Secret Pop

Nov 17, 2003

Injury to Insult

Last night, before I turned in, I used my knee to teach an unwitting endtable a lesson. I'm at my parents' house, and the terrain is slightly less familiar than my usual digs. I noticed this new decor addition the last time I was down or maybe the time before that. It's half of a pair. I remember not liking them right off. But when I felt the collision and subsequent pain in my knee as I was interrupted mid-stride, I suddenly felt this eruption of hatred for that endtable. As if it was responsible for all my misery. What formidable powers of transference the surprise and shock of pain can have. For a moment, I forgot everything and wanted nothing more than to inflict the whole of my rage on that stupid table (it doesn't match anything in the living room anyway). Set it on fire. Smash it to pieces. Drop something impossibly heavy on top of it from high up. But then, in as short a time, I awakened from my pain fury and just felt angry at myself for my vulnerabilities and my clumsiness. And I had that sardonic feeling of "it figures" to go with my sad sack demeanor.

So when I tried to fall asleep to show after show ending with The Critic, I blamed the throbbing in my knee and how cold my feet were. And when I eventually found only fitful sleep, peppered with dreams of being pregnant and embarrassed about inexplicable bursts of emotion and other dreams of a less fecund or nurturing nature that were more vivid than they need have been, I remembered the knee and the bruise forming on it, and it was easy to place decisive blame.

This morning, while I was awake but not wanting to be, I heard my father tell Justin that it was a beautiful day. Secretly, I didn't want it to be. I wanted the sky to be torn open and gushing torrents of angry rain. But I'm also grateful as I have things to do that are best done in the dry. It would be nice to just have some sort of rain box. A window to peer into where the world is always wet and the umbrellas and upturned collars obscure the faces of strangers rushing by. I love the scene in Mary Poppins where the jolly foursome dives into the sidewalk painting. Even the part when the rain turns it all to smudgy nothingness. I'm used to the rain. No matter how long I languish under the arid Southern California sky. I grew up with a great deal of rain. In a way, it trains you to traipse through sunny days with every expectation that they are a temporary respite. I wonder if a tropical youth begets cynicism. Or if it's all the other factors.

I am looking forward to playing my violin tonight in an orchestra setting again. I miss the posture of it, painful as it becomes. I miss the discipline of the meter and the abandon of surrendering to the baton. I miss being part of something bigger than me.

I'm also going to miss Junior Senior, even though I bought tickets ages ago and had no intention of failing to arrive with merch money in hand. But, as I've learned time and time again, being in two places at once is much more difficult than it looks. Being in one place is hard enough.

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