Monday, March 15, 2010

All Over The Place

I’ve seen more snow this year than I have in 14 put together  –streaking by plane windows in perfectly horizontal lines; flashing in the air of Helsinki like sparks from a sparkler; stretched out in rough, white ridges along the banks of the Hudson; laying in patches like fallen, deflated clouds in Missouri fields. But it’s the snow falling gently on NYC that sticks with me most.  It's a special joy to look up and follow the dizzy path of the flakes, coming from the high beyond and above; then to look forward,  watching the snow softening and flattening everything till the city seems thin and transparent as a film-strip - white flakes flickering like scratches on its emulsion.  It’s here that snowfall and memory come together – in the deep and the flat – the silent tumble – the quiet touch carrying so much distance with it – melting away so quickly.


Donna is delighted to have her photo in the Times and laughs, half proud, half dismissive at the tone of language in the article.  "Who thought fuckin up would get you a review? I should have been getting them all my life." Her flippancy  is true to form and she would just as soon talk about her new lover and getting in fights at the bar.  Hearing her laughing though, I know she's very pleased.  Rambling the city, Desi was the wonderful, self absorbed terror that I adore. During the Q and A's  however, I saw a sober, thoughtful side of her intelligence that, no matter how much faith I've had in her smarts and self possession, I've never seen before. She wasn't delightfully cocky, or funny and mean – she was  thoughtful and articulate in a way that made me worry less (a bit) about her future.

Sitting next to both of them during the premiere  was one of  that the most poignant screenings I've had yet.  Their hands found each other as Donna talked onscreen about the scars mental and physical abuse leave on a person – and again during Desi's revelation about her father.  Seeing them comforting each other in the darkness was a moment of tenderness I'd never glimpsed before.  I wanted to reach out to them but knowing both (and not wanting a finger bitten off) it wasn't my place to do so.


A quick jump upstate to bring Desi home - we had a lovely time on the train, talking the whole way.  She has decided that the city is too big for her. She wants to leave the Mohawk Valley though and speculated about living in every snow covered town that went past the train windows.

At home, my mom had bronchitis and a body wracking cough that kept her and my father from attending the premiere. Still, they smoke constantly. The kitchen is half lost in sour fog and full of the click of cigarette machines. My father emerges from the basement to smoke, watches a few bloody minutes of a crime show then returns downstair to work on his delicate miniature houses.

Daneal had me over to her new apartment where she and her husband Michael played with their baby boy Abel.  He's shy, smiling, and loves to grab shoes, hold them out at you and jabber as if explaining some secret function the have that only he understands.  Ruby was with her father but markers of her recent presence were everywhere – purple socks with embroidered hearts, glittering balls, a pink petticoat, strange green and yellow toys I couldn't quite fathom. She's a ghost to me these days, but Daneal has her on weekends and talks endlessly about her.  I don't want Danny to have anymore children but when I hear the focus and purpose as she talks about her babies, I think understand why her desire for more children is stronger than any logical argument  we can give about her ability to support them.  


The sun was almost summer warm on the skin – bringing me back from the phantom world of movie making with a light sweat the ran across my body.  In the canyon  park the heavy clothes were off, arms, legs, even chests were bare –everyone walked their gym muscles like pure breed little dogs.   After so much winter introspection,  even the corn- syrup light of LA, usually so revealing of the artifice of the city and it's people, felt invigorating and clean – completly physical, completely present tense.

But images always triumph in LA! And LA in her tawdry finest was our date as we drove downtown for the Independent Spirit Awards.  Her white teeth, shiny hair, and glazed eyes were taken from billboards. Her slim waist and over-firm, overfull tits were pulled from hundreds of plastic surgery and weight-loss signs. Her long freeway limbs sparkled with traffic  jam bracelets. Her skin was powdered with  glass and metal. She’d draped herself in gigantic movie posters, traffic lights, neon columns, expensive hotels, cheap hotels, taco joints and empty side walks.  Her perfume was exhaust and lemon blossom, sprayed on in clouds of the evening sky – green and sliced by searchlights.  Very few of the guests and at the awards could match the elegance, seediness, and self congratulating ego of the city hosting them. Those that managed to shine in their own right did so with either an experienced, insurmountable glamour or  virginal sincerity – everyone else seemed caught in the brothel logic of the place.