Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chester Himes and the client.

Decades ago, probably when I was knee-high to a knee, I saw the movie "Cotton Comes to Harlem." It was--slightly predating the sub-genre of Blaxpoitation--one of the few movies of my youth written, directed and acted by, predominately, black people.

I loved the movie.

It gave me a crazy view of the Harlem we only ever drove through or trained through on our way to whiter locales.

I loved Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, the heroes of the movie. I loved the writing by Chester Himes and I was pleased to discover that "Cotton Comes to Harlem" was one of nine Harlem detective novels written by Himes.

It took me some years, but eventually I read them all. I'm a better writer for having done so.

video
In any event I was thinking of Himes today--New York can be pretty noir in the rain, especially if you have some Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins playing on your iPod. But I was thinking of Himes because over the past few days I've had a couple of long phone calls with some private clients who are frustrating me.

They're control freaks. But they're disorganized.

In my mind, you should pick one. If you're a control freak, be organized. Or if you're disorganized, let go.

These clients, well, they made me think of the Chester Himes title shown above.

A blind man. With a pistol.




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