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Hollywood Philosophy 

(Busch's Grove, Ladue)

Graham is a buttoned-down appreciator of human folly, an archivist of obscure facts and peculiar stories. He carries a notebook in order to write down worthwhile details and scenarios.

He's become uncharacteristically indecisive lately. While watching a Batman movie, he experienced two revelations in rapid succession. (Is there a word for experiencing two contradictory illuminations, one after the other?)

The first, he tells me, came from something Katie Holmes' character said: that it doesn't matter what a person feels inside, only how he acts outwardly.

The second revelation: that he'd reached a point where he was taking philosophical advice from Katie Holmes. "Well, it wasn't Katie Holmes who said that, but some writer who wrote the words for her."

Right? The notion, although logical, wasn't enough to lessen the blow.

That's what happens when there's indecisiveness in one's life. A "crack in the armor" (as Graham puts it) allows for all kinds of influences to flood in. Soon even Hollywood wisdom can seem valid.

All the while, Jeremy Davenport has been singing the Sinatra standard "How About You?" to the silvery, polished people. The men in sportcoats, the weightless women with hairdos of fashionable distinction — everything about them suggests an air-conditioned existence. Their skin is evenly tanned. (Do they even have pores?) Their clothes do not wrinkle.

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