Fever dreams and fiction, my film world…and the fridge

dusy on fridgeI thought I was going to lay low blog-wise while I was recuperating, but I had to blurt this one out. First a disclaimer; Dusty Anderson (model who married a director) pictured here in some kind of fifties romper in front of a Los Angeles oil field — is not my mother — I just like the photo — you know how I am about interesting photos. And yes, to the right is the adorable note I received from my beloved with my morning brew. Then another side-step, if you glaze over when people talk about their dreams, then fly away now, because this one’s a doozy.

I dreamt a kind of metaphor for my mother’s death. It took place in a city, not Los Angeles, but Los Angeles, in a series of beautiful rooms, the kind my mother liked to create. The last room, where the family was gathered, was not to my mother’s liking. She wanted her bed, her linens, her paintings, she made it clear she didn’t like peaches (which I was trying to feed her), and she thought my tone when speaking to her was patronizing. Most of all she conveyed the sense that we were holding her up and she wanted to get on with it, it being death. As she lay drifting in and out of consciousness visitors began to gather. They were in the film industry. One in particular was silver haired and dressed in suit and tie. He was the last in a family that linked Old Hollywood with New Hollywood. He introduced himself as my cousin. He was glib and charismatic and driving. He kissed my mother’s cheek and held her hand and turned to me and said, “So, I hear you wrote a book.”

And, knowing what was expected of me I pitched it. I pitched a story by my mother’s deathbed. The scion of Old Hollywood glowed and tapped my nose with his index finger, “I want to read it!” He then turned to my mother, laid his cheek to her forehead, and made to leave. He paused before he walked from the room, “You know how that works?”

“I do.”

With smiling urgency he said, “Have your agents send it over.”

“Yes, sir,” said I — knowing as I did that I would have my agents send it over, that he (who spanned Old Hollywood to New Hollywood) wanted to still be in the game — making deals and wielding influence — that he was not my cousin — and that he had died the previous year.

8 comments

  1. Dearest V
    I like to hear about other people’s dreams but am absolutely without utility when it comes to their interpretation.
    I was once told by a pyschotherapist friend that rather than untangling the meaning of dreams I had a tendency to embroider upon their imagery, making them more symbolic and less accessible to everybody,
    Since then I enjoy such stories silently, while imaging pink elephants and evening primroses being woven into the narrative.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • I left out some details, mostly decorative, like layers of diaphanous lace at the windows, and the scion’s very narrow, very early 1960s silk tie. I could have done with some elephants and evening primroses.
      xox, V

  2. George Kaplan

    Vickie, I think that is fascinating, phantasmagoric, thought-provoking, strange, funny, and eerie. Oneiric in the truest sense. A Hollywood Dream. A Hollywood insight. And that the dear departed was Dick Zanuck is extremely interesting. “Life anchored by death”, what a phrase. I can’t really believe your mother would ever have found you patronizing and, of course, she’s never really gone, she is ever alive in You, and you will never lose her. Sorry if that sounds foolish, Ms L, get well soon and good luck with the cooties… 😉

    • I had a hunch you were talking film when you said, “oneiric”:
      “In film theory, the term oneiric (/oʊˈnaɪərɪk/; “pertaining to dream”) refers to what proponents describe as the depiction of dream-like states in motion picture, or to the use of the metaphor of a dream or the dream-state to analyze a film.”
      Damn, you’re a careful reader — and I have to say I take a great deal of comfort in your comment. I’ve been dreaming about Mom a lot recently. And, I will endeavor to subdue the cooties. 🙂 Thank you, George.

  3. I think what was brewing here were several strains of bacteria — that’s reportage straight from my dream-psyche.
    Don’t really know what it means, but HOLY MOSES, it was vivid.
    Dream a little dream of me…
    Mother-wit,
    etc.
    xox
    V

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