This one I’m chalking up not to Nyquil, but to jet lag.

I’m staying in a motel in Hollywood, doing some screenwriting work.  It’s a mid-century building, pink stucco, black metal railings, kidney shaped pool.

The grizzled owner of the motel is giving us a tour of the grounds, and touting the motel’s storied Hollywood history.  He gathers the twenty or so of us in a circle in the courtyard and tells us that while everyone thinks Rock Hudson was gay, everyone was wrong.

Rock was completely straight, he says.

It’s nonsense…

Is there even room for a smidge of doubt?

…but when I look up, I see that, except for one other woman – a stranger – everyone nods and believes what the owner has said about Rock.

The owner notices that the two of us don’t believe him, so he hands each of us a Polaroid camera and says, “Careful, there’s only one shot left in each of those.”

Okay.  Gulp. What are we to do with that one shot?  How are we to prove our point?  What can we possibly take a picture of, 26 years after his death, that would prove Rock Hudson was gay?  Why does this even matter, to us or anyone else?

In the dream, we don’t want to hurt Rock’s reputation – we’re there to accept and embrace his sexuality – and feel that the motel owner is doing a disservice to the man’s memory.  I’m not even a fan of Rock Hudson.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of his movies.

And I’m pretty sure this isn’t about me being a closet case – when I dream of sex, it’s of the straight up hetero variety, pretty tame, and it may or may not include Scarlett Johanssen and/or Kate Winslet.

And why a Polaroid?  Why this dinosaur of a camera, which I’m not sure even exists anymore?  Something about the immediacy and tactility of the thick plastic print?

And why only one shot?  Why such a narrow window to take a picture of whatever it is we’re supposed to be capturing?

C’mon, Jerome, put all that Inception-obsession to use – what does this mean?


  1. Did the female stranger resemble anyone you know? If not, see if you run into someone IRL that resembles that face.

    It may be the key to everything. Or it may be the key to nothing – c’est la vie, oui?