Talking Their Heads Off


They come into your living room, their living room is your living room, and talk. They have so much to say. They sit and you do not tell them, nor would they pay attention if you did.

They seem happy, talking, talking. Or they get up and go, get in an antique car, not knowing it is antique. The men are in mustaches, with soft hats and smoking, the women in furs and pearls, with lately bobbed hair.

They ride from here to there, smiling, smoking and return. They're back inside their room, your room, talking, talking. They have so much to say.

Sometimes they sing. Or even dance. You did not know the little room could contain so much. They are so alive.

You think to tell them, speak, say the truth, but do not. Nor would they listen, understand.

They kiss considerably, but love off screen. They were shy another day, or had another moral.

And there is laughter, laughter in it all, and tears. And death. They even die, not knowing they cannot, being dead already.

But you do not tell them. They so love to talk, kiss. No one has ever told them. No one has ever told them they are in a rounded tin, a tin that rolls into your living room. They act. They act as if they belonged there.

And so they love and kiss and smoke and talk, all in a dream, not dreaming what has befallen them.

There you see Joan Crawford, Joan with shoulders, or William Powell, so dapper, so knowing, their fashionable clothes out of fashion now, or returning, their talk the same as now but somehow strange.

What did it mean to them then, what now?

You cannot cross a continent to ask, they are not there. Once you looked and saw them differently.

Once you sat in larger rooms with larger screens, when they were alive. And they left, went before, beyond the celluloid, leaving you the living room, with shades, shadows.

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