison of psychological hell-chains.

Fucking flames of burning aloneness.

The screw of isolation until you can’t tell what is your body and what is furniture.

No possibility of revving the engine and riding away. Am I conveying anything of my mood to you?

Why have you sold your bike?

You are your bike. Your bike is you.

Yeah, I have sold myself.

I have sold my former self.

I felt sorry for the bike.

It deserved someone who can do justice to its spirit.

Someone who still breaks the fucking rules.

So, you and Linda, what, you had a fight?

Linda said she was planning to end our thing, our relationship, our whatever this ever was, because we’d grown apart, meaning that she had gone up and I have gone down.

She was planning to end it before lockdown was announced.

[tablet beeping]

…droplets and moisture because we were shouting.

I said some things and she said some things and now we are stuck here together with the things we said echoing around the house like fucking bells ringing.

For two weeks we are locked together here.

[doorbell ringing]

Anyway. Truth be told, I just wanted to hear someone’s voice.

And you chose us?

Yeah, why not?

What happened to Mike? Your friend Mike.

Oh, no, no. Mike and I are no longer speaking.

He crossed… My delivery!

Crossed an important threshold when, uh, when he said that the COVID virus was the consequence of the secret release by Jews of alien DNA into the water sprinkling system of a Chinese golf resort.

[Maria] It looks like your food has arrived, so we’ll let you go.

It’s not food, it’s a sandwich.

Yeah, hang in, brother.

Half-brother.

[Maria] Tell Linda I’m gonna call her.

Yeah, I’ll leave her a note. Just to compound the oddness.

[tablet beeps]

[man on TV] The stark reality of fighting Coronavirus…

…Trafalgar Square in London usually crowded.

Evidence of social distancing in action.

In this critically important time, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself infected, but been sharing…

[muffled screaming]

[sighs]

[Skype ringtone]

Maria, hey! Is everything okay?

Oh, yeah, yeah. Everything’s great.

You know, we’re staying strong. Yeah, we just talked to Paxton.

Hmm. Yes, I head. Some of it. I put a pillow over my head.

He said you had symptoms.

It passed I think. I hope. I don’t know.

Oh, green smoothie. You must send me that recipe.

It’s not a recipe, it’s an action.

You just put the green stuff in and press the on button.

How are things with you and Paxton?

Is everything okay?

You know everything is not okay.

Not only is everything not okay, nothing is okay.

Everything is never okay. Even his name is not okay.

This is him speaking. He says even his name is a predictor of doom.

That’s how he is lately.

[sighs] He’s changed so much.

Oh, we all change.

I mean, Linda, you’ve evolved, he’s mutated.

He needs some help.

I read an article…

Do you know he said the other day that any man over 35 who rides a bus is a failure?

He rides the bus every day. Or he used to.

[Maria talking indistinctly]

He does it to torture himself.

No man is ever really fully conscious, not really.

So, I heard he’s selling his motorbike.

That’s a big step.

Yeah, we both agreed that he needed some time, so he’s planning on using the money from selling the bike to go to Kazakhstan to think about his life.

Why Kazakhstan?

We went on a road trip there ten years ago.

Ten years ago? A million years ago.

Anyway, now he is stuck here, and I am stuck here.

Linda, is there someone else?

Nope, just me and him.

No, I mean, like, another man.

No.

A woman?

What?

I was just speculating.

Thinking about that night we came to London and you and I went too far.

Oh, that was just weed and curiosity.

We both had orgasms, Linda.

You know they say these calls aren’t really the most secure.

I think about that night sometimes.

You do?

Yeah, don’t you?

Mmm… Listen, Maria, I’ve been on Skype and Zoom calls all day.

The office is locked down. I really gotta get some sleep.

Okay, bye.

Bye.

I love you.

What?

God.

[door slams]

Paxton, are you going somewhere?

Where would I be going?

Why is the hose in your exhaust?

[laughing]

I was just gonna take a selfie.

Someone at work texted me and asked how I was coping with lockdown.

So I was gonna send a photo of myself with the hose shoved up my helmet by way of reply.

I thought it’d be funny. [laughs]

An amusing expression of despair.

You were really just gonna take a selfie?

Yeah, I had the phone in my hand.

You weren’t gonna start the engine?

And go where? You can’t go anywhere.

I came in here and I could smell the garage and the bike.

And the smell… it made me very sad for some reason.

That shelf’s covered in oil, you’re gonna get your ass covered in oil.

Jesus, what a day!

Bad?

No, just work. I had some bad news.

Nothing compared to… everything.

I really was just gonna take a selfie, by the way.

“By the way,” “just so you know,” “in case you were worried.”

Just… just a little game.

Or a rehearsal.

I’m not… Please don’t think I’m looking for anything.

You know Maria just called me and said that she loves me?

What?

I know.

Secrets coming out all over the place.

You got the key to get back in?

No.

I’ll leave the door open for you.

What’s wrong?

You playing with the hoses and exhausts and we carry on as if everything was normal.

I’m not normal lately, I know that.

I haven’t been sleeping at all.

I’ve never been normal, but…

I used to be quite proud of it. Now, I just…

Just what?

I don’t know.

I’m just acutely aware of the inconvenience it causes.

My super analysis of every grain of sand.

Every word.

Being locked up is making it worse.

We have to find some way of getting through this separately.

We’re only together because we’re in the same house.

We can sort of move around each other until we’re free…

What? What is it?

Oh, nothing. [clears throat]

Good night.

It’s a bit of Christmas decoration.

It’s been there since Christmas.

My therapist says I should try to tolerate it.

To use it as a test.

Up until now, I’ve been able to live with it, as a test to prove my progress.

Well, fuck progress.

Why don’t you take it down?

No, my therapist says…

Fuck the therapist. Paxton…

You almost did.

Grow up. Take it down.

If it bothers you, take it down, okay?

Christmas is not exactly a great memory anyway, is it?

Christmas is not a great memory. I agree with you.

Beginning of the end for us, don’t you think?

That was way before Christmas for me.

Sorry.

Why do people think honesty is good?

What are you doing about therapy anyway?

I’m doing it on Zoom.

My therapist has antlers on his wall.

[laughs]

These are extraordinary circumstances, Paxton.

You can’t live with a woman who has dumped you and a piece of tinsel on the ceiling.

Have we decided to laugh about all this?

Why not?

Nothing else we can do there, is there?

Do you want a chair?

Sure.

[grunts]

[Paxton chuckles]

[claps]

Bravo.

Fuck! That’s better.

Hang on.

You know, when I saw you in the garage I thought…

“Was it really me on the back of your bike all those years ago?”

Yeah, it was you.

Hanging on and screaming.

Well, that’s what I’m doing now.

Hanging on and screaming, but you can’t hear me.

Nobody can. Anyway, good night.

Screaming about what?

What are you screaming about? I’m the one that’s screaming!

[woman] Hello, stranger!

[Linda] Hi.

How are you?

[Linda] Terrible. You?

Awful.

[Paxton] Hello!

Does anyone here in our lovely Portland Street prison want to hear a little poem?

I read a lot of poetry and I’ve read even more lately ’cause I can’t sleep.

It’s actually quite a nice way to discover that you’re not the only human being on earth who’s fucked up.

[Linda] Paxton!

What the fuck are you doing?

[Paxton] I’m entertaining our fellow inmates.

This poem is called Stand Up!

It’s by D.H. Lawrence, by the way.

“By the way,” “just so you know,” “in case you were worried.”

All right, here goes.

“Stand up, but not for Jesus!

It’s a little late for that.

Stand up for justice and a jolly life.

I’ll hold your hat.

Stand up, stand up for justice, ye swindled little blokes!

Stand up and do some punching, give ’em a few hard pokes.

Stand up for a new arrangement for a chance of life all round, for freedom and the fun of living, break in, and hold the ground!”

[people clapping]

[chuckles]

Thank you.

Sorry if I woke you.

But I am going slightly mad lately.

My advice to everyone is to use these strange times we’re all going through to steal all the things that you think life owes you.

[man] Go to sleep, you bloody tosser!

Yeah, well, if I could I would.

[man] Hey, leave him be, mate!

And if I come across any other good poems, I’ll share it.

[woman] We love it!

Good night, Portland Street.

[man] Night, night!

[woman] Thank you!

[grunts]

God, please let me sleep.

[glass shatters]

[indistinct conversation]

[girl] I swear to God!

What the fuck are you doing in my garden?

You all right?

We’re just gathering these.

They’re just poppies.

They’re bulbs of poppies.

All the dealers in our estate have been arrested, because they’re the only people out on the streets, innit?

With these poppy bulbs, you can make a sort of opium.

You just slit the skins and juice comes out.

How did you know they were here?

We live in that tower block up there, bro.

Friend of ours has a telescope. He’s into stars and shit.

We’ve been looking down on houses for a laugh.

Looking through windows and then we saw all these growing in your garden.

What the fuck are they all doing growing in my garden?

[girl] I think hippies used to squat in these houses in the ’70s.

I think they grew them and they just went wild.

How do you refine the juice?

You don’t. You just drip it onto tobacco and then smoke it.

Or you can mix it with Coca-Cola if you want and drink it.

Yeah, well, I don’t smoke anymore or drink Coca-Cola, or do drugs of any kind, but back in the bad old days I did smoke quite a lot of heroin.

This is not as strong as heroin.

It’s quite a gentle hit.

It’s organic, bro.

Organic?

Yeah.

That would explain the hedgehog.

[laughs] There’s a hedgehog in this garden who is unusually friendly and relaxed.

