Duet for One
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
“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...”
“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 diluted 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.