|476> Côte d'Azur '94: body-dubbling in a b-grade sci-fi skin flick (th inspiration for Marsupial)|
[digging further int' our journel archives not yet transcribed here on 5¢ense ... choosing these particular entries from late '94 — early '95 cuz: 1). they mite come in handy when we git back to vol 3 of 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' (tho probly not innytime soon since we only = ¼ the way thru A Raft Manifest) + 2). cuz we gonna go 2 Nice + southern France this summer so intrest'd t' see th ∆iffrence then + now + 3). just cuz we got nada else of intrest going on on the homefront xcept working on A Raft Manifest (of wich 2 xcerpts got publish'd this week, 1 in theEEL + another in Miracle Monocle) + Robert Lopez + Sam Ligon stay'd w/ us last weekend (they came 2 town for some readings). To set th stage ... spring of '94 we graduated from U of Az w/ a master's in physics then went to South Dakota for 6 months to put our hiyher education t' work as a grill cook (rilly an xcuse to just rock climb in th Black Hills + Devil's Rock) then by fall things got too cold for comfort so we wander'd aimlessly 4 a wile ending up back "home" in northern California cuz we had no money, when serindipitously we got a fax from our brother + cousin - an invite to work on a film in southern France ¿how cd we say no? up 2 this point weed never traveled to Europe + had no job ± girlfriend or money or even a car. This xperience form'd th basis/ inspiration for Marsupial + into this journel we also mixed our random notes + brainstorms for other writings in progress (wich we'll selectively exclude here along w/ more personal digressions). We still wrote by hand in these days, tho member having 1 of those portable electronic typewriters we brot along).]
Sitting in a terminal, waiting for a plane. It leaves to France at 9:00. Can't seem to find the AOM counter, but that's o.k. Deaf guys, well supposedly deaf guys, walk around handing out cards expecting you to give them a dollar. Watching people at the Garuda counter going to Indonesia. Recovering from a week of California stagnation. Now free. New experience, new trails. 4:29. Mazzy Star. Black leather shoes. Wide open spaces. Marble Floors. Symmetric triple shadows of my hand writing. Display of departures - Guadalajara, Milan, Manila, Auckland. 4:31. Going to meet Kevin and Roger to climb around on a climbing wall and write physics equations for $2600? I have $331 dollars to my name and I don't speak a word of French. I am a sponge that has been wrung out. People, places. I am alone. M- [girl in SD] left behind. A- [another girl in Az] left behind. She called late last night wanting to know "where we stand?" Why do I feel so heartless and cold? Just because I don't think much about her and tell her that and tell her to just let it go. [...digresses into personal stuff + the beginnings of some story about a dad that took odd jobs. "Cleaning gutters in the fall or washing windows in the spring. Shoveling snow in winter, but always on the move. We had a red ford van with no windows in the back..." ... don't think we ever turned this story into anything?]
5:07. Cops harassing some woman in front of me. They wheeled her baggage away to search it. Standing around talking in low voices. Hardly a word of English floating in the air. Six cops. They wheeled her bags back. I'd like to check my backpack in so I could be more mobile. They just arrested her. She put up a struggle as they handcuffed her. She looks Native American. She looks well trained in civil disobedience. Passively resisting arrest without losing her cool. I'd like to know what's going on here.
[followed by another page of notes for a story called "Terminal" wich if we did finish it lies dormant on our harddrive unread]:
It's around 3 in the afternoon but everyone just woke up and we had breakfast. I've been typing in "Metal"(?) on Kevin's laptop [i think he aksed me t' bring it t' France 4 him], got to the point where he puts the baby through the x-ray machine and the computer ran out of juice. Above the bright diffuse clouds.
Insert: "Please maintain visual contact with your personal belongings at all times."
(Lady's crawling through flaps) [digresses further into aformention'd story about a woman who accidentally puts her baby thru a metal detector]
Sitting in Kevin's office. Him and Richard are arguing about this and that. Their drawing of Mr. Stitch and his toys are all over the walls. Arrived into Paris and they fucked up on my flight so I had to go standby on the flight I was supposed to be on in the first place. Kevin and Jordan picked me up at the airport in Nice. Wil Wheaton was on the same flight as I was from L.A., the guy I'm standing in for. I'll be staying with Kevin and Jordan until I find a place. I was up all night, felt like morning to me, and then when the sun came up I was tired. Went with Kevin to the studio. Jordan's on location with Roger filming cars going off cliffs. I put all the holds on this climbing wall thats about nine meters high and looks like a giant monolith and i put climbing holds all over it [see above sketch]. There's weird props all over, hand held clam computers, some twisted science fiction-like movie in the vein of Dr. Who or Ed Wood.
So I'm snoozing off and Rutger Hauer comes in with a snowboard in his hand. I'm sleeping at Kevin's desk in the art department so Rutger assumes I'm in the art department and starts going off on how he wants this cart for his character (not in the script). I mention i want some coffee and Richard's like shut up but then Rutger says its a good idea so suddenly Richard's running to the office, like "Mr. Hauer wants coffee. Make it good, order out, like capuccino!" And this girl returns with 4 cups while Rutger is going on about his cart and Richard and Kevin are taking him very seriously. Dropping what they are doing and arguing over what design is better. This whole business is enlightening. It's very chaotic and people stress way too much. They have a lot of money but things are totally haphazard and most of the time people don't know what they're doing and they just bullshit a lot.
Was up all night reading. Went to sleep as Jordan was getting up for work (5 a.m.). [then digresses into sum dreams we had about a basketball tournament with all walks of life dressed in regular clothes. It turned into a sort of opera like dance w/ weird interactions. Bruce [my climbing partner in SD] was in it wearing this giant head of a witch]
I had most of "Metal" typed in but Kevin erased it, trashed it. Saw the words LAX and thought it was some story Uncle Don wrote. Just hanging out at Kevin's desk and Rutger Hauer comes in. Kind of bored smoking cigarettes, looking at all the pictures and I'm just reading the script. He's going off about how he wants a white pool table and then "yah, Yah! We could get a forklift to carry the pool table, and we could paint it white, yah, I'd like to have a white forklift." Everyone's running around the set like chicken's with their heads cut off.
[then it digresses into notes/brainstorming for another story i was working on along w/ french vocabulary + dreams we had]:
Had the day off and so did Jordan so first we cruised the street market and bought all sorts of fresh foods. Then we ate at some outdoor cafe near this outdoor antique flea market near the harbor. Then walked along the shore around this peninsula, really cool rock, and the clear Mediterranean. It's been almost a year since I've touched the ocean.
