Miller Time

Parallel Lives

UNITED STATES—Both are born in 1892. Ernst is being groomed to enter the family tailoring business. Max is bitten by the stage, though it’s unclear his enthusiasm rubbed off on Ernst, or the love of drama was something both Ernst and Max carried already and bounced off each other. The two had been childhood playmates and then they becaome...

My Brief Life As A Spy

UNITED STATES—One can be deceptively in awe of other nationalities when one belongs to the ink trade. They seem to have established more reliable means for distinguished writers to be distinguished. In Latin America one can become a diplomat (Octavio Paz and Pablo Neruda). In England, for instance, quite a few have gotten into intelligence, such as Ian Fleming,...

A Rendezvous With Bounty

UNITED STATES—People barely tear open a bag of potato chips and they say, “I open a bag. And once I start eating potato chips, I just can’t stop.” That knee-jerk spoken reaction is as harmful as the actual fact of not being able to stop before finishing the whole bag of chips. These remarks, uttered usually with a sly grim,...

Full Circle

UNITED STATES—Astonishing how things blossomed after joining the Spanish-language theater group. After one of the group's rehearsals Rafael, the director, invited me to check out a new cultural group. He gave me a street number on Vermont Avenue that I scribbled on a scrap of paper. They were meeting the next Saturday afternoon. Bring something to read, Rafael said. I...

Take A Bow

UNITED STATES—The apple red Subaru wagon with Nevada plates that expanded my world—there was the court circus, dunning tenants, showing rooms and it made possible taking part in “Maxtla,” a stage play of a doomed prehispanic King, pre-Cortez, pre-Spanish—even though it was presented in Spanishby the Bohemia Theater Group. To a great extend the group WAS Marta Esther Main,...

New Media

UNITED STATES—There they are again with that rustling, crackling energy on the streets. They travel in packs, little islands of smugness among us old timers; there they are shielded by a sense goofy camaraderie in the implacable gulf that springs between them and us who were here first. It would be breaking an unwritten law to hail them in...

Aftermath

UNITED STATES—The end of April, the city was in flames. Incredibly my new city, a week before had suffered an eight-mile explosion when a sewer full of gasoline exploded and left a permanent scar in Guadalajara, April 22. Then Los Angeles was in flames. A lot of people had seen it coming. "The Day of the Locust," Nathaniel West had...

Bedside (22)

UNITED STATES—"The silence filtered through charcoal silence. I want to let it all out..." "Well this forced the issue, something like the fall had to happen. And now it's bringing everything out into the open." "Like the fact that you're an embezzler...? Davy glares at her. "Can't you tell when I'm kidding?" "Freud said there are no jokes." "That may be true. Have you ever...

Bedside (23)

UNITED STATES—It is a new scene. There is darkness, closed shades. A huge Victorian bed against the wall, and all around there is stuff, dusty boxes, knicknacks, kewpie dolls and tennis rackets. A figure lies in bed--Davy. His left leg is propped under the covers in a leg cast. Mom trundles along on a rubber-socket reinforced cane. "The doctor says you'll...

Sitting Pretty

UNITED STATES—Money in the bank--that's what this new iteration of the screenplay way.  Confident, buoyant, even a little cocky. It was heady to be working on it with an accomplished filmmaker, and it gave me something to talk about at parties. But I just realized something: because of my native thrift I had plenty of money now, thanks to property...
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