Thursday, September 19, 2013


They Call it The City of Angels

A New Serial Novel by Joshua A. TRILIEGI

Exclusively for Readers of BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE and
our Three sites in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City
All National & International Copy Rights Reserved to the Author
Listen to the First Ten Chapters in Audio Narrated by The Author
at The The Main Website for BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE

Chapter Twenty: Heart

Cliff was up all night. He'd been working on the
largest painting he had ever created. The entire
wall had been covered with large sections that he
would attach with stickpins. It was Sunday morning
and Dora had several appointments at the office.
Many of her clients were nine to fivers who were
unable to visit during the week, so she had begun
to take hours during the weekend. Plenty of days,
Cliff would accompany Dora, he would draw, listen
to music on his headphones, he had a little area in
the back with toys, a table, a stereo system with a
lot of Stan's old records: live recordings of the L.A.
Philharmonic, The Who, Oldies but Goodies, Early
Jazz, all kinds of odd recordings from The Poetry of
Robert Frost to Stan Friebergs satirical stuff. There
was even a recording of Richard Pryor Live at the
Forum. Once, while Dora made pancakes and Stan
grabbed a cup of coffee, Cliff looked up and said,
"The God Damn M*$%#@^&F+!@# just sat
there staring at the B*&^%!, Now what you gonna
do with a White C*^&%$#@!%* like that, F*&^!"
It took them by surprise to say the least. They eventually
had to remove that particular album. Cliff was funny
like that. He had a lot of heart, is how Dora put it.
Stan decided that he wanted to take Cliff for the day.
He hadn't spent much time with the boy and wanted
to maintain an open channel of communication.
So, after Dora went off to work, Stan and Cliff made
breakfast. Cliff would crack the eggs into a big bowl
and Stan would stir them up. They made it a point to
do things with Cliff instead of for Cliff. Stan hadn't gone
into the boys room, so he had no idea he'd had up all
night creating, 'a new masterpiece', as Dora often put it.
After breakfast they jumped into Stan's car and headed
through Topanga, down towards the coast.

Stan had been a professor at U.C.L.A. after receiving his
law degree. It was a wild time to be teaching there. You
had Vietnam, Richard Nixon, Chicano and Afro American
Cultural Issues, Kent State, The Hippies, Tune in turn on
and drop out, The Black Panthers, Patty Hearst and a sort
of Native American resurgence. One of his former students
had become a Professor there and he invited Stan to the
campus. He was receiving an award and felt that without
Stan's help, inspiration and guidance, he might not have
made it out of his neighborhood, let alone, become a teacher.
It was to be a short presentation and then Stan figured, he
and the boy would drive down the coast to a place where
Dora and Stan had spent a lot of time prior to Cliffs birth.
The radio was blaring, '... Roll down the window, take down
the top, crank up the Beach boys baby, don't let the music
stop, look at these women, ain't nothing like 'em nowhere,
I love L.A. ... ' Cliff sang along until Stan joined in. They
both kept singing the chorus together. He loved this kid.
They drove down the coast, past the Malibu pier and into
Sunset Boulevard, a sharp left hand. Down a few miles
and a quick right into the campus. There were signs that
Not much changed around here, Stan thought to himself.
They parked in the faculty only space and headed inside.
Cliff could hear the drums and immediately tapped into it.
They walked over to the law library and sat in the back row.
The presentation was short, an introduction had been made
and Stan's ex student came to the podium and made his
acceptance speech. Stan had not been expected to make a
statement, but when his ex student asked him to step up to
the microphone, he looked at Cliff and said, "Hold tight kid,
I'll be right back." Stan told an anecdotal story about the
first time this particular student had walked into his class
and how he knew right away that the man had potential.
Stan was honored to see that some thing good had come
from those first few early years. He met the man's family,
added a few more stories to round things off, then looked
in the back row to see Cliff. But the back row was empty.

