21 may 2000 | back | archive | forward | girl | sign | e-mail

it's 7:11 p.m. i just woke up. the phone rang three times while i was asleep (approximately 12 rings, total), but i refused to get up. my body wouldn't budge, except to kick my comforter off everything but my feet. the weather didn't help. the sky has been gray all day, as if the eyelids of the sky itself were weighed down by fog.

"is it like this all the time?" claudine asked.
"lately, yes," i said.

i'm in the henry fonda theater, it's friday night and i'm appropriately surrounded by couples. my back is not touching the scarlet velour seat. i am leaning forward. my elbows are rested on my knees. shakily. i can't sit still. a tear comes to my eye, and i think, don't cry, don't do it. aimee mann's voice is fiercely piercing something inside, and i think, don't cry. save it for later.

i am walking down 3rd street, in my dr. seuss t-shirt and gun metal spaceship sunglasses, with aimee mann's new CD tucked inside my bag and a bag of fresh strawberries swinging back and forth with my steps. the boy at abercrombie & fitch smiles, and i'm feeling allright. i could do this every saturday morning for another 8 months, i think.

and then i get home.

i am sipping sangria among strangers somewhere in the hollywood hills. it's a sophisticated bbq, with grilled shrimp and mussels, tepanade and brie, couscous and paella. most of them work for a local alternative weekly, and being as such, talk a lot and loudly, making random, obscure references about current events and literature, always, always relating it to work and the big cover story So-and-So just did. or maybe not. i don't know. i can't say i'm really listening. it reminds me how long it's been since i've sat in a circle of just journalists.

the strawberries are sweet: like the ones we used to get at the shack across the street, when i was growing up, before the housing tract devoured the last green patch in my neighborhood.

the stairs down are not as grueling as they were going up. one hundred and fourteen steps, somebody says. my head light on sangria, it feels like four.

i am at a makeshift club, a film festival opening weekend party, on hollywood boulevard -- not as glamorous as it sounds. i'm standing in line to get my fourth drink; it's open bar, and i'm not driving. i keep tugging at the bottom of my shirt, cursing, because i shouldn't have worn it. it's one of those things you buy that other girls wear without hesitation, but it makes me feel naked.

"everybody is looking for someone to sleep with," a friend says.
"yeah," i say.
but i'm not.

i am not sure what i'm looking for, but it's not sex.

i can't decide if i want another drink or if i want to dance or if i want to go outside so i go back and forth, floating from group to group, sipping the cosmopolitan i leave on the floor to go dance and it's too hot so i go outside but i don't smoke so i'm back inside taking another sip.

i sink into the velveteen couch beside ryan. he looks how i feel.

i am sitting on sticky vinyl, shoveling bacon and eggs into my mouth. there is nothing like washing liquor down with bad coffee and a vat of grease. i'm not drunk and haven't been all night. i'm just tired. so tired. it's 4am, and we're calculating what time we'll get to bed, by the time everyone finishes eating, and we get to jo's house, and we hop into our cars, and we climb under our covers. i am close: it's 5am when i look at the clock and blink one last time.

the ringing is so loud. it's 9:30am, and i can't believe someone has the nerve to call at such an obscene hour. i refuse to entertain whoever it is. i pull the covers back over my eyes and don't open them until 11:15am. i realize i could be in bed until well into the afternoon, but guilt strikes and i get up to check the message. it's claudine, and she wants to meet for lunch.

i am awake and clean and hungry by the time she arrives. we go to rose's and sit at a table outside; we have a lovely view of the parking lot. eating with claudine is so fun, because she enjoys her food like i do. and we haven't talked in three weeks, so we are filling each other in: "and how is work? and how is your family? and how is everything else?" it's the everything else part we're having trouble with. the empty spaces, the long pauses, the deep breaths -- all of which hold nothing, except maybe the promise, the promise of nothing we can see right now. and it's hard. and we are silent. and that is what we share, comfort in not having to spell it all out, just realizing we are in similar places and we will be there for each other.

the days go by so quickly. it's almost monday; it's almost june; it's almost a year since i moved here.

i am nursing a cafe latté and writing in my dragonfly journal, neither of which i've touched all week. all i have are my thoughts.

ever notice how possibility can be both confusing and daunting at the same time? ever feel like life is larger -- or too small -- for words? ever think some things are better left unsaid, are better kept to yourself, are better spinning in your head -- until you're sure of them, until you can hold them in the palm of your hand?

i do.

i am in my bedroom, one window open with this HTML page, another with aol instant messenger. i am talking to a dear friend, someone i've known for many years. someone who sometimes seems to know me better than myself. he says something stupid, and it just sets me off. so i tell him. i want to yell at him, and i do. i tell him how pissed off i am, and he lets me. i am telling him how fucked up everything seems, and he lets me. and then i start to cry.

and i am sitting in my bedroom, and i'm wondering what i must look like there, the glow of the screen shining on tears that run down my cheek. like a fool, maybe. but i don't care, because these are the tears i've been waiting for all weekend. they are the ones that make me feel human, again. that remind me i'm alive, and it's okay to feel things. like sadness. or bitterness. or confusion. like i have, lately.

for no good reason. but it's okay, because i don't need a good reason to cry.

and the discs have rotated, and aimee mann's singing, once again. and i'm feeling, well, i don't know what i'm feeling, i'm just feeling something, like a bicycle wheel spinning down a hill, like a mug filled with black coffee, like a dog wandering down an alley looking for a warm place to sit.

perhaps you've already heard -- either for yourself or from other people -- but the aimee mann / michael penn show kicked ass. not only were their performances beautiful, but they themselves were just charming, and you could tell they were having fun onstage, which just made it that much sweeter, them being married and all. sigh. i could have watched and listened to them for hours.

severe slacker tendencies are conquering my motivation.

craig, whose mini-empire already makes hundreds of people smile all day long, has a project featured on K10K: Fun, Fun, Fun. i've known about it for a while -- the perks of being his friend -- so i'm so happy to see it finally up. yay!

"i'm just a manic optimist. it's a tragic flaw, seeing the positive. sometimes it's just not there."

when i'm writing, sometimes, i just pretend you're not there.