Sunday, June 30, 2002

my mother just called from sydney, where it's monday afternoon and she and my little brother have landed safely. my older brother was there to greet them, having timed his own arrival from his jaunt to fiji, to coincide with theirs. when i think fiji i think of how jim carrey lingered on the word in the truman show -- adam gets to remember falling out of a palm tree. apparently he wasn't hurt.
apparently he also brought back a bottle of 120 proof coconut rum. when, in a prototypical bloom family gesture, my mother produced the tinfoil block of grandma brownies, my brother proposed a toast. so, in little paper dixie cups somehow amazingly my mother had, she and both my brothers drank a round of fiji rum and feasted on the sugarless brownies my grandmother has been making, from the exact same recipe, for as far back as i can recall.
we're thinking of you, she said, and she didn't forget to wish me luck on my job or my doctor's appointment. wish you were with us. remember it all for me, i said.
as you may have realized, i spent a lovely 28 hours with miss lana, who supplied the bon mot below. as our first order of business we watched y tu mama tambien, which ross maintains is everything you could ask for in a movie. if that's not entirely true, it's close, and ross can be forgiven for exaggerating. at first, it's mexico, sex, adolescence, and identity enjoyed as though (and literally) from the window of a moving car. when the car stops, the movie gently guides characters and audience into confrontation, and it assumes a gravity entirely free of pretention. think an NC-17 harold and maude via stand by me, only funnier and in spanish.

naturally lana and i spent much of the subseqent time discussing relevant issues. when we took the conversation outside, sheba lay goofily next to us but was too distracted by passing cars to contribute. this morning, my father, all that remains of my household now that my mother and little brother judah have joined older brother adam in australia, took us to annapolis where we wandered for a bit, ate broiled crabs, and ferryed around the bay.
it's strange adjusting, after four months of denmark, two weeks of family and two of swat, to crowdlessness. but work starts tomorrow -- and my screenwriting class -- and on wednesday a feminist book group on manifesta. thatall should help.

Friday, June 28, 2002

after reading reviews of mulholland drive i'm less skeptical than i was when i finished viewing #1. that was, in fact, viewing #2 of the day, the first being a spontaneous visit to 13 conversations about one thing. reclining in the theater i realized one thing, especially when it's as banal as un/happiness, isn't enough to make a satisfying movie out of -- and in my living room i realized that nothing, however seductively dolled up, isn't either. of the two i'm more willing to give lynch another chance. still i'm irritatingly tempted to try a third movie, as i'm now craving something that makes straightforward narrative sense and is risky and original. perhaps that will be nolan's following which i bought onsale and onawhim at the same time as m.d. or perhaps it'll be y tu mama tambien which i'm seeing w/ lana tomorrow.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

certain things, however clearly and throat-clearingly they seem to die, resurface. like henry james, who is once more making eating something between unpleasant and impossible. out of patience, i'm seeing a specialist on monday, for which i have to take off part of my first day of work at au. also like distant sun. neither it seems can stay away.

i finished ender's shadow. that's more or less all i did today, besides reading through the times front section and arts, and the post front section and style. my two weeks of ignorance/bliss at swat left me unsatisfied; i needed to glut, just like i needed to spend an hour and a half on the train back home scribbling as much as i could recall from those matchlessly busy days. from the paper today i learned: that this martha business has gotten blown out of proportion;
that in what to me seemed like a file-this-under-Duh, the 9th circuit court has decided that reciting the pledge of alliegence in schools is unconstitutional. congress and the house reacted by marching out to the steps, rebelliously reciting the thing, and then belting out an impromptu "God Save America." patriotism or politics, it's sickening. and more so, instead of cheering, both the times and the post simply sniffed. anyway, another judge stayed the decision pending appeal so its effect will likely never be felt;
and that the word is that the palestinians will have a proper election in january, for which no credible candidate will run and after which they will once more have arafat as a leader and the world will once more be at an impasse.
i don't think i can be blamed for burying myself in at-least-it-ends-happily science fiction.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

