Obo: OL

take 1: commercial for an unknown target

My co-star is this tall Ethiopian model with a sort of British accent, although her English is pretty broken. Speaks Italian, some French too. She's big time in Milan and Paris, they say. First time I meet her she's in full costume, rigged like a Moorish princess, flowing diaphanous gown, wearing a veil and a headscarf, so all I can see are her electric eyes and long dagger nails.

She looks at my hands, my fingers. Short nails on the left, long on the right... and two silver turq rings.

'ou play guitar, she says.
Yeah, I say. Fer years.
I do a music vid, she says.
Bet you do it good, I say.

She giggles, swivels left, then right. Can hear her costume sigh as it shakes and shivers the length of her elegant body. Her dresser does some last second adjustments.

They give me a tunic, a helmet and a sword, tell me to "stand over there" and "don't move past those marks", meaning the chalk lines on the paving stones.

The scene is on the sea wall... atmospheric, very impressive. Rich smell of salt carried by the warm wind, which ruffles the long hair of the actors positioned along the wall and clustered on the rocky shelf below. Rough sea, the waves breaking in white explosions, the corrupt carnations of late spring... which I bet is just the way it's described in the script. Corrupt carnations. Cocteau is an auteur... writes, directs, even paints they tell me. Does it all. Guess that's why the crew calls him "The Poet".

He's standing on top of the atalaya ...which is what the Moors call a watchtower... not watching the action, but looking out to sea... like the rest of us, as if he's literally expecting an attack by a pirate armada. The horizon is empty, although maybe there's something out there... a fishing boat, a yacht, something. He can see it... large radar eyes in a proto de Gaulle head... a caricature, like a flattened Picasso profile, body on a stick.

The camera is tracking along the sea wall, past the rusting canons and the fake soldiers. Take 1, Take Two, Take Three... hell, bro, how long I gotta stand here, I'm thinking. No lines, no movement... meanwhile they're killing people down in the alley and they're having a lot more fun. 2nd unit, parallel universe. Obo is filled with stunt men and whores, seems like. Black guy wearing mean shades sitting in a jeep watching... is he part of the crew? Assistant director? Producer? Now he turns, looks my way, like he can read my mind.

We're acting in a commercial for an unknown target audience. Something disconnected about this operation, like there's no script. Well, they never gave me one. Turns out my part is pretty small, and I'm just a stand-in for some guy who didn't show up.

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