For those of you who don’t know, Rusty Armor is a nom-de-plume, a stage name, and a name that hides a huge gap in my life that I don’t talk about much. Rusty Armor was a name I began using in the late 80’s, early 90’s to give me a little cover when I wrote of some living people I had met during my running years. Some of those people are still living, though I suspect someone is changing their nappies at Sunny Hill Nursing Home right now.
Yeah, I really was a movie actor. Not a well-known one, however. But I have had a few speaking parts in films that I am sure many of you have at least heard about, if not actually seen. But I despised Hollywood, and most of the actors I met. I even despised my own talent, both at acting, and getting acting jobs. Getting a job in films for me was a lot like working for Rent-A-Bum, except the pay was a lot better and they usually fed you on the set. You sat around in the shade a lot, too. It sure as hell beat unloading boxcars.
But I did a lot of other things during that hole in my life. Fleeing after a disastrous marriage breakup, I just drifted … it was a real fast drift, however. I lived in the desert with a Yaqui brujo, drilled oil in Wyoming, work carnival flat joints and rides, picked peaches in California, narrowly escaping a serial killer that ran crews while there, bartended in Reno and hopped freight trains to get around.
I ended back in New Mexico, lived on a commune, met some of the Manson family, hung with a few well known writers, a very famous poet and musician and some assorted writers, but finally ended up in the third floor of a run down home haven for homeless men one mean February in Denver. I don’t even know how I got there. My life changed at that point, and that is another tale, one without so damned many secrets.
I was going to try and flesh out that time before here, but once again, there are too many things that I just don’t want to reveal, and I don’t want to spend the time working around them without leaving questions.
But for those who think that I am just some old burned out Texan, I hate to destroy that illusion. I kinda like that image, though it is a bullshit one.
And once again, I am not able to utter the unutterable.