Trying to See Into the Future

Movie studio workers set red traffic safety cones and coils of heavy electric wiring down outside Louie’s #2, a down-at-the-heels chop suey joint on the cold, windy L.A. Harbor waterfront. Pungent Asian food aromas perfume the night and jukebox music rides the breeze.

Movie people work all hours and they must like it.

Harold’s Place sits next door to Louie’s #2, the former a neon-splashed neighborhood bar where the late acerbic American poet and novelist Charles Bukowski held forth, salty and irreverent. I met him shortly before his 1994 death, hoping it was not presumptuous to recall that in summer, 1961 we’d both published poems in “Epos,” a noted literary journal.

I’d heard so many gruff stories about him I was a bit nervous to mention it but he was cordial and grandfatherly to a kid who was l9 when his work appeared with that of the far more elder, seasoned writer.

Seaports seem to appeal to writers and San Pedro has  been graced by many, including the Beat Generation’s eminent Jack Kerouac and long before him, Richard Henry Dana, author of the classic “Two Years Before the Mast.”

Dana who had the misfortune to serve under notorious Capt. William Bligh (Mutiny on the Bounty) hated barren, dusty, San Pedro and was altogether fed up with a seaman’s life although San Pedro’s Dana Junior High School is named for him.

Better that than Bligh Jr. High.

Many people no longer read, since the advent of movies and TV, and so let’s see what they were filming last week at Louie’s #2 down on Pacific Avenue, where “Tonight” show host Jay Leno often browses at Century Motorcycles.

What’re you guys filming?,” I ask a movie guy who seemed in charge, although it appears they may have been working asll night, soon after the cafe closed.

“Castle,” he replies proudly, although it promised to be a brief scene.

Castle is a highly popular ABC-TV crime-fighting series featuring a novelist whose ideas for new plots run out with a bad case of writer’s block. He is approached by a foxy female NYPD detective seeking sleuthing help when a copycat killer begins acting out Castle’s fictional cases, but committing real murders.

I personally don’t care enough for television to own a set, but “Castle” must be a great program because it is currently in its fifth year and apparently going strong.

And if you didn’t see this plot twist coming, his attractive detective friend decides she wants Castle for more than just a law enforcement partner.

We almost overlooked laughmaster Jay Leno’s occasional visits to Century Motorcycles and while he must have some hysterical tales, my lips are sealed. I have heard a couple of those yarns third hand, not from the star himself.

*      *     *

This blog seems altogether a strange undertaking,  perhaps influenced by several things including thoughts of living with PD and how things may play out. Sometimes I’m in a fine mood and then it feels like a cloud has blocked the sun.

Two years ago I had resumed watercolor painting and drawing, but on Christmas Day 2011 I finished one of a little fishing boat, in a golden dawn sky. It was poorly done and I haven’t painted since.

 

I try to think of a friend who is blind, but awesomely talented as a poet, a true word wizard. She was born with sight, but then it began to dim.

Specialists finally delivered the news that it would become all darkness in a few years.

She immediately changed her college major to dance and vowed to see and do, until she used up all of what she couldn’t keep and try new things she could master.

Barbara has a merry laugh, cooks gourmet meals effortlessly and you only notice, now and then, that she’s not looking directly at you.

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