First day of int shooting. Lots of time waiting while they finished the big white room and got cameras and lights set up. I was a stand-in for Wil Wheaton, but actually I was a "lay in". Got to lay on the bed a long time while Rutger Hauer put this thermometer in my mouth, on the big black hole which is this coffin-like clam bed that rises out of the floor of the white expanse. After a while I just fell asleep while they adjusted everything. And they're paying me $100 a day. And we get spoiled with catered lunch and dinner.
28th revolution and I'm in France. Was supposed to climb the climbing wall but the costume didn't fit. So I showed this French kid how to do it. Spent most of the day laying like a corpse on the black rising vulva bed/coffin/hole in the white room, while they adjusted cameras, lights, etc. Kevin and Jordan took me out to eat Vietnamese food for my birthday.
Sat in the thing that hoists people in and out of wheelchairs all day and lifted fake weights and climbed around horizontally on the climbing wall, all in the name of standing in.
Hour upon hour of sitting around. Everyone smoking, the smell of paint and glue, the glaring white sterility. The creamy cheesy food. It all just makes me feel like a piece of stale tortilla. Now the body has progressed to walking and looking at Rorschach cards. Thanksgiving dinner didn't begin until 11 pm. (These 14 hour days are a drag.) We went to Mexican food. The owner, Bo, is a trip. Telling us about his coincidental Rutger Hauer dreams. Good food and obnoxious company, but people like Richard make me laugh til my gut hurts. I need exercise and to see "nature" in a big, big way. I don't see how people live like this on a regular basis.
I was just talking with Kevin and Rob Letterman and they were talking about how dangerous Egypt was or something and Rob says— "I could get just as shot in L.A." and I experienced dejá vù like I had this dream, and I should check a previous journal. And in this dream or dejá vù I even felt like I needed to write it down. And I just woke up over and over and wrote it in my journal, just like I am now, and the dejá vù kept compounding itself. I dreamt about baseball in the white room again last night.
Saturday was endless, lots of standing around inhaling second hand smoke. For one moment I stepped outside and the colors were brilliant. Purple sunset over the Mediterranean. I was used to the white saturation and visceral deprivation of the white room. When 9 p.m. rolls around some of us (Me, Kevin, Jordan, Richard, Rob and Chris) relocate to a small smokey Jazz bar in old Nice. Then we went to get salad Niçoise and much wine and a rude waiter. And then who knows how many bars after that, half of which we were denied entry to due to Richard's obnoxious behavior. Kinda funny actually. We'd try to hide him when we were going into a bar but he'd always make his presence known. The bouncer would deny Richard entry (he'd say the rest of us were okay) because Richard has ripped leather motorcycle pants on. Richard would pull out a wad of five hundred franc notes and flash them in the bouncer's face— "you don't know what you're missing, dude!!" He'd point to his pants— "tres sheik!!" He'd point to Kevin's Austrian hunting shoes— "tres sheik, dude!" The bouncer's stare at him with a little pity like he was retarded. We must have gone to a dozen different places. Most of them were really cheesey because those were the places we were allowed to go into. Geeky 70's French Karaoke bars and this one club that was like $10 bucks to get in and it was like a house party. We danced semi-sarcastically and drank whiskey, guinness and côte du rhône all night. Got home at 4 a.m. but Richard is now telling me that he stayed out even later til 10 a.m. Kevin, Jordan and I woke up and started driving around on our day off. Toll road after toll road, lost in strange towns with themes, like Grass, the perfume town where everything smells like perfume. Everything is like lego-land, jagged and blocky. Ended up somewhere in the hills and got out and started walking for a few miles and we got to this place called Chateau du Gordon. Trippy castle like thing on a thin ridge. There was a road up the backside so it was kind of anti-climatic (far as hiking goes) but cool i guess in a European way - little cafes and soap shops and shit like that. Went down by sunset and went to St. Paul de Vence. Everything is just thrown together, rocks and stones formed into jagged alleyways with little houses and restaurants. All the stones are smooth with years of history.
Trying to work on my resume and cover letter to send to Bruce G- [brother of a climber friend of mine that was an editor @ a magazine in Paris] somewhat promising just from talking to him on the phone, but don't want to get my hopes up as it would be too good to be true. Being a writer, travelling, etc. We'll see. Now back to the visceral whiteness, hour after smokey hour.
The body has his bandages taken off. He examines himself in the mirror. He was supposed to punch the mirror and break it but Wil tried with brass knuckles even, and couldn't do it. His frustration was real. The scene was symbolic of the making of the movie. The worst time is when wrap is called and everyone stands around smoking and waiting. I don't know what everyone's waiting for, but it's painful and ever-enduring. You'd think everyone would just want to go home. Then going out with Kevin, Richard and Jordan and listen to them bitch, bitch, bitch especially about Bernard [the French producer or studio manager]. I did finish my cover letter and couldn't sleep, dreaming about Bernard and these other sleezy and stoned French guys lounging around. I brought this girl from the states and Bernard stuck his dick in her face. Then we went off and were playing with this neglected child that belonged to Morgan Mason.
Pretended to read the bible while Rutger Hauer plugged a fake EKG machine made from a huge white plastic cross section of a leaf with a CRT displaying spinning jelly-bean like things into my arm. Dreamt I was in a raft handing books to Rutger Hauer, but the raft was tipping because the books were physics books and heavy and falling out of my hands. Then a baby bald eagle flew by and I dropped what I was doing to look at it, and expressed surprise "thats only the second one I've ever seen, this one's young — the other one I saw was really old." No one cared. I asked if anyone else had seen one and they said "no". Then I thought I lost my keys in this restaurant in a bad part of town, so i borrowed someone's fleece jacket to go through parking garages and alleys to look for it. When I got there I had my keys so realized it must have been my fleece body suit to begin with. Everyone was feeling it to figure out what material it was, wool, lycra, etc...
