Miller Time

Hard Boiled

UNITED STATES—Working for Wylie, a door opened at Fraser Bros. Boiler Company, the ersatz office of Wylie properties. The location next to a beauty parlor on La Brea had been adopted because the wife of the owner was doing accounting, straightening out the business of Jim Wylie. According to Cheryl, the receipts for the first year had previously been housed...

Love And War

UNITED STATES—Crazy thing. One of the residents of Manhattan Place recognized a woman who’d left a deposit on a room I had shown. The woman had been a mental patient four years earlier. Now this great tenant, Dee, who recognized she didn’t want to live in our house any more. Go ahead, tear me apart: gain one loony and...

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...

Lucky Dog

UNITED STATES—Two thousand dollars was an unusually small amount for a trust deed. For that amount I had sewn up as collateral the whole ramshackle six-unit apartment house on 47th St. The payments came from Gus Morales as regular as clockwork, thus vindicating my faith in Gus and his family. There came a time when I would leave Los Angeles...

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...

Bedside (3)

UNITED STATES—"Good afternoon," says a very tall man dressed in blue, a bit too cheerily. "You're the occupational therapist," says the son, remembering him from the day before. "Are you still trying to give my mom a new job?" The man in blue gives a forced smile. He's heard the joke before. "I train the patient to turn on a faucet, to open...

First Date

UNITED STATES—Giselle found herself on a date with Travis Knowles, who was almost as wide as he was tall. The very loud houndstooth design on his jacket could have been discerned from the nose-bleed seats to the end zone of the Colosseum. The very few hairs loyal to his head were painstakingly dyed dark red. This was kind of a...

Joy: An Anecdote Of Doggy Destiny

UNITED STATES—This is a story about dogs. I was walking my two dogs on a Saturday evening in Hollywood. I was on my way to Yucca Supermarket and I remembered the teaching of one holy man--such as occasionally inhabit these streets--imparted when I was very new to having a dog. Seeing the tension produced when my chihuahua terrier tugged abruptly...

Lost

UNITED STATES—Doing a good deed in poor conscience really sucks. Eliza knew. She was crossing the city on a Friday night, after being held hostage by a motor mouth on a phone, either too drugged or oblivious to get the drift. Eliza was squirming, she detested procrastination, even to use the term implied a kind of compromise. And that...

Whole Lotta Shakin

UNITED STATES—Among the carryovers from the Meyer era of Johnson Drug was Tammy the bookkeeper. She wore a dark sweater and skirt and was Japanese-American. Her lair was the office up on the top of the stairs in back, all glassed in. It had been a record listening room in the prior incarnation of the store at the corner....
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