As I slammed the door to the way of life I had become conditioned to after twenty years of inundation and repression in the form of my childhood home I let out the most primal of screams. And with this scream the most sudden release of the maddening mantras of an upbringing I had yet to face the horrors of. Clad in leathers, silks, turquoise, and blue jeans I set off before first light, seeking a truth as painful as it was freeing. I will yank that rotted tooth of deceit from the roots and god willing I will throw it into fiery seas, with this sacrifice will my long burdened heart remain disquieted?
Split fires, save matches, be comforted that all must change eventually.
Dizzy from the smoke of that morning’s first cigarette, I thought to myself, “The comfort we find in familiarity is just a synonym for the fear we have of change. We are so comfortable in habits, so we simply inhabit the insecurities we are given by our parents, wear them in until they’ve got holes, patches, and stains, threadbare though they might be we still wear them. The difference,” I realized as I began to hitchhike the boulevard, “is whether it be done red faced or with a certain measure of heroic pride. If I reveal my flaws wholeheartedly then I have won, even if it is the smallest and first of many battles to come. And when I can finally revel in my deep festering, long scabbed over wounds then I finally might become my own master. I will air those wounds, bathe them in soothing tonics but feel their sting with all the pleasure of a soft kiss. For that feeling signals truth. All know that it is the truth which burns us with the bluest flame, the blistering first degree is a slap of reality, but that initial shock cannot hold a candle (pardon the pun) to the dull pounding ache of latent acceptance that will keep you awake at night clutching your heart.”
When I caught a lift headed north from a Jayne Mansfield look alike in a t-bird with diamonds hanging between tan bony cleavage, I said goodbye to Los Angeles as I knew it, to Laurel canyon mamas in cotton caftans crooning to tiny children, goodbye to awkward adolescent girls in chiffon prom dresses looking like palm trees, all legs and long tangled brown hair with red glitter barrettes shaped like parrots and sparrows, farmer’s markets populated by skinny punks with bleached out flat top hair, beautiful mohawked children waltzing in moshpits with bruises blooming on knife blade cheekbones, goodbye to pink car orgasms atop Mulholland drive reverberating off the canyon walls.
But the siren call of the desert was too strong to keep me there.
Shedding yet more skin when I found the leather clad dream lover warrior man from my most vivid visions, with his hot steel steed I had no whims to resist and so clambered astride just like my mother always told me not to. We slept on beaches and cliff fronts, and huddled ‘neath Navajo blankets, pale limbs scratched by Apache wool and beard alike. It’s senseless really. This naked teenage lust wanders lust. We watched everything disappear as we fled to the deserts where the city lights never stray and even the cactus are at peace, where sphinxes and stone cold foxes alike reside, we feasted on avocados, drank Mexican beer and lemongrass tea. Never mind to the wild Western winds chapping at my lips I am drunk on the newest way of life. But dawn awoke me in her freshest gown and once again I was gone. For the love of a man will never measure the love of road yet explored, so it is you dear road, shaped into my beloved unknown, that I worship. I climbed to the tallest heights in conditions of the most brutal sort, I summoned you, bravado. At the summit I made an altar in your name. Hands trembling as I lay out this old blanket and upon it all my cards.
And when you have seen them, the tarot, the sparrow, the knave, and the ace, I shall say to myself: Jump for now it is out of my hands. If I am meant to be caught, then I trust that I will and if my fate is to be smashed and cut and bruised as I catch each jagged edge, only to hit the ground with all my speeding force then I will do so. I will be broken into pieces, smaller than I am now to be sure, But no matter how damaged I will begin an ascent once more.
For what is the use of anything but the most savage of feelings? This agitation has been born within me and I have no time for meandering dull emotions I must not be done I must not be content with humdrum along the spectrum the fiery lust must only be conquered by the hardest darkest parts of the lonely soul. I am plunged into the unknown. I have written all I know and now all of the unknown that seeks to escape my bosom bleeds from me, my hands never write quick enough. I will be incendiary one day. I will finally combust spontaneous applause. Stand up and become all ash and cinder it will sound like the bass drum and a whiskey soaked song, it will smell of violets and tuberose and sex, it will be a spectacle, spectacular wandering lust combustion nervous of the result.
Directed by Magdalena Wosinka
Starring Scout Willis
Creative Direction, Cinematography, Styling by Patrick Orcutt
Photography by Magdalena Wosinska
Text by Scout Willis
Video Editing by Adam Saewitz
Hair and Makeup by Sandy Ganzer
StyleLikeU Executive Editor, Ramona Canino
StyleLikeU founders, Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum