The Leg in Those Pictures

A long time ago a young beautiful woman stood on a milk crate. There were brandishing lights all around her. She was coachable with her talented long fingers; and, her paper-thin hemline. She was assiduously watched and studied as we were still sleeping in our vibrating ranch homes. James Dean was brought in for voiceover direction. Diphthong, ad lib, etc. We remained unaware and uninfluential, like a dreaming soliloquy.


She needed no makeup. She was young once upon our time. We saw her one way. Perfect. Brave. Dirt-poor. Accessible. The hair and makeup team wept alone outside the unemployment office I am told. She was the race to the finish. She was the halfway mark. She was doomed but only the producers were aware. She was happy. She was sad. She was our stand-in. That's why we didn't have to abuse her.


Scene: “You’re a bird. Alone in some off-camera sunlight. You’ll be confused but warm and serene. You knew you had a past with people who loved and cherished you. Now, you’re a naive stoic pretty thing. You’ll not let your memories slow you down or stop your progression. You’ll fly up and forward. You’ll meet a new town with bustle and hope and prosperous people. You’ll want to show them your gifts and play them your songs. You’ll come to a farm and a pasture. You’ll see a young man handsome and stern propping himself against an old tree. He’s guarding his flock of young sheep. You circle the wide expanse of sky above his flock mesmerized by his beauty. He does not know you yet. He looks up with caution in his eyes. You look down with freshness in yours because you now know freshness again. He moves away from the tree tools in hand toward his flock. You see — no, experience — the culmination of his blinding light — ” :End scene.

Epilogue: Our husbands and wives wake from dreaming. They lift the children up out of their cocoons. It’s Sunday afternoon. They melt with the warm air as they drive top down to the town center cinema. The marquee is blue and gold and whirling like a tornado. It’s your name up there bigger than you’ve ever imagined. The family heartbeat quickens as they thumb their ripped tickets and scuffle to their seats. You’re somewhere hiding behind the reel waiting for that perfect moment to come to them. You’re technicratic because we say you are. You’re foolproof as the lights go down…

We’re not letting the curtains close…

Goodbye —