brilliance and genius. i sat through sweeney in a daze. christine baranski, character actress of cybill and just plain general fame, played mrs. lovett, and 2000 tony award winner brian stokes mitchell inhabited the demon of fleet street with such intensity it made you shiver to look at him.
before the show started, one of my old yiddish teachers from high school approached me with a hesitant "ester?" during intermission, a jds parent sidled up asking, "bloom?" and after, i passed a lovely young black woman with a bouquet of flowers whose presence i remembered even if not precisely her face. i doubled back and said, "tessa?" "yes!" she cried. "i knew i recognized you -- it's the hair." the flowers, i surmised, were for jane pesci-townsend, a member of the sweeney ensemble and understudy to mrs. lovett, and once director of a summer camp tessa and i were in eight years ago. i didn't particularly enjoy the camp -- at 11, i was the youngest camper, so i didn't get a noteworthy role. tessa, on the other hand, virtually stole the show as little red riding hood. tessa smiled radiantly and a man whispered that she should go quickly to catch jane. i told her to communicate my best and watched her go.
once upon a time, i would have done anything for a life upon the wicked stage.
in a couple hours i'll be hauling my stuff to a hopefully still operational amtrak train and making it home in time to catch a killer (heh heh) production of Sweeney Todd. apparently Company was the best production likely to be put up in my lifetime, or so said my father cheerfully. he sold my ticket to one of a huge crowd of eager young men from new york who laughed and wept and applauded after every song so that's some consolation anyway.

the past couple days have been busy in a quieter way. lots of grant grunt work. lots of seeing ben, which has been nice considering i didn't get much of that the past few weeks, what with my sick and stress and all. lots of seeing the como girls gloriously unfettered, which amounts to lots of giggling. lots of reading -- i finished moo and am about to start ender's shadow. actually everything i've read recently i've loved: odd girl out, the french lieutenant's woman, ender's game, on krissy's little sister's recommendation. i'm just on a roll.
cutely, the other nite sarah, danny, ben and i went out on a double date. we went bowling -- ben won, and i lost but more respectably than i would have if the machine hadn't, for some reason, kept adding points to my score now and then. then we stopped at a little restaurant in media where i showed them how to balance salt shakers (the waitress was not impressed) and we recounted How we Met stories. naturally each involved the internet.

yesterday evening we took the CITs out for dinner. this morning i packed, and in doing so i went through the Affirmations the girlz wrote me one last time. this really was one of the most memorable experiences i've had so far, in large part because it is so different from my usual modus operandi. that, of course, is why i learned this much, and probably why i'm this glad i went through with it.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

it occurred to me that this week has made me fearless. other things too, i'm sure; i haven't even begun to assemble the list of Things I've Learned, which i do after any interesting experience/period of time. but particularly, fearlessness, because once you've explained oral sex in technical terms to a group of 20 wide-eyed children, you can do anything.

not all of yesterday was quite so invigorating. after a week that went more smoothly than we dared dream, yesterday was tough.. kids squabbled, and whined and cried, and vomited at 3 a.m. and then at 45 minute intervals thereafter. we counselors stumbled along, doing as best we could. certain high points kept us buoyed too, like when the campers and CITs performed a skit they'd created, a send-up of the first three days of camp, and then later, affirmations, where the kids obediently and quietly spent an hour exchanging sweet nothings. one girl, who hurled a water balloon straight into my eye from a couple feet away, wrote that she'd never forget me.
but in the end, the stress of the week combined with lack of sleep caught up with me. henry james staged one last stand, keeping me up shivering all nite on a pink couch in the hallway. sorelle found me around 7 and escorted me home, scolding for not having woken her. the upshot of this was that i neither went to dc nor the comotion goodbye brunch and awards ceremony. i regained my bearings at some point during the afternoon, talked to ilana, read the first half of moo, and ate eggs for dinner with the fatigued, frazzled como counselors, spasming in laughter to margaret cho.