This vain existence is reaching new levels to the point that I can't believe that people take themselves so seriously. Is there no one to confide in except myself? Is there no sincerity or common decency? I mean, there's etiquette and all that but what about plain respect? I've decided that I can't live another day listening to Kevin and Jordan bitch and bitch in traffic jams, cigarette after cigarette, bitch, bitch, bitch, ... so I'm moving into a hotel tonight. That way I can at least walk to work and back every day. Get exercise, solitude and fresh air. And I'll have time to write. When I get back to my room, they won't turn on the tv or light a cigarette or start in their 'Bernard this, Bernard that' rants,'These other people get more money','they get a car, this person gets a room' etc. It's always more, more, more. Even Roger is petty like that. The rental Mercedes is not good enough, this bottled water doesn't taste like bottled water. Roger had an extra car that was better than Jordan's Alfa Romeo. So of course, Kevin has to have it, it's the principal of the thing. Why they need two cars, who knows. It's hard enough to park one in their neighborhood. You can walk faster than cars move in this city. I'm bitching but I know something will come of witnessing this vanity and greed. It physically grips people. I see everyone in white suits, cameramen, gaffers, soundmen, crouched around the actors and I still see them as a family, a tribe of apes, acting civzilized. I'm a simple nature boy at heart. I see them as biological organisms, straight to the truth of their genetic make-up. This vanity and pretense doesn't bother me, it fascinates me. It's extremely abstract, what is going on here? What are they driving at? Should we be observers or should we experience the myth and ritual. It seems all people 'experience' is stress and greed, it consumes people 99% of the time. There were a few moments yesterday when I was truly inspired by Wil's acting. It became real. It became the tension that exists in the studio, the tension between Rutger and Wil, or Dr. Wakeman and Mr. Stitch (the creation, the workers). Mr. Stitch staring Rutger down. "If you run I could catch you and crush your skull." He demands a name, not to be monitored by the eye, books of fiction and a mirror. That's good stuff. I'm not sure they realize it. They need to run with the emotions running through the crew. They need spontaneity. Nia Peeples is a shining star, the only one who doesn't seem to get sucked into the drama. Physically, she is very beautiful. She glows, radiates healthiness. Today Stitch meets Nia (Elizabeth English). I've had insomnia a lot and have been dreaming too much. I can't remember last nights dream except I was playing basketball.
Sunday morning and I got up early despite a late night of pillaging in old Nice, being denied access into more bars cuz on account of Richard's ripped leather motorcycle pants (that he wears over pajamas), beer after beer, mexican food at Calexico, but now I walk along the Mediterranean and stopped at this market, got some fruit and nuts and had a cafe au lait and a croissant in an outdoor cafe (how typically Euro), then walked up this hill with gardens overlooking Nice. Nice! I got my own place and feel much more liberated. I can walk to work, I can go home when I'm done, rather then bring this whole social drama home with me. I can write. And it's behind the Citadines so I can go bug everyone else, Richard, Tom, Wil, ... basically everyone is staying there.
A couple images that struck deep: A man by himself on the beach with five fishing poles, propped and spaced perfectly, cast into the sea. Five, no more, no less, just like the number of horses on Krishna's chariot. I've been working on this story, actually I framed the wandering father kidnapping son story into a scheme where it's told by the son later, relating the history of the vehicle as he endures a snowstorm in Joshua Tree drinking red wine with his climbing buddy. Callnig it "Asleep at the Wheel."
The best thing about this "job" is the amount of reading I get done. Read "Einstein's Monsters" by Martin Amis, which I thought sucked, because it doesn't create, it explains. Too much like essays. I'm getting too picky about my reading material being pure fiction. Like mythology where meaning is inferred. I don't want people explaining stuff to me. I could of stayed in physics if I wanted that. Also finished "Tender is the Night" which I guess sucked me in, mostly because of sense of place and as an escape. A lot of the story takes place in Southern France on movie sets, etc... Walked to the Modern Art Museum and checked it out. Tres cool. The coolest part was how I got out and I still felt like I was in a museum. Weird how you can label something art and it becomes this almost sacred untouchable object. I met Kevin and Jordan and we ate at a large outdoor cafe in old Nice, then saw a movie that was so bad it was good (at least it was unpredictable and convoluted). It had Marlon Brando in it. And it had french subtitles, which is my new mode for learning french. I've been reading the francais-anglais diccionaire, so I can read french. J'desiree qui parlee francais plus de n'importe quoi. Peut-etre j' ecrire seulement in francias ainsi j'apprendre plus rapide. J'faire face a Mathew Modine qui je pense etre "cool" por quoi j pense qui c'est un bon beaucoup acteur. Fresh in my head from seeing "Short Cuts" right before i cam here. Matthew Modine! Birdy! He he was in town and dropped by the set. Before this he was at the vatican and saw a man jacking off in the pews, he said that his penis was about the diameter of a coke can.
At least I've been doing some reading and writing, that's all I can say about this existence, or that I met Mathew Modine, or ... I read Fitzgerald's "Diamond as big as the Ritz" more short stories about being continuity in a film, Nice, etc... Typed up "Metal and Milk" and wrote "Asleep at the Wheel", one take, one sitting. I'm hungry to write. Always hungry, it's a gnawing in my belly made hungrier by creamy, delicate french food. Although I did a late night Mc'D's run with Richard last night. Went over to his relatively luxurious suite to snag a hot shower and watch "The Fountainhead" on TNT. Brilliant story. So what's my body doing? The body destroyed the EKG, got pissed off, he's getting angry and everyone on the set is getting really tense and testy and someone is going to explode. Talk, talk, talk. I've heard it so many times, but everybody keeps going on. No one i can relate to. Got Richard one on one, and out of the blue says all people in the Appalachians are in-bred. So i tell him about Rebecca [my friend from West Virginia] and this leads to a discussion about climbing, he was all interested to know how hard a 5.14 was (reducing something to the end goal, not the spirit of it). I try to impart on him the beauty of climbing, the sport-trad debate, but it's hard to describe, it's something you just need to experience. I try to think of the real world analogy. Why would something develop like that? So I'm hungry, what's for dinner? The Fibonacci thing? Piles of leaves? Natural lakes in the black hills? Looking for glasses in a leafpile, a romance set in the black hills, a chick with a weak heart? Some guy that falls for this girl that's got cancer or a bad heart, snow in august, comes for the summer but won't endure the winter, everyone slowly leaves one by one, leaving him and the girl. The bad heart of the girl represents the conscience, the doings of this land, forefathers, "the heart of the black hills". "Smoke some kind bud and ski knee deep powder." A snowbird migrating tumbleweed. Now I'm sitting on top of this lifesize fiberglass whale that I guess used to be a movie prop. Maurice is going for the botchy balls. Found out I might have a part as a paramedic and my only line would be "I can't find the vein!" They'll have to cut my hair short, oh well $500. That helps. I'm grooving on the above yarn, it will probably turn into a novella of sorts. A story of vanity, living for the day at the expense of exploiting the bad heart.