Would a very small amount help you sleep, do you think?

[boy] You sleep like a baby. Smooths everything out.

No mean voices in the night.

No mean voices in the night.

That would be nice. Well, well, well.

[snores]

[alarm beeping]

[alarm beeping]

[groans]

Paxton!

[groans]

[alarm continues beeping]

Paxton, for fuck’s sake!

[alarm continues]

[exhales]

[laptop chimes]

Hey, Toby!

Hi.

Hey, how’s the cough?

A bit better I think. How are you?

I had it I think, but it’s passed.

I hope. [chuckles] It’s like a Valkyrie.

What?

It’s a Viking spirit who, before battles, decides who will live and who will die.

Valkyries, uh, make their choices with no reason.

No morality, no good or bad.

It’s just so unfair how some people get so sick and some don’t.

Toby, you’re back. How are you?

Gangster. Thank you.

Hello!

Donald!

[laughs] You got a tie on.

One of my father’s old ones.

I’ve become nostalgic for old-fashioned formality.

On these Zoom things, I always imagine every man has an erection.

Ooh!

[laughter]

Donald, is that your house?

Uh, no. I’m at my mother’s. Anthony threw me out.

Oh! That’s not allowed, is it?

We had an awful night, and everything came out.

We found out we, uh, hate each other. So…

[laptop chimes]

[Melissa] Hi!

Uh, Melissa. Hey, how is Italy? I hear it’s bad there.

No, I’m in Sweden.

What?

Look.

You can go to bars here.

Hmm. Is anybody obeying the rules?

[vomiting]

[groans]

[coughs]

[flushing]

After ten years sober, that was fucking smart.

[coughs]

Wait, who are we waiting for?

Timothy, I think.

Oh, is Timothy okay?

Why wouldn’t he be?

Well, he’s got an underlying health condition.

Do you know which one?

No.

He just seemed like a sort of person who would have an underlying health condition.

Shall we just start without Timothy?

By the way, I am also wearing shoes.

[laughs]

[Linda] Seriously, we should start.

I have something to say. Something important.

[clears throat]

[cell phone chimes]

Oh, um, hang on. Oh, it’s a message from Timothy.

God!

Has he got it?

“Dear, Linda. As of 9:00 a.m. this morning, I am resigning my position at Miracore Media with immediate effect. I have had time alone to think and I’ve realized that what this company does is just self-indulgent media bullshit, supporting corrosive international capitalism around the world. We should be using our creativity to save the planet, not sell handbags to the wives of fascist dictators. Yours in isolation. Timothy.”

Just been watching David Attenborough documentaries, I imagine.

Did he snap?

Okay, so there’s no need to wait for Timothy.

Let’s get this done.

Sounds awfully grave, Linda.

[kid] Daddy, Daddy.

Shh. Daddy’s on a call.

[indistinct talking]

Yesterday, I had a very long Zoom call with head office in Chicago.

All continents were represented.

And it seems that all over the world the company is facing the same issues at this difficult time.

As CEO of Miracore UK, it is my… unfortunate duty to let you know that there will be some furloughing of employees across the board.

And also a number of compulsory redundancies effective from today.

I assume the Inuit system of leaving the old on the ice will be in play.

Donald, please don’t jump to conclusions.

Linda, what do you mean?

Uh, in normal times, I would’ve gathered everyone into a room…

[Natasha] Everyone?

[Toby shushing]

Everyone on this Zoom call is on this call because all of your positions have been deemed no longer sustainable, and as of today your contracts of employment with Miracore will be terminated.

Okay.

I’m glad I’m home.

I’m going to feed the fucking chickens.

This is really bad, Linda. How do you sleep?

[kid] Hello!

[softly] Hello.

[kid] Look at my dinosaur.

Daddy…

Malcolm, I thought being furloughed meant that the government pays your wages, but you don’t do any work.

[Malcolm] Yeah, it does, it does, it does.

But COVID makes everything different.

So sad. So sad.

All of this is impacting on everyone in my pastoral care.

Yeah, but I’m not in your pastoral care, right?

I work for you.

And all I wanna know is, if I am furloughed, why are you asking me to work?

It’s illegal, isn’t it?

I’m a Christian man.

We all know that you are a Christian man.

You say it like I ram it down your throats.

I do not ram it down your fucking throat.

Malcolm, just tell me, what is it that you want me to do?

We have a situation, Paxton.

Yeah, I’m leaving this call unless you tell me.

I sat through your prayer.

I begin every FaceTime with a prayer.

My choice. Right? I’m the boss.

Yeah, you are the boss. So what do you want me to do, boss?

Due to lockdown, all the major department stores in the West End are closing.

B2B Pro Freight Services are among several freight companies which have been asked to transport valuable retail items from the West End outlets

to secure storage facilities in shitholes like Dagenham.

The fabric, Paxton, of our society is torn, you see that.

Fears of rioting and looting. Pestilence. Apocalyptic words.

I’m giving you ten seconds to tell me what it is you want me to do.

Ten, nine, eight…

Because of this crisis, we urgently need drivers.

Drivers like you.

…seven, six, five…

Department stores only allow their goods to be transported by drivers who do not have criminal records.

…three, two…

I repeat.

B2B Pro Freight Services have urgent need for drivers registered to us who do not have criminal records.

So why are you talking to me?

I have contracts to carry valuables from 16 department stores across London, and they all want everything out in the next four days.

And I only have two fucking drivers.

So what’s your solution?

Deception. Forgiveness. Redemption. Bunce.

What the fuck is bunce?

Old East End word for cash, Paxton, in return for grand deception.

Facilitated by my forgiveness and your redemption.

All right, get there. Get there, Malcolm.

I’ve printed off an ID with a security level A2.

Clean. With your photo on it and a name.

It is not your name.

I can’t officially take you off furlough and give you this work, because you used to be a bike slag, so I will have to pretend you are someone else and pay you in cash.

You’ve worked for this company as a driver for seven years.

And I have never had a single complaint.

You’ve only ever driven low value packages, but I believe you are a man who can be trusted.

That I am.

Yeah, I can be trusted.

I mean, what happened was a long time ago.

Yeah, I don’t wanna to know.

No, it was biker versus biker.

The Lord forgives. B2B Pro Freight Services forgives.

If it wasn’t for the fucking convictions from that night, my whole life would’ve been radically different.

Two hundred a day in cash.

I don’t care about the cash. I wanna make a deal with you, Malcolm.

Look, I will do this on the condition that when this is all over, you will consider me for a clerical position.

My entire life has been fucked up because of things I did on one night.

My wife…

[cell phone ringing]

My wife has grown out of me, because I am still Mr. Fuck-All behind the wheel of a van.

I am not stupid.

I read poetry.

I could be someone.

I’ve got another call, Paxton.

It is a very busy time, the West End is going mad.

Will you do it?

All right, if I do this for you, Malcolm, I want you to practice what you preach.

About forgiveness, and lost sheep and redemption, all of it, and give me a chance to come off the road.

Everything is possible, Paxton.

God bless you.

Selfridges, Thursday. Harvey Nichols, Friday. Harrods on Saturday.

Right, yeah.

I will e-mail your full itinerary and your new identity.

Okay, okay. And after… After Harrods on Saturday…

God bless you, Paxton.

[call ends]

[sighs]

Shit.

[Skype ringtone on laptop]

Hey, Linda, how’s lockdown?

[chuckles] It’s pretty bad.

How’s Chicago?

I’m in Vermont.

Yeah, moved the family out to Vermont.

We’re all here crazy happy.

Kids make a lot of noise, so I got these new AirPods Pro.

Noise canceling. They work, like, you literally can’t hear anything.

No, I don’t have those.

I can see in your face that you, uh, spoke to the guys at Events and delivered the update.

Update. Yeah. Yeah, I updated them.

[clears throat]

Did you read them my message?

The stuff about the Miracore family?

No, no, no, I didn’t think that would translate. Um…

Linda, I wrote that message from the heart. I really meant what I said.

I can’t believe you didn’t read it out to them.

I didn’t think it was appropriate to say that “Miracore is a family and there comes a time in every family’s life when it’s best if some family members fly the nest.”

Why is that not appropriate?

Because they’re not flying the nest, are they?

They’re being thrown out of the nest into the long grass under the tree.

There’s no tree. What tree?

It’s your nest, Guy. You came up with the analogy of the nest.

So there has to be a tree.

Do you have a temperature, Linda?

Um, there are two big events which were already set up when lockdown began.

One was at Westfield,

the other one was the Eve Schwarz store takeover at Harrods.

But both Westfield and Harrods have closed their door.

I love Harrods.

Yeah, I love Harrods, too.

I worked there for five years, they were the happiest of my life.

Anyway, the launch of Eve Schwarz collection was going to be huge, so I chose Harrods because of its size and level of security.

You chose? I thought Melissa was head of events strategy.

Yeah. Sometimes I questioned her… It doesn’t matter.

You’ve been carrying that department a long time.

Yeah, well, they were family, weren’t they?

And that’s what you do with family.

You carry them until you get a direction from Chicago to drop them, and then you dutifully drop them.

Anyway, at Harrods, we have five million dollars worth of jewelry, clothing and accessories already installed for the catwalk and store takeover under Miracore liability.

And that includes the Harris Diamond which was to be the centerpiece of the show.

The Harris Diamond is under our insurance liability?

It’s, um… It’s safe in the Harrods’ secure vault, but, yes.

