After watching the 1956 tv movie Requiem for a Heavyweight written by Rod Serling I can’t help but think about how good his writing was. I mean the sheer emotion he can convey and the topics he wrote about were just amazing. For people who haven’t seen the movie or it’s film version, it’s about a washed up boxer who finds hes not really good at anything else and a woman who makes it her job to try and help him find something new to do while his old manager tries to see the boxer’s self respect and trade him off for money. In the movie the boxer (played by Jack Palance) is faced with loss of self worth and degradation as a human being. It’s really amazing for only being 73 mins long. I grew up watching the Twilight zone and anyone who’s familiar with that knows that Serling wasn’t afraid to touch on subjects that made us uncomfortable, particularly when we were the subject. His commentaries on human nature were and still are brilliant and a lot of times I found them so raw and intense that I came away feeling unnerved. I can’t even imagine what depths his writing might have gone to if he was alive today. with what people can get away with on TV I wonder just how far he would have been able to go. maybe he wouldn’t have changed that much, maybe his writing was good because of the time and place but I think he would have gotten away with a lot more if he wrote in the last 10 yrs or so. Of course maybe the reason we don’t have writers for tv like that now is because we don’t want to be called out on ourselves like he did. I don’t know, I just can’t even begin to put into words what a phenomenal writer I think he was.
In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.
After the keen still days of September, the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth… The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the color shouted and sang around her… In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.
Weird story: When I was a kid we decided to tear down my grandparents’ house. (By hand ‘cause my dad doesn’t spend money on shit) Anyway, my grandparents’ owned an old farm house in the country on about a seven acre lot and since my grandfather had died back in ‘78 no one had lived there, needless to say the place was decrepit. well that suited me just fine. I was eight years old and thought, what better place to play than in a spooky old house? my little sister and I would play in the upstairs which had been my aunt’s bedroom. we’d drag around the old furniture and play house. There were old toys of my dad’s and of all of his siblings still lying around, toys from when my aunts had been little girls in the 40s and my dad in the 50s, the cabinets were still full of the things my grandparents had left there, little statues and mantel ornaments covered in dust. There was also an ancient Victorian upright that I liked. the wires had all rusted and snapped and someone had stolen the ivory off the keys ages ago but it was beautifully carved. Anyway, when we cracked open the top, my dad reached down inside and pulled out a wooden board with a message on it: This is my piano, touch it and i will shoot you. It was a strange thing to find inside of a piano and we all chuckled darkly. We still joke about it and truth be told it was probably written by either my grandfather or my aunt. both are dead so we can’t ask them but who knows. It seemed like their kind of thing. Heck, maybe one of them wrote it with the other in mind, or maybe they were thinking of someone else. We’ll never know but my dad said it looked like his sister’s handwriting. Either way, better not touch that Piano!