I'm Dreaming of a Clint Christmas

by cowboylands

I asked him what his favorite western pulp novel was. (Brave, I admit–Clint Eastwood does not have a lot of time to make nice with visitors to his California ranch.)

In reply he did that squinty Clint thing (my heart simultaneously leaped and quailed–giving me heartburn later on in the day).

  

You know, I persisted, like Luke Short or Ernest Haycox? Hard Money? Action by Night? Night Marshal? Ramrod

The rest of the group was moving ahead, and before he could go to the more important head of the party, I (doing my best not to latch on to his arm) I managed to tell Clint Eastwood that I thought he would enjoy Luke Short’s stories, because Short’s spare words pack a punch. (Thank gawd I didn’t say something simpering as in, “like your movies.”)

He nodded, appearing to take the time to think about what I said and then excused himself graciously.

OK! I had probably alienated one of my cowboy heroes, who, in a post-post-modern sort of way, would command his cowboy-bodyguards to toss me through a saloon’s plate-glass window rather than do it himself.  But at least I had spoken to him and not blathered like an idiot. 

It was later in the tour that he swung by again, asking me what I thought about… I can’t even remember, honestly. All I can recall is I got a mushy, warm feeling inside that spread through my solar plexus and zeroed in on my G-spot. I opened my mouth to reply–and woke up.

Damn! 

Only a dream! I can usually spot my dreams, but this one didn’t have space aliens or super heroes, or some sort of apocalyptic vision. It was so normal. A tour of Eastwood’s ranch, a casual word, the culmination of a fantasy. And yes, that’s all it would be. The man is an icon, but an aged one, after all. We would talk. We would become compadres. Pards. We would shoot e-mails back and forth between his red-carpet walks and my deadlines. I would fill him in on the mysteries of 1940s and 1950s pulps; Clint would tell me about, well, being Clint. 

For that’s what he is. Clint. For common mortals like me, he is and will always be Man With No Name. Dirty Harry. Josie Wales. Who else of today’s filmic world has that glory, or that burden?

The inciting action for this dream was an excerpt from a review of Gran Torino, by Manohla Dargis, in  the New York Times of December 12: 

…Mr. Eastwood is also an adept director of his own performances and, perhaps more important, a canny manipulator of his own iconographic presence. He knows that when we’re looking at him, we’re also seeing Dirty Harry and the Man With No Name and all his other outlaws and avenging angels who have roamed across the screen for the last half-century. All these are embedded in his every furrow and gesture.

 

Dream aside, as I type about my chaste love affair, all I think about is that I don’t want Clint for his directorial efforts or his jazz playing, or his ranch, or his forearms (they featured prominently in a dream of a writer friend of mine), or his many good works. I want him for the Cowboy in him, and so apparently, does everyone else (such as movie critics). 

And now I have the question that will haunt my sleep for nights to come: If you sell your soul to the Cowboy, do you ever get it back?

(Apparently not if you are one of the film/music icons who gets a fake-faded brown images of themselves sold at fake Route 66 shops in suburban malls, like Elvis, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe. And Clint is, unfortunately, part of that crowd.)

Ennio Morricone also lives on in a brilliant rendition of the theme from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly by the awesome Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain.

And Sergio Leone lives on in Legos: 

A Kaptain Kobold kreation. The photo here doesn’t do it service; the original photo on flickr has notes from lego-cowboy fans. See it here

 

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2 Comments to “I'm Dreaming of a Clint Christmas”

  1. I had a dream about Clint because of this blog. Perhaps I need to drink more.

  2. I was able to exorcize my Clint demon. But I keep going back to that Lego site, unable to look away…

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