“What if he wakes up before we can find her?” asks Karen.
“I think we have a bigger problem if he doesn’t,” says Jasmina. She folds her arms across her chest, and looks at each of us in turn. “If he doesn’t wake up, he won’t eat. If he doesn’t eat, he’ll starve. If he continues to sleep much longer, we’re going to have to get him hooked up to some sort of IV, just to make sure he stays hydrated.”
A low muffled sound comes from underneath the quilt, and a moment later, Marnie sniffs. “Oh my God, I think he farted.”
The whole ridiculous absurdity of the entire situation collapses on top of me like a house of cards and I start to giggle softly, crumpling against Jasmina. “I feel like I’m living out that old joke about the priest who skips Mass and goes to play golf on Sunday morning, and God lets him hit eighteen holes-in-one... because who is the priest ever going to be able to tell about it?” I giggle until the tears spill down my cheeks.
“We could take pictures,” begins Marnie.
“No!” Leslie says in a whisper that’s as close to a bellow as it’s possible for a whisper to be. “No pictures.” She looks at Clarice. “So you agree with me, we need Olivia here?”
Clarice exchanges a glance with me. “She was the focus, right?”
And miserably, I can only nod.
In the ride over to Olivia’s house, since calling her is pointless, Jasmina asks me gently, “And just exactly why was it you thought conjuring Johnny Depp would be a good idea?”
“It was to help her make her up her mind about GianCarlo,” I say. The sheer awful stupidity of what I’ve done is crashing on me like a jetty’s worth of boulders and I can hardly lift my head out of the pit between my shoulder-blades. The situation can only get worse from this point, I’ve decided. “Or about anyone, for that matter.” At that they all turn and look at me, even Karen, who’s driving. “It was that scene in Don Juan de Marco that gave me the idea - well, it was the whole movie, really. Olivia’s been so tied up into knots over this GianCarlo thing from the beginning -”
“You thought an experience with Johnny Depp would help her make her up mind?” Marnie, whose vivid fits of imagination frequently exceed even mine, sounds puzzled.
“Well -” I shrug. “Isn’t that what the movie was about? Don Juan de Marco? That we can imagine our lives? Our loves? And that’s how we create the lives we want, by first imagining them?”
They're looking at me dubiously and I know they don’t understand. Even I don’t understand any more. Because what I keep struggling with, even though I know I’ve done a terrible thing, is the feeling that it’s all going to turn out okay.