PAUL BRYAN'S JOURNAL
From the diary about this episode:
Introduction to RAPTURE AT TWO-FORTY (fromj SOMEONE WHO MAKES ME BEAUTIFUL entiries) in middle column - after episode pictures.
Wednesday, June 16
Pete flew on to Nice, but I decided to spend the day at my apartment, and catch up on things there. Instead, I sacked out, ever waking up from short and upsetting dreams about Kate. How could it be over when we'd just found each other again? I have to put this out of my mind. Am going to hit as many night spots as I can, and see what turns up.
Paris - Monte Carlo
Thursday, June 17
After breakfast at a sidewalk café caught a mid-day flight to Nice. Pete gave me a white knuckles ride to Monte Carlo in his new sportscar.
Got another taste of his social life in Monaco tonight. The girl he had on his arm this evening was glittering about a nearby resort called Actif. Though he's given me free reign in his apartment, with Pete off to Tehran tomorrow, think I'll go check it.
Our discussions during the trip here have been productive, and we agreed to finalize documents for the racing partnership at Silverstone.
Monte Carlo - Actif
Friday, June 18
Despite having Pete's car available, decided to take the train to Actif, and it is just like walking into the magazine articles Kate showed me. The minute I arrived, sensed I had done the right thing. Now to try and come to terms with her decision about us. With the strength she gave me now absent, I need to resolve the situation and find my own source.
Perhaps a girl I observed just after getting off the train is the answer. Unlike Kate, she seemed made of steel. I could sense it instantly from afar, and need to find the secret
Her name is Leslie Thursten, and I've made a plan to meet her tomorrow. Scuba diving would appear to be entrée to her world. Have rented some equipment to try out in the bath. It's been ages since I did anything like this. Ramon had suggested it, but I was wary over Angie Zeno. Now I wish we had - but think I'll have the knack again soon enough.
Saturday, June 19
A tale of morning and afternoon, and how, within a few hours, something light-hearted and positive could turn into a terrible reminder of how close death is.
Used the scuba equipment in my bath, and got the hang of it. All about the breathing, as I remembered from R&R days in Japan. Anyhow, I'd always been a good free diver, so was ready to take on the challenge, the first one to get on the yacht Leslie and some friends swam to. Told them I was a pal of the owner. This crowd would be easy to play poker with.
The group were running a kind of pool on how deep everyone would dive, so to get Leslie's attention, I put down a depth greater than hers. Worked like magic, and I got her to have lunch with me.
She puts on a lot of bravado to match her adventurous lifestyle, but I think she's a very dear person inside. Her eyes revealed that, but she was throwing curves all over the place with her talk.
Any come hither stuff brought out that she considered herself straight laced. She quoted Nitsche, but clearly hadn't read or thought much about what he said.
And yet, she was no fake. A really genuine person. Introduced me to her father who walks with a limp after being clawed, hunting tigers with a spear. Were I looking for something beyond the California Bar Association, I surely came to the right place.
Leslie insisted that I try sky diving. With her, any time, but I didn't have the heart to admit how many planes I'd jumped out of in training and in Korea. Did admit I didn't know the yacht owner, and went to his boat only to meet her. Interestingly, she seemed neither flattered nor annoyed.
Then, suddenly, a grim cloud covered everything when we learned that Henri, a real nice guy who put down the same depth as mine, died doing his dive. Everyone departed quickly, and I went back to the bath tub to practice my breathing.
Don't know how long I should stay here. Being aware that Kate is not really there for me, no more than a half hour went by today without my thinking about the diagnosis,. What happened to Henri didn't help a lot, and spending the time “practice diving” in the bath really offered too much time for reflection.
As usual the jet lag is really setting in now. Though I was exhausted, and mercifully fell asleep soon as my head touched the pillow last night, I am wide awake now, and it's getting later and later - and I'm thinking much too much.
Sunday, June 20
Henri's body was brought to the church today. I have to castigate myself, because all I could think of was my own mortality, instead of the bright life that has been lost.
Only saw Leslie briefly, but was shocked when she told me - quite emphatically - that she was going to go ahead with her dive tomorrow.
Monday, June 21
Henri's funeral was today, and I had a long talk with Leslie's father. His son was Mark Thurston, the racing driver. Never connected him to Leslie and her dad, though I'd heard Pete mention him often. They were pals, and suddenly I realized the “armor-plated sister” Pete spoke of was none other than Leslie.
After her brother was killed on the track, it seems like she's trying to live the life Mark would have. One glance from her father, and she takes on the most daring thing she can do - for no special reason.
We had a quiet drink in the evening, and we talked mostly about Henri, all the noble qualities Leslie admired in him. I found myself liking her even more.
Tuesday, June 22
Went out to the yacht in a launch this time. Despite her positive attitude yesterday, Leslie was extremely tense about making her dive. This girl I believed so invincible really does have a soft center.
I guess we were all thinking about Henri when she went into the water, and held our breaths when Leslie got to the depth he started to lose control. But she didn't miss a beat making the dive, and standing alongside her father, I learned more about her amazing character.
