Monday, April 10, 2017

ROADS OF THE FLYOVER by Peter Nolan Smith CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER FIVE

Brock Dundee and I returned to New York.

Unlike our flight to Chicago our return to JFK was uneventful. Brock stayed a day to see our friend Dannatt put on a show with Eric Mitchell, an infamous B-movie persona. The Scotsman paid me for my performance as driver.

"I want to get back to London. I hope this helps you get to Thailand."

"Good luck with your film." I planned on leaving for Asia within two weeks.

"You'll be in it."

The two of us hugged and the next day Brock was gone.

I became gone too and spent a week in Bannok with Angie and my first wife. My daughter cried at my departure. I cried too. Her mother had only spoke to me twice and I considered myself lucky not to have been stabbed in my sleep.

Fenway, Mam, and I spenttwo weeks in SriRacha. We ate fish every night. When I visited Angie again, Mam and I had a big fight. I was deaf to everyone, but my kids.

August passed fast in New York. I worked five days a week on 47th Street and went to Fort Tilden on the weekends.

Barry Flanagan died that month.

I called Brock.

"Barry was happy to see our trip and all the rest. I'm working hard on the film. I'm hoping to finish it by the Spring."

My father passed in November 2010.

My family buried him of the South Shore, but he will live forever in the Here-Before.

Right next to my mother, the only woman he had ever loved.

And my younger brother, dead of AIDS since 1995.

Richie Boy and Manny stiffed me for a commish with an NBA player.

I quit 47th Street and traveled back to Thailand.

To be with my kids.

Fenway.

Angie.

I stayed a month.

I planned on remaining in the Western Forest.

A phone call changed my mind.

Peter Bach's friend Alice offered me a writer's residence in Europe.

I had a last meal in Bangkok with Mem.

I promise to come back.

"I will be here."

The flight to Luxembourg took thirteen hours.

The embassy overlooked a chasm.

Alice was good company.

She was my designated driver.

I enjoyed living in Europe.

Its ruins held stories.

I wrote about hitchhiking in America.

The summer of 1974.

In October L'Ambassador, Dannatt, and I met Brock at a gallery showing his wife's works. I loved Joanna's paintings.

"I finished my film. It won an award in Ireland. I'll be screening the movie next month in London."

"We'll be there." Dannatt had five minutes in the film.

FLANAGAN'S WAKE appeared at the British Film Forum in Jan. 2012. I showed for the event. I was in the film about thirty seconds. Brock labeled me 'underground writer'.

I suspected Dannatt had a hand in that, but I sat through the movie and found myself moved by the pace and intent of my friend's effort.

This film was important.

Barry came back to life.

Silent now.

Not for Brock and his wife.

Or his friends.

I left the event and entered the Tube.

Sitting down in the train I shut my eyes and felt the movement of the train.

Brock had made something special and the tattoo of his effort screened within the eyelids.

I could see.

Not just look.

It's all about light.

As was in the beginning.

As was in the end.

And the road runs in all directions and Barry Flanagan knew this same as the rest of us do in our hearts, because hares are not rabbits.

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