i'm so amazed that we did it. so proud that we managed to strike our tiny blow against ignorance, gender roles, homophobia, and the media. as far as we can tell, too, they enjoyed it as much as we did. maybe even more.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

exhaustion. but must pack and trudge back to girlz. thank god for the CIT hour that will give us a break - possibly enough time to watch i'm the one that i want which i bought at blockbuster in a spontaneous splurge last nite, along w/ two others i've never seen. we counselors are functioning on minimal sleep, very little energy, patience residue, and sheer force of will, and it's beginning, i'm afraid, to show. still have to get through this evening and the sleepover tonite, and then i'll drag myself home tomorrow for two days in which i will pity any poor stray ten to thirteen year old that crosses my path and bears the brunt of a week's worth of repression.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

puberty went better than anyone expected. some giggling, a little shrieking, lots of solemn faces, and we were done. liz gave an excellent demonstration of how to use a pad, a tampon with an applicator, and one without. the girlz watched her, spellbound. we also went through how to get stains out (cold water, tho apparently hydrogen peroxide also works), the right way to shave (not, we stressed, that you have to), and made abundantly clear to one startled girl that men can't have babies even if they do get a shot. i don't know what kind of shot she's talking about, but then, i've never seen junior.

of course we didn't have the luxury of sitting around afterwards patting ourselves on the back, though petunia, our lifesize naked woman hanging on the wall, each part of her colored in and labeled "left fallopian tube," "right ovary," etc., by the girls, smiled down at us beatifically. we had to keep counseloring, through a pastel surrealist art project, a woods walk, and group poetry writing. and we're desperately searching for an activity to do tomorrow to tie together the as-yet-dangling threads of sex, sexuality, relationships, friendships, and family.

at one point, i was taking a break, savoring matilda on a sunny bench. the littlest-looking of the girls, a hyperactive inquisitive ten year old, approached me. "you lonely?" she said. i explained i was reading and asked if she wanted to be read to. "naw, i hate reading. can't sit still," she said. after a pause, she added, in reference to a question i'd answered a few days ago, "why don't you want to have kids?" i don't know if i do or i don't, i said. i just want to make sure i'll be a good parent. "you'll be a good parent," she said. she tilted her head and grinned at me, then dashed away.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

danny was willing to cook for us tonite, which is much appreciated as we can hardly stand. i ended yesterday despondent, convinced i had no talent with children and worse, that my ineptitude reflected my general difficulties interacting within a group. cuz, as i said to sorelle, kids aren't that different from people.

maybe because i rejoined the girlz an attitude far removed from the one in which i'd left them, in turn maybe because today was my last day taking horrid medication as an appetizer to every meal, everything went cheerfully-smooth. we've had one discussion per day and our first two went discouragingly badly. our girls, however talkative amongst themselves, clam up when it comes to serious topics, or as addie suggests, abstract thought. we agonized over how to plan today's, Women in School, and finally settled on performing four short skits from our experience. and it worked.
we also played capture the flag, and sorelle and i managed to teach them basic html code, and sarah led them in communal story-writing, all successfully. every day, at least to my mind, is more of a triumph than the previous one.

tomorrow we're counting on the trend to continue. tomorrow we're dragging that old horse puberty into the ring and beating it to death. in the gentlest, most compassionate, funniest possible way. i've lost track of the number of conversations we've had among ourselves as to how-to. secretly i think we all think we're unqualified. puberty, to many of us, for whatever reason or whatever way, = failure and embarassment. but, of course, that's also why we're doing this. we have our own demons to be exorcised, and stressing to a different generation of girlz that the failure and embarassment they'll inevitably encounter is natural and oh-so-common will hopefully convince us all.