I suggested to the people at Eve Schwarz that we put everything into Harrods’ secure storage as quickly as possible [chuckles lightly] until this, um…

Uh, until this situation is ended.

But we have a problem with insurance. You see…

Uh…

So, Eve Schwarz’s insurance policy means that they are not allowed to store their merchandise except under their own corporate supervision.

So the merchandise will have to be taken out of the store in secure transportation.

Anyway, the stores are allocating for collection.

We have Westfield on Friday, Harrods on Saturday.

And then we discuss your role and your salary.

[mouthing]

There’ll be a lot of new responsibilities.

Things are changing.

That’s excellent news. Thank you.

[in British accent] Say hello to London.

Enjoy Vermont.

[in normal accent] You bet.

What? Oh, fuck! Quinn!

[call ends]

[laughs]

[knock on door]

[Paxton] I’m going to the land of the Walking Dead to buy some milk.

Do we need anything else?

I say the word “we” without any attempt to suggest a unified entity, but there’s no point in us both going separately to get our own provisions.

It’s getting rough out there.

And increasingly, I think people like me who have spent time in real prison are thriving in this new reality.

Oh, you know what, Paxton, fuck it. Come in.

All right, Paxton, here it is. In addition to milk, I need cigarettes.

What?

I was trying to hide that I’m smoking again, but since we’re no longer together, it doesn’t really matter, does it?

You are smoking?

Yes. I plan to carry on just until this thing is over.

It’s magnificent, actually.

And when did you start smoking again?

Just before Christmas.

Why?

I started smoking again when I went to Paris.

You went to Paris?

Yes, I went to Paris.

I didn’t tell you I went to Paris.

Michael Essien invited me to Paris and I went.

Okay, my therapist identifies these moments as confession avalanche.

Who the fuck is Michael Essien?

He is the founder of Miracore, seventh wealthiest man in Germany.

And you went to Paris with him?

Not quite.

He invited the CEOs from six countries to come to Paris for his 60th birthday celebration.

Do you mind if I light this thing? I’ve put it out twi…

And, you know what? Actually, it’s my choice. Why am I even asking?

When I got to the hotel, there was this banqueting suite and I met six other CEOs just like me, only I had just become a CEO, so I didn’t realize exactly who I was until I saw the other CEOs, and then I was like, “Oh, so that’s who I am now.”

And we sat around this table, drinking champagne, and the conversation was lots of little voices saying “yes,” and one big voice saying “good,” Michael Essien’s voice.

And then the big voice said, “Emerging markets” and I…

You know how sometimes when people say something abstract, I actually see it?

Well, we did smoke a lot of weed in the bad old days.

When he said “Emerging markets,” I saw this… thing, this shape appearing from under the table and swimming around our legs.

I think I actually did have a temperature that night. But, anyway, then he said “Cigarettes and pharmaceuticals,” and I drank some champagne and someone said “facilitators,” that is people who persuade governments that products are safe and okay.

And the big voice said that facilitators were now a huge link in the chain and I saw this big chain dripping seaweed and then the big voice raised a toast to corruption, and everybody laughed ironically, including me.

Paxton, look at me!

And this thing, this shape, it was swimming around my fucking legs and then the big voice said, emerging market were now some big percentage of Miracore’s profits, and so there would have to be rationalization in Europe.

And I drank some water, because I felt a little sick, but also like I might pass out, but then the waiter said “brandy,” so I said yes.

And, so, the rationalization was planned right there at that table in Paris before Christmas.

And the nice people that I fired earlier today, they weren’t fired because of a virus, like I told them, that was a lie. They were fired because of this… this thing, this shape, that swam with me all the way back to my room, and to get rid of it, I used the disgusting glass swan to smash a full length mirror, and rather then walk across broken glass all night, I decided to take the last train home to London, and when I got to the Gare du Nord station, a homeless woman came up to me and asked me for a cigarette.

I told her that I didn’t smoke, but I decided to buy her a pack anyway, because I thought that maybe kindness might make me feel better about what I had become. And when she lit her cigarette, I decided to have a cigarette, too.

And when I drew in the smoke, the thing stopped swimming.

So I sat down on the bench and I waited for my train.

And that is why I started to smoke again.

But… to complete the answer to your original question, in addition to milk and cigarettes, we need bread and fucking wine.

God!

God what?

Well, it sounds like you did have a temperature.

You know, they say this thing was around before Christmas.

Paxton, no! It’s not about the virus.

It’s about me realizing who I am and what I do for a living.

Although a complete re-examination of one’s life does seem to be a COVID side effect.

You smashed a mirror?

Yeah.

Yeah, because I was in it.

I also smashed a champagne bottle, some champagne glasses, and I was about to smash a glass horse and jockey, but then I decided to keep it, but then I left it on the fucking train.

Basically, I went, what you used to call, “Full Viking.”

In fact, when I broke the mirror and I saw my furious face in the cracked glass, I thought of you.

[chuckles] That’s very sweet. Thank you.

Why didn’t you tell me?

It was the onset of winter. Our winter.

And anyway, I didn’t tell anybody, because if you don’t tell anybody, then it didn’t happen.

Did you get a bill for the mirror?

Paxton…

Paxton, fuck the mirror. It’s not about the mirror, it’s about…

Previously, at this point,

I would’ve hugged you.

No, really, there’s no need.

And anyway, besides, you’re going shopping.

So, uh, milk, bread, wine, cigarettes.

And probably eggs.

I’m gonna put white flour on the list.

I’m gonna make bread.

Please don’t.

You know… what you just said wasn’t a confession.

I didn’t say it was a confession.

‘Cause you didn’t do anything wrong.

No, it was an explanation.

You did everything right.

You wanna hear a confession?

This morning I overslept, because last night I took opium.

[laughs] Yes!

Yes.

Much worse than your cigarettes.

I licked opium off little green bulbs from the garden.

No, you didn’t.

Yes, I did.

Our garden is full of heroin.

You go beyond the washing line, it’s like the Helmand Province.

After ten years, Paxton?

Smoking isn’t so great either.

You know, I’ve had some setbacks lately.

Yeah, well, you know what, Paxton?

You know that green smoothie that I have in the mornings since Paris, there’s two shots of vodka in it.

Just two but…

You are lying.

No, I’m not.

Not every morning, but some mornings I do it. I have done it.

You think I’m so happy and normal is ’cause I keep getting promoted.

People get confused.

No, I’ve never accused you of being happy and normal, Linda.

‘Cause I’m not! All right? I see concepts.

I should’ve been an artist.

You are unhappy in an outwardly “happy, let’s pretend it’s all fine” female way, and I am unhappy in an obviously thwarted, unfulfilled, castrated male way.

I can’t. I can’t.

Do not go down this road again, okay?

Just go to the store. Milk, bread, wine, cigarettes, eggs.

Yeah, and fuck you, I’m buying flour.

Fine! Wait. Do you have a mask?

No, I don’t have a mask, no.

Well, you’ll have to tie something around your mouth and nose.

Fuck!

My old bandana.

Hmm. Yeah, well, it’s no longer a symbol of rebellion.

It’s now government advice.

You were wearing that when I met you in Sturgis, South Dakota.

I thought you looked like a desperado.

No, I was just trying to get the dust out of my mouth.

Don’t spoil it.

Don’t forget the milk and the eggs, Desperado.

[imitates gun whooshing]

[piano music playing]

Oi! Move forward.

Oi!

Go ahead then.

[Paxton] Fuck off.

Oi. How many asses have you got?

[man] Fuck off!

[piano music continues]

[mouse clicking]

[knock on door]

Paxton.

Hearing the story about Paris out loud, it made me think…

When lockdown’s over, I’m going to think about leaving Miracore.

[exhales]

Why are you telling me?

[ringing]

[sighs]

You called?

Oh, Lord who art in heaven, I beseech you, look favorably upon Paxton and myself and forgive us the sin of deception which we are jointly about to commit in pursuit of his ultimate redemption. Amen.

Amen.

Every prayer is tailored to suit the person I am calling.

Either it’s me writing the words or it’s Jesus.

What do you want, Malcolm?

I’ve got your fake ID sorted.

Virginia is delivering the ID card.

I wanted to make sure you’d be in.

You know what, Malcolm? Everybody’s in.

And I’ve sent you your new name.

I texted it to you. It’s on your phone.

Okay.

A new name for the beginning of a new life.

And my new name is…

Edgar Allen Poe.

[Malcolm] Yeah.

Yeah, uh…

Yeah. Malcolm, I obviously can’t use this name.

Why not?

I’m hoping this is a joke, but I know you, so it’s probably not.

What joke?

Okay.

Edgar Allan Poe is the name of a famous, like a… like a very famous American novelist and poet.

Never heard of him.

Well, I assure you, Edgar Allan Poe is actually a very famous American writer who I’m actually very fond of.

It was me that came up with Edgar.

It’s my grandad’s name.

So who came up with the “Allen Poe” part?

Martin in dispatch.

Fuck.

Martin in dispatch hates me.

He’s deliberately suggested this to make my life strange and unbearable.

Well, the card’s already been laminated.

Malcolm, I can’t go into expensive department stores in the West End, right, and expect them to entrust me with valuable clothing and jewelry, and tell them that my name is Edgar Allen fucking Poe!

If he’s so famous, how come I’ve never heard of him?

‘Cause you don’t read books!

I read the Good Book.

But he’s not in the Bible, obviously. He’s an American.

Anybody here ever heard of a writer called Edgar Allan Poe?

No?

No one. There you go.

[Paxton] I know there’s no one there.

They are all working from home.

Martin’s here.

