Before twitter there were fan letters: Dear Mr. Redford

November 12, 1973
Dear Bob Mr. Redford,I just had to write to tell you how hot and sexy talented, I think you are. 
Laura and I bickered over who was more desirable — Robert Redford or Clint Eastwood — with as much fervor as we girls once debated who our favorite Beatle was, Paul or John, George or Ringo. Laura's mother, tiny Corky, curled up in her easy chair with a ciggie and a cup of tea, pronounced both actors 'tall drinks of water'.

This was so long before water became such a desirable commodity that we actually had to buy it by the bottle, back in the seventies when water was still free even in the once desert lands of Los Angeles, that I never quite understood the praise. But yes, Redford could put his shoes under my bed any time, as our mothers might have said, mostly about men whose paths they would likely never cross.

I had it so bad for Robert Redford after seeing The Way We Were; wishing I were Barbara Streisand with her impossibly long elegant hands and nails, bru…

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A guy, a girl, and a GTO [Memoir—also on iTunes and SoundCloud]



We were such a cliché. We sat in Dereks car for hours that night. Just talking. His dark blue and white GTO parked in front of my apartment building, everything quiet, the street dark, the grocery store parking lot across the road, empty. Once I noticed a shaft of yellow shine down from our 2nd story living room window; someone, my sister, my parents maybe, pulling back the curtain to peek down and check on me. I looked away quickly, like a kid covering her eyes—if I cant see you, you cant see me—praying no one came down and made a scene. The way my parents had when I didnt get home from Disneyland until after 2 oclock in the morning.

Songs must have played on Dereks tape deck. Or maybe it was the radio. It could have been the Stones, it could have been the long version of American Pie. Like a soundtrack to a movie it was just background music. The audience might notice it but to the actors, wrapped up in their scene, it isn’t really there.

We sat in his car, on his dark leather seats, facing each other but leaning away from each other as far as we could, our backs pushed up against the faux leather doors of the car, oblivious to the door handle pushing into our skin, taking each other in.The gear shift in the center console between us was like a bundling board, our faces stuck in that absurd state of suspended disbelief when you just can’t get over the inane fact that you are the object of desire for the object of your own desire. Every move they make becomes a tell. Every motion an overture. The fingertip trailing the top stitch on the leather seam of the upholstery. Back and forth, back and forth. The scratching of the chin with the back of the hand. The shake of the head, sending hair tumbling forward. The hand, skimming over it, smoothing it back into place. The fingers turning the metal knob on the AM radio dial, between thumb and forefinger, gently, gently, to the right.

Later, months later, I would make him take me to the The Brown Derby and we’d sit in a dark leather booth and I’d sneer at him over the menu of the famous high-priced restaurant I knew he couldn’t afford. I’d sit, straight-faced, defiantly voicing the most expensive menu choices aloud, raising my eyebrows disdainfully if he mentioned money. Punishing him for loving me, disgusted he could allow me to be so cruel, I did everything I could to make him break up with me. 

But that was later, months later. First would come sit-com happy days that went on forever. Days that started with that night, sitting in his car, stupid smiles on our faces. Stupefied by our imagined moments to come, savoring the sensation, ignorant of what was to be. Me, aching to reach across the divide and touch the woven strip of leather circling his wrist. Him, telling me he liked me the very first time he saw me. The very first time.


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I’ve been writing about old boyfriends for awhile. My last entry about Derek is In the Cups


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