Monday, June 17, 2002

but nostalgia aside, about today. i began pretty tired, having not slept much or well despite the fact that i left the gathering -- of ross, rebecca, dan shargell, alyssa, the elusive mark d'a., and the spectre of noam chomsky -- at a wise hour. food disagreed with my stomach, the result of nervousness perhaps as much as the lingering remnants of henry james, and i didn't participate in the often-hilarious quintessentially swattie conversation as much as i would have liked to have. in fact i felt distinctly unfunny. but i enjoyed the company, as i'd enjoyed the brunch earlier in the day, my other break from otherwise nonstop comotion prep, with ross, alyssa, and rebecca around that same table.

this morning we rose at 7, power-breakfasted as a group, paraded over to set up the space, putter and fidget and go over last minute details. at 9, finally, the girls arrived. i snapped pictures of each individually under the official co|motion banner and marveled at the range of heights. that, naturally, was to be the first of many marvellings at the range of personality, experiential, physical and character differences in the 10 year olds as opposed to the 13'ers. i don't think there could be another age bracket where the gaps are so glaring. fortunately everyone, so far, has been getting along.
it's just exhausting caring for kids. entertaining them, keeping energy levels up for their sakes, subduing ironic impulses, not to mention to actual activities and games. the final one, a scavenger hunt that sent us scampering around campus, wiped me out.

two girls latched onto me in the afternoon. one was a skinny, brainy girl with an attitude. the other i had mentally singled out early on, with no better recommendation than her redheadedness, as the kind of child i would like to have were i to decide to become the kind of person who has kids. with them i found myself gradually relaxing, allowing a natural ester-response now and then to slip out. they didn't seem shocked; they certainly didn't find someone else to run to. and in a way i haven't analyzed yet, it was comforting as well as flattering when the little redhead declared that she only wanted to scavenger hunt with me. don't expect a trite comment about seeing her hand slip from mine as she ran to her mother at the end of the day; but, to be fair, i have six more days of this.
i wish i remembered myself at age ten more sharply. snippets, of course: i was sad. that's a prevailing memory, though the cause of it eludes me now as much as it probably did then. i remembering crying at night. my english teacher, the fabulous mrs. z., encouraged us to write our thoughts in journals in class; she allowed us, if we wanted, to mark certain pages private. it surprises me in retrospect how much i trusted that she wouldn't unfold and discover my scribbled unhappiness. although, come to think of it, my parents did take me to see a psychologist at the behest of one of my teachers. after a month, the psychologist decided i didn't need further counseling. i had been deathly afraid that the underlying message of those wednesday sessions was that i was crazy and so was more than relieved not to have to go. for whatever reason, i don't remember being as sad after that.

other things happened in fifth grade. school became more difficult; it began to require actual work on my part, which after years of being petted and praised was an abrupt shift. my friend d. and i sowed 1 - 800 numbers from magazines and spent afternoons soliciting information. our favorite ads were for modeling agencies, and other friends of mine swear (though i have no recollection of this) that d. and i marched around, ordering people to remove glasses if they wore them or other impediments to scrutiny, then after scrutinizing each face declared them either modeling material or hopeless. that seems unreasonably cruel; surely i was nicer than that.
fifth grade was poker at lunchtime, a first date that led to a first kiss and my first relationship (the first in my grade, too.) fifth grade was noticing "cool" kids for the first time and hanging out on the fringe of their group, occassionally accepted, occasionally sensing the vast differences between them and me. fifth grade was jamie and north carolina. i remember fifth grade better than i really remember me.

Sunday, June 16, 2002

camp starts tomorrow. the girlz all are doing jigs in nervousness whereas i'm relatively calm. that is quite possibly because i haven't processed that it's happening yet, that at 8:15 in the brightearly morning, 14 shiny happy faces will be looking up at us, trusting us, slipping their soft paws in ours, opening their hearts for the love we have promised them to share. there is a large naked woman named petunia hanging on the wall outside my room, and a blow-up crossection of her reproductive organs on my door. this should serve as reminder enough -- yet the whole thing just doesn't seem real yet.