Let it be noted, Leslie completed a perfect dive, and I started down while she was decompressing. It got a little hairy at one point. I don't remember much, but found myself hallucinating. However, when I came up, they said that I'd done 250 feet. Bit of a triumph, so at least I have something to say for this day.
Wednesday, June 23
The dive took more out of me than I expected, and I ended up spending much of the day out on my balcony. Leslie accepted my invitation for a drink - but still won't have dinner with me. Maybe tomorrow, she says, when she knows me better.
Thursday, June 24
At lunch Leslie finally agreed to have dinner with me, but was off with her friends as soon as we finished our coffee.
When we were dancing this evening, I thought there was something happening between us, but she cut it off the moment I tried to kiss her. Said she'd never been in love - not even a school-girl crush - because she'd never met a real man.
It made me think hard not just about her, but about myself, and how I am going to occupy my time in the next seven months. Maybe I need a better centerpoint than racing.
The puritan in me has already risen. Instead of hunting pleasure, I've decided to salvage the hidden woman in Leslie Thurston. She's a fine human being, but she's headed nowhere, and I have to do more than spend the rest of my life lying on a beach.
Friday, June 25
What a man must do to win a lady's attention. Thought I'd parachuted from my last plane in Korea, but because Leslie wanted me to, I jumped out of one with her today
It wasn't anything I could relate to from combat - or even training. A beguiling sense of having left the world - and having stopped time. Extending freefall made me feel as if I had control over my fate, something I'd completely lost.
Really challenged Leslie's will by waiting until the last second to pull the rip cord. Still headier was her kiss, and the prospect of being with her tonight.
JOURNAL CONTINUED in nextt column
With the sneering cab driver
Leslie and Henri are fascinated by Paul
Leslie advises sky diving
They all think about Leslie's dangerous dive
Paul hallucinates on his dive
Leslie says she's never been in love
Paul contemplates his situation
About to jump from the plane
Paul tells Leslie that he's dying
Leslie tells her father why she'leaving for home
Saturday to Monday, June 26 - 28
It appears we were both looking for someone indestructible, as those last moments in the sky turned everything around, and though I never intended anything this serious to happen, now we are lovers.
These days are not really what I was seeking, but have been a balm for my soul that I couldn't have believed possible. I've never experienced such rapture before, or fallen in love so deeply, so fast, so passionately .
Tuesday, June 29
Before the diagnosis I hadn't been sick a day in my life; even managed to stay uninjured in Korea. And now, here I am once again hospitalised - this time in Hôpital La Fontonne.
The doctors say it's nothing serious, just some sprains and strains, but they want to keep me overnight for observation in case of concussion. No pain in my head, but that's about the only place I don't ache .
We were going to go for a picnic, and then Leslie remembered promising to drive her friend's car in a road race, and invited me to navigate. She's a brilliant driver, and I was impressed.
But apparently, someone walked into the path of the race ….. can't remember anything, just being put into an ambulance ….. and Leslie completely broke down, thinking that she'd almost killed me.
Yesterday I told her that in time I would be moving on, and thought that she accepted that, but in the ambulance, she suggested that we have ten children before such a departure might take place. Then she begged me to take her along, and to this sweet girl, so trusting and endearing, I couldn't just say no, but told her about the prognosis.
She had been so tearful, I probably chose the wrong time, but she's taken it as well as a girl in love could. She stayed with me until I fell asleep, and said that she would be as brave as I wanted her to be.
Wednesday, June 30
Maybe I was right about Leslie being indestructible. She came to the hospital this morning to drive me to her father's villa where we've been staying, and delivered the news that she's going back to Philadelphia to start a different kind of life.
She was tender-hearted, and only made oblique references to what I told her yesterday. In obvious pain, but warm and loving without pity. Maybe I could have stuck around a little while longer with her, but the clean break is best.
She's leaving tomorrow, and had a lot of plans to take care of, so I decided to move back to the hotel, and let her get on with it. We said our goodbyes there, as she admitted she might not be able to go through with it if I saw her off at the train.
Read Next :
After a doctor confirms that he might have as little as nine months to live, Paul travels to Actif on the French Riviera, and is immediately challenged by the taxi driver as an “American tourist.”
A fellow passenger is dropped off, and Paul spots Leslie Thurston bantering with a sports car racer.
Paul immediately decides to try and meet her by joining the scuba diving party she's going to.
Quite ill-prepared, the next day Paul takes a chance of being accepted, and swims out with others in Leslie's party to the diving boat, claiming to be a friend of the owner.
A pool has been set up among the divers, and Leslie says she'll get to a challenging 220 feet, so Paul, a complete amateur, says he'll go 20 deeper.Having caught her attention in this way, Paul asks Leslie to have lunch with him on shore before they dive later in the day.At the restaurant hey dance and dine to Brazilian music.
Paul admits that he isn't a friend of the owner,and that he only went to the boat to meet Leslie.
She suggests that he try sky diving, and quotes Nietzsche's advice about living dangerously.
Her father enters the restaurant, and Leslie tells Paul how he was clawed hunting tigers with a spear.
