Secret Pop

Dec 1, 2002

"Sing a little sweeter. And love a little longer. And soon you will be there."

There are many interesting names to be found at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Names grown quaint with disuse. Names like Nettie and Yettie and Lollie and Froik and Ildefors and Fannie. A surprising lot of Fannies. I found Erich Korngold's grave purely by accident. And wondered about a grave marker shaped like a cross but with a giant dollar symbol engraved on it. There was also one shaped like a ballistic missile. I didn't give as much thought to that one.

There were people who lived very long lives and very short ones. Daughters remembered by mothers who outlived them. Great grandparents remembered by generations upon generations of loving descendants. There were stones that showed the softening -- and sometimes greening -- effects of time. Lives begun in 1843. Lives begun more recently. And there were ducks skirting a pond as the sun sank down behind palm trees and crypts and the Hollywood sign. Somewhere in the background of my internal monologue, Instant Karma was playing.

The grass is greener in a cemetery. But the flowers don't last.

I even went inside someone else's mausoleum. See?

Time does have a softening hand. Hearts. Bones. They grow softer. The jagged edges of memories grow smooth. The prickle of experience melts into a caress. And some things lose their value. The dollar. Promises. Hopes. It's a great linear adjustment, it is. A thing that stretches and strains until its end is far enough from its origin that it no longer has need of acknowledgement of a beginning. At the end of French movies and French centuries and French lives, I suppose, one expects to see the word: Fin.

We will go to our graves, one day, you and I. Strangers.

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