but we putter along, meeting after meeting, going over curricula, drilling each other on the transmission of HIV, flipping through are you there god? it's me, margaret and reminiscing about the part judy blume played in our childhoods, debating the importance of bringing up masterbation v. letting the girls ask, alternatingly laughing and worrying. sorelle and i spent the bulk of yesterday on a marathon shopping trip. one man in a video store claimed that a league of their own was out of print. the highlight came in a bathroom when sorelle outsmarted the tampon dispenser. after she handed over the demanded $.50 and then it refused to dislodge the item in question, she gave the thing a Look, took off her watch, stuck her arm in virtually up to the elbow, and pulled one free herself. my hero.
later, in the parking lot of BJ's, we found a copy of toni morrisson's sula, which we hadn't purchased. after shrugging at each other, we decided someone simply wanted us to read this book -- and as it's one of the two of hers i haven't read yet, i'm only too pleased to oblige.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

i -- incredible to say; i hesitate; do i dare plunge? aye, i must, regardless of whether i must retract with all swiftness in the near future -- am better. not best; far from it. i wouldn't skip right out now and dive headfirst into a Willy Wonka type river of chocolate, swallowing as i swim. the thought (and not merely what it would do to my hair) still frightens me. butbutbut i have more energy this morning than i've had for many mornings, and i fed myself a nutri-grain bar with no ill effects. at least none so far.
as it turned out, sarah c.'s notion of combining the powdered-pill with my customary green liquid and downing the two together was the most acceptable. i'm on my third day of treatment and the antibiotics seem to be helping fight the good fight against henry james.

perhaps being at swat helps, being drawn back into co|motion activity, planning, marathon meetings, nervousness, excitement, suspense. the girls arrive monday morning and it's nothing but preparation and sweat til then. perhaps being near ben. i have so many incentives to get better; every moment feeling sluggish and lethargic feels wasted. i'm nearly done with the french lieutenant's woman, the movie version of which i saw in dk. last nite i was honored by the hilarious company of eliz'n'stef. and this morning i learned that the "co-ed" sign on our bathroom is not merely for show. the fun never ends.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

my first visit to reAding (but pronounced reDding) pennsylvania will shortly come to a close. liz, the fellow co|motioner who allowed me her bedroom last night and whose father is about to deposit us back at swat, has been kind and forgiving of my symptoms. her mom on the drive here yesterday stopped at the cvs so i could pick up my perscription, unfortunately only available in pill form. i can't take pills. this source of endless frustration to my parents has yet to be circumvented or explained: i just start panicking when i see them and my throat shuts down. luckily i've never been in a dire enough situation to demand them before.

three times a day for a week, suddenly, my creativity is put to the test. on the brighter side of things, the Accomplishment side, i can chalk up that i am officially certified in first aid, cpr, and using a defibrilator. you know, like they do on tv -- shouting, "clear!" pretty cool, eh?

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

at swarthmore. made it. with a tenuous grip on reality though a strong one on the oversized bottle of lime gatorade ben bought me when i told him firmly he could not take me to the emergency room. i don't blame him for worrying -- my reaction to any kind of exertion isn't pleasant to watch. it's strange (and hot) to be on campus again. i'm sharing a room with sorelle, using her computer, and am waiting for someone's mom to take me to redding, pennsylvania where tomorrow morning i must go through a hopefully-not-too-grueling 8 hour cpr first-aid certification ritual.

sorelle: "you don't have a grip on the oversized bottle. i do. you can't carry it."
sigh. true.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

(names are changed to protect the ignorant -- eds.)
becage28: i think she's gay
ishtar42: who? [X] ?
becage28: yes
ishtar42: why? did she hit on you?
becage28: most compelling piece of evidence
becage28: she plays an instrument that you stick your hand up into
ishtar42: rebecca.
ishtar42: what instrument is that, incidentally?
becage28: french horn
[...] becage28: [X]'s like [Y, a mutual friend who is queer]
ishtar42: how so?
ishtar42: [Y] would never go to [geeky, 70% male tech skool which X will attend]
becage28: she has a lot of queer friends
becage28: just makes you wonder
ishtar42: so do i
becage28: ester.
ishtar42: i love queeer women
ishtar42: queer women are the best
ishtar42: all women should be queer
ishtar42: let the men have children, goddammit
becage28: ya
becage28: ok
ishtar42: let the men get fat and droopy and have to give up work
becage28: you're proving my point
ishtar42: what was that, exactly, again?
[ ... ] becage28: hate to break it to you--
becage28: i'm in my childbearing years
ishtar42: you are not!
ishtar42: and neither am i
becage28: i'm twentysomething
becage28: you're not, yet
ishtar42: no, darling, childbearing years is a frame of mind
ishtar42: i will be, in a month!
becage28: no, you'll be twentynothing

