Brian and Christine
All day the rain kept drumming against the windows like impatient fingers. Brian tried to pass the time without thinking too much about the problems. He was smoking too many cigarettes, the result of frustration, anxiety and delay. Finally he sat down at the computer and started writing another story, another film script, perhaps. It was about a small town in the west. Another Western, he thought, with a smile. Is Hollywood ready for another Western? With Navajo, bison and an Irish tavern keeper? Why not?
So he typed away, fully engrossed in recreating a priest, a Navajo chief, a half breed mechanic, a Mexican doctor, an ebullient Irish lady, a newspaper editor, a surly waitress and some “troll brains.”
Brian was generally happy doing only two things: swimming and writing. He sometimes thought back to his life as an actor, a director and then a playwright. But he didn’t like to. There were too many bad memories. He wished to look forward. Even at 70 he felt there was much good future to be had for him and now for Wendy, and, of course, for Christine. Thinking about her twisted his stomach again, so he went back to the keyboard and concentrated on fashioning a tale from his memory and his imagination about a town he thought he once knew and how to make a film about it.
Certain details from his memory seemed to be slipping away, pushed out of importance by events that demanded attention and focus. Things became more important than people. Why was losing two toes a bigger deal than the kindness and humor of those involved, or the brutality of strangers? Brian had never known people like those in Buffalo Gap, and they, in turn, were not impressed that he was famous in Hollywood. He and Christy had been accepted for their courage in making it through the terrible wilderness and for no other reasons. But then they were embraced for being who they are, for the people they are. Things were not stacking up right in his head. If it was going to be a Western it had to focus on events more than people, he thought. There had to be a chase, a gun fight, the bad guys had to be brought down and justice prevail. Buffalo Gap was not like that. It was an experience in direct love and simple living. A New Western. Brian was very confused.
He spent the rest of the afternoon at the computer, stopped for dinner and then went back to it and typed until bedtime.
Overnight, while he was asleep and not paying attention, the rain clouds had packed up and moved on and now the air was fresh and clean. He went for a swim, had breakfast and returned to the computer. Then the words started flowing more easily as he realized the story was not about Buffalo Gap or about him, Brian. It was about a 10 year old girl from New England, and there was no last chapter to it yet. That would come as a terrifying surprise to everyone.
(To be continued.)