Note: One of the things I’ve been thinking about, looking at the images of the past two days, are what that first week, that first week or two, what that would be like for a girl whose boyfriend disappears. A girl who has very few other friends in school, little support. Really, what’s her behavior like in the days after Cam disappears? How is she treated? What’s it like with her mother, even? What’s the scene in the hallway at school? It’s small town, but I imagine that there could be as many as five or six hundred kids in her high school. And most of all, how slowly the school day would pass, without him, how lonely the halls would feel.
I couldn’t admit it, but I knew that morning, the moment I opened his locker. I can’t explain it, but I could feel it, like the energy, or the . . . he just wasn’t there. Not in school. Not in town. Nowhere I knew. I knew staring at his locker, and it’s like, everything was exactly as it had been the day before, when we left. Nothing was out of place, but I’m telling you, I knew. I could feel it.
Have you ever been with someone who turned heads? Like someone who was so good-looking people gawked all the time? Like you walk in and the whole mood of a room changed because everyone stops to stare? The next moment, everyone tries to figure out what to do, how to behave, what to think. The moment after that, everyone tries to pretend they didn’t see a damn thing, like they don’t care. And then, they look at you. Because it wasn’t you they were staring at. And then they look at the person you’re with, and then they look at you, and you see the wheels spinning as they try to figure it out. Like it’s just so obvious what they’re thinking, there might as well be a cartoon cloud over their heads with the words, What’s he dong with her?
Now, when I walk into a room, I’m alone. And people still look at me, still stare, but it’s because they’re thinking, It was never going to last. One way or another, a girl like you never keeps a guy like that. It was a fluke. And then, they almost seem relieved. People love their Cinderella stories so long as you keep them in a book.
Actually, high school is one of those things that’s so awful it can easily be replicated for TV. It’s a match made in heaven, if you ask me.
Apparently, I’m a suspect. Husbands and teenage girlfriends are always top of the list.
Note: I think I’m going to have to change Thea’s birthday from June 14, make it a little earlier. If I want to one-eighty on the one-eighty, it would be so much simpler, at least initially, if I worked with sixty days. So that her sixteenth birthday would fall—again, at least in the first draft or until I get a handle—exactly sixty days after Cam disappears, April 6, 2009. So, again, it would proceed for one hundred and eight posts, from April 6, 2009 until whatever day in June that is, and then the second one hundred and eighty posts would reverse. Formulaic, but I think it could work. We’ll see.
New scene: eight songs for Nine Songs. A fifteen-year-old girl critiques Michael Winterbottom’s rock and roll porno: Chill, kitten, chill . . .
Last order of business today: Michael Bailey-Gates. I told him to shoot a film, to think of his shoot as a film, not a photo series, and he ran with it; he shot a love story, all right. It’s beautiful. It’s what I had hoped for this project, the chance to work with young artists, to see these characters through their eyes, to bring their vision to this project. I can hardly wait.