Tom Waits, Roberto Begnini
and John Lurie are in a
jail in Lousiana and they’ve
got one cigarette left. The
concrete walls sweat with
humidity and the mattresses
stink like stale sweat and dry
urine. These guys have one
cigarette and a pack of cards.
Begnini don’t play gin
and Lurie won’t play spades.
Waits would play with himself
but the others might see. So
no one uses the cards and
instead they all worry about
that last smoke. Lurie’s
got the coffin-nail in his pocket
he knows he’ll have to share it
if he lights it up. Maybe if he
waits until the others are asleep.
Waits sticks to his bunk like an old gym sock
and Lurie paces. Begnini won’t shut up.
They’re all thinking about the last
cigarette. Well, Waits is thinking about
waiting until Lurie falls asleep and stealing it.
His name is patient. Begnini is thinking about
baked ziti and what it felt like to crush
a man’s skull with a pool ball.
They are a good egg, down by law.
I watched Jim Jarmusch’s Down By Law a while back.