This was his idea!

Well, the card’s already been laminated.

[sighs]

All right, look, I grant you that 90% of the security guards working the night shift in the West End would not have heard of Edgar Allan Poe.

Basically dealing with robots.

But I am an unlucky person.

Fate has a way of doing these little experiments on me.

Card’s already laminated and Martin has a new name badge made for your uniform.

It’s all in the envelope.

By some chance, choosing the name of a gloomy, introspective peddler of darkness is actually quite appropriate to my character, but please… just give me a new card under a different name.

The robots don’t give a fuck about the name, they just look at the photo.

You are due at Selfridges’ loading bay B at 1800 hours tonight.

Wear your uniform with your name tag.

Flash your ID.

Look, if you want to back out, say so now.

I can’t get into trouble again, all right?

This could be construed as deception and attempted robbery.

You counted me down, I’ll count you down, you fucker.

Five, four, three, two…

Fuck! All right, all right. I’ll do it.

Good.

Details are on the text. God bless you, Paxton.

[call ends]

[doorbell chiming]

[sighs] No need to sign. I know him.

Are you his other half?

[Linda] Yes, yes, I am.

[Virginia] He’s so dry, isn’t he?

Yes, he is. [laughs]

[Virginia] Hello, Paxton.

I was just saying you’re very funny.

Yes, I am. I am hilarious.

[Virginia] We think he’s too clever to be driving vans.

We don’t know why he doesn’t get a better job.

Well, that’s easy.

It’s ’cause ten years ago, I beat a man senseless in a bikers’ roadhouse in Watford.

[laughs] See?

He’s always saying silly things.

He’s so dry.

[Paxton] Give my regards to Martin, would you, Virginia?

[Virginia] Mmm-hmm.

Tell him this won’t be forgotten.

Okay.

See you when the madness is over.

Yeah, well, for some of us, the madness never ends.

[Virginia laughs]

[door closes, locks]

Never forget, the man you beat senseless deserved it.

Please don’t talk about people deserving things.

If it wasn’t for you, a little man called Archie Bruce would be dead.

What you want, justice next?

I know that you had a bad break, but going forward…

“Going forward”?

When lockdown is over and we are apart, you have to stop believing that fate is against you. Okay?

You have to stop believing the name Paxton is a precursor of doom.

Yes, well, my name isn’t Paxton.

Yeah.

[steam hisses]

[Linda groans]

Paxton, you can’t go through with this, you’re gonna get caught.

If you’re doing it for cash, I’ll give you the cash.

I am not doing it for the cash.

I’m doing it for the opportunity to have a better life.

But why am I telling you?

[chuckles]

[sighs] Fuck.

[rain pattering]

[man] Paxton.

[motorbike revving in distance]

[Paxton exhales]

[brakes screeching]

Oh!

Oh.

Fuck ’em.

And Linda seemed kind of detached from the whole thing.

Hey.

Detached?

Hi, Linda.

We were talking about you.

We were all just saying that we love that you’re always so professional.

Detached from what whole thing?

I was saying you handled the situation with Events without too much feeling getting in the way.

You fired them well.

I did. Thank you.

Good.

Linda, is that a glass of wine?

Oh, yes, yeah, it is.

Well… it says wine on the label but it tastes like something used to clean something off of a surface.

Paxton chose it.

Who’s Paxton?

[Linda] Mmm, anyway… we have a problem, so shall we get on?

Hello, Martin.

Hello, Edgar.

You know, from my observation of you since I joined the company, you represent the longest and most well-managed nervous breakdown in history.

Why don’t you go somewhere warm and count your grievances?

I’ve disinfected the van for you.

Everything you need is in there.

You know, when Malcolm told me he was giving you an A2 security clearance, I advised him against it.

B2B normally keep lowlifes like you away from high-value cargo for a reason…

Temptation.

You forgot to put the keys to the van inside the envelope, Martin.

I’ve read your human resources profile.

My personal record is meant to be confidential, but for your personal record, Martin, I’m a different person now. Give me the fucking keys.

Perhaps Malcolm didn’t tell you.

The estimated value of tonight’s cargo out of Selfridges is £50,000.

The value of your collection from Harvey Nichols on Friday is just under £100,000.

But on Saturday night, when you go to Harrods, you’ll be driving away from the world’s most glamorous department store with jewelry and accessories in your van worth over three million pounds.

Now think on this.

You’ll be wearing a mask and gloves, you’ll be using a false identity.

Outside, the streets will be empty.

Store security on quarter staff with big holes caused by absences.

What more could a lowlife need to pull off the perfect robbery.

You refer to me as “lowlife” one more time…

You’ll what? Revert to type.

Okay, here goes, one more time.

Lowlife.

You know, Malcolm told me that if you do okay in the next few nights, he’s gonna put you in customer services.

Goin’ out and meeting clients.

‘Cause you’re so funny and you’re so dry and you make the girls laugh.

Whereas I’ve been stuck in dispatches for seven and a half years.

You have to stop thinking the whole world’s against you, Martin.

Do it, Paxton.

Take the opportunity that fate has given you.

[wind howling]

Exactly how much product do Eve Schwarz have in Harrods?

Uh, approximately three million pounds’ jewelry and accessories.

Harrods wants everything out of the store and it’s our responsibility…

Oh, you’ve frozen, Linda.

[Linda] Can you hear me?

Yeah, I can hear you, just your face is frozen.

You’ve got this look of exasperation.

Uh, someone’s gonna have to go into Harrods and pack the valuables up and check the inventory and count everything out.

And it’s gonna have to be someone that we trust.

Someone who is familiar with the stock, and knows how the Harrods system works.

So that means, inevitably, it’s going to be me, isn’t it?

Okay, but there’s this, another second reason for this call.

Michael Essien has decided. He wants to give you a promotion.

[woman] He wants to bring you home.

Back to New York to run the East Coast.

Uh…

Wow, God. Um…

Exciting.

A unexpected turn of events

and cheap wine don’t pair well together.

Um, I’m gonna have to, uh, really think about this.

Uh, right, good night.

Yeah, thank you.

I mean… [hesitates]

[man] Linda, it’s exciting…

[line disconnects]

[Linda exclaims]

A frozen look of exasperation.

[man on radio] …and that is his second son, Carl Philipp Emauel Bach and here’s his Symphony No. 4.

[classical music playing on radio]

[clanging]

It’s just that after our call last night, we became worried about Paxton’s state of mind.

We worry that he might implode or explode.

[Maria] Knowing Paxton, he’ll probably implode rather than explode.

What’s the difference?

[Maria] When you implode, you withdraw within yourself, when you explode, you impose yourself on the outer world.

David, for example, when he gets angry, he implodes.

When I get angry, I explode.

I can also explode if I have to.

Rarely.

[chuckles] You’ve obviously never seen me in business meetings.

Well, actually I have. Since lockdown.

[David] You’ve heard me through the wall, you haven’t seen me.

[Maria] Okay, then, I haven’t heard you explode.

I’ve actually been very surprised about how submissive you are in meetings.

Submissive?

You’re the boss, David, you should act like the boss.

Anyway, just to reassure you, Paxton’s okay.

[indistinct argument]

In fact, Paxton maybe getting a promotion.

Linda, are you drinking alone?

No, I’ve got three firemen waiting for me in the kitchen.

Since lockdown, David has been drinking so much more.

Yes, David, isn’t it wonderful?

We now keep a record. We count the bottles.

I don’t care.

Your body cares.

Your body counts the bottles and keeps an inventory in you liver.

David, my fellow drinker, I’d like to tell you a secret.

What secret?

You know, Linda, there have been many occasions in my life where I’ve had a few glasses of wine and in the next morning, I woke up like, “Golly. Wow. I wish I hadn’t said that.”

Oh, I’ve done that so many times, too.

You know, my mantra is, secrets and wine don’t go great together.

Let her tell me the secret.

I think he’s gonna like this secret.

I think you’re gonna like this secret, David, very much.

Something he’s gonna like, you don’t know.

No, he might not.

What the fuck are you two talking about?

[Linda] The secret is this.

He might not be in a place

where it’s okay. He watches Fox.

It is I who am buying Paxton’s motorbike.

[David] What?

When he said he was selling it, I arranged a dealer to buy it anonymously.

I’m gonna buy it and give it back to him.

My parting gift.

For a while I’ve known I had to leave him.

But…

But losing the bike, yeah, that’s too much.

And the bike means something to me, too.

You know, youth.

Cigarettes. Bad, bad wine chosen by Paxton.

[sighs]

[David] Wow, that’s…

Linda, that’s awesome.

But here’s the thing, David. I want you to tell him that it’s you who is buying the bike and giving it back to him. I don’t want him to know that it’s me.

[David] Why?

It’ll hurt him less.

He really is quite prehistoric.

[breathes heavily]

I’m a bit drunk and I hate people

who get emotional on these things, so…

[call ends]

[exhales]

[sobbing]

Fuck.

[saucepans clanging]

[woman] Making noise for the NHS.

[man on radio] We’ve got Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

[horn honking]

[Paxton] Whoo!

[classical music playing]

[yelling]

Whoo!

[horn honking]

[yelling]

[people cheering]

Hey.

Couldn’t sleep.

If the wine didn’t work, go and lick the garden.

[Linda chuckles] How was it tonight?

Every security person I met was under the age of 12, and every one of them was too busy playing Fortnite to fully acknowledge my ID.

Anyway, I think for the young generation, great literature is dead.

I could have had an ID card with William Shakespeare on it.