Started shooting in studio 2 today. At least it was a change of environment. Wakeman Laboratories. Stunt scenes where the body beats up security guards. I just sat and read 1/3 of Martin Amis' "Money". Thinking about my next story. Just not sure how to piece it together. Start in Arizona, gets too hot, go to S.D. to work in a grill. Falls for waitress. Devil's tower debate, etc. . .
Day off, chilling on the port of Monaco, overlooking the yachts, beer in hand, waiting for a pizza. We were supposed to shoot the helicopter scene on Saturday but didn't get to it. They flew in Ron Jeremy to be the other Medic. The infamous Ron Jeremy, famous because of his supposedly huge cock at his beck and call. He's short and pudgy, smells funny and gives me the creeps. Roger wants Ron to say "I can't find the vein." He specifically flew Ron Jeremy out just to have him say that line. I did get to play a research scientist running through a maze escaping VX nerve gas. After work the usual shit, waiting around, then going to Calexico with "everybody", we got out of the car, Me, Kevin, Jordan and Richard and it was too much the same as last week. I'm sick of wasting money on bad food and lots of alcohol that just leaves you feeling unhealthy in the long run. "But this is our only night to party" —they say. Yeah well, this is our only night to relax, so we can wake up and enjoy our only day off. So I branched off and ate Thai food by myself and caught Pulp Fiction to practice reading french subtitles then walked home. Pulp Fiction was sort of boring the second time through. Woke up early, but not fanatically so, caught a train to Monaco. Actually I wanted to go to Italy but realized on the train that I forgot my passport. Monaco's actually a separate country of only 4,500 people. There's even a prince. Lots of fancy sports cars. I walked around these "exotic gardens" that had a lot of trippy succulents and walked by the waterfront to Monte Carlo, passing the Casino. I'm sure it's exciting at night, but otherwise so what. There's helicopters everywhere. People are too rich to bother with traffic. Guess I'll go back to Nice now, it's starting to feel like a home away from home. I would feel a lot better about being here if I spoke french. I'll sit on the Quay just because I like that word. Maybe I'll take a nap on the Quay. "Wake up to be tired or go to sleep when you're awake?" Avoid statements like this that let in thought, concentration pulls one of the train. The secret to writing is to lead them in without having them collapse back into their own egoid self.
So today was my "big day" ha ha. My 15 seconds of fame. Actually, it was a pretty freaky experience. I felt pretty lame, having to scream at the top of my lungs. Most of the takes went like:
Ron Jeremy: What happened to this guy? I can't find the vein.
And we had to yell this really loud, pretending we were yelling this over chopper sounds, that would be dubbed later. Flying through some canyon when we were in a quiet sound stage. I feel like raw meat. My skin peeled back. Like people saw something in me. I don't know whether that's good or bad. It exposed a weakness in me. It left me feeling pretty freaked, especially being with Ron Jeremy, the porno king! I left after that because I didn't have to stand in. Saw my "ca". This guy I see every morning walking. This morning I saw him at 6:45 when it was still dark out. Walking. Always the same clothes. He has the air of an artist. At 2 p.m. he was sitting on some grass with his shoes off, writing. It inspired me. He seemed really absorbed. It seems you have to shed your skin to reveal things about the world and make new associations and kill existing conventions. I'm willing to sacrifice a lot. I'm willing to sacrifice my reputation, my images, my loneliness. I condemn myself to wander this earth without a home. If I could just tap into that source and find my voice. I want to scream in words. I want the structure of a sentence to release me. I feel trapped by words. What's in a word? What's up with sentence structure? When it comes down to it, these words only reveal when you lose your inhibitions and put something at stake. If you think ahead of the words they get really cheap. Writing is not that much different than acting in that it requires imagining. Imagining what would be said to make it believable. I wish I could express the loneliness and pain that was in me up on that stage. There's something in me, hiding in this shell, this dark source, spring. Now I am very (fuck "very", weak word) I am frustrated because I can't get in the mind set for "Heart of the Black Hills". Tucson literally means "dark spring at the base of the mountains". Okay, now were getting somewhere. We go for a walk in these corridors of stone with mossy waterfalls. Unfamiliar sources. No natural lakes in the Black Hills. Leads to white man's dams. Maybe run into the porcupine who puts his face against the stone. Where are all these experiences going to? They come into my eyes and well up in me, but is it substantial? What is the thing that carries "that"? So many objects, places, situations, experiences, knowledge inside and you meet people and their time bombs with so much potential but we usually just talk about trivial shit. Come on damn it, give me some fucking words. Pull something from this deep dark ghostly well.
Went to work today even though Wil wasn't in any scenes. They wanted me to scribble a bunch of 'physics equations' on these curved chalkboards. So I did. An easy $100. Had a run-in with Bernard about getting paid for acting. He was trying to dick me over and say he was under the impression I was going to do it for free, since I was Roger's cousin. And he had the nerve to say they deducted expenses, but they haven't paid shit of my expenses. I demanded $550, as is the minimum an actor gets a day. So he wrote up a contract and gave me $550. Then Kevin had to open up a can of worms by bitching to Bernard after he had already paid me, so now John Parker and Gretchen and everyone is involved and getting all up tight about it and it's lame.
Have a day off because they're not shooting Wil today. Slept in and took the train to Cannes. Walked around a lot and now settled inside a restaurant (outside is cold and windy) overlooking the sea of masts in the harbor. I walked all through the old port looking for signs for people needing crews, but no luck. All the boats seemed settled in for the winter. Maybe by January or February in Spain? Found an English bookshop here and forked over 200F for the Illiad, The Sound and the Fury and Winner Takes Nothing. Oh well, think of each book as the price of a meal. Come on Pizza aux aubergine. I've been working on the "Heart of the Black Hills," randomly written on the backs of call sheets, maybe I'll try to get it together. Yesterday I had to coach Rutger Hauer and Taylor Negron on how to be physicists and write and talk physics.
