Secret Pop

May 25, 2002

"He's the dancing version of Nunzio."

We had to leave Amagi's before I got to sing my Salt N' Pepa groove, but I wasn't entirely disappointed. I sang and danced and laughed and wished I hadn't let anyone make me dinner. And my throat is a bit raw from screaming out AC/DC and Ramones tunes. It's a good kind of raw.

I've been finding lots of reasons to bare my shoulders. It's nice to not always want to cover up. Summer is coming. God, how it's coming. Summer isn't my favorite month. I think I love the late autumn most of all. "Present Laughter weather," as I've been known to call it. But summer holds some sparkle for me, too. Maybe I will spend more time at the beach this year. Maybe I will drink frozen lemonade on a boardwalk somewhere. Although, I'm always disappointed by frozen lemonade. It's never as refreshing as it promises to be -- as it wants you to BELIEVE it will be. It's too sweet or too sour or too frothed up and deceptively unhydrating. Maybe I'll pass on the brainfreeze-mongers and opt instead for a cool glass of iced tea, with ice cubes tinkling against the glass and droplets of condensation pooling up just above where my fingers are placed. But who am I kidding. No one serves iced tea in glass on the beach. And ice cubes make no sound against the innards of a waxed paper cup.

While we're on the subject of seasons, I miss cherry blossom season in Japan. I remember taking my 35 mm camera out to a park near the city we lived in and snapping black and white photographs of young, be-backpacked Japanese school children jumping in the air trying to catch the cherry blossom petals as they came floating down from the sky like soft, pink snow. My friend Spencer and I took an afternoon trip to Ueno and went to the museum and sighed in front of Van Goghs and Renoirs and any number of other works. And we bought these colorful, sugary spherules -- these hard candies that were so perfect to have on that day. Later, when I knew I would be seeing Spencer during a visit to a university in Virginia, I brought him a bag of those candies. I had carried them with me from Japan nearly a year hence. I wonder if he ever ate them.

Cherry blossom season is also the time of year when Beulah would come home from the bon odori with a goldfish in a plastic bag and other assorted carnival nonsense. Sometimes, I wish I had been a child in Japan. Sometimes I feel as if I got there too late. Arriving as a teenager prevented me from seeking out wonder and instead left me pleased at the ease with which underaged folk can acquire alcohol. A waste. Truly.

Adam passed the bar! And I was the one to retrieve his results for him. How proud I was! I took a screen shot of the notice and emailed it to him. It was a nice moment to share. I will ply him with sushi and shower him with praise. Ever since he was mistaken for my little brother at the Risley dining hall, I have felt a certain maternal care for him. He's older than I am, but he's cute as a button. Literally. (I always say, "Literally," after I say that Adam is cute as a button. It's become a necessary lyric.) And I'm hopelessly maternal as it is. I'm just always on the lookout for a new charge. I probably didn't seem maternal to Adam on the day he first met me. We were driving a sedan to Syracuse for a debate tournament, and I had a bit of a sore throat, so I was carrying on breathlessly -- as I do -- and taking little two-second breaks to pump Sucrets analgesic throat spray into my mouth. Adam thought I was insane. Literally. I was dressed all in yellow that day. That's something I remember.

Last year, this holiday weekend was pretty eventful. I'm back in juxtaposition mode, consarn it. Anniversaries are only meaningful when you observe them. Otherwise, they're just days on the calendar. Right?

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