Sam Peckinpah, Invisible Mosquito

The Ghost of a Flea c.1819-20 William Blake 1757-1827 Bequeathed by W. Graham Robertson 1949

In 1989 I was staying in the Sands Motel, researching Sam’s life and interviewing people, including Katy Haber, Sam’s mistress and right arm on several pictures. One night I was lying in bed, exhausted, trying to read. A mosquito came by my face. I could hear it, but I could not see it. I could not get rid of that little pest—it wasn’t there, but it was there! I kept thinking, “Am I nuts? Am I drunk?” It wasn’t the latter for sure—not a drop in days.

I called Katy. I said, “Katy, there’s a goddamned mosquito right in my face, right in my ear, but I can’t see it.”

She said, “It’s that son of a bitch Sam. He does that a lot.”

I took her at her word and said, “Sam, you get out of this room right now.”

And it was gone. That was the last semi-mystical experience I had with Sam Peckinpah—and he’d been dead for about five years.

From Goin’ Crazy with Sam Peckinpah and All Our Friends. Told you it was good! I’m gonna post some more of the mystical stuff because it’s all wonderfully weird and funny. Lynchian, rather than Peckinpahesque. With a touch of BARTON FINK, I guess.

The image is William Blake’s The Ghost of a Flea, something Blake saw, though his friends couldn’t.

4 Responses to “Sam Peckinpah, Invisible Mosquito”

  1. Tony Williams Says:

    How evocative, David! It touches on certain realms I’m currently exploring. There is a “time and season for everything.”

  2. Next up: the phantom car phone…

  3. Blake saw things but he didn’t know what they were, and he probably guessed wrong. It’s hard to blame him, since he had no access to Hammer films of the 50s and 60s. I would never encourage anyone to make a movie about a poet but I’d definitely watch a feature about William Blake mistaking ghosts and vampires for something else. Brian Cox, maybe?

  4. As soon as I saw Blake’s etchings of gods, portrayed as muscular men without genitalia, I knew he was an earlier incarnation of Jack Kirby.

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