Thursday, October 8, 2009

Part 24 - a non Eureka moment, a breathless young woman and gyrating dancing

Cee Mak,

Unfortunately, Reshevsky's Eureka moment is a bit of a dud, more of a Topeka moment. Problem is, like much of the story so far, there is no clear danger or restriction to have to plan around, which tends to remove the potential for creative subterfuge. I keep having to ask myself what the conflict is, and my amazement doesn't cease whenever I realize that it is simply that her aunt won't let her go home. Meanwhile she's going to discotheques with a Russian count until the wee hours. Kee isn't tailing them with a gun; no one's threatening her family; there's been no horse heads found in her bed.

Reshevsky's plan is, get this, to leave the breathless young woman A MESSAGE. Yes, do that, leave a message, Rowan. So she leaves a message that Cater should meet her at 10 P.M. Reshevsky's great idea is his choosing of a spot that would not be conspicuous: their house. Because she is staying there and no one will get suspicious. That's the clever idea! If Rowan lives through this, I'll bet she ends up dying in five years while viewing the end of Planet of the Apes when Charlton Heston happens upon the Statue of Liberty - it'll be too much of a mindfuck for her and "boom" her heart will shoot out her nose.

In the process of enlisting Reshevsky, Rowan ends up divulging some details about her situation to him, the indiscretion of which only hits her the next morning. That's because Rowan is shitfaced. Her and the Count go to a dance club filled with "oddly gyrating young men and women," which Reshevsky has a "degenerate urge to enjoy." Typical Russian Count, geez, they're all the same. Afterwards, Rowan passes out in the car (I think this is a reflex when returning to Staten Island) and wakes the next morning with dry mouth and no memory of disrobing. This part I could truly relate to.

The next morning, Millie approaches Rowan and secretively tells her that she's been instructed not to speak to her. When this happens Rowan notes that "Reshevsky is "one of them." For a moment I was very surprised, feeling that I had missed a crucial detail. And, actually, I still don't know how Millie not being able to talk to Rowan implicates Reshevsky. Do you know? For a few short pages I thought we had a real plot twist, but towards the end of my section Rowan reconsiders the circumstances, and comes to believe the restriction could be part of a "general plan" that would not necessarily suggest the Count's involvement in a conspiracy. Would SOMEONE just do something decisive, already! I need hands in blenders, bodies in bags, "paws" in car grills. Give me some action, pleeease. I'm a slow-movie kind of guy; I sat through "Windwalker," viewed "The English Patient" twice in one night on and even got through a half an hour of Andy Warhol's, "Empire," before giving up, but EVERYONE has limits.

There's a funny passage at the end of my section:

Rowan asks Kee where Reshevsky is: "He is in the Greenhouse with Mrs. Dickson today," said the Chinese.

It's been a while since I could call someone "the Chinese" and not have to regret it.

I was watching Gilligan's Island the other day - remember I'm jobless - and something occurred to me. When I watched G.I. as a kid, I anticipated them getting rescued on every show, until, of course, Gilligan would forget to fasten something and the S.S. Minnow would sink in the lagoon. It wasn't until I was 11 or 12 that I began to see the show from a structural perspective, realizing that for the show to be sustainable as a revenue generator, the crew had to remain marooned indefinitely (it was only after the show was cancelled that they finally escape that somehow involved the Harlem Globetrotters.) When I realized this, G.I. stopped being interesting to me. It was a moment of enlightenment. Similarly, to this day I can't stand Liam Neeson because, around the time I stopped watching G.I., I saw him on a talk show and realized that the entire interview was scripted. I lost my media virginity to Liam Neeson and Bob Denver. So that sucks.

But about the Greenhouse; to enjoy reading it I think I have to channel my inner 10 year old that could watch Scooby Doo or read Hardy Boys all day and feel completely enveloped by the world they created. The Mystery of the Chinese Junk seemed exotic and dangerous with all the Chinese boats, smugglers and New York harbors. A few years ago I tried to read it again for nostalgia and realized that it is essentially the same as every other HB book. But when I was eight it didn't matter, all l I needed was a secure plot scaffold to hang various settings and details. The Arctic Patrol Mystery put me in Reykjavik; the Mystery of the Aztec Warrior transported me to Mexico. While the Clock Ticked put a clock I guess, but it was awesome.

If I could read the Greenhouse as a 9 year old, I think it would be quite intriguing.

Now, if Reshevsky's in on it and there's actually some action going down, I'll hit my next section like a 25 year old.

Give me something good, Cee.


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