ahh, best. good distraction from my frustration and depression at the moment. my stubborn stomach refuses to get better, which means i'm back to my diet of bagels. technically i should be at swarthmore already, prepping for co|motion, but my stomach forced me to detour back home for an indeterminate amount of time. with any luck i'll be on a train tomorrow, antibiotics in one hand, a bag of plain bland carbs in the other, and a steeled determination to get through this month.

Monday, June 10, 2002

furiously noshing on challah, i am home, having eaten nothing but saltines since waking at 3:45 this morning and flying southwest all day; the merest suggestion of covertly brought muffin from yesterday's breakfast buffet enough to make me ill, in which state i spent much of this otherwise lovely trip to san diego. well, the weather also left something to be desired. i have rotten luck with gorgeous climates: they seem to clam up whenever i'm around. unswayed, my mother and i tootled around in our rented white minivan, pausing to hike torrey pines, walk the pacific coastline, and admire the zoo.

the bat mitzvah itself was for a cousin of mine whose family only moved from our coast to the Other a few years ago. as far as we could tell, they are thriving in del mar as they never thrived in mclean, a VA region to whose ritziness their old neighbors and friends who flew cross-country could attest. never had i been surrounded by so many bright women with even brighter diamond rings and no jobs. country club ladies, to a one, with grown children and their freedom hanging heavily on their manicured hands. i was wearing, as per my father's instructions/entreaties, a lapus lazuli bracelet he'd pulled from the vault -- i almost never wear jewelry of any kind and it reminded me how constraining -- literally -- the stuff is, and i didn't begin to compare to the women around me.

our first day in CA, my mother and i brunched at an airy, festive coffeeshop, the kind i'd love to be a regular of, and afterwards moseyed nextdoor to an independent bookstore where mom threw caution to the winds and emerged with three books. one, rachel simmons' Odd Girl Out, i started reading later that day in the hotel and it sparked numerous interesting conversations between my mother and me cuz i kept shouting, "of course!" and being reminded of my own stories. it's terrific. it should be required reading for high skoolers and highskool teachers alike. as i wrote lana, who knows miss simmons, (i only know her mother, the luminous and terrifying mrs. simmons, who taught 12th grade jewish history and then marched us through poland) i want to email her, work with her, shake her hand, and have her children. in that order.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

my dog is panting unhappily beside me. the sky looks ominously egg-shell white outside my window. the sweet hereafter depressed me without elevating me on the more significant spiritual plane the way Great Art should. i can't tell if this points to a flaw in my spiritual plane or the film. i'm switching from quick to either/or, which seems more suited to my mood. i've been reading commencement speeches. danny calls them complementary but i found them rather contradictory: doesn't power's stand in opposition to burke's? i found each of them terrific regardless; then again, i have no problem with contradiction.

i hate packing. it forces me to think ahead. forget ahead! think behind. where were you a year ago?
my skin, like my stomach, seems to still be adapting to the change. i think both preferred to be on the other side of the atlantic. my hands have never been so stubbornly unattractively spotted with white. i feel leprositic (that should be a word. among other things it goes so well with parasitic.) they simply laugh at my poor Lubriderm bottle until it looks frozen in offended dignity.
last night's entertainment was mediocre shakespeare, two gentlemen of verona, at carter baron, the in-the-park theater. otherwise i spent the day running around erranding, catching up w/ old friend johnny, job searching with/for lana, who was so bored later at two gentlemen that she wandered off while jamie and i stuck it out, laughing at the exaggerated sex jokes. people always play up the sex in shakespeare when they don't know what else to do.

