NaPoWriMo #9

Monday, April 09, 2018

Questionnaire Responses

1.   I think I was a comfort once or twice, doing fake rituals that really worked, leading my graduate school lover down an imaginary road on which he met what healed him. And he was a comfort, too, drawing talismanic cartoons and once a stylized black bird on my breastbone in Sharpie for luck. (As much as I dislike the word “lover,” I suppose it fits.) 

2.   Arthur Miller wrote the movie The Misfits for Marilyn Monroe, and she was too out of it most days to perform properly on set, but that quality pretty much works in the film.  She is getting a divorce in Reno.  Clark Gable is in love with her.  They were both much smaller than they appeared on screen.  Eli Wallach plays Guido, who loves her also and who carries around the story of having let his wife die in childbirth.  Therefore, one night he drives much too fast down a country road at night, Clark Gable passed out in the backseat, and Marilyn leaning forward to say an incantation, “You’re right, Guido,” bringing comfort to save herself, as women sometimes do.  

It is possible I am getting some details wrong. I watched this movie many times, but it’s been several years since I watched it last.  Splendor in the Grass with Natalie Wood, on the other hand, I could almost recite at one point and still remember well.  Once in high school I took a nap in the afternoon and dreamed a large chunk of the movie.

3.    It is always haunted. 

4.   It’s always one’s own belfry, no matter what, that one is stuck in. 

5.   Caftan arts are totally a thing. 

6.   The old woman’s hand rising up next to my bed when I was four or so … that time it was just me and whoever that was, until I jumped out of bed, as far out into the center of the room as I could, and ran to get my mother. 

7.    There’s worship and there’s worship.  How much of the story do you gather before you make up your narrative of admiration?  Once a boy sat at Reading Terminal Market eating lunch and told me, “I’ve been thinking of that baby picture of you, the serious look on your face,” meeting me in that narrative for a time.  I suppose by then he was almost a man.  


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