Dreamt I was driving along in this foreign city and I saw mom on a bicycle-cart thing delivering newspapers. She had one of those canvas bags you sling over your shoulder and was jacknifed in the middle of a busy intersection, causing traffic to build up. She was sweating and along, trying to get the cart out of the way. [this dream got turn'd int' th story "Inheriting Her Paper Route" in Poste Restante] [followed by a 3-4 draft pages from my unpublished novel Strip Mine]
We went to Pascal's opening after work. No one was there at the gallery. We went to a bar on the port to get drunk. Pascal was there with a bunch of his friends. After we drank, I walked around and looked at the boats. Everything was funny, struck a nerve, then it was all spinning too much. They dropped me off and continued on drinking. I looked in the mirror. Ugly, hideous. Dark bags under my eyes. I scared myself. There's books all over my floor. And typewriter ribbons and laundry detergent. I know I will be thirsty and sore in the morning. Today we switched to the black room. Roger fired Rutger Hauer on my day off. The script is now metaphorical of the real life drama of the making of the movie. Roger had to change it overnite to write Rutger out of it. Conveniently put him into "deep freeze". Escape in a broad sense— travel eliminates the desire for procrastination of [left blank] I fell off the boat. [followed by more draft pages from Strip Mine]
6 a.m. Dark and rainy. Wasted away most of yesterday tagging along with Kevin and Jordan while they shopped and bickered. Then we saw "Exotica" which had some interesting ideas but was poorly executed. Paying a babysitter even though you don't have any kids to babysit. Things get going for me when you juxtapose things that seemingly don't make sense together. This is hard to do in a movie because it is a group effort. Things mean different things to different people. I came home and typed four pages of 'Heart' [Strip Mine]. Grammar is bugging me. I'm trying to write how people think, imagine, daydream. Do we think in sentences, with periods, quotations? I guess a lot of it is useful because it carries certain associations. Like indentation, that's the beginning of a new idea. Periods mean stop that sucks. Why a sentence with subject —> verb —> object? I guess that's normal, universal, fucking words, words that fuck with you.
I just dream about this teenage girls who lives in the backyard of their house. Her stepmother is also Shirley. She stays in her box in the backyard until Shirley leaves then gets out Shirley's polyester pants. How can anyone understand this but me? Shirley's polyester pants?
Son that goes through mother's stuff. Daughter who wears fathers clothes to sleep.
Yesterday we went to shoot up at Nice observatory. Way cool, up on a hill, big dome designed by Eiffel. Long since defunct, city lights have sucked the stars out of the sky. The sky was draped in misty clouds. The chase scenes running away from the scene were already filmed on a sunny day. Hmm, problem. Even though it would have been cool to have Mr. Stitch's first day into the real world that dreary day. They pondered and deliberated. It was cold. We stood around in the rain. We ate lunch in these tents. Paul the photographer was going off about how he was responsible for the downfall of Kadafi and saving us from a full blown world war, by revealing these plans of a nerve gas factory in England. England was about to bomb an apartment complex they thought was it. Hmm. I started to get really leary of this guy Paul when he told me about his covert exploits in Nigeria— "oh, the first time you're put in front of a firing squad it's scary. Big black guys holding Uzi's, about to pull the trigger. The second time is not so bad. By the third time , it's like —"ahh, so what." I don't know about these corrupt, money hungry, compulsive liars that are just trying to get attention and make connections for their portfolios. Notoriety blinds peoples vision. They were also all going on about how the mafia is behind the pitfalls of the movie, that it's all a money laundering scheme, with Bernard the pseudo mob boss. This I can believe, makes perfect sense, why else do they pay every one in cash, in 500 Franc notes? But I'm just the stand-in, I reserve my right to say nothing. If I say something to Roger, like suggest he take advantage of the weather and use it for something, he gets all annoyed. That's the problem with making movies. It's a communal thing in one sense, but in another you try to fulfill 1 person's vision. A dictator. And Morgan Mason [producer on the film], what's up with him? Youngest person to be the presidents "secret advisor" of some sort, has a special card with him that enables him to force a jetliner down on command. All the shit going down in the Reagan years. He said all they did in the oval office to stay informed was switch on CNN. How did Morgan get in? The Hollywood connection I guess. His dad was buddies with Ronnie. After all, there isn't much difference between Hollywood and the government. It's all about influencing the public for your own corrupt needs and power. It's amazing what you learn sitting in a tent in the rain having crappy french food on some hill with an observatory.
I had the tough job. Sitting in the Twingo, of course with the heater cranked, while everyone else shivered in the rain. My hands + feet were painted like Mr. Stitch and they filmed insert shots of me shifting, even tho we weren't going anywhere. It occurred to me how haphazard it all was, the organization. You can just do something with conviction and people will assume you know what you're doing, that someone else told you to do it. Chaos. Why try to match the scene with what's in your mind? Why not have it all be a reflection of the crowd's psyche and things like the weather? There's too many factors that are beyond your control. I'm glad I like writing. I have this beautiful story unfolding. I'll get to it in a second. Of course we scrapped what was going on up in the clouds, came down to the studios amidst an ambulance strike. They were close to shaving my whole body and painting me white ($500 extra hazard pay) and sticking me in this foetus tube thing, but Wil ended up doing it after all. Mr. Stitch takes the FX nerve gas in there and kills himself with general Hardcastle and his developing alter ego. And Dr. Wakeman? This is the brilliant part, the movie as a metaphor for the making of it ... last minute, Roger changed all the dialogue, so general Hardcastle says— "Dr. Wakeman? He's been retired. We put him in deep freeze" (keeping Rutger happy so he can be used in following episodes, if they ever make more beyond the pilot).
I ended up vacuuming the black carpet over and over, hoisting this big glass cylinder up and down. What's really scary is that people assume the people above them know what they're doing but they don't necessarily. It's medieval and someone's going to get hurt. [then i outlined how i would incorporate various short stories into a novella]
Into winter and it's been cold. Long days inside. Monday was in this graveyard. I hadn't eaten all day, nor really on sunday. Just cookies and coffee. Dinner on monday they bring in this perfectly good salad, but there's chicken livers all over it. And then cabbage, wrapped in pork, meat this, meat that — even though we've told them hundreds of times [i was vegetarian at the time]. So I started in on cheese and bread. Maybe it was because I didn't peel off the outside moldy layer, or maybe it was malnutrition, but I started to feel dizzy and faint, flushed, cold and hot at the same time and sweating all over. Els was sitting across from me making out like I was a primadonna stupid spoiled american because I complained about the food and cigarette smoke. Just because I wanted fruits and vegetables. I left the table and went to Kevin's office. It felt like I was on drugs. Isn't LSD a type of mold? Things were melting and I could feel perception or my being with my eyes closed, a sort of solid, concrete presence in no sense in particular, my head spun when I closed my eyes and when I had them opened things were melting and retreating.