[chuckles] How many more pick-ups do you have?

Um, tomorrow, Harvey Nichols and then, Saturday, Harrods.

[gulps]

[coughs] Harrods? Saturday night?

It’s all gone mad out there.

One of the security guards was telling me about franchise managers are taking out diamond rings and watches in plastic bags and getting into Ubers.

What are you taking out of Harrods?

I don’t know.

Martin says it’s over three million pounds worth.

No co-drivers ’cause of COVID.

Carrying it to where?

Uh, the docket says Heathrow. Ten o’clock flight to New York.

Harrods to Heathrow, Saturday night, three million pounds, ten o’clock flight.

Look, there’s the hedgehog.

Oh, no, he’s gone.

[rain pattering]

Ah, he’s gone.

How was your evening?

Okay, um, Paxton. Here it is.

You can’t do that pick-up at Harrods on Saturday.

You really can’t.

What are you talking about?

Okay, do you remember once I asked you, do you believe in God, and you said that you believe that he’s busy on another project, but occasionally he puts his head around the door?

Well, I think this may be one of those occasions, ’cause God or fate or the virus or somebody put our paths on the cross.

[inhales]

On Saturday, I will be in Harrods packing up the cargo that you are due to carry.

Fuck.

What are you talkin’ about? I… I have to do the pick-up.

If you do, you will be caught.

It doesn’t matter what name you’re using.

It’s a fake name and I have implemented cross-checks.

You won’t make it past the door.

I know, because it’s my system that will stop you!

I’m sorry. And what the fuck, don’t even begin.

I can’t fucking get anywhere!

I mean…

Can’t you just tell them that you know me?

That…

That you know I can be trusted. That I am your…

That I was your partner.

What?

It doesn’t work like that.

And I…

Since joining Miracore three years ago, I haven’t told anyone I have a partner.

Partly because I wanted to keep work separate.

Yeah, but mostly because you were embarrassed to have a partner that drives a van.

Yes. All of the above. I… [exhales]

But now, I am looking at myself.

Since lockdown, I’m looking back at myself like that was then and this is now.

Well, good for you, Linda, but if I don’t make this collection on Saturday night, then, not only will Malcolm not promote me, he will fire me.

I could always start dealing heroin.

Lowlife is lowlife.

No job. No bike.

No you.

When I worked at Harrods, I had so much fun.

I knew everyone. Everyone knew me.

Most of them still work there…

Is there any possibility we might get back to me for a moment?

I mean, I’m the one whose life is fucked.

No, no, this is about you.

All right, I know all the security guards, everyone.

I know the security systems.

So?

So there is a way for you to make your pick-up at Harrods and deliver to Heathrow without getting caught.

You will get your promotion and I will get my stock removed and no one will know.

But we will be breaking the law.

So you’re gonna have to do absolutely everything I tell you to do.

[alarm ringing]

[Michael] Michael Morgan. Acting Deputy Head, Harrods’ Events Security.

Yes, you are in my old department.

How’s life at Harrods?

I only just joined. I used to be in the Royal Navy.

Oh, quite a change then.

Not really. No, Harrods is like a big ship.

[Linda] Oh. Okay.

I mean, there are, obviously, huge differences.

Of course.

Yeah, and not just in terms of the shape of the building or the fact that it doesn’t float.

You know, it’s…

Oh, yeah.

Yeah, the working environment must be very different, I imagine.

Yes, it is. Lot of women here.

Yeah.

Yes.

Yeah, on the ship, there was only four.

And, uh, two of them were called Karen.

Called them Karen one and Karen two.

I think Kate’s meant to be joining us?

Kate Smith, yes, from Events.

Oh.

When I knew her, she was Kate Wiley.

She must have gotten married.

Yeah, she did get married, yeah, but it all went horribly wrong, I think.

Oh, sorry to hear that.

What happened?

I don’t know. They don’t talk to me about that sort of thing.

[laptop chimes]

Linda!

Katie!

Oh my God, Oh, my God. How are you?

Oh, my gosh. You know, I’m surviving.

Linda, you have gone off like a rocket!

Oh, stop.

I mean, my God.

When they said CEO Miracore, I thought, “Okay, God, some bald man,” but then I saw your name.

[Linda laughs]

Linda was just asking what went wrong with your marriage. She… was just askin’.

No. No, no, no. I wasn’t. I didn’t.

When a man is shorter than you and then suddenly decides to let his beard grow very, very long and then becomes obsessed with so called “white magic,” it can just get very creepy very quickly.

[Linda chuckles]

Anyway, what can we do for you?

[Linda] I have an update about the Eve Schwarz clear-out on Saturday.

You see, all the secure freight companies have been booked and it looks like our logistics department was late to the party.

Eve Schwarz, Miracore. Here it is.

They’ve booked a freight company that I’ve never used before, so that’s why I’m anxious.

Lime green is the color and, uh…

[Katie] So you’re anxious about the freight company?

It’s gonna be green arrows pointing…

So if it’s okay with you, I know the Harrods security system and I’d like to run the checks on the driver myself.

Oh, no, no, that’s Imran’s job. That’s…

Do you remember Imran, Linda?

I love Imran…

Imran is now head of Events security.

He’s Michael’s boss.

You got any questions. I can handle everything.

Let me text him now.

Don’t, I’m gonna be the one with the arrows. So…

[knock on door]

[door opens]

Okay. Done.

Tomorrow, I’ll run you through the system myself and then get you into the store.

After that, what can go wrong?

Hey, great. Thanks.

I really appreciate you doing this for me.

What’s the matter?

I don’t know.

Days are passing quickly.

When I woke up this morning, it really hit me for the first time.

The reality of what’s happening hit me.

The lockdown will eventually end.

Then…

the love of my life will be gone.

Paxton, you will move on from this. You will heal.

There’ll be a huge hole in my life.

You’ll change and grow. And…

Eventually you’ll… you’ll meet someone else.

You were talking about the bike, weren’t you?

Yeah. Why?

[chuckles] The bike is one of the loves of my life.

And I am one of the holes?

Obviously you’re the biggest hole.

Oh, why, thank you.

[Paxton laughs]

I was gonna take the bike out today.

The streets are completely deserted.

I was gonna call it “Lockdown-one-last-ride.”

I thought maybe…

Oh, no, I can’t go with you, Paxton.

No. I have an important meeting.

An open road and a broken heart.

Don’t kill yourself.

Linda!

Michael.

How are you coping?

You know, it’s been quite difficult.

[laughs] I can imagine.

Mmm.

[motorbike engine starts]

You know, I’m locked up on a mountaintop with only eagles and bears and my family for company.

[Linda whispers] Please don’t kill yourself.

What?

I said it must be nice to have time to yourself.

Anyway, before we get on to the exciting business of you and your big decision to come home to New York, the good news is that we have found a buyer for the Harris Diamond.

Uh, actually, I haven’t decided to come home to New York.

The buyer saw the diamond on the virtual presentation that you put together ahead of the store takeover.

That’s great. Who is it?

[laughs] In our new world, Linda, one does not ask who. He’s anonymous.

But I can tell you this. He’s, um…

A very unpleasant member of a very unpleasant family who run a very unpleasant country in a very unpleasant way.

Oh.

He is facilitating Miracore in his country and so I’ve brokered the purchase of the diamond personally.

Harrods themselves will have nothing to do with him, so I have acted as go-between.

Hurray for us, no?

Yes, hurray for us.

Uh, will he be wanting to pick up the diamond in person?

He is not allowed into the UK. Something to do with, um…

Money laundering? Human rights abuses?

Anyway, the big question, Linda, the issue at hand here is the future of Linda.

When will you be coming home?

Um…

Well, I’ve decided to leave my decision about New York until after lockdown is lifted.

Okay.

I have lots of ties in London.

Uh-huh. I was told that you’re single.

[chuckles]

Actually, that was never true, but actually now it is.

The fact that you are single is one of the reasons I want you to come to New York.

I’m planning to get to know more about you.

You…

You fascinate me, Linda.

So tough on the outside, but inside, are you tough?

Do you remember when you came to Paris?

That evening, after the meeting, I was going to take you out to dinner.

I was actually going to try to seduce you that night.

Well, I can only speculate what kind of evening that might have been.

But I suspect it would have involved broken glass.

Anyway, uh, should I send the diamond to this probable mass murderer’s home or should I send it straight to his torture chamber?

What?

Where would you like me to send the diamond?

Ah, send it to New York.

Um, because of COVID, it will be couriered directly to a safe vault in Wall Street.

There’ll be no one to check it there, so please make sure that the verification papers are in the box.

Got that?

Um…

For many of our new wave of clients, the act of acquisition is an end in itself.

Okay. See you in New York, Linda. Take care.

Well, I…

[call ends]

♪ Stand and Deliver ♪

♪ I’m the dandy highwayman ♪

♪ Who you’re too scared To mention ♪

♪ I spend my cash On looking flash ♪

♪ And grabbing your attention ♪

♪ The devil take your stereo And your record collection ♪

♪ The way you look You’ll qualify ♪

♪ For next year’s Old age pension ♪

♪ Stand and deliver Your money or your life ♪

♪ Try and use a mirror No bullet or a knife ♪

[siren blaring]

[Linda screams]

♪ No bullet or a knife ♪

[Linda] Don’t be ridiculous, Linda.

[panting]

[reporter on TV] A shortage of medical masks, people are making their own from old clothing.

But the WHO said it doesn’t know whether homemade masks…

[Linda] Hey.

Where’d you go?

[Paxton exhales]

Peckham Rye.

