Heat Nap

I fell asleep for a bit this after­noon and dreamed that I got a call from my agent. James Fran­co had request­ed me per­son­al­ly to teach him bird calls, specif­i­cal­ly Cal­i­for­nia shore bird calls, which appar­ent­ly were my spe­cial­ty. I was skep­ti­cal, not sure I could deal with a dilet­tan­te try­ing to learn in a week what had tak­en me my entire bird­ing career, but I took the job. When I arrived, James Fran­co was sit­ting on a met­al chair in a poor­ly lit con­crete bunker, in an orange t-shirt and brown pants, whistling like a lunatic. Uncer­tain if I should inter­rupt, I start­ed to set up my play­back sys­tem, which involved reel-to-reel tape recorders, a Super-8 movie screen, and cock­pit head­sets. Fran­co stopped me. He didn’t want to learn how to iden­ti­fy birds by their calls, he said. He want­ed to learn to whistle like the birds. I told him that wasn’t my thing, and he said, “David, we have to learn to speak to the birds. They’re nev­er going to learn how to speak to us.”

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