By the time my lawyer arrives to film I've drank five coffees, two cokes, three waters and had two meals and am extremely pissed off by the overall lack of professionalism from the crew, with Kris or none of the guys anywhere to be seen the past few hours and Vasquez taking his character way too far - chaperoning me while I take a leak, ignoring my requests and being an all-round inhospitable prick. I mean I'm as big a fan of the Stella Adler form of acting as the next man but this guy's on another level-you'd swear I actually killed that jerkoff! My guy enters the room and my first thought is how the fuck did this clown get past casting? I mean when you think lawyer you think “Suits”; suave, sophisticated and immaculately tailored yet this chump rocks up looking like a deadbeat dad who just lost his own case for backdated child support. "What took you so long? I thought we'd have had this shit wrapped up by now?" I say as he hesitantly makes his way over to introduce himself.
"I only got the call a couple of hours ago and got here as quick as I could." He says limply shaking my hand, "And it's Hank by the way."
"What happened to Skip? He pulled away on another shoot?"
"From what I understand no one has been able to get hold of him," He says with an awkward smile, "so I guess you're stuck with me."
"I don't even care at this stage once we get this done. Did Kris mention anything about where the after-party's taking place?"
"I don't know who Kris is," He says scanning a charge sheet, "but under the terms of your bail you won't be going anywhere tonight - or any night for the foreseeable future."
"Oh are we on now?" But Hank ignores me and continues to scan through reams and reams of what appear to be dialogue or transcripts.
"Jesus Eric you haven't given me much to work with here but on the plus side seen as you've fully co-operated this should look good for a plea bargain. I mean usually I'd try swing temporary insanity but this case is pretty much a home run."
"Whatever you think is best." I say unprepared and unsure where to go with this. For the next ten minutes Hank hogs the limelight while I passively nod as he narrates a load of legal mumbo-jumbo about a deal with the DA.
"Are you sure you're okay Eric?" He says shooting me a puzzled look before motioning to leave, "I mean do you fully grasp the seriousness of this situation?" I give the requisite shake of my head and before Hank has closed the door, a new officer enters to escort me to my holding cell until the outcome of my plea bargain is determined.
"Hey man is there any chance you could get me a lemon and water? My vocal chords are shot." I say walking down an unfamiliar corridor but he responds curtly telling me I still have to be booked and processed before unceremoniously dumping me in a holding cell, slamming the door behind me.
Inside the room itself is so dirty that I'm still debating whether to take a seat on the makeshift cot in the corner when yet another cop returns demanding I hand over my belt and shoelaces telling me not to try anything stupid.
Any joy with the lemon and water I requested?" I say holding my throat for added effect but he turns and slams the door leaving me in a muted fury. Surveying the room with its random stains and dented walls I can quickly see how any sense of hope or redemption would disintegrate upon first flush of the sinisterly functional toilet. I try everything to avoid making contact with the ominous green mental patient mattress in the corner, the type that makes your legs so sticky they instantly chafe - firstly trying to decipher the many alias' and cryptic gang graffiti before busting out into multiple reps of press and sit-ups. After what seems like an eternity the hatch finally opens. "About fuckin' time." I say.
"I hope you got my lemon and water?" I say resulting with a tray being mechanically flung through the slot, an undecipherable uni-slop ironically partitioned off by separate sections, bouncing itself across the floor.
It's so late that by the time a guard opens the door to begin processing me I've somehow fallen asleep on the cot, the kind of sleep that leaves you with a pounding headache and facet like nose. I stagger down the corridors with squinty eyed contempt, jaded by the whole experience, until I reach the front desk and am met by the welcome familiarity of Frank and Vasquez.
"G'z you guys really don't fuck around." I say turning to show the guys my cuffed hands behind my back, "Is this really necessary?" causing Vasquez to audibly scoff.
"I guess not." Frank says instructing the officer next to me to undo my cuffs with a swift motion of his head, "You did good Eric. Just a little more cooperation here today and we're done."
"Finally." I say with a big toothy smile of relief before having my thumbs stamped and indexed by the all business-like officer behind the desk. Once my prints are on file, I'm processed pretty quickly with the mugshots done with minimum professionalism, despite my protestations about shooting on my photogenic side.
"We done?" I say.
"Almost." Frank says with an open palm pointing in the direction of another room directly across the way. Inside the room is nothing but Vasquez, empty space and bad lighting.
"Okay now strip." Vasquez says in a no-nonsense manner.
"For what?" I say with a dismissive smile.
"I've had just about enough of your questions. NOW STRIP." So I remove all of my clothes with an angry determination wondering what the fuck is this asshole's problem?
"There. Happy now?" I say kicking my clothes over to the other corner.
"I said strip."
"I am stripped."
"Everything." Vasquez says with a pissy air daring to be challenged.
"Hold on nobody said nothing to me about full frontal?"
"I'm not gonna ask you again. Up against the wall and spread 'em. NOW."
"Fuck you." I say and with that he reaches for his club causing me to intuitively charge the prick, launching a swift right hook flush across his face and before he's even hit the deck a sea of officers plough into the room like popes from a Volkswagen, steaming in with flailing arms, clubs and feet in a desperate attempt to make any sort of connection with me, as I'm stomped, kicked, punched and pepper sprayed with such force I no longer have any idea if I'm lying on the floor or have somehow left my body until nothing remains but a burning black.
From the beginning.