Why?

I don’t know.

What do you mean, you don’t know?

I was just driving really, really fast, [laughs] because I was being chased by the police.

What?

I was playing a new lockdown game.

Green for stop, red for go.

Fuck!

Did they get your license number?

No, I’m too fast for ’em.

I’m a streak of light on an empty road in a deserted city.

I’m the last man alive.

I let the road direct me and I achieved that moment of transcendence where the bike becomes part of your body.

I found myself in South London on some sort of urban farm with a petting zoo and I hid among the goats.

Remember the goat was my totem animal when we were pagans.

I sat with the goats and then resumed my journey as the police cars drove past.

I was in Peckham.

I bought you cigarettes.

And I had one myself.

My first real, real one in ten years.

And you were right, tobacco tastes like youth!

And real is real, and real tobacco is me really, and I want another one right now and I’m gonna have one.

[breathes heavily]

[indistinct talking on TV]

You have a look in your eyes I haven’t seen in a long time.

I don’t mean to frighten you.

I’m not frightened.

Remember I told you about the glass horse and jockey in Paris?

No, I’m still with the goats. They had blue eyes.

I held the horse and jockey by the jockey and swung it around and…

And I remembered how it felt to be a rider and to feel like you’re a part of the thing that you are riding.

It’s a sexual feeling.

Yeah, it is.

[exhales] I now wish I’d come with you.

Really?

Paxton,

for a long time, I’ve known that our relationship was over.

And for a long time, the only unbroken thread between us has been sex.

Go on.

I’m finding this moment difficult because…

I made a vow this wouldn’t happen, so could you just take the leather jacket off and go hold a tea towel or something?

Hold a tea towel?

Or buy some milk, it would help me.

We have milk.

Or bake bread. That would definitely kill the moment.

I just want to get on my bike and ride and fuck the world.

Okay, Paxton, here it is.

Probably as a result of lockdown, you have a mad urge to ride your motorbike through red lights.

And as of two hours ago, I have a mad urge to steal a diamond worth three million pounds from a mass murderer and quit my job and become an artist.

[snickers] What?

But I think the most practical thing we can do to get this madness out of our system is that I break my vow and we go upstairs right now and have sex.

“Lockdown-one-last-ride.”

Goats, now this.

What a fucking day.

[classical music playing]

Hi. Yeah, she’s, uh, she’s just changing. [chuckles]

Oh, by the way, you ever heard of a poet called Edgar Allan Poe?

What?

Yeah, never mind.

All right. One second.

[man on radio] You’re listening to Drive Time with Dominic.

And this is George Frideric Handel.

[classical music playing]

[automated voice on phone] Please hang up or press the hash key for more options.

Uh, Linda, I’m just calling to say that I know this afternoon didn’t mean anything, but I want you to know that it would have felt like, uh… like South Dakota that afternoon when it rained.

And also, I have this bizarre memory that just before we strayed from the path of righteousness, you said something about stealing a diamond.

[Paxton over phone] …you said something about stealing a diamond.

Did I imagine that?

[Linda] Oh, God!

[woman speaks indistinctly over phone]

Thank you.

No, Grandma, I am not seriously considering it.

[alarm ringing]

Fuck.

[alarm ringing]

[reporter on TV] This is where the patients usually recover post-surgery.

But now, it’s needed for COVID-19 overflow from intensive care.

Hospitals are having to adapt their spaces and practices to be able to deal with Coronavirus.

[nurse on TV] I’ve been a nurse in ICU for 18 years and I’ve never seen…

[TV shuts off]

All right.

Big Saturday. Harrods.

The grand deception.

You have to tell me exactly what it is we have to do.

Paxton…

[grunts softly]

Sit down. Wait there.

This is just us organizing what it is that we’re gonna do, okay?

It’s nothing else.

Why, what else would it be?

Nothing. Why do you ask?

Are you okay?

Me? I am okay. I am intensely okay and normal.

Okay. Background.

Harrods. The top part is the public area.

But below ground, there are seven floors.

Floors where merchandise is stored and lots of tunnels where expensive items such as jewelry are transported to secure elevators.

All grown up and glamorous above and efficient and scary below.

Security at Harrods is unbelievably tight, it would be impossible to get inside to actually steal something.

Steal?

Who’s talking about stealing anything?

Everything is normal. Paxton, stop being weird.

It’s not me being weird.

I mean, you clearly appear to have a hidden agenda, which is not really that hidden, but I don’t know what it is.

Also, you’ve got a smudge above your eye.

Did you get my message on your phone last night?

About South Dakota?

And about a diamond.

Paxton, what is the matter with you?

There’s nothing the matter with me.

Seriously?

Yesterday, you were talking about stealing a diamond.

You were, I’m not imagining it.

And today, you are drawing Harrods like it’s, uh, some kind of secret plan in a secret heist movie.

How can you draw a rectangle like you’re in a secret plan? I don’t…

Do you have a secret plan?

You know… [chuckles]

I saw my grandmother’s face yesterday.

I told her, “It’s okay, Grandma, I am fine.

I’m not going to do anything stupid.”

You said the diamond is called a Harris Diamond.

Oh, Paxton, come on.

It’s Saturday. It’s morning.

All the weird 4:00 a.m. fantasies and options have gone away as they always do.

Tell me about the diamond.

There are two Harris Diamonds.

What?

There are two Harris Diamonds, okay. God!

Why are there two?

[exhales deeply]

Do you think I slept at all last night, Paxton?

Well actually, no, I didn’t.

And what was it that kept you awake?

Harris Diamond one, Harris Diamond two.

One is real, the other is fake.

Whenever a diamond of this value is exhibited in store, they use a replica of the real thing to put into the public area.

The actual diamond is kept safe in the vaults.

Currently, the replica is on display here on the ground floor.

But your real Harris Diamond is here in the vaults.

Tonight, at exactly 7:00 p.m., you and I will be escorted to the vaults by security to collect the real Harris Diamond.

We will then go up the ground floor in a secure elevator where we add the diamond to the rest of the Eve Schwarz collection.

Then, right there at 7:30 p.m., we will have the real diamond and the very good replica diamond, side by side, next to each other, almost indistinguishable.

And because of COVID restrictions, the only people that will be there are you and me.

So, then we put the real diamond into a secure box and send it to New York, and we take the glass replica and I put it in my purse, we take it away for disposal, and that is what we are going to fucking do, exactly that and nothing else. Grandma, I love you.

May I ask a very obvious question?

No, you may not.

What would happen if we sent the replica to New York and kept the real thing?

I’m assuming that as soon as it got to New York, someone would realize that it was fake.

No, they wouldn’t.

That is why I couldn’t sleep.

Whichever one we send to New York, it will go into a secure vault in Wall Street and won’t even be looked at by another human being for 20, 50, 100 years.

Holy fuck.

Three million pounds, tax free.

No consequences.

One for me, one for you, one for the NHS.

You have thought about this.

You know, I need to go meditate.

Are you sure they won’t check it in New York?

Shut up. I need to meditate.

What were you going to say?

The man who bought the diamond is bad.

He’s really bad, and you and I are good.

And the NHS is good. And good is better than bad.

When I explained all that to Grandma, even she said, “Well, yeah, that’s true.”

And she was a Calvinist, straight as a rod.

Unlike me, who is weak in the face of temptation.

[inhales deeply]

Live wild or die, Linda.

Paxton, you’re forgetting something very important, okay?

Assuming that we do this thing, which we definitely won’t, how would two ordinary people like you and me find a way to sell a three million pounds stolen diamond?

Okay, that was it. That was my last attempt to find a logical reason why we shouldn’t do this, but you are going to say “Archie Bruce,” aren’t you?

Yes, I am.

Archie Bruce.

Over the years, I’ve kept up with the guys.

I mean, Archie Bruce, he’s graduated from stealing motorcycles to stealing vintage cars and fine art and jewelry.

I mean, he’d have Mr. Harris in a penthouse in Moscow before the banging of the next saucepans.

And he’d do a preferential deal with you, because you stepped in one night and saved his life at a roadhouse in Watford.

Circle of life, something like that.

[sighs]

With Archie Bruce, the nightmare began.

Maybe with Archie Bruce, the nightmare ends.

So, what are we going to do, Linda?

Okay, Paxton, here it is.

We decide tonight.

When we’re there at Harrods with the diamonds, we’re gonna know what’s right and what’s wrong.

We’ll decide in the moment.

Or let the moment decide.

What’s the difference?

Fate versus free will.

Who controls our destiny?

Is everything part of a plan or do we fuck things up for ourselves?

Tonight at 7:30, we find out.

[cell phone ringing]

Hey, half-brother.

What, now? You wanna Zoom?

All right, give me a minute.

Ah, Paxton, how are you?

Actually, I am at a fork in the road.

Really? Then perhaps what I have to say will have some bearing on which fork you take, because it is sort of road related.

[David chuckles]

You see, Paxton, the other day when you said you want to sell your motorcycle, I thought, “Wait a minute. Time out. Not so fast.”

And then, after I cut the call I thought about Mom.

Mum?

How she would feel about you having to sell your most precious possession, while at the same time, over here in the beautiful Hudson Valley, your brother, your half-brother isn’t having it so bad.

You know, when the cherry trees in your orchard get a fungus, it sucks, but there are worse things.

Yeah, not for the cherry tree. [chuckles]

Maybe worse for a cherry tree is the steady tread of George Washington as he approaches with an axe in his hand and a head full of good intentions.

Anyway, I wondered what Mom would want me to do.

