Steve Erickson (b. 1950, Santa Monica, California, USA)


Written by Steve Erickson

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Zeroville, 2007

On Vikar’s shaved head is tattooed the right and left lobes of his brain. One lobe is occupied by an extreme close-up of Elizabeth Taylor and the other by Montgomery Clift, their faces barely apart, lips barely apart, in each other’s arms on a terrace, the two most beautiful people in the history of the movies, she the female version of him, and he the male version of her. […]

He’s been in Los Angeles an hour. He’s just gotten off a six-day bus trip from Philadelphia, riding day and night, and eating a French dip sandwich at Philippe’s a few blocks up from Olvera Street, the oldest road in the city.

There in Philippe’s, a hippie nods at Vikar’s head and says, "Dig it, man. My favorite movie." Vikar nods. "I believe it’s a very good movie." "Love that scene at the end, man. There at the Planetarium."

Vikar stands and in one motion brings the food tray flying up, roast beef and au jus spraying the restaurant —

and brings the tray crashing down on the blasphemer across the table from him. He manages to catch the napkin floating down like a parachute, in time to wipe his mouth.

Oh, mother, he thinks. "A Place in the Sun, George Stevens," he says to the fallen man, pointing at his own head, "NOT Rebel Without a Cause," and strides out.

 

© 2007 Steve Erickson, New York: Europa Editions

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