Heath Ledger & Joseph Fiennes: First Day in Hiding
"Okay, okay, one more time." Joseph crouches, shifts his close-set eyes side to side. "I spot the mark and signal you, or, the other way around?"
"No," Heath tells him for the seventh time this morning, "you find a nice spot where lots of people will pass by and for Christ's sake, stop scaring the children!"
"If they're that easily frightened, then I don't see why their mums turn them loose to begin with." Joseph finds a nice spot beside a rubbish can, settles in, fidgets. His new flannel clothing is scratchy, not like the silks Ralph always dressed him in, but Heath assures him that it's all part of the game. Just like sleeping on that sewer grate, last night, wrapped in newspapers. Part of the game. "Heath? Can we have lunch, now? I want to go to '21' for lunch. They know how I like my filet mignon." Tugs at his collar. Scratches his neck.
Heath sighs in frustration and turns to Joseph, hands on hips. "Sure Joseph, you can go to 21 for lunch, if you think you can afford a filet mignon with the few cents and couple of sweet wrappers that you earnt for yourself this morning." He takes off his cap and rakes a hand through his short hair, definitely long suffering. And he's only spent one morning with Joseph so far. Face meet palm. Finding a better spot - closer to a popular picnic area, Heath sets down his bags and takes out his didgeridoo - always a good crowd gatherer. "Okay, so you need a way of entertaining people - a legal way of entertaining people."
"Afford?" Joseph parrots the word as though trying to decipher it's meaning. There is no afford. At lunchtime, Ralph takes him to 21, he has filet mignon, Ralph hands the man a credit card. Joseph slumps into a pouting heap on the sidewalk. "You're being mean to me, Heath." Appears on the verge of adding, I'll hold my breath 'til I turn blue. This whole winter camping trip seems less fun now than it had in it's planning stages. Ralph isn't here, Heath is being mean, and Joseph is cold and hungry.
"I'm not being mean, I'm being practical and realistic. You want lunch? You better start earning the money with which to pay for it. If not, you'll go hungry until you do." It's not nice having to do this to Joseph, but Heath knows the only way to get it through to him is by being brutally honest.
"What do you want me to do?" Pouty. Lower lip pooched pathetically. Trick deck of cards splayed uselessly across his lap.
"Well, have a play around with them. See what you can do with them. You don't have to know any card tricks, perhaps you're good with your hands, dexterous. You could make the card disappear for example." With that, Heath picks up one of the cards and seconds later it's gone, hidden carefully behind his hand.
"Ooooh." Joseph's eyes brighten. Then narrow crossly, as he shuffles through his remaining deck and derives fifty-one. "Give me back my card."
With a flick of his wrist, Heath brings the card back into view and hands it back. "Now, if you can't do that, there are some tricks I can teach you."
"I can do that." Joseph defensively makes the same card disappear. His hands, if not his brain, are clever and agile. "This too." Makes Heath's watch disappear. "And I'm hungry. Heath, can't we have lunch now?"
Heath's jaw clenches, relaxes, clenches again. "Okay, you can have lunch now, but don't expect me to pay for your dinner."
Joseph snares Heath's hand and weaves delightedly down Sunset Boulevard. "I have to mail a postcard, afterward, Heath. Ralph gave me thirty postcards and said I should send them, one per day, to this post office box address, I'm not supposed to send them to him, at home. I'm going to fill out this one and tell him that we're lunching at 21."
His eyebrows narrow and Heath tugs Joseph closer, talking in a hushed voice. "Why the postcards? And no, we're not lunching at 21." Grabbing Joseph's other hand, Heath stops them both dead and tugs Joseph over to the shop windows, out of the way of shoppers. Before Joseph had tugged him away, he'd managed to persuade Joseph to let him collect his instruments before leaving. "I'm going to take you to a better place, believe me you'll love it." He doesn't dare take Joseph to any of the places he used to visit frequently, just in case Christoph decides to stalk around them, knowing that Joseph might be back.
"I don't know." Joseph trails along behind Heath, regarding the first of his thirty postcards, inexplicably picturing a llama looking out of a New York taxicab. "Ralph wants me to send them. He took away my cell phone, and said I should send the postcards instead. I think it's part of the game. And why can't we lunch at 21?"
Ah, now that makes sense. Phones can be traced if they're used, and even though postcards may be able to be found, there'll be no from address on them. For the first time since meeting Ralph, Heath is actually glad Joseph has a brother like him.
"We'll post it after lunch, yeah?" Heath says, leading the way and making sure Joseph doesn't get distracted by anything shiny on the way and wanders off. "Come on, I know a really great place where we can get some ice cream."
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