Well, remembering Mum, I think she’d want you to get to the point.

Okay, Paxton, here it is.

It is I who has bought your precious motorcycle.

The purchaser of your bike is me.

And I am giving it back to you.

My gesture, half-brother to half-brother.

Your bike is yours once more.

Don’t thank me, Paxton.

Please. No need.

All I ask, the only thing I ask of you, Paxton, is that you are kind to yourself from now on.

That you learn from this.

That the world does not hate you.

That, yes, sometimes fate seems harsh and cruel, but people really do what good…

Hey, David, it’s Linda. Hi!

Uh, Linda, I thought I was just speaking to Paxton.

Yes, I know. I heard, David, your magnificent gesture, and I just… I couldn’t stop myself, I couldn’t help myself. I just had to jump on the call and say, “Oh, my God, David.

What kind of a person are you?”

David bought my fucking bike.

Yes, I heard. I heard, and then I heard the sermon, and I thought, “Wow!

Not only is he so generous with his cash, he is so free with his wisdom.”

[David] Anyway, Paxton, there it is…

No, no, no.

Don’t let me interrupt this meaningful moment.

What is it that you were saying, David?

Something about fate being harsh and…

[chimes]

…cruel?

Hmm.

Why were you mad at him?

[Linda] I wasn’t mad.

Yes, you were.

It was you.

[chuckles]

You bought my bike.

Paxton, don’t be ridiculous. You heard what David said.

David would never do something like that, but he would take the credit.

Whereas you would do something like that and give the credit to someone else.

You did it ’cause you felt sorry for me.

Yes, I worried about what would happen if you lost everything.

Mainly because I didn’t want anything bad on my conscience.

Confession avalanche, but also I… I did it because the bike represents us.

And…

No, no, no.

Pity is over here, all right, and love is way over here.

Don’t pretend there is a bridge.

But would you still feel pity for a man who’d just stolen a million pounds?

I’d be a millionaire, and a bandido once again.

Maybe you’d change your mind.

Maybe we’d ride off into the sunset.

Paxton… whatever we decide to do tonight, we will go our separate ways.

The money would mean that we’re both free.

Well, I will factor that into my decision-making process.

Thanks for the bike.

[inhales deeply]

[chanting] Om…

[Paxton] Ladies and gentlemen… fellow inmates… I have something for you before I head off on the number 27 bus to meet my destiny.

It’s a passage from a poem written by T.S. Eliot, who I’m sure no one has ever heard of either.

“She turns and looks a moment in the glass, hardly aware of her departed lover.

Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass.

Well, now that’s done, and I’m glad it’s over.”

See you in the moment, Linda.

[music playing]

[Paxton] This could be the last bus I ever take.

Oh, I’ve decided to go by myself. Thanks.

[driver] No problem.

Thank you.

[exhales]

[Martin] Do it, Paxton. Take the opportunity that fate has given you.

[Paxon grunts]

[engine starts]

[siren wailing]

[sighs]

Hi, stranger.

[Charlotte] Oh, my God!

[laughs]

I want to hug you.

I can’t hug you, I can’t hug you.

I hate this virus.

[blowing kisses] I’m blowing you kisses.

Oh, my God.

[man] Hello, stranger.

[Linda] Hey, oh…

[chuckles]

[Charlotte] This place died when you left.

[Linda] Oh, Charlotte, I need to know the name of your personal trainer right now, seriously.

I actually lost weight because of stress, ’cause I found out my girlfriend was stealing a load of money from me.

[Linda] What?

Long story.

That’s not for right now.

Hi!

Hi. [laughs]

Terry, yeah. Terry, guess who’s here?

Yeah, have a little look at Cam 14.

[Terry] Oh, shit, it’s Linda.

So, Linda, what are you doing here?

[Linda] Oh, I’m not on the list, because I made a special arrangement with Imran, so I just need a desk for five minutes.

Or three minutes. Charlotte, can I?

Come through.

[Linda] Okay. Oh!

I need to wait for my, um, driver.

Oh, hang on. Excuse me.

[whistles] Hi. B2B Pro Freight Services?

[Paxton] Yeah.

[Linda] For the Eve Schwarz collection?

Uh-huh.

Yeah?

Okay, just wait here for one second. Okay.

[sighs] We couldn’t get our normal freight service.

[Charlotte] World’s gone mad.

I’m going to have to run a hundred checks on this guy.

We’ll just need to see his ID.

And Imran said we do need to check the driver’s ID.

Of course.

[whistles] Yeah, can I see your ID?

Thank you.

Oops. [chuckles]

Oh, my God, Charlotte.

I didn’t tell you. You of all people.

[Charlotte] What?

It’s just the most earth-shattering, life-changing, amazing news.

[whispering] I found someone. I met someone.

No.

Yes.

Oh, my God. I thought you were going to be single forever.

Me, too!

Dating app? Bumble?

What’s he like?

[Linda] He’s, uh…

He’s a poet.

Oh?

Yeah.

[whispering] Yeah, he’s like a really wild poet.

Oh, my God, that’s so romantic.

Hmm, I know.

But listen, I’ve got a slot in the vaults at 7:00.

I gotta get this guy processed. Thank you.

Mmm-hmm.

Linda…

Oh, life, life.

Right? You never know what’s coming down the line.

Mmm-hmm.

Okay.

[whistles] We’re good.

[blows kiss] Thank you, Mark.

[Mark] Anything for you, Linda.

Okay, I’m going to generate you a Harrods pass that will give you access to all areas.

Date of birth.

[Paxton] January 19th, 1809.

But I didn’t have my first poem published until 1827.

Okay, that’s good. That’s good.

You’re taking it lightly. You’re not panicking.

January 19th, 1980.

Height, six feet.

Build…

Medium athletic.

And inside, I am panicking.

You do realize that we’ve both gone fucking insane.

We haven’t done anything yet.

Criminal convictions, none.

So, when does the moment begin?

[keyboard clacking]

The moment when we decide.

In the CCTV control room, there’s a deaf man who reads lips.

Shut up. Look here.

Why are you good at this?

[mouse clicking]

[printer whirring]

Oh, Linda.

I just need to get the gentleman’s name in case of a fire, so…

His name?

[Mark] Mmm-hmm.

Edgar Allen Poe.

Uh, Edgar…

Edgar Allen Poe.

Great, thanks.

[Linda] This is the first time Harrods has been closed in a hundred years.

Everything has to get packed up and put into boxes.

Pearls, purses, fine art, fine jewelry.

Diamonds.

[Linda] Yeah. Diamonds.

[elevator dings]

Remember that game we used to play when we are alone in an elevator, we ask each other questions, and we are only allowed to tell the absolute truth?

Shoot.

What went wrong with you and me?

When I met you, I wanted wild and you were wild.

And then, I stopped wanting wild, and you stopped being wild.

So, it should have worked.

Yeah, but it didn’t.

Why not?

I don’t know.

[hesitates] That’s the truth.

[elevator dings]

[automated voice] Doors opening.

Are you hungry?

Yeah.

[indistinct talking]

[classical music playing]

[Linda] We have an hour until our slot in the vaults, so what do you want to eat, Paxton?

There is literally everything.

With the store closing, Harrods is gonna give all of this food away to a food bank.

[indistinct announcement on PA]

Fine.

Is there anybody watching?

Maybe.

Dream bigger.

Finest beluga caviar?

[Paxton] So is this the moment?

[Linda] No.

No. We gotta get something clear before we make up our mind.

This is a black Perigord truffle from Italy.

It retails for £735.

For a fucking mushroom?

Okay.

Okay, that is what we need to get clear in our minds.

What is the difference between the cost of things, and the value of things to you and me?

So, I’m gonna make a picnic.

A picnic which under normal circumstances would cost us about £5,000.

[elevator dings]

[automated voice] Door’s closing.

[Linda] My precious grandma was a racist.

Whoa.

Yeah.

And I’ve just decided to take her off my in-head jury of people who pass judgment on what I do.

So, who else is on the jury?

My dead mother, God and you.

How come I’m still there?

[elevator dings]

[automated voice] Door’s opening.

Doors are open, I don’t have to tell you.

I used to come in here on my lunch break.

[Paxton] So which one of those paintings do you want?

[Linda] Uh, I don’t want to own one.

You want to paint one.

[sighs] I just want to paint.

So, this is the moment.

Oh, wait.

Is the deaf guy looking?

What?

Oh, I made that guy up so you would stop talking.

Ah.

Think about it.

£100,000 a year for ten years. £50,000 a year for 20 years.

A million pounds.

[Linda] Yeah.

You could paint.

You wouldn’t even need to sell anything.

[elevator dings]

[automated voice] Door’s closing.

I never learned to ride a bicycle.

What?

Yeah.

Never?

Yeah.

Went straight to the motorcycle.

Before Christmas, I had a sexual encounter with Maria, [whispers] and it was great.

[elevator dings]

[automated voice] Door’s opening.

Okay, so we’ve established that we both want freedom.

Maria, really?

Oh, Paxton.

Paxton, we are about to make the most important decision of our lives. Can you concentrate?

Okay, in our decision-making process, we haven’t yet discussed morality.

Look at that. That is…

That’s a whole city in lockdown.

Hospitals can’t cope. A million pounds would help.

We’d be doing good. Plus, I worked it out.

If it’s in 50s, it all fits in one suitcase.

You can leave it on a doorstep. Take that, Grandma.

You got rid of Grandma.

Yes, I did. Thank you.

So, okay, we do it.

Fuck it.

We decide right now.

