"It is strange. My sister spoke of a Dancing Woman, who knew my brother. It never occurred to me that it would be you."
"Delirium? Of course...she spoke to me last night. Through Tiffany. I did not realize it was her."
"Well. Let's get it over with. You had precious little time for me when I was seeing your brother. And I have to admit, this is the last place I'd expect to see you. This little temple of Desire. What brings you here?"
"You do, Astarte."
"He's awful," Alison whispers under her breath, "He shows no emotion whatsoever."
"It's the director's job to bring out the emotions in his actors," Carey answers, "Dream rarely shows any emotion; what Gavin is doing here is perfect."
"So it's up to the topless chick to carry the scene," Alison shrugs.
"You could sacrifice a black lamb to me, if you like. But this all the temple I've got, and we're kind of short on oracles."
"You have my sympathies."
"I loved your brother. I really did."
"You were goddess of Love. I would expect nothing less of you."
"Who is she?" Carey asks.
"Her name is Tara...I forget her last name. She came up from central casting."
"She looks familiar."
"Maybe we've worked with her before? Anyway, she's not famous." Carey had fought hard against the studio on this very issue, he wanted no stars, no one people would recognize and have previous associations with other roles for this film. And he got what he wanted, no one they'd cast had had more than bit roles before this. And some, like Gavin, have no experience at all.
Alison once promised herself she's never work on a movie that featured a strip club scene. Working with Carey, she thought she'd be able to keep that vow; his movies are usually too fantastical to include seedy side of mundane life. But here she is. Well, the fact that the dancer/love goddess ends this performance by exploding herself and taking the whole place with her does take the strip club scene to a whole new level, at least, Alison tells herself.
Carey watches her dance. He remembers, now, she was chosen for this part because of her dancing experience. She'd studied dance since she was a child, ballet, modern dance...and ended up working strip clubs in L.A. She was the perfect Ishtar.
But he hadn't seen, during her audition, the resemblance...
She came to his bed last night. He knew it was a dream, because she was never like this in life. But just because it's a dream doesn't mean it's not true.
"Didn't I warn you?" she asked, her voice thick with desire, "Didn't I try to teach you?"
"You were always too fearful," he answered.
"And you too bold. Now look what you've done."
"What have I done?" he asked.
Carey follows his actress into the dressing room. The real one, not the set for the dressing room scene.
"Maya," he calls to her.
"I'm sorry, my name is Tara," she says, turning to face him, not protesting against his presence here. He's Carey Burden, none of his actresses turn him out of their dressing rooms.
"Tara," he corrects himself, "Would you do me the honor of coming to dinner with me tonight?"
She says yes. They always say yes.
"What you've done," Maya had said in his dream, "Is to play with power like it is a child's toy. There will be consequences."
"Where are you, Maya?" he had asked, tired of her dream warnings, of visions that fade in the morning light, tired of making love to a ghost, "Why don't you come to me?'
"I am here," she had answered, "I am with you, always."
The dialog in italics is by Neil Gaiman from the graphic novel The Sandman: Brief Lives