9/7/11

video: MALKOVICH, "PALMS"


Jesse almost died during the making of this video. I've seen him almost die three times, and only once I wasn't sure he would die cool.The first two strokes he rode out in the driver's seat of that truck like fevers, nodding at me as I walked up and squeezing out choice words through wet lips. The last time he couldn't walk, all he could do is stand in the middle of the lot and cry in his friend's arms while people drove around them trying not to cry too. He told me he wouldn't survive surgery, he was tired of the hospital, he wanted his mother to fly him home. On the way to his cousin's house he forgot both our names and where we were going. But he made sure I stopped by T&D's on Slauson and Keniston to cop his last cigarette. By his fifth cellphone call to St. Louis from his cousin's lawn he was barely breathing. By the time the third fire truck showed up he had to be talked out of walking off down the street. Pride kills him and revives him, every day. He was mad at me for a while for making that call. And I was mad at him for forcing me to make it. When you're really hurting, you handle that alone. You spare your people your burden. His mother sent me a thank you card. 

Mrs Brown downstairs passed away a couple of weeks ago. The funeral announcement had the first young photos of her I had ever seen; made me wish I had known her then. Don't get buried at Inglewood Cemetary if you have soft-speaking relatives. The planes overhead will drown out every other heartfelt word of their speeches. Lucile was 80; she had a good run. And even when she had fallen out of her walker, she would wait thirty minutes before shouting my name, and she would apologize until I was gone, happy to help, sad that I couldn't. She knew the rules, too well. Nights I lay sweating atop hardwood and bedbug stains, hours after trying to sleep way too early, 15 feet in either direction from two people dying slow. I wish I had been there more for the people around me. But I always was. Just behind a wall. I hope they could feel me. I definitely felt them.


Larry & Angel sent me a thank you card. Lot of thank you cards this summer.

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