15 September 2014

Good Night Bassington A Comedy in About Three Acts

The man in me will hide sometimes to keep from being seen
But that's just because he doesn't want to turn into some machine
Take a woman like you
To get through to the man in me- From 'The Man in Me' by Bob Dylan

Survivor's guilt. Not good enough. Not nearly. Haven't measured up yet. Owe so much more than can be repaid. An anniversary a few days ago for cleanliness of sorts. Dry as a bone. Mind more muddled than ever in some respects. But clearer about how to see the world. Appreciate it and thus to know my limitations. Have trouble seeing tomorrow -- those next days are so unpredictable. Yesterday becomes clearer and it often hurts to look at it. Bad bad days perpetrated by -- let's face it -- a bad bad man. Today is something I do, not something I see. But I like the notion of it for sure. There's a measure of control in today. I can see those thing that are in my power to alter.

Sometimes.

"I'm here now. I was there before." Those were my words many decades ago as I entered a clearing coming out of a wooded area in Tilden Park. I was very high on LSD. A stunned family gawked at me as if I had something quite insane. Well really I had. But today I say those same words -- often, mind you -- and they make perfect sense. I have seen things. I have been things. And oh how I have done things. I was there and now....

Today on BART. Blind man gets on my car at MacArthur Station with his seeing eye dog. Next stop is Ashby and a blind woman gets on same car also with a seeing eye dog. The canines sniff each other but as they are well trained there is no rough stuff. The owners tug at their pooches and eventually start to chat. Soon the man moves toward the woman and the dogs are sitting together happily smelling one another. The man and woman discuss their dogs and where they got them and what their names are and how much they weigh. The man reaches towards her for an introductory handshake which takes some effort to accomplish but gets done. I look around the car and others are, like me, sitting beaming with great big smiles watching the scene. The dogs are both handsome. The man gets off at Berkeley station and there is a nice-to-meet-you exchange. Sometimes I like what public transportation brings me.

I watched Jean Harlow in Red Dust (1932) over the weekend. In some ways she was not particularly beautiful but in every way she was totally adorable and sexy as hell and funny and smart in wise acre sort of way. What a treasure to have her old movies around to look at it. Red Dust is perhaps her best but Bombshell (1933) runs a close second. Red-Headed Woman (1932) also is quite good. If I could time travel...well you know where I'm going with this. Hell, I think the wife would understand. Speaking of women of the past, Red Dust also features Mary Astor and the combination of Astor and Harlow I mean the contrast of those two. So different and so wonderful to watch together. Astor was what was in her day called a classy broad by some. She was the smart, sophisticated sexy and of course a damn good actress or haven't you seen her in say The Maltese Falcon (1941) or The Palm Beach Story (1942) or Dodsworth (1936). Clark Gable was in Red Dust too. I reckon it not too far fetched to say he was the George Clooney of his time. Or Clooney is the Gable of his time, which by the way, is now.

Watched Design For Living (1933) over the weekend too, it's a deliciously deviant pre code film in which Miriam Hopkins (speaking of sexy) beds both Frederic March and Gary Cooper. March and Cooper play best buds, a playwright and an artist respectively. March writes a play the title of which found its way as the header for this here post. DFL is an uneven film (despite being directed by the legendary Ernst Lubitsch) but worth your time. Gay icons Franklin Pangborn and Edward Evertt Horton are in the cast (okay they weren't icons but they were gay). Also re-watched a silly comedy written by and starring Steve Martin called Bowfinger (1999). Eddie Murphy co-stars and is frickin' hilarious. In a critical sense it is a raving mediocrity of a movie but any film with such huge belly laughs has earned its place. You could do worse than watching it if you're in need of a pick-me-up.

I'm picked up. I worked long and hard today but that's a good thing to do when you like your labors. The missus is making spaghetti and I reckon I'll eat me some.


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