He looked around the library, ran out front, than back
inside, checked the restrooms, then out back. The boy
was nowhere to be seen. He ran outside to the kiosk and
asked the security guards, had they seen a young man ?
No they hadn't. "Would you like us to call it in sir ? What
was he wearing ? Could you give us a description ?" Stan
could hear the drumming from the Pow Wow and said,
"No, thats o.k ." He ran to the other end of the campus,
the Pow-Wow was taking place on the football field.
Teepee's had been set up in a circle and in the middle,
Native American dancers were competing from all
across the U.S. They alternated between the Fancy
Dancers competition, the blessings & donations and
then onto to best drummers, costumes, singing, chanting
and honoring the elders. Stan ran down the hallway which
was normally an entry way for star quarterbacks and
entered the field. He asked the guard if he had seen a
young man with long hair, wearing a pair of blue jeans,
white converse tennis shoes & a black turtleneck sweater.
The guard, who was giant, looked like the classic model
of what people all over the earth had thought of when
they pictured what a Native American Chief might look
like: dark skin, deep, thoughtful eyes, a nose like an eagle,
long hair, in this case, in a pony tail, strong hands, with
just a touch of sorrow on his forehead's brow. The man
laughed at Stan and pointed to the center of the teepees.
Stan slowly walked towards the middle, the drumming
became faster and louder as he approached the circle.
He could smell burning sage, meat and the sounds of
instruments here and there: flutes, rattles, sticks. A
group of women were clapping and chanting. Furs,
dream-catchers and antlers hung along strings that
surrounded each teepee. He got closer an there in the
middle of the circle, dancing among the best fancy
dancers in the entire country, was his son Cliff. No
one seemed to mind. The young man was dancing next
to a very famous dancer who had been in movies and
on television. The men were wearing giant eagle, hawk
and turkey feathers. Their costumes were extremely
colorful. They danced in elliptical semi circles. Cliff
was holding his own and then the drumming ceased.
The dancers began to walk back to their respected
tribes teepee's, Cliff looked around and walked over
to Stan. The man didn't know what to do, he reached
over, grabbed the young boy and lifted him high.
A Woman walked by and handed Cliff a piece of fry-
bread on a paper plate. "This is for your son, he's
got a lot of heart." With her accent, Stan had thought
she said, He's got a lot of Art. "Yes, he does, thank you."

Stan and Cliff got back into the car and drove down
the coast. There had been a Lighthouse down at the
edge of the harbor. It sat high on a cliff at the southern
most point of the city. He and Dora had spent a lot
of time there and had thought that maybe they had
conceived Cliff the weekend they had been invited to
stay with Stan's brother, who had been working there.
There was a beautiful guest house attached to the
main house and then the actual lighthouse tower with
a powerful beacon light that once had guided ships
through storms along the rocky coast. They had
named him CLIFF because of this particular place.
A beautiful and picturesque location that somehow
defined their welcoming life together as a family.
They were jumping into the ocean of life and had
promised to weather the storm together. Stan
pointed to the lighthouse and said to Cliff, "We
made you here." Cliff looked back at him, cocked
his head, looked back at the giant white house and
smiled. They walked down toward the cliff and Stan
pointed at the rocky mountainous edge, this is your
cliff. This is where we came up with your name. The
boy smiled again and said nothing, but he knew
exactly what Stan was saying. They had lunch at
a local cafe, it was the longest running Cafe in the
Harbor. Truckers, cops, locals & tourists frequented
this spot. When they got ready to sit down. Louis,
who had been a busboy there since way back when,
cleared their table and smiled at Cliff, He remembered
when his own son had been that age, before all the
troubles had started and he lost Junior to the system.
The two men looked at one another , neither men had
any idea how their lives had originally intersected.
By the time Stan and Cliff had made it back home,
the boy was sound asleep. Stan lifted him out of the
car and carried him to his room. He put the boy
on the bed, turned around and noticed the giant
work of art on the wall. It was an entire mural of
Los Angeles. Stan's heart began to beat when he
saw that the boy had painted everything they had
just experienced. The entire day had been crudely
documented, the freeway drive along the beach,
the lighthouse to the south and in the middle
a circle of teepees. Stan didn't know what to
think. When he looked closer, parts of the city
were on fire, a multitude of buildings were topped
with orange and red tipped flames and whirls of
black and grey wafted high above like smoke
signals. He looked closely at the image in the middle
of the teepees. There, in the center was a small
drawing, a self portrait of Cliff. He appeared to
be dancing right in the middle of a giant heart.
Stan looked over at his son, sleeping in the corner
and said to himself out loud, "He sure does."



LA :

Joshua Aaron TRILIEGI 1282 W. Sunset Bd Los Angeles
California USA 90026 Phone Direct : 213 975 0067