Later that evening we shot out in the cold near this apartment building and I was watching this door but feeling really weak and later they went to get some food and the guy comes back with a bag full of big macs and I almost punched him because I know he knows that half the crew including Wil and Roger are vegetarians, well pseudo-vegetarians. Finally he goes back out and brings back chicken mcNuggets which is fine for Wil and Roger, but then again I'm just a stand-in. I said fuck it, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Eating chicken McNuggets purely for nutritional value. Strange concept. I was sick all the next day. We were up at the observatory and they started serving pure shit again. I'd rather starve so I just walked away. Then I saw the guy from Calexico and almost kissed his feet. I chowed all afternoon on eggplant enchiladas, quesadilla, chips, guacamole, salsa and bean soup. It was a cool shoot. Crashing cars, tanks, thirty soldiers in all black SWAT gear and the observatory at night under flood lights. Very surreal. We tried to shoot there again yesterday but the weather was too shitty again so we shot a tender bedroom scene all day.
6:30 this morning I wake up to keys scraping in the lock. People trying to open the door next to my room. It escalated to a point where something was obviously wrong. It was still dark out. This couple was laughing in a language that wasn't french, spanish, english, or any language I recognized. Sounded Scandinavian. Then they started knocking on the inside of their door. I went into the hall and this other guy was already out there who spoke french. He went down to wake the manager. They worked on the door and pounded for hours. From my room they handed the guy a hammer and chisel through the bars on his porch. He hacked away from the inside. Ended up being this blonde Swedish couple. "Would you like a cup of coffee?" was the first thing the manager said when the door opened. She really had to go to the bathroom.
I feel RAW. My eyes burn. They want to cry but they won't. I'm so tired but I can't sleep. My nerves are being rubbed on the ends with visceral sandpaper. I'm not sure whether it's good or bad, but it's extreme pain and desperation. I can't find any one to relate to, but at the same time feel a sort of fascination towards those people I feel threatened by. Who set my nerves on edge. Amidst this superficiality people express their personal anguish in strange ways. People like Thierry and Els taking an interest in me, asking me what I think and then just looking at me like I wonder if anything is in there and making me feel stupid and empty. Maybe I'm being hypersensitive when Els says learn French, because what it means is there's a communication problem. After all, why would they care? On the other hand, I just want to be left alone. But why? Is it because I'm afraid? Is that why it's so easy to hang out with someone like Richard, because he's funny, entertaining and shallow. And it's a one-way street. He doesn't give a shit about you, only that you're entertained by him. It's coming down on me, my lack of socialization catching up. If it's been easy, I've been fooling myself, pretending just to fit in. I'm in France where everyone lets their dogs shit on the sidewalks. Now I know what dad felt like. Why and how it can be so unbearable. This sensory connection to this nothingness beyond. The concrete presence of the spiritual scaffolding. I can write with my eyes closed. I scribble on the surface. Pen scrapes the surface of the page but will not puncture. Reality is a cage, belief is confinement. Tomorrow I have off. The Swedes next door have gone through Bruce Springsteen, the Breeders, Cyndi Lauper and Queen, whilst blabbing non-stop. Just shut the fuck up. I want to be lonely can't you see? By hurting people you nourish them, make them fight harder and struggle. Maybe I'm retarded, maybe I'm this empty shell. I'm spiritually lost and isolated in this country. What the fuck am I doing here? Who are these people and what do they want? Not that I feel any more at home in America. Christmas eve and I'm alone. Kevin and Jordan went to Bergerac. Everyone else is at some restaurant that is too expensive and pretentious for my tastes. Don't feel social anyway. I just feel like a burrito.
I moved from the Soleil D'Or in Nice to Rogers place in Cap D'Antibes. A much better situation for sure. Roger dropped me off yesterday and saw what a shithole i was staying in, and said he had a spare guest house out back, where i'm writing. It Reminds me of Mexico, the tile floors and the damp mildewy smells, lush gardens outside. We've been shooting up on location up in the mountains. Fucking gorgeous, such a relief. Fresh mountain air. Up the Gorge du Loup to his village Greoliere. Shooting more car stuff. Reminded me a lot of windy point except there's limestone bluffs everywhere. And the flora is more like New Mexico. It was ice cold and dry. All water was ice instantly, though there was no snow. I walked around exploring and even found a few bolted lines. Just sat in the yellow twingo once in a while for "work". Got to ride in the camera car while they filmed chase scenes, winding through winding mountain roads. Insane drivers, Remy Julienne and his crew. They have those modified ATV's that are these souped out dune buggies. They put a Twingo on rollers and rolled it down a hill. Ate some lunch in a nice french villa. Why skin and eyes burn, cold? Sun? Just made Gorgonzola Ravioli's and Roger's doing a phone interview. Now it's time to write.
Bring on the New Year. I had a dream last night that we were out— the whole crew, and there was this, well, I had a bad feeling about lightning and I jumped into a car and was trying to convince the others too. So we shot for two days at the 'middle class home', Philip's (a.k.a. Frank's) home. They put plants everywhere and two new actors arrived, Valerie Trapp and Al. Long cold days, read Cormac McCarthy's "Sutree" which was flowery diarrhea, some D.H.Lawrence short stories ("This Mortal Coil" and others) and started on Raymond Chandler's "The Long Goodbye". What really struck a nerve today was the use of Philip's house as a movie set and the crews complete disregard for his things. At first Philip thought it cool thy were using his house, but this quickly changed. No biggie in this case, nothing got damaged, but it's a story in the making. The play between fiction and reality, his house like his head, the movie being some intruding dream.
Yesterday, the last day of 1994, we filmed on an old highway in Antibe. Valerie decided to accept Roger's invitation to spend the next few days at his house. Now I witness the corruption of morals. We 3 went to Calexico after they drank a bottle of wine. We get to Calexico and Me, Jordan, Thierry L., Thierry V., Kevin, Roger, Morgan and Belinda Carlisle made up a table. Open bar and menu and about fifty other people. They gave us these blow guns with paper balls and suddenly everybody went nuts, completely juvenile, shooting everybody else. Yelling for more and more tequila shots, beer, food— it became this insane frenzy of everyone releasing their overworked tension. Everyone was going ballistic with the blow guns like screaming children.
