Afternoon Chair

The days are long, hot and sultry.

After the NYC winter the Californian sun seems unrelenting.  One glorious day folding like melting fudge into the next.

91 degrees today.  A rare winter storm this weekend.  That’s what they say.

My Russian friend makes thick black, sweet coffee.  We sit on her verandah overlooking the sea.  The dogs lay on their backs in the sun.

Anthony calls and talks my ear off.  His brother is in NYC with Amelia enjoying his birthday.

A 5 year old boy shoots his 2 year old sister with a gun recently purchased for him by his father.  I find a website devoted to pictures of white children/babies holding firearms.   It reminds me of Somalian and Iranian militia children holding semi automatic weapons.

Here it is:  Kids With Guns.  I just checked and unsurprisingly ‘kids corner’ has been removed since yesterday.

These people, so it seems, are waiting for the government to come and change their lives irrevocably.

Part of me sympathises with those folk.  The high minded elite looking down upon them scornfully.

At 8pm I take the car into Venice and meet Anthony at a gallery called Obsolete.  Amanda Demme’s vernisage.

There are large, moody photographs of old men and young children and homeless people and people of colour.

The rather beautiful photographs are printed on textured paper.  Like canvas.  It is distracting and tacky.   It’s a problem.

We eat meatballs and salad and fresh almonds.

A tribe of scarified women in their 60’s huddle on a $100k sofa and gossip.  Their surgeries performed to be seen.  What’s the point of spending that much money on plastic surgery unless you can see it?

Amanda introduces me to Sara Gilbert and her other.   Many people are wearing hats.  Wide brims.  Beaver rather than rabbit.

I am wearing a midnight blue velvet suit and red shoes.

A young actor greets me with a hug.  He asks me in that way what I’ve been up to.  He knows.  I tell him anyway.  “I read about that.”  He exclaims.  “You’re the real deal.”  That’s the difference between the gays and the straights.

Straight people know I’m a fucking hero.  The gays, huddled around teacher are fucking terrified of me.

And so they should be.

Outside we meet Joaquin Phoenix.  Anthony made a film with him.  I have not seen him since before Heath died.  A flicker of recognition but no more.  He looks like he is made of pale green wax.  He is stick thin.  He looks like a Shropshire farmer.

He said to Anthony,  “I hear you’ve been making sober calls.  Don’t call me.”   We laugh.

It’s funny.

After the show we have dinner at Gjelina with two art collectors.  Pizza and pudding.  Everybody at the table knows someone else in the restaurant.   We receive.  I forget to stand for one grand dame.  She stares at me frostily.

I know what she’s thinking.  She’s wondering if I left my manners in the jail.