Sunday, July 26, 2009

Moving the Birds

Bonnie Beirne was crossing the street, pushing her newly purchased stroller, the kind that has the two big wheels in the back with the one in the front. She'd just gotten her haircut at The Ultimate Look Too. Bonnie wasn't jogging right then, she was strolling along listening to her head phones and letting her blood pressure stabilize. Janis Joplin was bringing it all back. Her son, Jamus, was dozing with a strip of drool connected to his favorite shirt, which was covered in pigeons that were delivering the mail. He was dreaming about his mother, mostly about crawling through the network of grooves that edged her beautiful green eyes. Jamus was tanned and perfect with his fat little belly.

A gust of wind picked up and brown leaves cut through, carrying wafts of dust and little pebbles. Birds moved on to another hangout and two dogs started barking to each other. A single drop of rain developed high inside of a cloud, swelling to its limit before slowly drifting down to the earth. The wind kicked up towards Bonnie's face and her head recoiled from the harsh density of the tiny rocks sticking to the surface of her eyeballs. She stopped to brush out the painful nuisance. The dogs were still barking and whining as the rain drop fell faster and faster towards it's X.

Mrs. Lewis was out alone, raking leaves, paying close attention to which direction she pulled, so as to not disrupt the grass too much. Her dog, Sparky, was one of the terrible barkers. He was a little wire haired Jack Russell and he meant to make it clear to Dillinger who's block it was. Mrs. Lewis was deaf to Sparky and so she did nothing to stop his high-pitched chirps. She arched her crooked back to stretch and saw Bonnie standing in the street on pause. She saw the red Ford F-150 blast into the back of Mr Henderson's Volkswagen Beetle as he was backing out of his driveway. The massive red beast somehow spiraled up into the air. The Beetle started its frantic roll towards Bonnie and little Jamus.

The F-150 careened over Bonnie's head, missing by only inches in a lasting moment. With her head tracking the truck and her dark hair still seduced by the wind, her eyes caught the sun cutting through the clouds. She wasn't thinking yet, only observing. Janis Joplin screamed of lost love. The rain drop splashed down onto Bonnie's open eye. It was cold and refreshing as it dissolved the dirt. Then the Beetle crashed into her left shoulder, throwing her body onto the pavement where it skidded for ten feet. Her extremities were scrapped badly as her body tumbled much like the Volkswagen itself, which had crushed Jamus' three wheeled stroller.

Everything was white and silent. Silent except for what sounded like a thousand voices whispering at an impossible speed. Bonnie was on her feet as the white faded to sparkles of green and then back to normal vision. Now it was pouring rain, loudly popping against the shiny street. She began to hear herself screaming for Jamus. Mrs. Lewis let her hose carelessly dangle in her hand. Her skin hardened and she became a statue of shock. Two young brothers came running out of a big ugly house to see what had happened. Bonnie's eyes landed on a crushed stroller wheel spinning on the glistening pavement. There was an explosion of thunder that slapped reality. She screamed so loud that one of the boys fell down. They turned and ran inside to call the police, both instantly crying from seeing her face.

Bonnie followed the twisted rubbage to where the blue bug had slid to a messy stop. Mr. Henderson had been thrown from it and was now twelve feet up in a dead tree, minus an arm, dead. She dropped down to her chest and she could see Jamus' round face. He was alive, awake and wailing for his mother. The roof had been torn from the tumbles and Jamus had fit in the hole that had resulted, except he was trapped by the back-seat, which was on his chubby little legs, caught on his bulky Nikes. A seat-belt had wrapped itself around his neck and he was flushing apple-red. Bonnie's voice was like nothing she'd ever heard before or after. It cut through the nearby forest and moved the birds again. She yelled at Mrs. Lewis to call the police, but all she received was the old woman's frozen stare.

Jamus was wet and horrible as his mother reached for him pointlessly. His skin turned to lavender. Bonnie's face had been scraped so badly that it was half-covered in her blood and this scared Jamus even more. She was cutting her neck on the remaining glass of the Beetle's back window as she strained to grab her dying son. The weight of the underside shifted and the frame of the Beetle crushed slightly, leaving only enough room to observe purple Jamus in the slowly collapsing stupid looking monster. Bonnie shot to her feet and looked at Mrs. Lewis with her eyes wide. She focused her hate on Mrs. Lewis, who was still statued. Strays were beginning to slowly emerge from their houses, looking for a new show.

