Hey baby, are you lonesome tonight?

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

Saturday night at the disco. Jim and Janet have been giving each other the eye for the past hour. Their friends are egging them on. Neither Jim nor Janet wants any possible encounter to be anything less than open, honest and adult. Each will speak as they find, freely, without fear or favour or the desire to impress. They really mean it. They don't want to be like everyone else. No faking.

Jim (chirpy): Who's that girl?

Janet (sultry): Who's a pretty boy, then?

Jim (says first thing that pops into his head): What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?

Janet (says first thing that pops into her head): Do you come here often? Haven't I seen you somewhere before?

Jim (cheeky): Are you lonesome tonight?

Janet (cheekier): Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?

Jim (confident): See anything you like?

Janet (playing hard to get): Do you wanna dance, do you wanna dance, do you wanna dance?

Jim (says second thing that pops into his head): Want to come back to my place for a coffee?

Janet (playing easy to get): Why are we waiting?

We're outside now. The masks are on.

Janet (loaded question): Taxi?

Jim (suave): Baby, you can drive my car, beep beep, beep beep yeah.

In Jim's car Janet hitches her skirt a little higher. She isn't even aware that she's doing it; she just does it.

Jim (maintaining control): Have you seen Four Weddings and a Funeral?

Janet (puppyish eager): I just love that Hugh Grant.

Jim (loathes Hugh Grant, just loves that Liz Hurley): Sorry. I didn't catch your name.

Janet (half-wittedly): That's OK, I didn't throw it.

Jim (huh?): Ha ha ha.

Jim's third-floor flat is smaller than the Black Hole of Calcutta. He wishes he'd spent some time cleaning it - some time during the last six months. Janet wheezes up every step and worries that Jim thinks she's out of shape - which she is.

Jim (automatic pilot kicks in): If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

Janet (automatic pilot kicks in): Where have you been all my life?

Jim: Don't you want me baby, don't you want me nooooow?

Janet: Where is the love you said you'd give to me, so I could be free, where is the love?

Jim: What's love got to do with it?

Janet: How can I be sure, in a world that's constantly changing, how can I be sure where I stand with you?

Jim (panic): Nature calls. (Dashes to bathroom.)

Janet: What now my love, now that you've left me?

Fifteen minutes later.

Janet: And I'm still waiting, oooh oooh oooh, still waiting ...

Jim (returns reeking of after-shave, talcum powder, toothpaste, mouthwash): What's new pussycat, wooo-ah wooo-ah wooo-ah?

Janet: Have you really ever loved a woman?

Jim: Why do fools fall in love?

Janet: Ou sont les neiges d'antant?

Jim (startled): Pardon?

Janet: Do you wanna touch me, do you wanna touch me, do you wanna touch me there?

Jim: Where?

Janet: There.

Jim: Yeah.

Slow dissolve to the bedroom. Janet and Jim are doing the nasty to Massive Attack's "Unfinished Symphony", just like Sharon Stone did with William Baldwin in Sliver. Janet is thinking in Cosmo headlines: Are you getting enough? Is your man good in bed? So is Jim - Where is the G-spot? But only for an instant: here we go, here we go, here we go. Janet wants a lover who won't come and go in a heated rush; when it comes to love she wants a lover with a slow hand.

Janet (pushes Jim off): If happy little bluebirds fly above the rainbow, why oh why can't I?

Jim: snores.

Janet (weepy): Will you still love me tomorrow?

Jim (sweet dreams): Liz, Liz, Liz. I love you Liz.

The big sleep.

The next day. The sheepish couple awaken. Cold, clear light illuminates the bedroom. Tongues are furry and heads hung over. Jim and Janet are about to be genuinely honest for the first time, though their words, even now, will sound strangely rehearsed.

Jim (he's been brought up well): Morning has broken, like the first morning. What's your name again?

Janet (searches for ice-pick under bed, just like Sharon Stone did with Michael Douglas in Basic Instinct): Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?

Jim (hey big spender): Here's a fiver. Get a taxi on me.

Janet (bursts into tears): Why do you have to be a heartbreaker?

Jim: How could you believe me when I said I loved you, when you know I've been a liar all my life?

Janet: What I want to know is what's the name of the game - do I mean anything to you?

Jim: What makes you feel like doing stuff like that?

Janet: What kind of fool am I?

Jim: About that taxi ...

Janet: Where am I going and what will I find, what's in this grab-bag that I call my mind?

Jim (nervous): Go. Walk out the door. Don't turn around now. You're not welcome anymore.

Janet: When will I see you again? When will we share precious moments?

Jim (dead casual): What about tomorrow?

Janet (disbelief): Tomorrow?

Jim (shrugs): What use is sitting alone in your room?

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