Thursday, September 13, 2007

OLD AIR

They walked into the room. It was a room like any other only it wasn't any other room. An office with scattered papers, notes on clipboards in that harried way living, breathing offices have – only this one had been inhaling decades-old air. A mausoleum of a production office, suspended in time.

Call sheets, actresses’ headshots, production stills, loads of paperwork – the unglamorous back office of a glamorous profession to those who didn’t know better, or otherwise immune enough to disillusionment to turn it to their advantage. This office wouldn’t appeal to anyone, except to those whose work in those very back offices, in present time, relished the old timers doing it.
She picked up a scene breakdown sheet, yellowed now, with awe. The woman there with her, who had tagged along, told her to put it down. Something about the place frightened the woman, though it didn’t frighten her; it didn’t at all. It merely fascinated her. A ghost office. She moved into the long, wide counter to look at what appeared to be an actresses’s snapshots. It was bound on a wire, for easy flipping.

The actresses’s face had a band-aid, then a scar disfiguring it, then a piece of shrapnel maybe, underneath its skin. It was disturbing, or more aptly...unpleasant, so she set it down. The woman wanted to leave; she didn’t think they should remain there. It didn’t feel right. Like a trap, ominous - lurid even. On their way out, the woman pulled out a Polaroid camera.

She wasn’t surprised. Instead she sprung into action. She bolted away from the camera, landing by the door, then came back and seeing herself on the monitor as it turned towards her, she saw her long, horse-mane of a ponytail fling back, once again towards the door. She struck another pose - on automatic. The camera registered another imported self next to her, which materialized to aid the mood along. That was that: she roused the dead in her. And that's when they heard the air sing:

Wintry I sit up
Tap-tap that kettle drum
Ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta.
Shred pieces, alight somewhere
In the back I can’t see. I swim with ferns for hair.
You run thru me; no blood, just that.
.

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