Orson Welles and the Architect

I’m an Architect and I want to talk to Orson Welles

So, I’m standing in the corner, of course, sipping my single malt scotch, imagining spires and buttresses and order and Christopher Wren. I’m standing apart from the crowd, cultivating a sense of prestige and distinction, like a fine French-oak-cast wine or an Italian 8-cylinder mid-life crisis. I’m usually unapproachable, unfortunately, without intent, of course, yet there it is, isn’t it? Who’d have the nerve to come over and strike up a conversation. What sort would brave it?

So, I’ll leave and walk alone amongst the vacant bombed-out streets of Vienna with all the shadows and sewers. Until… out of the corner of my eyes, Harry would step out of the shadows of a vestibule – a cat circling about his legs. Over half-way through the thing, and with one slight smirk, he’d steal the remaining scenes.

I’d follow him into the fairgrounds towards the ferris wheel. We’d enter the car and begin to rise above the site. Harry would call me Holly, for no apparent reason. With one hand carefully hidden in his right pocket, he’d confront my convictions. And, gesture towards the people far below, as small as flies – just specks.

“You’re telling me you’d care, Holly?” he’d say. “if one or more of those specks below were suddenly gone?”

And he’d remind me that under the oppression of a totalitarian system of government during the Renaissance the Italians produced Michaelangelo and Rafael and Brunelleschi. And after 500 hundred years of democracy and love of mankind what did the Swiss produce?

“the cuckcoo clock”

Then we’d leave the ferris wheel and walk towards the sewers, the vaulted-brick caverns, with more shadow than light and rushing torrents of water and Nazis. The guards would come for us eventually, and Harry would run, until the two gunshots, and his fingers would wiggle through the grates in the cobblestoned streets above.

And back at the party, I’d think about Harry. And wonder what he’d say if he approached me here tonight. He’d probably be able to get at the heart of the thing, with just a few scant phrases. And, I’d turn my gaze from the spires in the distance and remember the nape of a girl’s neck. Harry would nod knowingly, and say

“You’d be surprised what you remember, wouldn’t you”.

And I’d tell him about the girl with the parasol and the ink stained fingers and the wedged shaped building with the bar on the upper floor, and the poetry of T.S.Elliot.

And Harry would just smile.

And I’d wish I could finish my masterpiece when I’m 21 and spend the rest of my life gaining weight and paling in comparison while resisting selling a wine before it’s time.

And I’d just sip my scotch and think about what my last words might be.

images of Orson Welles from “Third Man” and “F for Fake”