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Not me, her

In 1987, I found myself trying to write about a high school girlfriend that had been molested by her father when she was a child. I was 19 years old, struggling to find my way through a screenwriting assignment about delivering character. The idea was to describe messy young love between two Sid and Nancy want-to-be's. But that failed, as I could not stomach oversimplifying her complicated past, events that shaped her life as a 16 year old with a mohawk, a smart mouth, a lingering stare. I understood that I had to start at the very beginning.

No one wanted to hear the story. When it was my turn to read in class, it even came to be that some of the other students asked to stand in the hallway before they heard another description of what happened in that lonely little house in the middle of nowhere. I was trying, and failing, and trying again to get things right, to explain how this happened, how it could happen to this girl, how this man found his way to acts of selfishness and d…

make you feel my love

E does not want to sing any more. I wonder if this is a case of becoming her own worst enemy, a trait she might have inherited from me. We do try a few songs at the kitchen table, but her heart is not in it. She would rather play piano, but she refuses to do anything in time so it is very hard to play together. She is simply on her own course. I decide to step out of the way, and let things unfold. My regret has been noted, and I sit down to sing all by myself this time, while she watches one of her tv shows in the next room, curled on her bed.

Later, she agrees to stand in the cold showing some words on cards. I show her the original Dylan clip. She nods, as if she knew about it already, a piece of old news.








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