Secret Pop

Jan 31, 2002

"When you put a hot pan in the washing-up, it hisses with satisfaction as it hits the water..."

I'm in a bit of a funk today. I don't mean to be. But I am. And I feel as if I have to be secretive about it. So as not to inconvenience those around me. I think that is the greatest evidence yet of the fact that I feel separate -- distant from nearly everyone around me. I feel as if I have been an outsider for as long as I can remember. And I think I have so little faith in the affection of the people I know. I am always quite certain that they will turn on their heels and walk in the other direction as soon as they really know me. I am role-playing. But it has become so much of a habit that it is the norm. I am play-acting at being me. How brooding and contemplative that sounds. I'm certain that I am completely full of it.

I remember going on some sort of a retreat when I was a freshman at Academy of Our Lady. I think we went to a convent. Some place up on a hill. And we watched movies or slide shows or something. I'm vague on the finer points. But I remember when a classmate of mine -- Lisa -- came up behind me and happened to put her hand on my shoulder to get my attention, or just to let me know she was there. I remember feeling this odd sensation. Something very powerful in that touch. Something very much like a connection that I was longing for. And it isn't because of any naughty ideas people may have about girls who go to Catholic school and wear pale blue blouses and grey pinstripe skirts, I assure you. I think it was that lonely part of adolescence when people just don't touch you. Your father stops touching you because you are maturing and becoming a woman, and he respects that and would feel uncomfortable with the hand-holding or lap-sitting that crowded your more youthful days with him. And your mother stops touching you because she wants to give you your space. Or because she's disgusted with you. One of the two. All of a sudden, the world becomes terribly lonely. Even today, the sensation echoes in me. How nice it is to be touched. Not necessarily in any sort of licentious way. Just to be touched by another person. It's a very nice thing.

I'm in Los Angeles. I feel nothing.

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