Wednesday, July 26

Dear Jim,

It’s been a sluggish day but I got a lot done.

I just finished talking with dad. He tries to be sharp by responding to me with phrases like, “That’s a good idea,” “It’s good you did that,” “You never know how things will turn out.” But after I finish telling him what I did today, he says “Well what’s new?” After I tell him what’s new he asks, “What did you do today?”

He sounds good but he feels defeated. He’s in his walker all day.

He can’t believe “things would turn out this way,” but he says he’s had a good life – “A great wife. Great kids.”

I feel sorry for him. I want to hug him through the phone.

I called him earlier today but he was riding with one of the home’s owners while she ran errands. When I called him again they handed him the phone. I said, “I’ve had a boring day dad, but I hear you had an exciting one.” He laughed.

I was telling him I have new neighbors. Two young ladies moved into the apartment two white trash used to live in. It was nice to hear youthful voices. I wonder how we will perceive each other when our paths cross.

I need to be lighter. I would love to walk in the gate laughing with friends. Walk up the stairs laughing some more, then sit and have a great time eating dinner without the TV on.

A friend of mine called today. She lives with an older family member who always has the TV on. My friend said, “When my ____ dies, I’m going to get rid of the TV.” I calmly said, “I bet you don’t.” She laughed.

Everybody has a TV except me. You didn’t have one either.

I talked with a guy dad’s age who can still walk and is not losing his mind. He referred to the kids walking around staring at their smart phones as zombies. Remember dad called the TV an idiot box? Well, smart phones are even greater idiot boxes. You don’t have to wait until you get home to be an idiot.

The other day I was watching a black and white movie from Mexico made in 1952. It was in Spanish.

I like old movies because there is not a lot of scene changes. The camera holds still for a long time. I am not overwhelmed. Like one woman said, “Movies like that give you time to think about what the movie is about.”

This movie seemed to have very long scenes. Finally I decided to get my watch. The first scene I timed was over a minute. The camera zoomed out, but the scene didn’t change. I was astounded. It wasn’t a great script but it was filmed intelligently.

It’s too bad I don’t like movies. I did when I was young but around 30 I started to become overwhelmed by them. Too bad for me because there have been a lot of great movies. A former friend of mine said I was missing out on a lot. He said there were great movies in the eighties.

When I came to town I was at Sacto’s first coffee shop with a country bumpkin friend of mine and her sophisticated girlfriend and the girlfriend’s sophisticated boyfriend. We were talking about movies.

The woman said her favorite movie was Julia. Her boyfriend said his favorite was The Turning Point.

You liked them both. I did not see either.

When I told the group, “My favorite movie is The Magnificent Seven,” they laughed. It was a great movie. The good guys won, then rode unhappily into the desert.

I hate artists and sophisticated people. Thank you for never laughing at me.

You remember Bonnie and Clyde. I saw it on a Saturday afternoon with a bunch of friends when I was 12. We lusted over Faye Dunaway and were enthralled by the movie.

I don’t remember talking to you about it after I saw it. Anyway, when I was 18 they showed it on TV. All week I couldn’t wait to watch it on Saturday night. Then I started watching it at Sis I’s. I thought, “What bullshit!”

I was very disappointed. I remember wondering how all the dumb ass critics and intellectuals could think such horseshit was great. You agreed with me. You said in your diplomatic way that they were just a couple of punks glorified by Hollywood.

Around 2010 I came across a ‘Great Movie’ book at the library. There was a photograph of Dunaway sitting on the set talking with the idiot director. Dunaway looked like she was 15.

Remember that Catholic paper dad and mom used to receive from the archdiocese every week? We used to laugh when the paper said certain movies should’t be watched because of the sex and violence. The paper was right.

Before I go. We saw The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie together. I didn’t have a clue, but you loved it.

How come we didn’t see something we would both like?

I’m running out of poop Jim.



Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko