Musings not related to film

I just want to let the small number of loyal readers know that I haven’t abandoned the life of my blog. Von is currently busy working on a number of other projects and has not had the time to keep up with regular posts. I promise there will be more to come, and starting at the end of September there will be a month dedicated to horror films for you horror movie fans out there. In the meantime I hope you enjoy some older posts, and here are some pictures of my favorite femme fatales.


The car sped freely up the narrow highway that overlooked the choppy Pacific waters. It was an unseasonably cool day in southern California, and it looked like rain.

“Quite a day, huh?” Mike said, without looking at Mel who was staring through the window, watching the waves break on the cliffs below.

“It’s cold. I don’t like it. But, what are you going to do?” Mel said.

Mike eased his foot onto the accelerator and let the engine sing. He doubled the speed limit as he navigated the sharp turns.

“How about this car, Mel? I just got it yesterday, pretty nice, no?” He said, over the engine.

“She is cherry,” Mel said, while pulling his cigarettes from his breast pocket.

He lit his cigarette and let the smoke seep through the dry crack between his lips. He labored over the script that was given to him just the day before, it was curled, torn, and stained with coffee now. Massaging his head, he let out a frustrated grunt.

“What is this script? It’s nonsense.” He said, dropping it onto his lap.

Mike smiled at the sound of this as he maneuvered through another turn.

“I don’t know. I think it’s pretty good. It’s a good story, and I think there are some good lines for all of us in there.”

Mel crossed his arms and watched out the window as the scenery flashed past him. The ocean was a little further from sight now, and the grass along side the road was a little taller.

“Here I am, a long way from home.” He said.

“What’s that Mel?”

He let out a solemn sigh and paused for a moment.

“Nothing kid, just keep driving.”

Mike smiled again. He was often amused by Mel.

“Why the hell are we shooting these scenes way the hell out here?” Mel said, while bracing himself as Mike roared through another turn.

“You haven’t seen it yet. Just wait until you see what Mitchell has in store for us.”

“We could have shot the whole thing on the lot. You’d be amazed at what those set builders can do. This? This is just a waste of time if you ask me.”

Mel felt nauseated. He closed his eyes for a moment.

“You get to meet Mindy today Mel, wait until you see her.”

“Who?” He asked, griping the rolled up script a little tighter.

“Mindy, my costar, the one I told you about? She’s a little new to the game but man, let me tell you, she is incredible, wait until you see her Mel, you’ll wish you were thirty years younger.”

“If I were thirty years younger, I’d still be an old man.”

He rested his head back with his eyes still closed. It started to rain, tapping the window beside him. He wondered what Mindy looked like.

She was a blonde. He was sure of it. She had bright red lips and eyes like wide open spaces. He watched her dance circles around him as the band played its slow romantic tune. Feeling dangerous, she approached him. So bold was she to even touch his hand as she said in a soft, smoky voice;

“I hope I’m not interrupting your staring by asking you to dance.”

Mel took a long drag from his cigarette, and without so much as a smile replied;

“Why not at all,” He said. I’m sure I can keep staring at you while we dance.”

He stood up with her hand in his and approached the dance floor just as the director yelled “cut.” The lights came up and the circus of the movie set commenced.

He opened his eyes and looked through the window again, the ocean was barely in sight now, and the road side was dotted with fruit stands and turn off points. He rested his head against the window and listened to the hum of the engine.

“You know the first time I was on this road was in 1952?”

“Really, that long ago? Must have been something.”

“I had just finished a little picture called Here on Earth with Margaret Ingblaum and she and I drove up here one afternoon to celebrate.”

He looked at the road, as if he were tracing his steps.

“I was 20 years old, the first time I had ever been out of Minnesota.”

The vague hint of a smile broke across his face.

“It was different then. Boy, was it ever.”

“What’s that, Mel?”

“Nothing kid, just the incoherent ramblings of an old man.”

He unrolled the script and leafed through the torn and folded pages.

He wondered what the location looked like.

All the books sat on the shelf, rusted.

I don’t know how often I’ve sat and stared at the dry-rotted bindings, never bothering to sit up in my stool, to get a closer look.

“Say, Stan, what’s with those books?” I said, waving my finger in the general direction.

“What?” He looked up at me, his hands busy in the sink. “Oh, those? They came with the place.” He said, before turning his attention back to cleaning glasses.

“Who puts books on a shelf behind a bar?” I asked myself, staring at them, my beer to my lips.

The door squealed open, followed by the sound of hard soled shoes hitting the floor. It was a woman, I knew without looking. I counted the clicks of her shoes, heel to toe, heel to toe.

She sat two stools down from me, dropped her purse on the bar with a sigh, and ordered a beer. I stole a glance at her from the corner of my eye.