After lunch, they learn that Henri, who also set Paul's challenging depth of 240, has died in the attempt, but Leslie is going to do her dive anyway, and her father tells Paul that he encourages her. His son was a race driver, and Leslie is trying to live up to her brother's feats.
Despite the tragedy earlier in the day, Leslie makes her dive, and everyone becomes tense, especially her father - when she reaches the depth where Henri got in trouble.
But she is successful, and Paul begins his own descent while Leslie is stopped in the water decompressing, and they meet on his way down.
After a while, as Paul dives deeper and deeper, he begins to experience sensations of drunkenness.
The change in oxygen levels causes him to hallucinate, visualizing Leslie in the water dancing erotically, but he still manages an impressive depth of 250.
That evening, they dance, but Leslie rejects Paul's romantic overtures, admitting she's never been in love.
He asks her what she has against men, and she replies that she hasn't known any. Paul suggests her father is a real man, and than adds "and me."
Later Paul contemplates his impossible situation, and writes in his journal that, instead of hunting pleasure, as had been his plan on this trip, he's resolved to salvage the hidden woman in Leslie Thurston.
Paul is still in the initial stages of coming to terms with his terrible diagnosis.
He faced the second turning point, and made the decision to give up his law practice - and the life that went with it. Now he is coming to a third.
Paul must decide just what direction to take with the time he has left, whether to simply enjoy himself and take a long vacation seeing all the sights and experiences his work kept him from - or to devote whatever is left to him in the service of others. He decides to become a "working playboy."
Leslie persuades Paul to go sky diving, an experience he approaches with great ambivalence.
After they dive each takes enormous chances, waiting for the other to be the first to pull the rip cord.
The experience appears to bring them closer, and the romance between the dying man and the indestructible woman ensues.
They make plans. but Leslie remembers a commitment to drive in a road race, and Paul acts as navigator.
The race is highly competitive, and Leslie is in her element, while Paul is less enthusiastic. Despite her skill, there is a crash, and Paul is injured.
In the ambulance, she begs him to take her along on his solitary journey, “at least for a little while - until we have ten children or so,” declaring that she loved him unbearably when she thought she'd killed him with her driving.
He responds that he can't stay with her, that he is dying, and would always be reminded of that when he looked into her eyes, needing to be around people who don't know about his situation.
Leslie tries to come to terms with this, and says that Actif is their place, and they must both leave.
She resolves to give up her daredevil life and return to Philadelphia to settle down.
Her father accepts that she will not live the life his son would have, and accompanies her to the train.
Paul watches her depart from a distance.
Notes & Comments:
The pilot episode of Run For Your Life appeared in an anthology series just four months before the show premier, when it was already sold, and well into production. However, it's resemblance to the series is slight, most particularly in the character of Paul Bryan. He lacks self-assurance, is awkward, unworldly, almost plodding, and unconvincing as a highly successful San Francisco lawyer. There is almost a sense that Ben Gazzara was playing the part against his will, and doing anything possible to sabotage the series.
While the romance that develops with Leslie is not totally unbelievable, there was never a click between them to generate it, sorely missing to develop sympathy for her plight of being in love with a man who couldn't stay with her. Throughout, he is the passive one, not only in the dialogue, but especially in the way the scenes are directed, and although this may be just to emphasize the relationship between a sophisticate and the unsullied Paul, it gravely misportrays him in his role as central character of the series.
His lack of enthusiasm for - and almost derisory attitude towards - the dangerous pursuits he undertakes later in the actual series is emphasized by a relief when the experiences have been completed, and thus lending a comic note to what was supposed to be a life-threatening situation.
The Brazilian music courtesy of Sergio Mendez was nice.
Resuming the Journal from part of the SOMEONE WHO MAKES ME FEEL BEAUTIFUL story:
Puerto Vallarta - San Francisco
Tuesday, June 15
Took an early morning flight back to San Francisco. Jim explained that Zeno had apparently been so rattled by my threats that he'd made a virtual fortress of his home, and refused to leave it despite immense police protection.
Jim's theory was that Torre had taken advantage of the weakness, and had Zeno shot, he being the one who had pocketed the $200,000. I was definitely off the hook.
Recorded my statement, and then Judy Collins walked in, apologizing for any harm she brought to me. I reassured her that everything was fine, then made a quick exit. Before going home to unwind, went over to Kate's with the inlaid jewelry box I'd bought her in Mexico.
The sense of indifference she radiated chilled me. “You understand,” she said, “I can't go on using our relationship as a crutch in my recovery.” Is that Katie speaking or her doctor? When her goodbye was, “now, go and have some wonderful adventures, romantic and otherwise,” I knew I was being sent away, and have to respect the delicacy of her emotional state.
Pete dispelled a little of my gloom when he came over with a Mastin road racer he'd found somewhere, and gave me some driving lessons. I never thought I'd be able to laugh so much again, but think I know enough now not to wreck Jessica's car.
He said getting thrown in at the deep end like this will give me a good idea of whether we should be thinking of me as a driver as much as team principal or navigator, so I said that since I had no experience at the other two either, why not.
After dinner we headed for the airport, and I was glad of his company to avoid facing up to the realization that Kate and I are separated again.