Okay.

[chuckles]

Previously, I would have kissed you.

Let’s just see what happens.

Okay.

Fuck.

Maria?

Okay, it’s time to go.

Really?

We gotta go to the vaults.

[Paxton] So, are we gonna do it or not?

[Paxton panting]

[unzips bag]

Are you okay?

God, no.

Is God really part of your in-head jury?

Uh-huh.

And for the record, God is absolutely fine with whatever it is that we decide to do.

[Paxton] That’s good to know.

[Linda] Hi, there. P.J., right?

Yes, miss.

[Linda] Lead the way.

Why does the name Edgar Allen Poe ring a bell?

[phone rings]

[groans]

[indistinct chatter]

[Linda] Thank you.

You’re welcome.

[man] You’re shipping that thing to New York?

[indistinct announcement on PA]

[Linda] It’s an underwater theme.

Yeah.

My idea.

It’s nice.

You’re very good at what you do. What you did.

[Linda] Okay, so we only need to pack up the jewelry and accessories.

The clothing all goes downstairs, so it shouldn’t take too long.

Yeah, not too long, so, uh…

Shall I take it out?

Yes. Why not?

[grunts]

[Linda] Okay.

[water bubbling]

[Linda] Do it quickly, the fish are piranhas.

What?

It’s meant to be symbolic.

Symbolic of…

I don’t remember, okay.

Just do it faster.

You’ll be fine.

[Paxton grunts]

[breathes heavily]

So, this is the moment.

Just seems so easy.

It’s never been about can we do it, Paxton.

It’s about… should we do it?

And will we do it? It’s about you and me.

And I’m not saying that we are going to do it, but if we are, then you would need to take one step to your left.

So, shall I take the step?

Take the step. Then, we decide.

Linda… if we are deciding in the moment, then I say we do it.

If we are letting the moment decide, then, in my opinion, the moment is saying loud and clear…

“Put the replica in the fucking box and put the real thing in your bag.”

Freedom, Linda, in one beautiful moment.

[Linda exhales]

[Paxton gasps]

[exhales]

Okay.

Okay.

It’s under control.

It’s under control.

Under control.

[softly] Yeah.

I think we should start with the handbags, and, uh, [hesitates] we should get the dust bags…

Linda!

Linda, it’s me.

[Linda] Donald.

I need to speak to you urgently.

Um, excuse me, could you please take a stroll or something for a moment?

I have some very important things to say to my colleague.

Uh… Uh-huh.

Uh…

Donald…

Well, goodness, I thought that I fired you, but you’re here.

Linda, listen. Someone made an anonymous call to Miracore head office.

They said that the driver from B2B who is carrying the Eve Schwarz collection is using a false name.

They said he’s got a criminal record.

[sighs] Grandma, hey.

I came as soon as I could. Thank God you’re okay.

I’m okay.

Well, the police are coming.

The police are coming and…

They’ll be here any minute.

They’ll be here any minute. Okay, that’s…

Now we’re against the clock.

Uh, if he’s innocent and who he says he is, then everything will…

Everything will be okay.

And it will be okay, Donald, because I know what to do.

[hesitates] What do you mean?

What are you going to do?

Paxton?

Paxton?

Donald. Paxton.

Paxton. Donald.

Who are you?

I’m Edgar Allen Poe, obviously.

She just called you Paxton.

Yes, Donald, this is Paxton.

And I’m a woman called Linda Jarvis.

I’m an ordinary woman who, 60 seconds ago, made an extraordinary decision.

[softly] Linda, what are you going to tell him?

[Donald] What is it to do with you?

What it has to do with him is that…

he is my partner and my lover of ten years standing, and I think I’m still in love with him.

[inhales deeply]

Really?

But most importantly, he is also my accomplice.

You see, Donald, just now… just one minute ago, I decided… We decided to steal the Harris Diamond worth three million pounds.

[sighs] Holy fuck. Confession avalanche.

[Linda] No, it’s okay, and I know Donald and also we don’t have a choice, because Donald called the police and they’re about to arrive at any second.

[Paxton] Oh, fuck!

Like I said, it’s going to be okay, because when the police arrive, we are not going to be here, we are going to be gone.

You are?

Yes, we are.

And Donald is going to tell them that he talked to Linda and she said that everything’s fine, it was all a misunderstanding.

And then, he is going to give them this, your ID verification.

And you’re going to say that you recognize that driver from another assignment.

And then, you’re going to tell them a story.

You’re going to tell them a story about how this driver has an enemy at work who hates him.

I am?

Yes, you are.

And do you know why you’re going to do all this, Donald?

No. Why?

Because we are good.

Paxton, Donald, we three are good.

And the bastards who told me to fire you and the bastard who bought that diamond, they won’t even realize that it’s gone.

Mention the NHS.

Yeah. Yes, ooh!

What do you say, Donald?

Will you lie for us, Donald?

[Donald] I see all this anarchy is because of lockdown.

Idiotic, insane fucking lockdown which has liberated us all.

Donald, we’ll give you money. I’ll give you 200 grand.

Fuck the money. I don’t do this for money, I do this for beauty.

Linda, you are wonderful.

[chuckles] Linda, and he is your secret bandit lover, and you are going to spit in the face of the global monolith.

During lockdown I’ve had time to think and walk in the park near my mother’s house, and God, apart from the dog walkers and the joggers breathing everywhere, God, it is a beautiful world.

Even before the fucking virus, we were all locked down in our own routines, our versions of ourselves…

Linda, we have to get the fuck out of here.

Let Donald have his moment.

[Donald] …never get to work!

I only came here tonight because I was worried about you, Linda.

I don’t give a fuck about Miracore, their fucking diamonds, I don’t care about them.

I want everything to be stolen.

I will lie for you, Linda, because this is my moment to fucking do something!

Mad, all this, isn’t it?

Yeah.

[chuckles]

Who’d have thought a month ago we’d be doing this.

Not me.

[PA system chimes]

[man on PA] Paging Edgar Allen Poe.

Edgar Allen Poe, please report to security.

[“Shine On You Crazy Diamond” playing]

[elevator dings]

[PA system chimes]

[man] Mr. Edgar Allen Poe, please report to security immediately.

[Linda] I think we should speed up.

Don’t rush. We’re not trying to evacuate Dunkirk!

Stop there. If you walk, you should be on the starboard side.

[indistinct talking]

[Linda] Leave it. Leave it.

Linda?

[PA system chimes]

[man] Paging Edgar Allen Poe.

Mr. Edgar Allen Poe, please report to security.

It’s Michael with the arrows from Zoom.

[PA system chimes]

[man] Mr. Edgar Allen Poe, please report to security immediately.

[whispering] Oh, fuck.

You’ll have to turn in your Harrods pass.

You go. Save yourself.

It’s me that fate is fucking with.

Just keep walking.

[Mark] Edgar Allen Poe.

[Mark panting]

You left this in the office.

You’ll need it at Heathrow.

Thanks very much.

Everybody says, uh, come back soon, Linda, and we all love you.

Since that night, we’ve established that although we’re now both rich and no longer have to do jobs we despise, the strains of lockdown are still severely testing our relationship.

“Happy ever after” cannot survive someone hiding your bag of flour.

Okay, come on. Okay.

Here is your bag of flour. I just… I want you to promise me that you’re not gonna make bread.

[Paxton] Why not?

Because of the mess and the pointlessness and because it will be inedible, and like all homemade bread, it will be a fucking pointless cannonball.

My dad used to make it and we had to eat it, otherwise he would disappear into his workshop and make these hopeless wooden toys.

Never again.

Linda, you’ve lost your mind.

What? I’ve lost…

You buried a hedgehog and said a eulogy over the fucking grave.

And you deliberately stuck a piece of tinsel on the ceiling above the stairs.

No, it was there all along.

I almost broke my fucking neck.

If you’d asked me, I would have held the stepladders.

If it had been there “all along,” I would have noticed it.

But you haven’t noticed that there was no point in packing a suitcase because there is nowhere you can actually go.

They just extended lockdown by another two weeks.

Oh, shit.

[exhales] Well…

All that for a bag of flour and a definitely pre-existing piece of tinsel.

And because today is my birthday.

[mumbles]

It’s okay.

I know.

[chuckles] It’s okay.

It’s lockdown.

No, I knew that.

Nobody knows what day it is, never mind the date.

And I got you something.

I got you something you really, really want.

[chuckles]

Go crazy.

Another two weeks?

Another two weeks.

Well, then, my long suffering public may need another poem.

[Linda] Hmm.

Counting The Beats by Robert Graves.

“You, love, and I, you and I, and if no more than only you and I, what care you and I?”

[Linda laughing]

“Counting the beats, counting the slow heartbeats, the bleeding to death of time in slow heartbeats, wakeful we lie.

Cloudless day, night, and another cloudless day, yet a huge cloud will burst upon their heads one day.”

And on that day, lockdown will end!

[“Wigwam” playing]

“Only here, as we are here, together, now and here, always you and I.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on reddit
Share on tumblr
Share on linkedin

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More

Coming 2 America (2021)

Coming 2 America (2021) – Transcript

The African monarch Akeem learns he has a long-lost son in the United States and must return to America to meet this unexpected heir and build a relationship with his son.

MLK/FBI (2020) - Poster

MLK/FBI (2020) – Transcript

Based on newly declassified files, Sam Pollard’s resonant film explores the US government’s surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nomadland (2020) Frances McDormand

Nomadland (2020) – Transcript

After losing everything in the Great Recession, a woman embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.