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.

              “Hell...”

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

       like that.

              “Yes Petra, how are y...”

                     Pause

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

                     Pause

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

                     Pause

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

              almost speak in sentences, but...”

                     Pause

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

              $100,000 a day...”

                     Pause

              “No doub...”

                     Pause

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

                     Pause

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

                     Pause

              “Yes, with foota...”

                     Pause

              “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 diluted bourbon. Was this 

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

       another. 

              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.