Miller Time

A Real Kick

UNITED STATES—I was flush in confidence, soon to complete a second draft of my screenplay, “The Persecuted,” on my Olivetti portable that fit snugly atop a sun-bleached street find Art Deco table, positioned by the driveway window where my eyes could wander to the tops of the palm trees tall my dreams. I had made a sweet deal to...

Car Washing In Malibu

UNITED STATES—Two British girls traveling in Los Angeles had met the poet Eric on a bus on his way home from the law office. They came breezing into the living room at Nadeau Dr. one evening around Boone's Farm hour. One of them had slightly buck teeth; they giggled a lot. After that, they kept coming to share their...

There’s A Screenwriter On My Couch

UNITED STATES—That June, I got off the Tijuana-downtown Los Angeles bus with one huge suitcase and moseyed over to the house on Nadeau Drive on Victoria Circle. I got back from my first long stay in Mexico to a lotta problems. Los Angeles housing is a problem; getting around is a problem; finding a job is a problem. I...

Opinions

UNITED STATES—I used to be jealous of opinions because I was around people who were so fluent in opinions. I took it as a sign of their intelligence. They knew French fries were only good when eaten warm, or I should change my 666 phone prefix because the diabolical connotations may prevent some people from calling me. These things...

Indecision

UNITED STATES—Nothing so entraps a life in mediocrity as inability to decide. It dooms people to limbo, and nevertheless, it’s easy to see why they choose limbo. It’s scary to decide; you want to leave the door open, or at least ajar, to be able to slink back out. Look, you wouldn’t believe it, but a sentence ago I wanted...

Happiness Is An Empty Fridge

UNITED STATES—I totally get it when a friend said after attending a big wedding back east, lots of family and drink, “I’m in detox mode.” I get it. Travel this summer has taken its toll and severely tested my easygoing live-and-let-eat philosophy. I was at the mercy of roadside convenience stores in a dozen states. At one point I was trapped...

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,...

Riot On The Southwest Chief (7)

UNITED STATES—“Eee ha!” shouted Gloria as Rusty’s red pickup sped over stretches of what had once been Route 66. “We’re bringing relief and salvation to the prisoners aboard the Southwest Chief. Vegetables and fresh smokes.” Rusty added, “I’ve got a flame thrower to install torch-down roofing. If we encounter resistance aboard the train, it’ll come in handy.” So it was, beefy...

Riot On The Southwest Chief (6)

UNITED STATES—The red pick-up flew along parallel to the train tracks in hopes of catching up with the train that had left Raveendran and Gloria in the dust. “I’ve got a plan,” said the man in the red T-shirt intent behind the wheel. Name of Rusty Nails. “What is it?” Gloria the Gluten-Phobe was able to say in a quieter stretch...

Riot On The Southwest Chief (5)

UNITED STATES—Raveendran’s eyes locked onto the dull silver string of cars that constituted the Southwest Chief, chased by a lone sagebrush tumbling to Ratón’s main street. The window of the general store supplied a beautiful view. Over the ridge disappeared the last car, and there only remained the rails, silver shiny on top. “A hamburger,” Raveendran said to the red-bearded...