Eventually there was a movement afoot to migrate to this party in St. Paul de Vence and we took to the streets of old Nice and I had a Killing Zoe mask on for some reason. It starts off as E.J., Richard, Fatima and me— and then Kevin, Roger, Valerie and Thierry jumped the bandwagon. I realized that Kevin had forgotten about Jordan so I ran back to get her and snagged Leroq as well. Got back to Thierry V. and Roger had gone to get the car leaving everyone minus Valerie— the complete airhead who doesn't speak a word of french and didn't have a clue of her whereabouts. So off again, me and Thierry ran off, literally running, looking for her. Found her back at the Calexico with Wil, Tom, Jose, ... She didn't want to go. Complete hectocity and everyone's drunk. 11:30. Everyone saying "there's no way you'll make it there in a half an hour". Sure enough. Roger, E.J., Fatima and Richard had already left and gave us vague directions. So Jordan, Kevin, me and the Thierry's got lost on windy dark roads and that's where New Year's was spent. We eventually called and got directions to this psycho party at this insane villa. What a spread— oysters in the shell, smoked salmon, champagne, Italian vixens, girls that looked like 15 year olds from the court of Louis the XIV, skinny heroin addicts, celebrity types. The kind of party you wouldn't be surprised if it turned into an orgy. Drugs everywhere. Felt like being in a fashion shoot, or an SNL sarcastic skit of 1, girls in black leather and furs draped over their shoulders, sleazy guys in suits w/ skinny ties, fashion victims striking poses wanting to be seen. Like being in a Fellini or Polanski film. The Thierry's and Jordan became suddenly reserved and mellow, like me cautiously observing.
Something about Thierry V strikes a chord. Sometimes he looks like an innocent six year old boy. Meanwhile Roger's insanely drunk, dancing with this scrawny junky that looks like Eric Stolz who was taking off his shirt and grabbing his crotch. Fatima was in finest form, dressed in shiny black plastic with a huge yak fur draped over her shoulders. She was writhing on my lap sarcastically, her legs strewn over me, running her tongue across her teeth and lips, those big pouty lips, LUSH, very stoned and drunk, kinky and bizarre people. Kevin would disappear and I was afraid he would do something stupid because he was drunk. Jordan became this reserved simple country girl, innocent and sincere. And Leroq, usually talking shit about woman, keeps his pants on.
Richard was getting so drunk he was hitting on E.J. And Thierry V, the little boy dressed in black, smiling and quiet. Roger was fending off Italian vixens, they grabbed at him and tried to kiss him. They all left in one car and Roger and I went off in his Mercedes. He kept rambling "I'm so drunk I can barely keep my eyes open". I told him I'd drive but he insisted. And I wasn't much better off. I considered walking but had no idea where i was. He would smash into things quite casually, knocked the mirror off and almost went off the road a few times. He would turn around to pick up these strange looking prostitutes, until he got a closer look and saw they were guys with red and green wigs. I finally convinced him that anything roaming the streets at this time of night would be sloppy seconds. [... not surprising that he'd later kill someone drunk-driving + then tweet from prison] [followed by a few pages of stream of conscious dribble + notes for Strip Mine]
The last day of shooting Mr. Stitch is today. I'm to dress up like Stitch and climb around in an elevator shaft. I'm getting very anxious about dealing with the upcoming reality. Roger asked me to work on RPM. That would be May. 4 months between now and then. I've been wanting to do a little jaunt to Bergerac with Jordan. And Spain, and Paris. But now I really just want to write. I'm obsessed, it's burning inside, an almost perverse private passion that I can't contain. I'd like to publish and see what happens. Cooked dinner for Morgan Mason and Belinda Carlisle's at their house last night. These people are rich and vain and I should take advantage of that and ask around about publishers then come back in May to do RPM and milk this situation for what it's worth (and live it up in the French Riviera). But in the meantime? Go up to Sleepy Creek, write, learn French, write, file taxes, write and organize my head. I struggle to write in the dark, it's a metaphor for all, whereas Hemingway had his clean well lit place, I'm writing in the dark, afraid to be seen through the windows of light. In the well lit cabin in the Black Hills. That night in the cabin is the American heart exposed, with the dead Indian on the driveway.
I can't say how glad I am to be writing in this journal [referring to the original black, handwritten one that i transcribed this from]. This one, because it almost wasn't. Yesterday was the last day of the shoot, the big wrap. I got 'stitched up', Tom Savini [yes, that Tom Savini, the "Godfather of Gore"] and co. airbrushed my face and glued on the multi-colored stitch wig. The wordly animate jigsaw puzzle. They filmed in the laboratory with the throbbing lungs in plexiglass tubes, pulsating hearts, and a brain soaking in beer connected by wires to a twitching head— Kevin and Tom's creations. I was a Mr. Stitch gaffer, me and Sean's gaffers were a light orchestra with Sean as the conductor. Then to stage 3, a long cold day in the icy dark set in bare feet waiting while the art department made the elevator shaft safe— some beam I was supposed to leap across onto was flexing just under my weight. Eventually everything was set and I jumped across and climbed the elevator shaft. That was an easy 2500 francs (an extra 1000 as a "hazard" fee). Everyone applauded. Come to think of it, the few times I've heard people applaud on set was then and when I did my scene with Ron Jeremy. Maybe everyone feels sorry for me.
Insert shots of my feet riding on the elevator and taking off a ventilation duct and hanging onto a rung as the elevator went back down. The second to the last shot. The last was an insert of a model 30-story elevator shaft. Serendipity— being with my recent fascination with the idea of jumping trains, becoming of the motion and being. Climbing an elevator shaft, stepping off onto an elevator then stepping off again into a ventilation duct where I climb into it. Metaphoric of this whole experience, riding Roger's elevator (on the outside) to a fresh air ventilation duct. The more so serendipitous with the events of the wrap party. Went to 'Oba Oba', the food was shitty but what the hell, cheesy carnivalesque dancers parading around in G-strings, acrobatic wild dancing ala cirque de soleil. I was still costumed in face paint. Intense conversations with people I'd been meaning to talk to. There's no way I can pass up RPM, this is way too much fun. So people started diverging, saying their goodbyes and a small group of die-hards was left who still wanted to party (it was 2-3 a.m.). Roger and I went to go put some stuff away in the Mercedes parked on the bord du mer, avendia Etats Unis. The whole group was following me and Roger. He's laughing— "it's funny, Derek. These people are all following me because Gretchen crashed a moped in Greece." I asked him to elaborate. "Back when we had no money, Gretchen met me in Greece to get married. She had this moped accident and hurt her leg. While shacked up in a motel waiting for her leg to heal, looking at the stitches on her leg, I wrote Mr. Stitch. I gave her the original script as a wedding present." So Roger's telling me this and were walking to the Mercedes and when we get there, the front window is smashed in and what's missing? My satchel with my journal in it (well, obviously not since I'm writing in it right now, but at the time I thought so .. when we got back it was on my bed like i'd forgotten to put it in the satchel). The only thing they stole. It seemed too absurd and ironic to be true. I was devastated. There was a portable CD player they could of just grabbed, a case of CD's, the stereo, the car, Roger's powerbook with 3/4 of RPM written on it (& no back up)— and the thiefs take my journal! Hi you almost real asshole that almost stole my journal (or maybe did and miraculously returned it). It really disturbed me, but at the same time almost fascinated me, to think of the reaction of the thief opening the satchel and finding and reading this journal. The irony also convinced me that's there's some testy supernatural forces using us as pawns. Ink and fucking paper you sucker! (though now it's on computer)[+ now 20 years later on th Inurnet!]