“Of course Griffith is lonely, Harrison. That’s the first
true thing you’ve said. Americans are lonely. The place is
too damn big. The night is empty, fill it with women as you
may. I fill it Harrison. I let them not be lonely for a while.
I let them dream and when they dream, they aren’t so miserable.
They’re alone. More alone than ever, but not so
lonely. A country of dreamers and maniacs, Harrison. All of
you. Fucked and far from home. Vulgar and lonely. You feel
it everywhere. On Broadway, in Chicago, on endless afternoons
in the big West. Down South they sleep with their sisters
and beat niggers, but the crackers don’t escape. No one
can. Not even lovers who fill the night and devour the lunch
hour. Your’r coyotes, Harrison. All of you—howling and
running. No one can catch you. You have everything but
you’re lonely. It’s the American condition

     “You need me. Me. The star. The robes. If you really
believed, you wouldn’t be lonely. But you don’t. You shout
in church. You confess. But you don’t believe. You believe
in the photoplay. The Hupmobile. The telephone. Even
you, Harrison. You believe in Griffith, though you won’t
admit it. I thought your Harvard snobbery would protect
you. But you’re lonely too. The photoplay is the perfect
expression of America. You pay, sit alone, and see tricks.
America needs wizards. They can crawl out of Kentucky or
come across the sea from the smelliest ghetto, but you must
have them. That’s democracy. New dreams for new solitude.
The photoplay is a coyote, Harrison. I am a coyote.”

     We sped up. Jesus stood. His robes billowed like a
backward spinnaker as he clutched the wheel and yelled,
“Where are you, little tart? All men seek for thee!”

©Luke Salisbury

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