I first met Bonnie during casting. She had been tapped as Art Director for the film, but there was no one to handle casting so she was doing it. It’s a complicated job coordinating actors, agents, and times, and not one that gets a lot of attention. Still, it is important, and Bonnie did it. That’s just the way she is. She had other things to do as well, things that actually put beans on her table. Bonnie does artistic tile. When not wrangling props and actors, she was completing a proposal to the city to beautify some project or another. She could have used the time she gave us to hone that proposal, to improve her drawings and increase her chance of success. Instead she was spending long hours setting up auditions, finding props, and scouting far and wide for shooting locations. Through it all she kept a low-key, easygoing smile on her face.
Even though I’m just passing through, I was disappointed to learn, while out on the road with her, that she has a boyfriend. Her eyes are clear and blue. Her hair, brown with highlights, falls in ringlets past her shoulders when set free. When she is working she puts it up, but a few locks inevitably escape. At Wild Horse Mesa Bar, after a long day of work, grimy and sweaty in her tank top and shorts, she is far from glamorous, but she looks good. The smile is still there as she slings her cordless drill, installing the last set dressings of the day with easy confidence. No, not glamorous. Far better than that.
Bonnie, for all her competence, maintains her sense of fun and adventure. I saw a little of this at the fireworks store. We were on our way to the Black Hole when we stopped in Pojoaque at a year-round vendor of barely-legal pyrotechnics. I just needed a single box of sparklers, but we explored the aisles, looking at all the most fiendish and destructive toys ever made for a child’s pleasure. There was nothing concrete that happened there, no single comment or incident that I can point to, just a feeling that we were kindred spirits.
We talked about stuff on that trip, exactly what I don’t remember. On the way back south we had resolved to drop by Raphael’s, a potential location. Few of you who know me will be surprised to hear that I missed the exit. It was six miles south to the next chance, then six miles back north. I got the exit this time, and as we crested the ramp I pointed out the bar. We were talking about the place, surveying the frontage road that served the bar, her eyes were blue, and I found myself on the ramp to get back on the freeway heading north. “This is why I need to live in a place with public transportation,” I said as I backed back up the deserted ramp.
It was Bonnie who sweet-talked the car dealership into loaning us a pair of black suburbans, complete with drivers. Bonnie was always on set before me, and always there when I left, unless we left together. She still has a lot of work ahead of her, getting everything back where it belongs. I have never, ever, heard her complain. She has the respect of everyone on the production, but she doesn’t seem to understand why.
Last night we had a gathering, pirates and crew in a nice pool hall, reliving the fun of the previous four days. Bonnie was there, of course, and she looked great. BoB (Boyfriend o’Bonnie) joined us later as well. BoB seemed like a good guy, but he was working awfully hard to impress us. That’s only natural, I suppose, when you’re surrounded by legends of the film industry like us. Moab, an outspoken individual of the first stripe, found BoB very annoying and judged him to be unworthy of Bonnie. I wasn’t around for it, but I know Moab can be a real asshole when he puts his mind to it, and his wit is quick and biting. According to him, he was shooting BoB down every time the poor sap got rolling.
Bonnie and BoB disappeared for a while, and when Bonnie came back she was barely holding it together. No one else seemed to notice, but as soon as she sat back down I asked her if she was OK. She nodded yes and soldiered on, gradually finding her way back into the conversation. The tears weren’t far beneath the surface, however. BoB was still bubbly, so I don’t know if her distress was BoB-related or came from somewhere else.
There is, I must confess, a selfish part of me that hopes she broke up with BoB. Although maybe it’s not that selfish — Bonnie deserves the best. Unfortunately, lazy unemployed workaholic who lives eight time zones away is really stretching the definition of “best”.