still on my oldskool ani kick, i realized for the first time that i'm the age she was when she released the self-titled album. gives a new insight into the music, no? i remember not being able to wait til i was as old as the babysitters in the babysitter's club and then suddenly i was and i couldn't have cared less about them anymore. just like who, at seventeen, actually reads it?
but ani's different. at 19, she still seems older than i am: i'm determined to survive on this shore; you know, i don't avert my eyes anymore. in a man's world, i am a woman by birth, and after 19 times around i have found they will stop at nothing once they know what you are worth ... brings to mind immediate differences. for instance, survival is very low on my priority list. i'd say at the moment my priorities include: paddleboating this afternoon with dearfriend tamar, being able to fly to san diego with my mother tomorrow in relative comfort, finishing the sweet hereafter, and thinking of an idea for a movie. i'm starting a class when i return from do-gooding in swat on feature film screenwriting.

on another note entirely, though relevant to the theme of aging, i've been doing this for just about a year now. i started this webjournal, albeit under a different and ridiculous in retrospect name and with a design that i cringe to recall, the first week of june of last year. happy birthday, babblebook.

Monday, June 03, 2002

when i go a while without driving i forget how much i enjoy it (obligatory ferrick link here). in fact i fret about perhaps-having-forgotten how. bollocks. i slid behind the wheel like a pro this morning and fit so nicely there i continued driving through most of the day, from errand to errand to lana's house way out in the 'burbs. we watched little women, our second women-centered dress drama in two days where the characters end either dead or married. a century ago or more i suppose there were fewer options. why on earth would anyone want to live in any time except the present? or is that just me being time-ist?

when we were done weeping over beth and reconciling to laurie+amy, we crawled out onto her roof with the latest issue of bitch -- ooh, read the frontpage article -- to grrl-talk and take pictures of each other looking cute. this successfully put out of mind the young gentleman's pre-noon departure. he joined me in my limbo so easy-going-like; just with him, i felt better. henry james, my parasite, faded to near-insignificance, as though he knew immediately he couldn't compete. he can go the way of daisy miller for all i care. hj, that is, not ben.
i'm listening to imperfectly, the lyrics of which consistently surprise me. vintage ani, aged 20 years: strangers are exciting, their mystery never ends, but there's nothing like looking at your own history in the faces of your friends ...

Sunday, June 02, 2002

when i was young, my dearest dream was to be met, while walking around the neighborhood singing, by a talent scout who immediately recognized my potential and whisked me away to studios where i could sing without the bother of a piano, because pianos make me nervous, and become a star.

when i was slightly less young, my dearest dream was to meet a boy my age while i was walking sheba, my rug / inactive, slightly dopey but loveable golden retriever. his name (the boy's) was to be randy. he was to have blond hair and green eyes. he was to act and glow subtly with star-potential, but for all that be down to earth and easy to talk to, even if occasionally bitingly sarcastic to remind the rest of us how wise he was.

i never dreamt that i would have a young gentleman who would hop states just to spend one night; who, when the car broke down, would find an obliging greyhound; who would arrive and lie with me on the grass in my neighborhood; who would laugh as we were approached by suspicious, unleashed dogs belonging to a man i'd never seen in my 19 years on this street. i asked the man if he and the dogs were new. just moved in two months ago, he said. i'm randy.
(oh yes, said my mother later, he and his partner, and the two dogs ...)
because it is what we don't dream, to our delight, that comes true.

Saturday, June 01, 2002

there's a man in my house. as a general rule, men inhabit my house, but this one is a man i know only slightly: a friend of my mother's from work who fixes the plumbing. right now he's tackling the faucet in the kitchen downstairs, which i didn't know was broken until he called. my mother is racing for the cure, my father is shlepping my little brother to a chess tournament, so i'm upstairs alone resisting the urge to the lock the door. when did i get so paranoid?

lana came over yesterday and we got to catch up on bonding. feigning normalcy, as we wandered around bethesda, i managed a can of diet coke and half a chai. we returned to my house for fucking amal, and lana patiently endured my comparing/contrasting daneland and swedeland. actually i never got to visit sweden; that's on my to-do list for when i return.