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chris volkay

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Those Eyes
By chris volkay
Friday, January 18, 2002

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Those eyes is a story of illusion

Chris Volkay

Those Eyes

Well, things are seldom what they seem, are they friends?
In a world woven together by the webs of illusion, I just
may be the ultimate untruth, the supreme dream, but more
about me later. Right now I must minister to my adoring
minions. The frenetic flock below awaits my soothing sleight
of hand. The eyes of humanity flash toward me daily, and I
must not disappoint. And you dear compadre, one way or
another, youíve beheld me too, for my unbridled splendor is
hard to miss.
I am actually quite magnificent. At 50 feet tall, I
tower above all of the 6 foot, so-called leading men out
here. And at 450,000 pounds and 450 feet long some have had
the gall to refer to me as pleasingly plump. I appear to
possess the complexion of new fallen snow, but then again,
am I really what I seem to be?
But the thing that has always tortured me are those
eyes, those ever-present, ever-pleading, ever-silent eyes
that have blazed up at me all my life. Those eyes quietly
and relentlessly search the mountains, hunt the horizon,
scour the sky, search the stars themselves desperately
praying for something, anything, everything. And never
getting an answer. Never, not one. Well, how could they?
And it was getting worse all the time. After a while, you
just canít take it anymore.
Every night I would feel them boring up at me; the
giddy-terrified movie people eyes, the smokey-beaten worker
joe eyes, the time-clocked-robotic government people eyes,
the fiery-bolt-action military eyes, the butcher eyes, baker
eyes, the candlestick maker eyes. All of em. Staring up,
scanning, rummaging for something. I donít know how but they
actually began to bluster right into me. Their thoughts
would spin and swirl up at me like shimmering waves of
summertime heat, searing into my soul. Theyíd shoot up
skyward, hundreds, perhaps thousands at a time. Their dreams
flying just like sky-rockets, sparks of radiant crimson and
white trailing behind. Sometimes they would fly so close
they would singe my face, thick trails of charcoally smoke
criss-crossing the sky. Rocketing toward the heavens, but
then caught in some cosmic canopy, power dissipating,
turning and falling straight back down on them. There they
would stay. Millions of these dreams flying, careening
around like the workings of some giant garishly-lit pinball
machine on perpetual tilt. Brilliance gone, ashen gray, they
take on the aura of mournful, desolate ghosts. Sentenced
into this sort of dream purgatory that eerily hovers over
this land weíve come to call Los Angeles. The cover story
the city fathers have floated for years is that these dusky
gray phantoms are something known as ďsmog.Ē
How could I endure all of this? So back in the roaring
twenties, I couldnít take the shrieking eyes one more night.
Well I thought and thought and this is what I was able to
fashion. Hereís a secret. It required very little
perspiration. Human beings were so willing to believe,
believe in anything, that I just dropped a few hints around
that old hot spot, The Brown Derby, used the power of
suggestion along Hollywood and Sunset boulevards and voila,
you conjured me right out of thin air. Ya see, Iím not
really here, I only exist in your minds. But, why not give
your eyes something to focus on, a symbol, you seem to live
by your symbols. Why not play the sorcerer and devine
something that you could turn to? I just told all of the
studios that it was something about a land deal up here and
that, anyway, one of the other studios was ďdoing it,Ē and
they all ended up thinking somebody else was responsible for
it. They never caught on and guess what, to this very day,
they still havenít, and well, Iím still here.
Still, its been anything but pleasant. Iíve been
marred, kicked, blown down, savagely graffitied, had light
bulbs screwed into me,(try that sometime friend) and Iíve
even had to be saved by, of all people, Mr. Playboy, Hugh
Hefner. ďHef,Ē my savior. It ainít as easy as it looks,
I spend my time here in this Alpine solitude,
paddle-crawling in this hillside sea of brownish green
chaparral. The late afternoon sun scorches down and the
fiery Santa Ana winds can leave you languid and in need of
IV fluids. The occasional Sparrow or Jay will fly by and
give me their cryptic comments. But that one night had
possibilities. Her slowly wafting perfume began tickling my
nosebuds. Then as she came into view, well, do you believe
in love at first sight? But then her eyes stared up at me
and I knew right away. She was an actress, but I could see
through her training. So young, so blonde, so pretty, so
dead. Soft trembling lids veiled those eyes. Those eyes
again. Oh I tried to stop her, really I did. But before I
knew it she was already scaling me. Every touch of her hands
upon me was frosty. Thatís 5 stories up folks. There she sat
transfixed, just staring out into the neon blurry lows that
decorated that shivering Los Angeles skyline. Talk about
your ironies, I finally did get through to her. In that last
instant, she realized that I was, in fact, only an illusion.
So quite naturally I disappeared. Being that she was 50 feet
in the air at the time, was not good. And with her illusion
of me shattered, she began hurtling straight down toward the
hard ground and protruding brush. I really canít say what
happened after that. I closed my eyes.
Now Iím known all over the world. People journey from
every corner of the globe to admire me and take my picture.
All look at me, all snap away, but each of you sees and
captures something slightly different.
There is something else you should notice. Iím fenced
off. I can only be seen from a afar. Oh, theyíll tell you
itís for my own protection. Keep me away from vandals, donít
want roaming bands of savage youth recycling their malt
liquor on me. But thatís the cover story. Just like the
Wizard of Oz, they donít want peeking behind the curtain.
You see, if you people were allowed to get close, try to
touch me, youíd put your hands right through me.
But now dawn is breaking once again. Itís my time to
enthrall. And enthrall I shall. The dreams keep shooting
skyward, it never ends. The eyes, those eyes, those endless
eyes. I am but one of the hundreds of illusions that you
have invented. My bigger siblings, they were invented for
you in the same manner I was. You see our caretakers
everyday on your TV screens and in your newspapers, you
follow them, believe them, let them analyze you, even pray
to them. But never seem to realize them for what they are.
We are but servants, slaves to your endless fancy. Your eyes
haunt me, they remind me so much of her.
One last note of caution. Do not approach me, always
stay behind my carefully erected fences. You could be cuffed
and arrested! Finding out the truth of my existence will
only bring you more misery.
Finally, the next time a relative comes out to visit,
come by and see me. Enthrallment and enchantment await.
Bring your camera. Let them peer up at my towering 50 foot
magnificence, because, donít you know, dear friends,
everyone that comes here to Los Angeles wants to see the
Hollywood Sign.

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