ROCKET SCIENCE: Prepared to Stand Asphyxiated

Every one thinks something else and that leads to every one believing something else and that leads to all things heinous and beautiful. So, pick a topic, a common, contemporary topic. Tell it to me and I will tell you what I think about it and even if I think about it and certainly I will tell you, regardless of my point of view, that I don’t care about it and that every thing I tell you about what I think about it is a product of that moment … and whatever my father did to me that provoked the opinion.

We are not cursed, we do not “live in interesting times.” We live in times where every one is disinterested; we live in disinteresting times, which is no curse worse than when people dunked witches because someone had to be blamed for situation and circumstance and those some ones had to be personified so that the act of witnessing the penalty would leave an impression that satisfied the notion that good overcomes evil, based on certain definitions of those things.

I wonder, though not much, if witches in the days of the Salem Witch Trials, were ugly, unkept women? Were they in full witch regalia, like the template Halloween witch or the Wicked Witch in that insulting Oz movie? What other images do we have of witches? Well, we have Samantha Stephens, that is, Elizabeth Montgomery, who defies the cartoon image of a witch. Who would not have courted Elizabeth Montgomery in her prime? She was gorgeous, nothing like we would imagine in a Salem Witch Trial. Her TV-witch character was based upon the movie “Bell, Book & Candle,” which starred another dazzlingly beautiful actress, Kim Novak.

Once, in a North Hollywood bookstore, I thought I saw Kim Novak on the other side of a shelf. It was one of those classic moments when you slowly pull a book off of a shelf and you can see part of a face of the person on the other side. I never opened the book I pulled off the shelf because two haunting eyes shot rays of attraction at my face. I thought they were the eyes of Kim Novak. I was wrong, however. As sparkling and luring as were the eyes of Kim Novak (and Elizabeth Montgomery), the eyes of Stella Stevens commanded immediate attention hard to disable. It was Stella Stevens on the other side of the shelf, thumbing through a book, glowing and as seductive as a Siren’s song. And at that time she was 43 or so.  Go ahead and Google her image and no matter your sexual preferences, be prepared to stand asphyxiated, stunned. There was a witch, that is, a woman that could cast a spell by her very presence.

I had no choice but to walk around to her aisle; I was drawn closer to her by whatever it was that makes a witch have such power over people, reptiles and hell itself. First, I passed by her casually and inhaled quietly to get a whiff of what wafted from the indescribably perfect skin. Then I stood beside her and acted as if there were a book of interest squeezed between two others on the shelf spot next to her. I carefully slid the book out of its place and made a sound like, “Hmmmmmmm,” just to be sure she knew I was there. Stella Stevens looked up from the book in the palms of her angel-sewn hands and smiled.

“Hello,” I said to Stella Stevens.

“Hello,” Stella Stevens responded sweetly with a smile that could blow a hole through a mountain large enough to build a highway tunnel.

Of course I said I thought I knew of her and told her how simply marvelous (was that word ever used more affectively?) it had become to be in the same premises as someone I loved on the screen from the moment I saw her. She was not intimidated—so it seemed or so I wanted it to seem. Her response was genuine and I imagined mostly because she was not showered with such adoration during that time. But that is all afterthought because it didn’t matter to me then and it doesn’t matter to me now. All that matters are the remnants of meeting Stella Stevens.

And witches? Well, I have to say that they don’t disguise themselves with beauty as far as I can see any longer. The style seems to be dark, emo dark and foreboding, with tattoos and heavy makeup. God I need an Adderall right now to complement the very sensation that Stella Stevens ignited because that kind of feeling—witch or Succubus—is the border between life and death, the razor’s edge to balance upon until the fall. The Fall.

Last I read, Stella Stevens is around 78-years-old and I would bet if that dusty old bookstore still stands in North Hollywood that Stella spends time there and buys books and orders books that aren’t there and that she would rather get off of her ass and go to the bookstore than sit in a rocker ordering from an Android. I will tell you something else, too, like you give a damn, but if I were to go back to that bookstore or whatever bookstore Stella wanders through, I would still recognize her and I would succumb to her spell, that Stella at 78 proves that there are no witches, there are just packages of golden bones that may never totally satisfy their own whims and wishes but inadvertently transmit wondrous moments by their very nature.

Every thing other than that thing disinterests me.

Written By

Known for his comedic acumen, Cotolo has made his living as a writer and a performer all of his life and during the lives of others. He is the author of the novel License to Skill and has co-authored its screenplay version, Molotov Memoirs, a collection of short stories. The Complete and Unabridged History of Japan, an epic novel, and a serious novella, Sweet Shephered. Frank Cotolo was born in Brooklyn and has worked in broadcasting, film, theater, music and television. He is currently the host of Cotolo Chronicles, one of the Internet’s first live broadcast radio shows.

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