Friday, January 10, 2003

my brother looks more manicured every time he leaves the house. he's going job hunting, on the hill of course, dc's nerve center. it's frightening to hear this kid, who til now has spent his vacations waking at noon to play video games til midnite, musing to himself whether he'll have enough money next year to keep his cell phone. society inflicts these various arbitrary-ish deadlines on adolescents: be economically independent of your parents by 21 or else. but it's certainly gotten my brother moving.
glimpse-into-the-future-wise, last night i ran into a mournful-eyed boy who just started penn law. not good?, i asked. he shook his head. his girlfriend jumped in: it gets better after first semester. right? her boyfriend didn't look convinced. just tired.

that after i sat through the palme d'or winning the pianist starring an even more mournful-eyed adrien brody as a jew in warsaw during those 6 midcentury years where it was frankly unwise to attempt such a thing. get out!, you wanted to scream at poor adrien brody, poor beautiful talented adrien brody; take your eyes and run while you can! of course he doesn't. the fool has character and optomism: in true catch-22 fashion that probably accounts for his naifish beauty.
the 2.5 hour film contains some of the most wrenching, unsentimentalized portrayals of cruelty i've seen on narrative film. the contortions it put both me and my various organs in were impressive even by my standards. then, of course, i can only cry for so long before i get angry. at extreme temperatures sorrow turns to rage and my head filled with the kind of bitter, redundant expletives that would have made adrien brody blush. if someone had handed me a trigger i would have pulled it, and halfway across the world, poland would have gone poof.

the pianist lightens up a bit during its last 20 minutes -- thankfully, cuz otherwise i would have left that theater prowling for just such a trigger. i got home and slept til noon, my night midsectioned by a horrific 5 a.m. dream in which three men with boards were attacking me and i could only beg, "please." better this morning -- er, afternoon -- i still am in no condition to see the hours, as planned. i need some recovery time.
on a more cheerful front, i spent a terrific $20 on: two paperbacks (barth's chimera, and the fermata), one mint sondheim recording of the frogs and evening primrose, and a screenplay of casablanca illustrated with still photographs. since yesterday marked 26 years of my parents staying together, my dad and i shopped cashmere sweaters for my mom at saks and found a lovely one. good shopping experiences are very satisfying, she said banally. but all happiness is banal, right? as well as all un-. there's nothing to be done except to wade through whatever's in front of you and put as unique a spin on it as you can.

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