When I was fifteen and back in Pasadena, California, my then-boyfriend Carlos and I drove 25 miles to a theatre on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills to see an art-house movie we’d read about, a strange foreign thing entitled El Topo by Alejandro Jodorowsky, in Spanish and poorly subtitled. We drove in a 1950-something Dodge Dart my lovely fool had gotten for his birthday, a white car with rusted chrome and aqua upholstery. It had buttons instead of a stick shift for changing gears and sounded ready to give up the ghost, but it ran. We’d gotten as far as Wilshire and Sepulveda and, parking at a gas station to buy low-lead for the car and Cokes for us, we saw the car’s dirty red transmission fluid spreading out beneath her like blood pooling under a murder victim’s head on the station’s concrete island. We pushed the car to a parking space along a brick wall, told the attendant we’d be back for it, and caught the next bus to the theater. We got there in time to miss the previews, but I remember that it was 9:49 p.m. when the theatre went dark and the world lit up.

It was 1972 and I knew then and there what I wanted to be.

A Zen cowgirl.

We of course never saw the Dodge Dart again, and one month and three fistfights later Carlos and I were history too. Four years after that I was walking up Fifty-Fifth Street in New York City, heading towards the St. Regis Hotel to meet Jodorowsky himself.

From the Novel MY DINNER WITH JODOROWSKY, by Gabriel S. de Anda

Comments are Disabled