Duane Michals

Relationships: That Oh, So Toxic Deception

I’m on a relationship bender these days for a few reasons. The main one is readers overwhelmingly respond to these posts, more so than my articles about the creative process, my remembrances or my film reviews. Forget the erotic stuff from a few weeks ago; that was a dud (but I’m glad I did it). The secondary reason is there is a lot of dramatic relationship activity going on close to me, and for once it isn’t just my own.

As I’ve written before, creative types tend to have more atypical relationships than ‘normal’ people. That stands to reason. While we might aspire to some degree of normalcy in the false hope it will bring us stability and a measure of acceptance and validation, it’s not in our makeup to conform to a preset mold, which means normalcy will not contribute to our happiness.

TRAIN SCENE 2046

Story of S: The Journey Into Bondage

“Vaping on the Surfliner to Santa Barbara. So Won Kar Wai,” I tweet. Everything is about film with me. I’m specifically referring to the glamorous robots and their lovers vaporously posing aboard zooming, futuristic trains in Won Kar Wai’s 2046. Maybe three people I know who could possibly read that tweet will get it. A minute later I get a response from a producer friend asking what the Surfliner is. She’s a dedicated driver, a Roman motorist, who would never take the train to either Santa Barbara or San Diego, the Surfliner’s route via Los Angeles, where it picked me up. Pity: it’s one of the most pleasant travel experiences I’ve ever known.