Secret Pop

Sep 26, 2003

A Broken Frame

The other night, my mother and I watched Beijing Bicycle. It was amusing and interesting, but it was also infuriating. We were both nearly driven mad by the anxiety of watching the protagonist not speak up for himself and not get the justice he sought. My mother was crocheting a baby blanket. She does that a lot. Crochets lovely, darling baby blankets for no one's baby in particular. Then tucks them away in her closet until someone she knows gives birth. Conveniently.

It's hard to watch a movie with my mother. She will get up and leave the room. She will suddenly pick up the phone and make a call. She will fall asleep. She will talk. To you. And to the movie. There was a new challenge presented by this screening. Because she speaks Chinese and the movies was in Chinese with English subtitles, she was able to listen to it and continue crocheting without any loss in comprehension. I guess the stimulus provided by radio would always have been enough for her. Visuals? Pah. But she also kept forgetting that there were subtitles, and -- in her desire to be inclusive with me -- she kept telling me what was being said as she worked through her skein of soft yarn. She had made a point of showing me its exquisite softness before we started the movie.

I don't know why I'm saying any of this. I'm just up at an hour that was once usual for me, and I'm being distracted by a movie on television (Human Nature with Patricia Arquette -- Beulah loves this flick) and delayed by slow-drying puddles on my most recent watercolor effort. It's time to curl up with one of the four or five books I'm currently reading. I didn't sleep well last night. I've been tired all day. My back is a little sore, and my head is cloudy. Maybe I'll be up until dawn. Just like old times.

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