Once When the Mercedes Broke Down

From Once by Wim Wenders:

Summer 1978 in Napa Valley, California. Photograph: Wim Wenders


I drove in a silver Mercedes 600
together with Akira Kurosawa, his translator,
Tom Luddy, Monique Montgomery and a few others
from San Francisco
to Napa Valley.
Francis Coppola had invited us to his mansion and his winery.
Halfway there,
the big Mercedes broke down.
We spent an hour
at a country fair nearby
where the panoramic picture
of Kurosawa and a Cajun band,
The Louisiana Playboys, was taken.
Then Les Blank came by
with his old van.
We accepted his invitation
and changed cars.
Francis was very surprised
when the boneshaker stopped at his front porch
and Kurosawa stepped out of the vehicle.

The rest of this afternoon
was beautifully quiet and peaceful.
It was hot
and we all went swimming in a pond.
Except for Kurosawa.