The veranda of a villa on the island of Capri, October 1924. A man and woman sit side-on to one another, each holding a glass.
‘I am quite drunk. Yes. How about Among Ash-Heaps and Millionaires? It contains both.’
‘No. It requires a title for the ages. No ash-heaps.’
‘On The Road to West Egg?’
‘The road that passes by the ash-heaps? You’re fixated on dust.’
‘I am fixated on the title. It must be good, rather than fair or bad.’
‘I’m sick. I’m in pain. We are supposed to be celebrating. Decide. Please’.
‘The High-Bouncing Lover.’
‘This isn’t one of your short stories. It must be magnificent, memorable. Yesterday it was gold hats. Today it’s bouncing.’
‘Something magnificent then. Under the Red, White and Blue. Remember the flag of light-bulbs in Harbor Hill last year?’
‘I’d forgotten. It must be something memorable. Extravagant. Tremendous.’
‘I had a line about the night when the lights fail at his mansion. His career as Trimalchio ends, I wrote. There’s a title: Trimalchio.’
‘You are drunk.’
‘Too obscure, perhaps. Trimalchio in West Egg?’
‘You can place him where you want. No one will be able to pronounce it. It must be something great.’
‘I am quite drunk. Yes.’