Interviews & First Person
His hands were in the belly pockets of the coat and as he drew close I noticed that he had a lazy eye. I don’t like to categorize people on the basis of their looks, but this man was a perfect rendering of a pulp novel hustler, appearing dangerous not so much for what he could do physically but, rather, morally.
For a while as an AP reporter in Los Angeles, I started my day chatting up the mother of a man who murdered Bobby Kennedy, tearing a big hole in U.S. history. Most of the world probably missed it last week when Sirhan Sirhan was again turned down for parole. Like a tree that falls unheard in the forest, little note was made of it -- even Sirhan didn't show up for his 13th parole hearing.
Just before dusk, the people of San Carlos disappeared into their houses and pulled the curtains shut, as if an air raid siren had gone off at a frequency I couldn’t hear. Then, as the sun sunk over the lake, the chayules came. Tiny green gnats, flying in thick clouds, crowding my eyes, my nose, my throat. I tried to cover my face, but they darted through my fingers and into my mouth and ears. The occasional car, sliding by like a ghost in the gloaming, would illuminate hundreds of thousands of insects in their headlights. Because the chayules are attracted to white light, all the light bulbs in San Carlos are dark red, giving the empty city a hellish scarlet glow.
“Hey – Stuckey says Wallace has been shot!”
My mind raced back to the night when an AP reporter phoned the bureau with the stunning report that Robert Kennedy had been shot. Before moving the bulletin, the bureau chief queried the reporter to make sure there was no mistake.
I grabbed the telephone. Now it was my turn to ask the questions.
© 2006 Hanna Mandelbaum
If she only had a sense of smell, Alison Bernstein has told friends, she would be perfect. But as it is, she wanders the world cut off from the sensations and signals that guide those around her. She can’t identify her boyfriend by the smell left on his shirts. When she passes the Nuts4Nuts vendor, and friends exclaim over the delightful aroma, she can only nod and smile.
Don’t look for the film in the dark recesses where video stores hide the adult tapes and DVDs. At the Florida premiere, and in the years since then, millions of moviegoers have missed the saucy scene because it’s on the screen for barely a heart-stopping instant.
“Keep shooting!” said Big A.
N. kept shooting.
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