Written by Joseph Hansen
Dave parked in a lot with the laughable name Security half a block below Hollywood Boulevard. Smells of onion, garlic, Parmesan, were thick in the hot air because the kitchen door of Romano’s stood open. The old brick had been painted white. Iron barred the windows. He walked out the alley to the street front where the windows had cute green shutters and boxes of geraniums. He paused under a striped sidewalk canopy, thought about a drink, changed his mind. He passed a house-plant boutique, a jazz club with black shutters, a staircase door marked with the names of dentists, a place that hired out tuxedos, and came to the wide plate-glass front of superstar rentals cine & sound.
Inside, red camera cranes reached for a ceiling hung with spotlights large and small, round and square. Dollies squatted on thick wheels on a broad floor of vinyl tiles. Microphone booms glittered. There were movieolas, tape recorders, portable and immovable; there was equipment he couldn’t put a name to. Cables and cords snaked underfoot. Long-haired youths in bib overalls and straggly moustaches explored the chrome-plated undergrowth. A pale girl in a wrinkled floor-length dress and sandals clutched a clipboard and checked items off a list with a felt pen. All of them whined and neffed at each other and at a resigned, rumpled, obliging bald man who led them to this corner and that, and kept rummaging out for them this scruffy substitute, that battered one.
© 1979 Joseph Hansen; New York: Holt Rinehart & Winston