Bonnie turned back to the Beetle and clutched her hands onto the openings from the two busted-out side-windows. She clenched her gut as she tried to pull up on the giant man-made monster that had swallowed her son. The heavy rain washed the blood from her face as she strained. She could barely rock it as the glass cut deep into her finger-pits. She took in a sharp deep breath. Her arms stretched and recoiled and she bent her knees and arched her Keds. She forced her entire body against the beast, pushing against pavement like a spike of iron. Her joints popped like gunfire and her muscles tore. She spread apart her shoulders and threw back her head. She emptied her lungs in guttural shriek that overcame everything. Her soul escaped her body as she howled at the darkening clouds above. A series of reddish spots emerged within the jade of Bonnie's eyes. Part of her brain swelled and reacted as all of the color drained from her skin. The rain halted its assault like someone had simply turned it off. She slowly lifted the car off of the pavement and then smoothly flipped her hands to hold it at chest level. Then in one fluid motion she pushed it off of her palms and dipped her shoulder into the ramming position. With her final effort came an unholy roar. Mr. Henderson's body fell out of the tree, Mrs. Lewis had a stroke and every car alarm on the block began its annoying cycle as she threw her weight into the monster and forced it back onto its rubber, looking at it the way a justified murderer looks at their murdered.

Sirens could be heard, gradually increasing in the distance. The Pleasant Street people and the Terrace View Road people stood in amazement, wearing spilled coffee and hair-curlers and colorful pajamas. Forgotten was the score of the game, the true identity of the Siamese twins, the pattern to the level-boss' attacks. Sparky and Dillinger watched for a moment before continuing their endless argument. Bonnie carefully felt Jamus' neck and then his legs. He never grimaced as she lightly squeezed and he was breathing steadily. He wasn't crying anymore as he followed the crow's feet to his Mother's new eyes. She held him close with her hands still shaking. His shiny mouth formed a gummy smile and he grabbed at the fresh streak of gray in Bonnie's hair as the birds came back.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Post Passive Aggressivists

And stand and state your purpose!

What is your purpose, sir?

Well, I don’t know what you mean

The question is simple and I wont repeat it

I don’t know my purpose

I don’t know what you mean

Are you refusing to cooperate?

I don’t know my purpose

This man is refusing to cooperate!

I don’t even know why I’m here

You’re here for the good of the many

Same of the rest, just like me

And me

And me

And me

And me

And me

And none of us are leaving

until somebody can state their purpose!

Screen Grabs: The Fog of War

Screen Grabs: The Drowning Pool

Screen Grabs: The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dinner with the Boxer

Tonight we went to a Italian restaurant owned by one of Dave’s friends. I can't remember the name. It was a casual meeting to discuss the script and talk to the boxer about his life. His life story is the subject of what we hope will become a feature film. A very thin very tan man with greasy long hair strutted us into the back, past the seemingly normal section, deep into the dark, to where you had to hold a candle right in front of the menu to read it. The walls were brick and the music was soft and forgettable at first. A group of fat businessmen sat to our left and a young couple sat behind us on a cushy couch, in what appeared to be the casual area. Dave was still outside, trying to find water for the steaming radiator of his rental car. I looked at the menu and was immediately happy I wasn't paying. The boxer appeared somewhat disappointed and a bit confused. The Italian waiter was extremely snooty and seemed to get a kick out of saying things in Italian to the boxer and trying to make him repeat whatever he was saying. I found myself translating between them and eventually taking over all together. I kept thinking about how if he wanted to the boxer could shatter a jaw with one throw. Dave's daughter, Gallery, was with us, her eyes glinting in the dark. She ordered Iced tea for her father with an extra glass full of ice and the rest of us had water. Tap for the boxer and me with a stylish curvy bottle of mineral water for Gallery.  The thought of me sitting there alone with the boxer was a bit overwhelming, especially knowing the things he’s done. Gallery had a wonderful way of picking up when we would hit dead air and you could see the boxer liked her style; I was glad she was there. He is a very nice man, soft spoken and often cracking a battered smile, but he doesn't like me so much. Or at least that he doesn't respect me. I think he thinks my life was handed to me. Maybe he doesn't think that at all.

Dave and I were eating and asking questions. The boxer ate his foreign salad. I tried some sort of squid and it was rubbery and strangely hollow. These questions were about anything and everything; nothing off limits. Playing reporter was all good fun. We pried open his life like it was a piece of public history. He had lived a very tortured life. That much was clear. Real-human-drama. Would make a great movie. Questions led to more questions. It happened on the topic of his childhood, more specifically on the topic of his Mother. Dave asked him if his Mother had ever told him that she loved him. The boxer shook his head no. I could see flashes on his face. I looked at my chicken.

Those massive hands were shaking.

It was darker than ever. His breathing became erratic. 

I looked back down to my torn, greasy chicken.

We made this man (harder than steel, sparred with Cassius Clay) cry.

Anything for a story.

Killing for killer material.

I put away my pad and pencil.

So did Dave, he also turned off the tape recorder.

I was no longer hungry, though I felt strangely hollow.

Who were we to ask such questions?

Screen Grabs: The Thin Blue Line

Friday, July 3, 2009

10 Movies You Should See

1. Network (1976)
2. Last Tango in Paris (1972)
3. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)
4. Magnolia (1999)
5. Burden of Dreams (1982)
6. Fitzcarraldo (1982)
7. Man on Wire (2008)
8. The King of Comedy (1982)
9. Paper Moon (1973)
10. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)