A veil of mist has enveloped the house.
The fierce sunlight refracting through the pure white cloud is exactly the same light as if it had been snowing.
Yesterday, after making peace with the memory of JB, I met Michael at Solar and discussed scripts. He is a delightful man. I told him that I’d read his script but was loathed to say anything.
People ask for criticism but they only want praise.
I dashed off to see Danielle and she worked through her slate, her list of projects.
We sat opposite Jane Fonda who looked a little frail but still radiant. I was briefly introduced and told her how much I adored Klute. She shared a few anecdotal memories about the making of the film.
Bumped into Degan who is moving in with his younger boyfriend. I didn’t balk. I thought to myself (as the ghost of what could have been passed through me) well, that was then this is now. As I’ve said before it’s quite obvious that I’m never going to have that moving in thing happen to me so I may as well just accept things as they are and get on with it.
There is no room in my life for melancholy. I have devoted too much time to drama, misery and bad choices.
It’s an illusion that the young are happy, an illusion for those who have lost it. The young know they are wretched, for they are full of truthless ideal and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded.
My meeting with the accountant was fruitful. Apparently life is not quite as fraught as I thought it was.
I met Hillary in Venice and walked the entire length of Abbot Kinney gossiping and laughing.
We ate a light supper at Wholefoods. I’m sorry but eating food outside a grimy supermarket is just too much. I bought a grilled chicken that I shared with the Lil Dog.
BAFTA organized a screening for the members in a small Santa Monica cinema.
It’s a sad film. I identified very much with Kenneth’s sexual anorexia, his inability to form loving relationships with other men and the mask he wore to get through a life he considered useless.
“It is difficult to know people and I don’t think one can ever really know any but one’s own countrymen.
For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the county in which they are born, the city or the farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives’ tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they played, the poets they read, and the God they believed in.
It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can’t come to know by hearsay, you can only know them if you have lived them.”
It seems so easy, helping my friend in London put his film together without any thought of directing it myself. It has given me a great deal of pleasure. Of course I know how to negotiate the making of a film. A big film or a small film. Films naturally find their own scale.
I’ve no idea yet what sort of film we will make. We are currently looking for a great script.
It was lovely listening to Michael Sheen talk about Kenneth Williams. He obviously developed a profound affection for Kenneth by simply walking in his shoes. I wondered what the similarities were between these two very different men.
Michael talked amusingly at dinner about meeting Tony Blair at Rupert Murdoch’s house. He talked about Polari, the 17th Century gay slang, I introduced to Jake B. He described his friendship with Barbra Windsor.
I hope I helped JB understand the culture and history that precedes him. It’s so important for gay men to own their history, not as prescribed by straight people as they have written us in the pages of their newspapers…but the oral history that may get lost as another generation of gay men grow up. We have such a rich history, such joy and tragedy…but we are loathed to own it.
There was a superb Somerset Maugham quote used in the movie:
“What do we any of us have but our illusions and what do we ask of others that we be allowed to keep them?”
When I was a young boy Maugham’s childhood home still stood on Canterbury Road in Whitstable. It was a beautiful Victorian rectory that savage developers later pulled down and replaced with five vile, mock Georgian horrors. Anyway, before it was demolished, I made friends with the owners and every Sunday after church I would sit in the huge conservatory, feed their chickens and look at the goldfish in their pond. They gave me a small piece of amethyst that I still own.
When I went to bed last night I found a poisonous spider folded into the linen. I didn’t kill it. It’s nice to share your bed with something living even if it’s only a spider or a little dog.
As I look back over the past months I understand that one can’t do what one thinks is right without making someone else unhappy.
In the time that it has taken me to write this blog the mist has magically retreated revealing the ocean. I am going for a long walk.