Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Magnificent Obsession

Cost: One dollar late fee to the Oakland Public Library
Year: 1954
Run time: 108 minutes
Director: Douglas Sirk
Cast: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush, Agnes Moorehead

A Love Letter to Jane Wyman's Hair (RIP)

Dear Jane Wyman's hair,

Ever since renting the underrated and demented Sirk-sterpiece MAG OB a couple months ago, phantasms of your shellac'd dome have haunted every waking second of my sad little shell of a life. If only I had the strength and derring-do of your daring 'do. So perverse, so severe, so unfailingly fetch. I often fantasize about my own personal Jane Wyman doll, scrubbing pots and pans up and down with her snuffleupagian garden of wooly filaments, wiping away all the dried cheese and pancake syrup like so many dust patches swooped away in a tropical breeze. At the end of this ceremony of cleanliness, I'd grow her back to normal size with my mind and lecture her on how marrying Ronald Reagan was a mistake, but how it will all be better now because there are so many dishes to clean and nothing else quite does the trick as well as she does, yes yes, everything is going to be okay, please don't cry Jane Wyman, please stop crying.

And then on September 10th, the crying did stop . . . FOREVER. Jane Wyman's hair had died, but my magnificent obsession with it was still only beginning. The Jane Wyman doll in my mind keeps telling me that everything will be okay, that the dishes can still get clean, and that the witches shall remain dead as long as we celebrate their passing every year with a big glitzy party that Rock Hudson can describe to you in minute detail while clutching your blind hand. "I could never have you pitied on account of me!" Will you be my beard? Your hair can be the SJP to my pots and pans Ferris. No? Well, I wasn't asking. I'm telling you that it must be so. Take me money! I didn't kill your husband! I was unconscious when it happened! I had no idea! No, don't get out of the car door! BOOM! and then you're blind, but it's okay because years ago, long before I settled into a life of degenerate, speed boat driving, scotch swilling playboy-hood, I had a humble simple dream: to be an eye surgeon. So you see it works out since you're blind and everything Jane Wyman, and I will help you to see, but like Steve Guttenberg, I won't tell her it's me, and you shouldn't either, lest you put her through more trauma then she already has. Just drop my voice a pitch and go on. Yes, Dr. Giggles has taught me well, I'll be ready for her eyes in no time. Just a little goofy gas and then fade. CAN YOU SEE CAN YOU SEE YOU CAN SEE! HUG. END. boom. tears, everywhere i look there are tears. can you see the tears, Jane Wyman? Can you understand the truth in which we live?

YOU CAN, well good, I was afraid.



(Editor James Olmos Note: originally written on September 14th 2007, left unpublished until now!).


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