Friday, February 26, 2010

The Weaker Half of the Serpent

The weaker half of the serpent is flailing about, trying to find the grasp it used to have on me, but it is now completely lost, only brushing against me every few seconds. I have only one more essay to write and then I delve into the rewrites, which are much easier because I get to play around with the sentences, use my trusted Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus when necessary, and finally have a little fun with this project. The fun actually begins with the final essay, about Paul Lynde. I interviewed Michael Airington on the phone, fully intending to use the essay to profile his one-man show and interject when necessary with further facts about Lynde, and that intention remains strong because Airington was a joy to talk to. I even told my parents to pick up the phone, and had Airington talk to them as Lynde. Mom said it was like Lynde came back. Out of the three books I bought for this project, "Center Square: The Paul Lynde Story" by Steve Wilson and Joe Florenski is the only one left, and the only one I'll be proud to skim through as I go through my notes while writing the essay, making sure dates and TV show titles are correct.

As it turns out, I managed to slice the serpent in half after I was done with my essay on Judy Garland, which was actually harder than the one on Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Arbuckle was a silent film comedian, well before the studio system began. Garland was pulled through that hurricane, and had the concert tours and the TV shows, and the personal problems, and all of it wore me out when I finally finished writing it at 4:30 yesterday morning. Come to think of it, the Marilyn Monroe essay was easier too. And now, after my family and I move to Las Vegas, I can hang up my two framed Chris Consani prints of Monroe, James Dean, Elvis Presley and Humphrey Bogart without any regrets.

I have my Heath Ledger essay open right now. Two days ago, I found that I hadn't written any speculation about what he might have done in his career had he not died. It was a little intimidating then, but now that I'm down to one more essay to write, this is starting to get easier. Naturally, I'll still be insecure about what I write, but I have my notes, I have the article from L.A. Weekly about Ledger joining the Masses artist group, so I should be good.

I need to get all this done before March 12th, when my family and I go to Las Vegas. I want this to be a real vacation, truly away from everything.