Call Northside 777 has two things going for it: Jimmy Stewart and the letter 7 three times. It will remind you of the days when telephone numbers had names in them like JUniper 1-7726 and MAdison 3-1147 and HIlltop 3-2711 and GRidley 4-4426 and my favorite: MYrtle 1-1221. Other than that the movie is dreadful and there is absolutely nothing you will want to see in it although Jimmy Stewart does calls NOrthside 777 and someone does answer but it's a depressing old lady janitor answers and her son is in jail for murder and she cries and cries and Jimmy Stewart gets all excited. That part was actually kind of cool.
On my way to TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY, I have been reading the John Steinbeck library. Right now I am diving into (and loving into) OF MICE AND MEN. It is partially enhanced–or troubled–by the fact that I have seen the 1939 Lewis Milestone film version with Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney, Jr. Can't decide which. This much I know: it's nearly impossible to read the book without hearing the distinctive voices of Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney in your brain-noggin. And this, too: Lon Chaney is one underrated actor. Forget the Wolf Man: this is where this man shines in the moonlight.
I reach out at night and touch a blue velvet bag with my right hand. In order to do this, I must twist my body in bed but I want to. I am right handed, and I want to touch the blue velvet bag with my right hand. If I were only to touch it with my left hand, my weaker hand, I would cry more than I already do because I wouldn’t be able
to do as much now, even though it’s too late, really,
to do anything at all. But if I can barely touch it
Nothing ever moved in this house until I bought a turntable and it broke and I had a fellow come in, he was a nice fellow,
and he repaired it and dusted it off and said “Now it’s squeaky clean!” and it started moving again and he put on his hat and left and nothing moved.
You could say the fan moves in the house it’s true but I never see it because I turn it on after I turn off the lights and go to bed and wonder where you might be now if you are happy now as I lie here and listen to Ravel andante which really just means 'a lonely man in France, walking' and he is also not in the house.
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN is playing way too loud because I am in the shower and it is on the radio. Not everyone wants to hear of a stairway to heaven at seven o’clock in the morning, and I imagine cranky Edna down the hall don’t want to hear a story about a lady who is told all that glitters is gold. But none of this worries me as much as what import this little piece of paper in my hands will have should it survive five hundred years and be read by someone who doesn’t know know the sassy frill tight jeans of Robert Plant and the double-neck Merlot-red guitars of Jimmy Page. How can I possibly explain that in an age beyond radios? Worse yet, what if ‘heaven’ is no longer a word in our sure-to-be post-apocalyptic utopia? Perhaps heaven exists beyond the words we assign to designate it as such. Perhaps in a generation far away, words will merge their meanings, and there will be only one word left, and it will play constantly on the radio. Yes, there will be those. And they will play the word, and also, be the word. And the word will be heaven. With only one word left, there won’t any choice in the matter. Who do you thank? You have no choice. You thank heaven for that.