(Paris, 1986) Curtis was a nice enough guy – even if he had been hitting on my girlfriend, calling her “his earth mother” – and was the personal assistant to the wife of film producer, Alexander Salkind. Mrs. Salkind, he said, wanted to produce an adaptation of Euripedes’ Medea, the Greek tragedy of a mother murdering her children.
I wrote a brief scene – Medea desperate on the rocks, blood on her hands – and headed over to the Salkind’s sprawling apartment for my afternoon appointment. Salkind’s wife wasn’t there, off having lunch with a Count and didn’t return until the evening, intoxicated, and acted out Medea’s anguish, crawling beneath the grand piano, for her husband.
Salkind hated the idea. “There are three things people never want to see in movies: suicide, AIDS and this.” And then he turned to me. “And what do you have to say?”
“Uh, well, I see your point, but…”
“Ah.” He waved me off and left the room.
His wife stayed under the piano, worn out from her performance, as I went into the kitchen and got drunk with Curtis. “You’re a sneaky rat bastard, that’s what you are.”
I didn’t understand why he kept saying that, but the tequila was good.