That Night at the Brattle

I wrote this is in my journal years ago, and it is possible it has founds its way here too.  This passage of text is quoted from an small edition book I produced called Pages from my Notebooks.


I was born when she kissed me; I died when she left me; I lived a few weeks while she loved me.

Dixon Steele In a Lonely Place


I remember the first time we spent any time together.  It started at school that afternoon.  There were some Nicholas Ray films playing in town, and she asked if I was still planning on going (about a week before we started a conversation about film – a shared enthusiasm of ours – and I told her about Nicholas Ray and In a Lonely Place).

Yeah – of course.  I said
Are you going this afternoon or tonight?
Tonight. I teach this afternoon. How about you?
I don’t know. I was thinking this afternoon.

Our conversation ended there, and I hurried off to class.


She wasn’t there when I first arrived at the theater.  I sat by myself just a few rows from the front.  I kept looking back over my shoulder to see if she would come.  At that point, my attraction to her was simple; I was eager for her company.

She arrived shortly before the films began, after about a 10 minute wait.  I could see her looking around, and I knew she was looking for me.  We made eye contact and she came over.

Can I sit with you?
Of course.

She wore a peach colored overcoat, and her hair was cut short, coming to the bottom of her Jaw line.  Her cheeks were round and soft, and just a little red from the cold outside.


We made simple conversations about the films and school.  I asked her for some chap stick too.

Together we sat through a double-header, In a Lonely Place and Knock on Any Door, the two films Bogart made with Ray.  We left together, catching the same train home.  Conversation was simple and easy – questions about families and names and hometowns – but it came without any effort, naturally and inevitable.

I mean that line is amazing, I was born when she kissed, I died when she left me, lived a few weeks while she loved me.


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