October 19, 2021
It’s about half-past two in the morning. I’m heading out of East New York on Atlantic Ave., the white noise of sleep deprivation rushing in my head. The traffic is light, the car cruises along at about 30, synchronized perfectly with the lights. The windows are fogged, street lights blossom into dandelions and scatter like seeds.
The Castle stands proud, its crenelations sending rivulets of rain down its windows. Inside, the grill sizzles with onions cooking in a half inch of water, the floating oil refracting into hummingbird colors. The patties are about the size of a silver dollar, punched through with holes, no more that a mouthful. I order a dozen, they’re handed over indifferently in a white bag. Hendrix plays “Waterfall” on the radio, the bag turns translucent, and I’m on my way back through East New York, Brooklyn, and onto the Manhattan Bridge.
I liked the movie /White Castle/ )(1990, Susan Sarandon, James Spader). The details of the relationship were engaging and plausible. But it ends weirdly: they end up having sex on a restaurant table and everyone in the busy restaurant claps and cheers.
Maybe I misunderstood, though; it was thirty years ago. Maybe that scene was only happening in a character’s mind, like the last scene in the director’s cut of /A Clockwork Orange/, or the last scene in the studio-screwed-up version of /Brazil/.
Uh-oh, I just looked it up and it’s called /White Palace/. It was meant to be /White Castle/ but they had some kind of a legal problem and had to change it. Maybe the hamburger company didn’t like the sex on the table thing.
My favorite Susan Sarandon movie is a tossup between /King of the Gypsies/, The Rocky Horror Picture Show/ and /Illuminata/. My favorite James Spader movie is /Supernova/.
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