Secret Pop

Feb 27, 2004

"We'll rent to start."

It was fun for a while. There was no way of knowing. Like a dream in the night, who can say where we're going?

I've watched Lost in Translation a couple of times this week. And it keeps making me want to cry. Charlotte in the windowsill, alone, a grey day. I know that feeling. I know that windowsill. All the same, I love the way this movie makes me feel. I remember seeing it at The Grove on a hooky afternoon. I was wearing a short little black jumper and high heels. My bare legs were cold in the theater. And the movie made me want so much to go back to Japan. To relive that sort of inside joke. Knowing what's going on when no one else as tall as me does. Being a foreigner in Japan is very lonely. You stand out. You can't find obscurity. You can't blend in. You're lucky if you can find shoes in your size. But there's something about that singularity. Maybe I crave it again. I just want to be somewhere different. Somewhere else. And maybe being somewhere else will allow me to be someone else. Someone entirely else. Or maybe I will just be me. I have a feeling there's no escaping this particular prison.

My mother is going to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and there is talk that she will take me with her. I'm beginning to be excited about the prospect. My passport is valid. And I'm itching to go. Just go. I will take a million thousand million photographs. And I will take extra special note of how it feels to not be anywhere near anything or anyone I know. Of course, it's possible that I won't go. Even likely. But while the "no" has not yet been uttered, I'm hopeful.

In the scene when Bob Harris is in the elevator surrounded by stonyfaced Japanese men, my mom laughed and said, "They all look so sad, and he's the tallest one." When you tap into her humor, you are always the happier for it. She, more than anyone, says things that I scramble to write down. Laughing all the way.

The people at the Chinese restaurant near my apartment are so nice to me. They know me by name. They give me free stuff. They always compliment me and inquire about my love life. I always wished that there would be a place where I was considered a familar face. I have a few now. I am grateful for that. I saw Jay-Z at the Chinese place. I'll bet they didn't treat him as nicely as they treated me.

I wish I was going somewhere. I feel stuck. I'm not looking for the easy way out. But even that isn't enough. And I'm scared of certain things. A lot of things. And I don't like to admit that I am ever scared. Except at the movies. Startle me there, and I will throw the popcorn right up and over my head. A strange reaction, but a reliable one -- much as I try to change it. I think, in real life, when I am scared, I smile more. I go all nice. Charm the villains. Flirt with the demons. Wriggle out of your bonds while they're noticing your dimple. When I am scared and sad, however, I am hopeless.

I miss holding hands in the movie theater. I never really did it all that often. But it seems like a pleasant memory. And my hands always get so cold.

I hear music vibrating in my ears and in my chest cavity. A buzzing. It lifts me. Like I am rising to meet it. Ready to leap up at any moment.

As free as the wind and hopefully learning why the sea on the tide has no way of turning.

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