Friday, September 22, 2017
The distortive rage of Osborne Cox
When she asked me why I hadn't said anything to John Malkovich the time I got into a lift with him (and his companion) from the rooftop terrace of the Hotel Monopol -- I said that he was pointedly ignoring me, of course, and that the whole time between when the lift started moving and when he (and his companion) got out at level four, he was looking up and away from me and towards the place where illuminated numbers might have been sliding from the right to the left. I also said that when I had been standing, waiting for the lift on the roof, I had been aware, merely, that a couple of older people had stepped up behind me to wait as well -- an utterly silent couple -- you know (I said) the sort of couple who might have just spent the whole of the afternoon sitting, as I had done, by an air-conditioning duct in the wind as they drank their pale, and probably equally tasteless coffees, while they worked or read or had just sat staring -- this couple who, once they stepped into the lift after me, had stood as far away from each other as possible -- and so when I turned and noticed that indeed it was he, the famous actor, standing towards the front of the lift as his companion stood towards the back, all I could think of was the meaningless mantra of Being John Malkovich -- that and the distortive rage of Osborne Cox -- but when I said all this, her face had pleated with an immense irritation. Because she would have said something to him. She wouldn't have let such a moment pass. In fact, it was only the previous week that she had addressed a gathering of gravediggers at Rookwood Cemetery and had heard, afterwards, that her breakfast meeting talk had been the most interesting one they had ever heard.