Leland's Scene     

 Duet for One

Chapter 38

               And then the phone rang. Leland lay on his back, his arms spread 

    wide like he was hanging on to the sides of the bed. His head was 

     submerged in the cleavage of an over large and over fluffy pillow.

               He rose from the waist and scanned the room. The TV was on with 

     no sound, the room only slightly familiar. He was alone and by some 

     reckoning, alive. He picked up the receiver mid third ring.


                     “LELAND”.  It was Petra and his feet were on the floor. Just

       like that.

                 “Yes Petra, how are y....


                 “About 147 minutes today, edit to 85 and....”


                 “ Yes, it's starting to pick-up, the acclimation is challen....”


                  “The sheriff is useless. The troll and the ditz in the Post office 

              almost speak in sentences but...”


                  “Yes, 6 shows, 2 camera crews plus staff, teamsters, leases,

               100,000$ a day....”


                   “No doub....”


                    “Yes Petra, I'll twist the sheriff's n....”


                     “Yes Petra, wrap in a week wi.....


                      “Yes, with foota.....”


                       “Good night Petr....” She had hung up. He put down the 

               receiver and picked up his drink. The ice had melted but there

               was a dead mosquito floating in the dilute bourbon. Was this 

               the first line of his autobiography. He threw it back and poured 


                      John Frankenheimer's “The Train” was on the Late Late Show.


                      So black and white. Leland did not need the sound because

             he knew the script, cold. For Leland it was a visual art form

             and only in silence would his master speak to him. The voices said 

            very little. He did like the sound track. 

                     The memory of tomorrow's shooting schedule came to him as 

            John Scofield looked down the track.

                     “Please God, let me be this film. Just this. All I ask.”

                     French partisans give their lives to foil the efforts of a 

             particularly aesthetic nazi to get a train full of Art out of France

             at the close  of the war.

  "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."