She wore a long dress, but not long enough, as she crossed her legs and let her red shoe dance on her toes while nervously wiggling her foot. She wasn’t used to being in a bar alone. Her man was late.

Maybe it was the way she wore her hair, or how nervous she was in a bar, but she reminded me of Sally Parsons.

Sally lived just one street over from my father’s garage. One day, my fingers through the fence to spy on the yellow haired girl, were bitten by her dog. Soon that yellow haired girl and I were jumping rusted fences, and running down the alleyways, decorated with garbage and fat cats.

I tasted her blood before I tasted her lips. Her finger, the victim of a thorn patch, and me being the hero, saving her from the metallic taste.

We got a little older, and her beauty grew from her like a dandelion through blacktop. Her wild yellow hair now fell gracefully from her head like the branches of a willow tree. And I was the mystery by her side, a scabby wound in a leather jacket, with breath made of cigarette smoke, and knuckles as sharp as barbed wire.

Then we got a little older, and she went away with the promise of coming back, but I knew our only meetings that remained were the fleeting passes of strangers that once knew each other well, a spark in each other’s eyes, followed by the soft trickle of far off memories.

I loved once.

“Can I buy you a drink?” I asked softly.

“I’m sorry, I’m waiting for my boyfriend, but thanks.” She said, looking over her shoulder.

Maybe I’ll start reading those books.

This moment is a forgery. It is a dancer with wooden legs, mocking the graceful breeze she once moved through. Our words drip slow and deliberate like honey in our limp-wristed gestures of love, and our formed understanding of god and war. You besmirch the monogram on your thrift store sweater, yellowed with cigarette smoke and callused secrets of your past. With my arm around you I smile, and flippantly mourn my glories, their unfortunate ends, and the blue sky circumstances that found me here beside you, while we ignore the smog under our eyes. And I touch your hair, my hand tangled in a thorn-bush, and you laugh and touch my leg, your hand grated on sand paper, our eyes watered with happiness, so in love squeezing water from dead trees fallen.

Stay awake, and let the weary headed sounds of night melt into the morning. Laugh at the pangs of paranoia, the dark circles under your eyes, and your writhing hands, chiseled like stones and clenched. Wear this night like a veil, mourn the many happy returns made soggy by the cold rain of your chills and doubts.

You’ll smile, without knowing, as you fall back on your bed in surrender, and your daydreams will mingle with the dust and feathers. The pesky daydreams, your wandering eyes, and a foggy window, waiting for their soggy return down the mud slickened drive, their heavy feet stomping at the door, and a familiar chorus of voices, warm. To feel their bristled faces scratch your cheek as you kiss them one by one. What a howling mess they will make, cluttered with laughs, and the barking dogs. Your home, will then have returned to you.

I am struck by the lingering glance you pass over your shoulder, and the smile that dimples your cheeks when you discover I never looked away. So sure of yourself, letting your fingers brush over the tall grass that bows and whispers like a chorus of shy little boys. Should I follow, ignoring the lump I cannot swallow, and the clumsy path my words might follow, as I watch your gray silhouette, distant, getting grayer as it pauses, skirting the trees? Your eyes, the blue of winter’s lips are now the blackened specks of ash burning the bottoms of my feet, and thawing my frozen nerves. You try your best to hide the fluttering smile on your face, as I neatly trace your path. But what will this fool say when he reaches you, when all that fills his mind is what might the warmth of your hand in his feel, on a quiet walk through the purple light of dusk?

Immediately, the smell of her skin no longer filled my senses, and it seemed dry and brittle, not the smooth canvas I had projected my wild fantasies on with my tongue, and studied every birth mark with a calm and calculated finger. She felt lighter beneath me, as the warmth of her rhythmic breathing slowed and steadied itself against my neck. We separated in silence, and my eyes began to trace the dark details of the stranger’s room, her bed suddenly unfamiliar. Her words became dry, careless, and as empty as our limbs drifting across the bed in a vain attempt to brush away the smell of lust that clouded the air with the fragrant gesture of intimacy.

As I lay there, my head resting on the breasts of a stranger, our mouths uttering words without meaning, only familiar sounds we can nod our head and relate too, my gaze goes beyond the walls of the room, and it finds me so happily choking on your long dark hair in giggling tumbles on a bed splashed with a summer morning pouring through the windows and spotlighting the dust we had stirred the night before, as it settled gently on our naked bodies.

Your love was as casual as a handshake, and your beauty sharp and severe, and the odes I have written, claiming your tongue forked, and your touch like death, are but the letters of a child’s scorn, as I lay, so longing for familiar love, in the arms of a stranger who can’t remember my name.

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