Ellen and I were sitting in the living room, talking, when our friend who lived down the road dropped by to visit. The fact that he was Clark Gable didn’t surprise me in the slightest -- I'd known him for years, obviously. He let himself into the flat, as was his custom, and sat chatting to us while we all drank tea. Even though he was an old friend and the atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable, I couldn’t help occasionally thinking, “My God! Clarke Gable is actually sitting in my front room!”
Notes for Freudian Interpretation
Yesterday, I spent a long time going through old newspapers on the internet, looking for references to a Hollywood character actor who I’d seen in a small role in the Big Sleep. When I’d looked him up on the IMDB, I’d been intrigued to see that, in the 200 or so films he’d made, he’d pretty much only ever played waiters. The newspaper search was pretty useful (if you stretch the definition of useful to include finding out inconsequential trivia about quite understandably forgotten bit-part actors) and revealed, among other things, that he’d been a good friend of Clark Gable’s. How nice that a couple of guys at the two extreme ends of the Hollywood food chain could get along, I thought. And how unlikely, but there we are.
It should be noted that, by casting myself as the friend of Clark Gable, I am clearly identifying myself with the bit-part actor. That’ll be that Scottish cringe that everyone’s always on about. Obviously, natives of healthy, confident countries constantly dream that they are Clark Gable.
Last night, while we were sitting in the living room (just as we were sitting in the dream), Ellen told me about a television show about cinema that she might get a job on and said that it was lucky that, without knowing that the programme was about to be made, she’d met the producer on the train and had had a big discussion about films.