There's more photos of the frosty window on my other artsy-fartsy blog Follow Your Bliss...
Thought I might post a little bit of what I've been working on lately, the latest labor of love, there's still much to do, but this little bit came out of this weekend's work...this is a bit from chapter 4 of Layers of Illusion...the story of Eleanor Dean and Howard Macrae...
Ten years. I’ve been such a hermit these days I rarely pay attention to anything beyond here and there, home and work, there and back again. Ten years ago is a long time. Ten is a magical number—a reckoning on the timeline—a milestone, the memories measured, leveled off, and poured into a sieve; happier times slip through with relative ease, and the heavy clumps of pain that remain are examined closely—what do they mean?
Why remember the things long past? Well, because on page one of The Post Standard there is a name that brings everything back with clarity. Howard Macrae.
Curiosity killed the cat, need I say more? It was much like that predictable feline curiosity that made me pick up the phone and buy a ticket—just one—I said to the voice on the other end, I got lucky—there was one left, well, more than one, there were several. Did I want Orchestra or Mezzanine, she wanted to know.
After I hung up, I guess that voice who asked thought it curious that I only wanted one ticket, I mean really, who in their right mind would go to a play alone? Did anyone ever say that I was in my right mind? I plead temporary insanity. But, of course, Howard Macrae would probably think I am perfectly sane. Sam Shephard’s The Tooth of Crime was one of his favorite plays—or so he said when I knew him and we went together along with a pack of our friends to see it way back when, and through his influence, I loved the play too. Tonight I will see him again, ten years older—has he changed?
Is he balding?
Has his firm, young man body started to turn into the plush, padding of a grown man?
When he appeared in the spotlight leather-clad on his throne as the main character ‘Hoss’, my eyes absorbed every inch of his being from my perch on the edge of seat AA 20 in the Mezzanine. I haven’t seen him since the day he knocked on my dorm room door—he’s still the same—heartbreakingly handsome and ridiculously arrogant, strutting around the stage with his chest puffed out, heavy biker boots clomping on the boards, perfectly on the mark with his lines, his voice in full throttle as he belted out song after song during the duel with Crow—in the end, Hoss is frantic—beaten.
I’m pulled and pushed around from one image to another—
Nothin’ takes a solid form.
Nothin’ sure and final.
Where do I stand! he cries out
I watched with horror as the end came in the lightning flash of strobe lights, the brief twinkle of the gun barrel, his eyes wide as he fit it into his mouth—the lights went out as the gun went off.
Hoss is dead. Becky Lou’s loyalty quickly shifted to the very razor Crow. That bitch. I brushed a few tears from my cheeks.
The members of the cast came out to take their final bows, and as much as everyone seemed to love the tall, slender, young Crow, Howard Macrae as Hoss received a standing ovation when he stepped out from behind the curtain—he was magnificent in his sweaty glory.
When the lights came up in the small theater, the magic of the evening dissipated as everyone rose with a low murmur of voices, gathered their coats, hats, and gloves—the light felt oppressive after being in the dark for so long. In the light of reality, I hated him—well, I really wanted to hate him for what he did to me all those years ago, but looking back on it, it was really a small matter—a matter of the heart—our hearts, his and mine, both of us wanted something different. He didn’t want me, and I wanted to hate him, but I love him instead.
When I saw his name in the paper as the director and the leading man—Howard Macrae—I knew then that I had never stopped loving him—if I could even call it love—I barely knew him, I loved looking at him, I loved the image of him. Infatuation is maybe more like it—my racing heart doesn’t know the difference—pit-a-pat pit-a-pat pit-a-pat pit-a-pat pit-a-pat a mile a minute—Howard Macrae-Howard-Macrae-Howard Macrae-Howard-Macrae-Howard-Macrae-Howard Macrae. The two dark arches over each brown eye, the thick forelock of hair falling over his pale brow, the disarming toothy grin—always ready for a close up, a head shot—a pretty boy—now a handsome grown man. He once said that he wanted to be on Broadway—I thought he should’ve gone for Hollywood, but he’s not in either. Instead, he’s in a dinky theater in an Upstate New York college town, so far off Broadway the lights of the Great White Way aren’t even a glow on the eastern horizon.
That's it. Sigh.
Oh, Elly, Elly, Elly...Eleanor Dean. I do have my hands full writing this woman...Howard has been easy...almost too easy. Buck Orion is going to be a tough one when I get around to him...even tho' I've known him longer...writin' books takes years...especially a good one. This one will be a good one someday...
Here's more winter inspiration...Frost, 1995, watercolor on a scrap piece of BFK Rives...