four moments

we’re up walking the dogs along my favorite ridge above lake hollywood when we encounter another hiker on the trail. she’s thirtyish, hip, with shades and many colors and wispy hair. she says hi as she walks around with the dogs thundering by. she’s about ten feet behind us when i hear her stop and call back to donna. hey, babe. i hope you know: you are rocking the shit out of that hair!

after their evening feeding the hijinks in the back bedroom begin, with a crashing of walls and heavy thumps of giant dogs along with jungle growls and great gnashings of fangs and untrimmed nails. but with the young girl here, gus has been getting a little aggressive with the aging carmela, still a throughbred in grace and speed, but frailer now.  she wants a quieter boytoy.  we hear a bleat as one gigantic body gets flung into the wall. donna mutters:  ‘if i have to get up to deal with gus i just might go all charley rose on his ass.’  i sunk a little deeper into the couch.

walking into the change room at the Y when the door is swung open by an old guy, white locks falling down around purple tea shades limning bloodhound eyeballs, a toothy, familiar look.  ‘ah,’ i said as he held the door for me.  ‘a human being!’  he chuckles, ‘a human being,’ walking away.  just then a guy comes bounding in, says, hey howie to the old guy.  sees me looking after him.  ‘you know that’s howard hesseman, right? dr johnny fever on WKRP? still the coolest guy on the planet…’ a face from when we all were young, walking away.

attending the 50th anniversary showing of bullitt at the arclight. they’ve got the famous cars out front, and jackie bissett waltzing around; beautiful, but ditzy as hell.  i go downstairs to the bathroom and as i’m heading into one of the stalls the door is slowly pulled aside to reveal in toto the actor robert vaughn.  he is remarkably short and wide and steady, pausing now like a heavy boulder, to stare up at me.   my eyes settle first on the actor’s remarkable prognathous chin, then are drawn upwards by a magnetic force of his presence to settle on a pair of gigantic, brimming glistening orbs. wells and pools, shimmering darkly. ‘well, what now?’  says the actor, with a twinkle fifty fathoms deep.  ‘i… i love your work,’ i stammered, flashing heavily on the night fifty years ago when on purple haze a boy in indiana felt this face burned into his brain after surrendering to the movie four times in a row… this face, this face.

this life.


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