Miller Time

Finally Remembering Kevin

HOLLYWOOD—Kevin had found the Jesus thing by happy accident. This robe got a rise out of people and he gladly embraced his resemblance to the popular notion of Jesus. The qualities were in him, as his friend and neighbor Brian Hamilton observed, “He put on the robe and somehow grew into it.” It changed him subtly, but changed him...

Knowing Where Everything Is

UNITED STATES—The hell with cleaning, I say. One of the traits of genius is being oblivious to a mess. What can be really phenomenal, though, is periodically going through stuff. Going through stuff is a hedge against panic when assaulted by: where is it? The keys! The remote! The documents! Something missing really upsets the apple cart in this Petri...

Bedside

UNITED STATES—Scene: Smells. A dog would love this place and never leave. There are ripe smells and revolting smells. There are cooking food smells from the kitchen that emits salsa music when the swing door opens. There are smells of fresh nurses reporting to work. From wide ajar doors escapes the unmistakable, humbling effluvia of a bedpan being changed,...

Kaminsky’s Tale

UNITED STATES—Peet Boggs, the film historian and schnorrer manqué, interviewed filmmaker Jules Kaminsky many times starting in the mid-70s. The two first met when Boggs had a part as a scrub pine in Kaminsky’s long-awaited masterpiece, “Masterpiece.”  In the lore of unfinished film, this work is a holy grail, occupying a place equaled perhaps only by Orson Welles’, “The...

Riot On The Southwest Chief (3)

UNITED STATES—A muffled announcement came over the loudspeaker, “This is Garden City, Kansas. If this is your stop, get off here. This will be a brief stop. This will not be a smoking stop.” The tribe of smokers on board groaned. As the groans subsided, the Southwest Chief clanked into forward movement again and Raveendran’s mouth watered as the deserted...

Bedside (6)

UNITED STATES—"OK, when will you be back?" the mom says from her wheelchair to the parting figures of her caregiver and boyfriend. "Sunday afternoon," Tatiana calls back and then the glass doors shut behind her and Oscar. A serious looking woman in a gray knitted sweater and shouldering a handbag comes to close to the door and a harsh new...

Showing Rooms

UNITED STATES—A dispatch from the fifth day of the Gulf War, “I picked up Betty to clean this house (on Manhattan Place). A crew of Mexicans are digging in the basement of Van Buren, raising the supports, and now the old house is maladjusted: you can barely close the doors. During the day, I showed the room to three...

Schadenfreude (An Introduction)

UNITED STATES—I wouldn’t make a very good politician. I leave shambles, wars and broken hearts wherever I go. It must be my big mouth. Anyhow, nothing bugs me as much as people who are time vampires. There may be somebody I really like but if they get off track on the phone and tell me about the wart on their...

Bedside (20)

UNITED STATES—"Oh, look! She signed the check!" Davy says. "There's hope," Karen says. Hope that she gets on the anti-anxiety meds and it dissolves her resistance to therapy, and getting out of bed." "She's gotten out of bed already a lot. When you're 90." "You're such an apologist for her," Karen speaks. "You can't touch me with your evil, logical yet hopeful eye,...

Suspicious

UNITED STATES—Raising a child between two addresses, located halfway across town, is no bed of roses. Jared Hill knows. He takes his son Kyle to school bright and early on Monday for that stinking 7 a.m. AP class. What! Are the people running the school sick? This self-evident reaction is concealed for Kyle’s sake: rebelling against school policy would...
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