Sunday, October 27, 2013

i was the camera

i was the camera and i was shooting everything in black and white film-stock. my lens traveled uncut through an afternoon party. it was the late 1930's or early 40's and all the men wore suits and the women wore gowns. the depth of texture and the preciseness of the silhouettes was dazzling. not a hair out of place and all the make-up was impeccable. it was a visual wonderland to me. i began to pan in for close-ups and i soon found the young and laughing faces of sinatra, brando, grant, montgomery clift, james dean and other idols. they were telling dirty stories and making each other laugh until tears fell from their eyes. i panned back to see where i was and found a grand mansion with sprawling grounds. white gloved staff moved through the house and garden offering drinks and finger food from silver trays. i moved in to get a closer look at the cluster of old people overlooking the whole event from a balcony. their conversation was cold and judgmental. shortly it was clear that their primary focus was on claudette colbert. she was the heiress and this was a soiree to present potential husbands.

i was claudette colbert, looking through my eyes now and everything was in technicolor. i felt detached and uncomfortable to be there. i knew the point of the party and was repulsed by it. i had agreed to attend only after weeks of emotional protest had worn me down. the responsibility to my family's wealth was like iron chain on me. my eyes were drawn to a young clark gable. he was not a movie star, but an acrobat. he had been hired to wow the crowd and his silent gaze drew me to him like a magnet. 'i can take you above all this.' he whispered. i followed his eyes to the apex of the roof. 'come with me, i won't let you fall'. like a sleepwalker i let him take my hand and guide me. soon we were scaling the roof. 'just do what i tell you and you will be safe.' i felt i had nothing to lose and let myself go entirely in the moment.

black and white again, i was the camera. i tightened in on gable's face and saw total control and concentration. i knew the audience would trust him too. he pressed his face against the point of the roof and lifted his body above his head with strength and perfect balance. the party goers were mostly looking up now and whoops could be heard from the ground below. a kind of smug satisfaction emanated from the balcony holding the old people. it was an ugly satisfaction born of the warped knowledge that money could be traded to make people with less of it risk their lives for your amusement. gable reached for a chair and expertly guided it up to balance on his feet. 'ahhhs...' could now be heard. gabel reached his hand out for colbert.

technicolor/ i took his hand and stepped gingerly on his body until i had climbed into the seat of the chair. the wind blew softly and i tilted up my chin for a closer look at the sky. i felt free for the first time ever. i felt happy.

black and white/ panicked orders and screaming originating from the balcony and traveled in a jagged line across the lawn and up the roof to a rock solid gable. soon hands were grabbing at him and trying to clutch colbert. 'no you fools! let me bring her down! don't touch me!' said gable through clenched teeth. but the hands clawed and soon colbert was toppled and bumping on her bottom down the roof. the screaming was panicked and loud now. colbert was whisked away and gable was left with a ragged purchase only able to look helplessly after her.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

bbq calf

there was a feed lot full of week old steers. all were crying and disoriented. they were being snatched up by carloads of hispanics for that weekends festival bbq. i couldn't tell who was in charge and it was a melee in spanish. soon there were only a couple of bawling calves left and as a ravenous looking hoard descended upon them, i impulsively snatched one up. his jet black fur was silky and fine. he was dehydrated and hungry. my touch seemed to sooth him. my friend said, 'oh my god, shandra, that is a baby COW! it has balls and will grow to 12 hundred pounds- you cannot be serious about keeping him?!' i ran through the accommodations for him at the casa and realized since the horses were gone he would have the turn out and the barn to himself. of course he was so frail that he spent the first few months of his life in the warmth of the my house with regular bottle feedings and cozy naps by the fire. he was bathed and brushed regularly and was soon completely potty trained. i was surprised by how love-centered he was. he really only cared about the safe and the cozy and was perfectly content to tuck in unobtrusively, find a warm, soft spot and be with us. he was a dear little fellow and although i thought the arrangement on the cray-cray side of things, it seemed to be working out so i just flowed with it. i had him fixed so he wouldn't go hormonally insane and he just grew and grew. he was loyal and calm but could be quite intimidating when strangers entered the property. i worried he would be shot for beef when he was pastured, so i made him an elaborate and artful collar with a bell that i hoped would speak to his status as a beloved pet and soften the heart of any potential poachers.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

trojan horse

malin and brad were having a house party. it was fun and there was croquet on the lawn. malin was talking wide-eyed about how relentless the paparazzi were and how paranoid it made her feel. i thought, 'oh, it can't be that bad. it probably just FEELS totally invasive'. just then rachel zoe arrived and she had some kind of pewter horse statue under her arm. she handed it to malin as they traded air kisses. brad and malin exchanged looks and brad whisked it off and placed it under a cushion on the couch. there were tons of children underfoot and i kept skimming a hand through their silky heads as they flew by. shawn came with her daughter and i was thinking that google had mined my info again because i hadn't invited her. we sat and chatted and watched as her kid joined the others in play. brad motioned for me to follow when the security guy came to check out the horse. brad stood back and the security guy turned it this way and that until it's neck sprang open. brad took a step back and nodded for me to look inside. when i peered into the hollow body cavity i saw a camera. i jumped back like i'd been sprayed with water. brad gave me a 'told you..' look and i realized my mouth was hanging open. after that a big ruckus ensued and rachel zoe kept trying to plead her way out of it saying things like it would ruin her career if people found out. malin said, 'guess you should have thought of that before you tried to use us'. rachel zoe left in tears.

later i asked brad why he even suspected the horse. he said, 'no one brings an unwrapped gift to a garden party'.