. Nothing is worth more than anything, money is just ink on paper. Everything it buys is an illusion. Fools! There's nothing to steal from me that's worth anything except the experience of reading someone's private journal, which in another sense is more than you bargained for. So learn from this unrealized fool, but next time photocopy and give it back (maybe that's what you did). I had no doubt it was stolen, I carry this journal in my satchel every day. I was sick with grief and on the verge of crying in a rage, but there's people around me all wanting to party and I didn't want to put a downer on the evening (morning). It taught me something, that if I feel such a loss, than these words I desperately write to myself or in themselves material possessions. It made me think that there's a god up there that plays twisted jokes— a fucking Mercedes, lots of valuable possessions in it, they shatter the glass of the passenger side and steal what? a paper journal! Worth nothing to anyone but me. That's a story waiting to be written. The thieves and what they read. Or how about the thief who stole my shitty bicycle, the four thieves who forcibly pick-pocketed me in Mexico City and got a free metro map of the city. And the thief who stole my beater Mustang, ripped the puppet down from the rear view mirror and disengaged the Smiths tape (on the song "I've seen it happen, in other people's lives, and now it's happening in mine") probably because it reminded the thief that it was a personal object, up and above monetary value. He ran out of gas anyways across the Dunbarton bridge because the fuel gauge was broken and always said Full. And the thief who tried to steal my Courier truck and rolled it a block away and gave up. Or the thieves who held me up at gunpoint in Lima and pretended they were cops, but in the end I had nothing to steal but the shoes off my feet. I must have a guardian angel because these thieves have received nothing from me of value. All they've done is made me think of things differently. At first I was hesitant when Roger told me RPM was about five car thieves, but then I though about it ... the car as a vehicle of an individual's experiences, and five no doubt. Not just ordinary cars but the cream of the crop. It's all vanity of the senses trying to steal the experiences of others, and instead you get steel and glass. And it's during a car race which could be a metaphor of the rat race, hectic traffic jams along the Cote d'Azur. Not that anyone else thinks of the movie on this level, but it helps to psych me out for it. [followed by more brainstorming for Strip Mine + postcards from southern France]
Dad died 13 years ago today. My last day in the Côte d'Azur. It's on the verge of snowing. I just strolled all around Antibe, along the coast, by the harbor, around the fort, through the town. It was all so beautiful I was on the verge of tears. Subtlety beautiful, it takes a while for the essence of France to seap in. It's not an understanding that's forced upon you in vain. It's the old man on the city wall feeding suet to the seagulls. Or the homeless guy in the empty moat making a fire. It's the haughty woman walking alone that looks straight ahead when they pass you by. Not even tempted to look back at you. It's the jagged and jaded streets and houses that just fall into place with no apparent design except subconscious genealogy. Woke up after the wrap party and followed Roger in his Lotus with his Mercedes. Chasing him through the narrow streets. It's a trip driving in France. Drive wherever the car will fit. These small streets were built for walking and horses. Went to the studios and I picked up 14,000 francs they owed me. With the other 1,500 here, that's 15,500 in total, which at 5.2 is almost $3000 dollars I'm leaving France with, tax free. Went out to eat on the port at Santa Ana with E.J. and Roger, Bernard dropped us off and picked us up when E.J. called on her cellular. The whole shiblony— wine, salad Niçoise, pasta au pistou, chocolate mousse, etc. E.J.'s a trip— before this she worked in a harem in Saudi Arabia. Cruised back from the studio and I decided to just go for a walk. Walked along the bord du mer in Nice, how I used to walk back from work when I was staying at the Soleil d'Or. This Citröen pulls up onto the boardwalk almost running me down. It was Andy, Richard, Toni Savini and Jonathon. They picked me up though I didn't really know where I was going. Dropped by the Citadines and down-loaded Toni and Jonathon. Went back to the studio but only Tom and alcoholic Sean were around. I had plans to see "Little Odessa", which was another of Tom's movies. Richard and I got a ride with Bernard, chauffered in the black Mercedes. Kevin, Jordan and Thierry were already there, but Roger wasn't. Little Odessa was boring. Went and ate at the Taj. Thierry was telling me what it was like to work on "Gorillas in the Mist". Lugging camera equipment into the high rainforests of Africa. What a cool profession. He also worked on the Wim Wenders film "Until the End of the World" which also took him to Japan, Russia, Australia, all over Europe and America in six weeks. They'd ask me what I was doing next and I had the slightest idea, except I'd decided to come back for RPM and be the set dresser. But it was a hard call between Spain, Bergerac, Paris, or go "home" and buy a computer and write. Richard and I had to sleep at Kevin and Jordan's because he got kicked out of the Citadines and I couldn't get a hold of Roger. When I woke up I decided I would just go back to the states. All I want to do is write. To get a story down on a powerbook and try to publish it through these channels I can open up through Roger or Morgan. This is my chance, I need to go for it, see what happens. Work on RPM and then hopefully after that I will have travel opportunities.
So woke up and listened to the bickerings and worries of Kevin and Richard, Kevin came out with something like 40,000 francs and Richard with 25,000. They're all stressed out whether to change it here or back in the states, or whether customs will freak out on them for having so much money. I tried to tell them it wasn't that much, that they could just say it was a gift. It's really not customs business unless it's over $10,000 dollars. Finally I got Jordan to leave the apt and go for a walk. Kevin and Richard came along but Kevin bitched the whole time that we weren't driving. We went shopping here and there, looking at useless things, Kevin and Richard are buying $20 cuban cigars. Ate at Le Safari in old Nice. Lounging in the sun. Richard and I started to walk to the train station, he needed to go to the studio (he's got a thing going with Cathy) and I needed to get to Antibe. We ran into Tom and Andy and they drove us to our respective destinations. Now just chillin' and waiting for the snow, and packing. It reminds me of a French version of "to bury an Indian" [what i was calling the book i was working on] which I don't think is the title. Saw a French car today that had a bunch of Lakota tribal hoop stickers and bumper stickers of buffalo, etc. And pictures of Indians in the army surplus store. What do Native Americans mean to the French? Why such the fascination?
[... after his went to Paris for a few days w/ Richard + some of the others ... maybe we'll post those entries some other day... ]
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