THIS OTHER MOVIE STAR


A movie is offered on the three-hour bus ride to the airport. Six small screens hang from the bus’s ceiling so that the film is a bobbing six-fold thing. Six leading men dangle above my head and move in unison. The leading man is attractive and I am compelled to watch the six of him, even without sound.


At one point, I do look away from the six movie stars and what I see, right beside the bus, is astonishing: soft rolling New Hampshire hills – here, coated in large swathes of black-green conifers, there, dusted in patches of dappled yellow maples and intermittently dotted with groves of already leafless trees, whose limbs reach upward. These are the White Mountains and pale sheets of granite, bare of any vegetation, appear from time to time. At the top of the scene, the sky is greyed with thick, low-slung clouds.


This other movie star, this landscape, is something to behold. It is a much bigger image than the six screens put together. Still, there is a division of attention for the rest of the ride to Logan Airport.