October 16, 1989 [Crimes and Misdemeanors]

We came home from seeing Crimes and Misdemeanors to find life imitating art. We were in the kitchen making some Sanka, and Jean felt a draft and went to the back door, parted the little curtain and saw that the glass on the door was missing. I went out to the back porch--tentatively--the porch light was on, and I was an easy target--and leaning against the house was the missing pane of glass, intact and innocuous, as though it had just slipped away for a moment to catch a smoke in the chilly evening.

We called the police, who wandered around, scribbled a little, left. I improvised a window with aluminum foil and duct tape and pulled out the Smith-Corona to write this.

Martin Landau’s revered physician can’t take Angelica Huston any more and lets Jerry Orbach kill her while Sam Waterston goes blind, his yarmulke still in place. Meanwhile, Woody Allen’s documentarian has to endure a self-absorbed--and more successful--Alan Alda, while Allen’s preferred subject, a professor of philosophy who insists we are the sum of our moral choices and must love in the face of an indifferent universe, commits suicide.

Evil profits--even forgetting its own evil after a while, the profit itself melting into a comfortable life, and Allen’s wit fades to murmurs, and happiness dances in blind melancholy. I’ll never know who so expertly removed the glass from my back door, set it with care against the house for me to find, then left without taking anything. We probably scared him off when we came home; and we have lots of bushes and trees in the back yard where he could have hidden and watched me come out and look down at the pane of glass and peer around for him. I had stood there in silence long enough for both of us to get a good look--although the porchlight’s weak circle of light ended not far from where I stood beneath it.


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