Antonia has me thinking about how to write about the things I don't write about. The big one, of course, is stories that aren't mine to tell. It turns out that life is littered with these, and that in fact many of one's own stories are only lesser adjuncts to someone else's more important and private ones. Leaving these out can feel disingenuous, but what can you do? Imagine if I were feeling utterly wretched because, say (NOT REAL EXAMPLES):
Our best friend had stopped talking to us because his wife claimed to have fallen in love with Steve, or
Steve's brother had racked up horrible gambling debts and his parents were bankrupting themselves to pay them off, or
We were disinvited from Christmas dinner because my niece had a terrible wasting disease and it made my sister too unhappy to see us and our happy, healthy baby.
There is no such person as our best friend's wife, Steve's brother, or my sister, but things like this sometimes happen. When they do, it would be impossible for me to write about it here. I would feel like an ass dropping cryptic little allusions, even. So there the things sit, in invisible lumps between posts about young adult novels and gardening, or whatever.
Happy things, too. It seems presumptuous to treat the innocent people in my everyday life as blog material. Steve and Jane less so, poor suckers, but still. I generally don't write in much detail about my work life, either. What the fuck do I write about? This is why it's nice to have what are called "outside interests," I believe.
We watched High Plains Drifter last week. I like how clearly it is the product of having watched High Noon and thought, "This is great, but wouldn't it be greater if everyone were way more repugnant?"
"And if the town were punished with a lot more than the sheriff's scorn and being shown up by Grace Kelly?"
"And if Gary Cooper weren't Gary Cooper but instead an avenging revenant from Hell back to ruin the lives of everyone who had abandoned him*?"
"And if there were a gun-toting dwarf?"
The scene early on in the barbershop is amusing for how precisely Clint Eastwood's sweeping aside of the sheet around his neck reproduces his usual business with a serape:
It's a pity that the movie is apparently incapable of resisting the hoary old chestnut in which a woman being raped ends up hot for it. It would have made a lot more sense in the internal logic of the film itself, too, not to have gone there, but oh well, it was 1973, I suppose.
*Patricia Neal might argue that Gary Cooper himself was a revenant from Hell intent on ruining the lives of those around him, given his super-classy behavior during their long affair. It culminated in his forcing her to get an abortion, despite her Catholicism, lest she embarrass him by having his child. He was mighty handsome, though.