Cha Cha Chang Go Li Act 9-16

 

HOP Four:

 

That Thang—Cha Cha—Cha Chang

 

 

[The scene opens to Marine Captain Brian Tokin sitting on a long wooden steel-legged bench outside a military base helicopter hanger; Romantic Man (Titas Noncoloscopie), “RoMan”, is seated a respectable distance away from Brian on the bench and both of them are watching a very late afternoon sun blaze vibrant colors across the sky.]

 

Brian: “I’m glad he said I was decent: too easy going? Unless I’m flying a ‘copter: it’s why I love flying; when I’m in charge of the ‘copter, I can’t be persuaded to do wrong. It’s the only time I can turn off all the charm and focus on total equipment control.”

 

[Brian revolves his head tenaciously to snarl at RoMan: he quickly resituates his stare back to the sunset by bending forward and placing his elbows onto the top of his thighs while clasping his hands together down below his knees. RoMan mimics Brian’s posturing.]

 

Brian: “CID didn’t tell you the whole cha cha thang. Chang was already missing for a couple of weeks: we were golf buddies; we’d all just done dive school together. And then he disappeared. No Chang: no one knew where was he or if they did, they didn’t tell CID and me. Out of the blue—late one night—CID calls and asks me to help him help Chang. Everything CID said happened then did, except he didn’t tell you Chang went missing again the next morning.”

 

[RoMan promptly focuses a wide-eyed glare directly at Brian, just as Brian looks over at RoMan: Brian nods his head up and down while frowning quizzically.]

 

RoMan: “But Chang was totally deceased and or so?”

 

Brian: “Oh yeah, stone cold and then some. I got a text from Colonel Statt—one from CID—by 8 AM the next day and it said to be at Colonel’s Statt’s office no later than 8:45 AM. Howdy doo-dee: here’s the key to the freezer, go get that Chang thang—it or him—and take it over for processing; the next of kin had already been notified and the mother would be ready to identify the corpse no later than 9 AM. So?! CID and I went to get it. And Chang wasn’t there: the freezer room was empty. Right then: I took a photograph of the empty freezer room with my cell phone—CID did too—and sent it straight to Statt. When we got back to Colonel Statt’s office, he said he would investigate the “predicament”. Otherwise, business as usual: proper procedure and right.”

 

[RoMan twists his neck to look up at the sunset. He smiles contemplatively before returning his gaze towards Brian.]

 

RoMan: “At what point did you think Colonel Statt was up to something, you know? Scapegoating: like Statt already knew the corpse was no longer in the freezer room before he gave you and CID the key the next morning.”

 

[Brian suddenly laughs softly.]

 

Brian: “Well, not right just this second: I’m not that easily persuaded.”

 

[RoMan shrugs his shoulders with an impish grin.]

 

Brian: “Not until a Dr. Swarmer, Hovard PHD chemist, showed up at Jewel Cove when we were taking Chang out of an underwater—reclaimed by the sea—bathroom there: it’s submerged and a lot of divers know about it. We didn’t put Chang in there: Colonel Statt didn’t tell us Chang was in there until after a professor from University, William “Bill” Bickle—biking professor, not a professor of biking—showed up on base to ask me to do a water drop to put out a fire he was going to start in a ravine on Army land as an act of war for a scene in a nude film. It’s almost impossible to explain it without sounding like a crazy too.”

 

[RoMan nods his head up and down: he squints his eyes and bares his bottom teeth at Brian.]

 

Brian: “CID and I went to Jewel Cove that night—per Colonel Statt’s request—to remove the supposedly? newly discovered Chang thang from the reclaimed bathroom. We went down alone—the cove beach was deserted—but we surfaced to grand central... Dr. Swarmer—he’s like a Nazi and he’s been stalking me for a while—and a couple other guys were on the sand snapping pictures of us coming up with Chang.”

 

[RoMan straightens his seated posture by placing his hands onto the top of his thighs; after tilting his head for another lingering glance up at the sunset, he modestly rocks back and forth until exhaling deeply, then resumes his consideration of Brian.]

 

Brian: “My job right now is flying ‘copters search and rescue; assisting with the recovery of enlistee dead bodies, if necessary: “Deposit the deceased into a secure, safe place to preserve any evidence of cause.” And a locked freezer room is as good as anybody gets. I’ve actually done no wrong according to the rules and regulations of the Marine Corp or the Army; even the water drop to put out the fire ain’t a violation. I stayed in contact with my superior officer: I followed orders; I ain’t a bad guy.”

 

[RoMan quickly stands up, rubs his hands over his face and stretches his arms forward; he pivots to place one foot on the bench and swivels to stare down at Brian.]

 

Brian: “CID and I did not put Chang into the submerged bathroom; neither one of us was involved with putting his body into that fire pit. The fire happened the night after the night CID and I dove down to the submerged bathroom to take Chang back over to the morgue facility on base. Colonel Statt met us at the morgue: it was almost midnight but he’s sort of a next of kin anyway? And that was it. No one said the water drop to put out the fire was because of Chang burning in it! The reason for doing the water drop was never explained that way; the fire was explained as an act of war: my putting it out was explained as an obligation—duty—to the USA.”

 

[Brian abruptly stands up and places his hands on his hips before squarely facing RoMan.]

 

RoMan: “How did you know about—to recognize—Dr. Swarmer that night at Jewel Cove?”

 

[RoMan removes his foot from the bench, crosses his arms over his chest and turns to face Brian directly.]

 

Brian: “I was visiting a woman and when I left her place, he was outside on the parking lot at the back of her patio; he started grilling at me like a Nazi: ninety kinds of McWeird. I called her immediately and she said he was a chemistry PHD from Hovard: it was bad situation and to excuse it, please?! About a month after that: CID and I went over to get Chang from the base’s postal station for a round of golf; Chang was standing there talking to the guy. I said to CID, “Hey, it’s the Nazi stalker from outside of Ennovy’s place.” When Chang got into CID’s truck, CID asked Chang who was that guy and Chang said Dr. Swarmer from University.”

 

[RoMan raises his eyebrows dispassionately and looks blandly back at Brian.]

 

RoMan: “Ennovy?”

 

[Brian rolls his eyes around before reminiscently grinning with fondness.]

 

Brian: “The woman I was visiting, Ennovy, talks to spiders: when she catches one lurking inside her place, she takes a piece of toilet paper and offers the spider a “magic carpet ride to the great outdoors”. What’s amazing: I watched one get on the toilet paper! And she took it out to her herb garden right then: guest of a lifetime treatment. What she thinks was one of her most shameful events: a huge West TX Tarantula was coming up strong; she freaked out and threw a rock to hit it straight on. Bloody guts smashed all over her concrete driveway—some of the West TX Tarantulas are the size of baseball mitts—and tears filled her eyes when she told me about it: she said she’s got to keep on forgiving herself for how she reacted over twenty years ago. Ms. Haliwt Ennovy Greberf: straight forward—backwards—whichever way she twirls. In her mind: CHANG just means tangled webs of deceit—criminal insanity—psychotic plotting, CIVIL RETARDATION... Get it?!”

 

[The scene closes as RoMan relinquishes his stoic demeanor to a calm bewilderment and Brian intentionally beams a smile to affect virtuosity out to the duskiness of a diminishing sunset.]

 

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