Palm Springs

(2013)

One Saturday night a couple years ago we were out in Palm Springs watching their Christmas Festival of Lights parade. Fire trucks and marching bands and agricultural machinery and prancing queens and everything bedecked in lights and fiber optic cables, as beautiful as it is absurd. The parade goes down Palm Canyon Drive and we’d booked a room on Indian Canyon Drive a block away. Two minute walk. It was chilly, not a cloud in the sky, a bone chilling desert winter’s night. A zillion glittery stars over head, and faint smudges of galaxies unimaginably far away, so far and so vast it’s better not to think of them at all. We didn’t.  Continue reading

Movie star

Rough morning at work, everything going wrong, so I split for Don Cucos right around the corner for huevos rancheros and a Tecate. I took the seat at the far end of the bar. There’s three music industry guys next to me, the ones who design and make boxes and pedals and amps for guitar players. They were chatting up a storm over beers. I ate in silence, paid my bill and  got up to leave. One says Hey, aren’t you a movie star? I said no. They said yes you are, you’re a movie star. I said no, I’m nobody. The guy says no, you’re that dude. I recognize you. That dude. I said no. Yeah you are. That dude. I oughta ask for your autograph. I said no, no autographs. He said well, let me shake your hand? We shook hands. As I walked off he was trying to remember just what movie I had starred in. I had just made that guy’s day.

You have no  idea how many times this happens to me. Several times a year.  And those are just the ones with the nerve to ask. Most just stare and wonder what movie they saw me in.

Ya know, it’s really weird when people think you are Somebody because they never belive it when you say you’re a Nobody. I tried something different today. They asked Are you a movie star? I said no, I’m just some asshole. Which meant for sure I was Somebody. No Nobody would ever call himself an asshole. So there goes that idea. Back to square one.

I get asked for autographs. If I don’t agree to an autograph they get mad. Or hurt, you can see it in their faces and just feel awful about it. Problem is since they never know who I am I have no idea what to sign. I signed Brick once. Just Brick. That made them happy. Tourists, ya know.

Once a security guard at the Hollywood Von’s caught me in the aisle and asked if I was a movie star. None of the other employees the nerve. They told him to ask me. I said I wasn’t. He said I was. I said no, really, I’m not a movie star. He said come on, man, I’ve seen you in movies! I said OK, I was. He said I knew it!

I never told him who I was, though. But he knew it. I saw him talking to the others, and they stared, trying to remember who I was. I was polite, but secretive. You know how movie stars are.

The funny thing is that I have no idea why people think I am a movie star. I have no idea what it is I do that gives people that idea. If I could figure it out, I’d stop. But this goes back nearly 30 years. Thirty years of movie stardom and what do I have to show for it?