Secret Pop

Mar 2, 2004

The Time It Takes

A band was playing a rendition of Fooled Around and Fell in Love on one of the late night shows after the commercial break one night. A former boyfriend of mine used to say that, if we were to get married, he would want that song to be played at our wedding reception. It meant something to him, I guess, about playing the field till it's barely recognizable as whatever substance a field is made of and then suddenly finding love and knowing that this is something somehow different. I always thought it was corny, and I didn't like that song much. And I guess I wasn't in a place in my life where I wanted to be picking my wedding songs. I wasn't planning to be married right away, and who knew what songs Sting might have written by the time I was ready. Of course, that was back before Mercury Rising was released. Anyway, at the next commercial break, a spot was playing Rhapsody in Blue as its soundtrack. That same former boyfriend really loved that tune. Though he only ever referred to it as something having to do with United Airlines. He even put it on a mix tape at one time.

While I was going through old boxes from storage, I found heaps of cards and letters and things from him. All effusively adorned with tender sentiment and awestruck appreciation from a guy who claimed again and again to be unable to believe that he had been lucky enough to find someone like me. I was surprised, in a way. It's been so long since I have had cause to revisit any of those memories that they had very nearly ceased to be. It was like opening a stack of letters you had never received and reading them for the first time, years and years after they were written. It made me think of that part of Amélie when she pieces together a letter that was never written, professing a love that did not persist, all to mend the still-broken heart of a woman who now need no longer believe she had been scorned, replacing that bitter ache with the sweeter one of having been robbed by romantically tragic circumstances. I could pretend that someone had done something similar for me, but the letters weren't really that good.

There's no real reason for this reminiscence. Just artless indulgece.

You can't lose your innocence twice. But you can wake up and find that there was more of it to lose. And as it ebbs away, you can notice how much has passed from you. And mourn it.

One of the guys on my Yahoo! group (Yes. I have a Yahoo! group. Shut up. You're just jealous.) asked for my review of the Oscars, and I'm going to cheat and crib from a message to one of my friends on MySpace:

I didn't get to hear much of them, because I was at a party full of overloud Improv Olympic people, and I didn't get there until late. The kind of late that you are when you get lost in Silverlake with nothing but a Mapquest printout and a frustrated look on your face. But I didn't see anything that gutted me. I expected Peter Jackson to win, but I kind of wish The Return of the King hadn't gotten quite so much lauding. On its own, it wasn't that great a flick. I liked the first one better. And I didn't care for the Annie Lennox song at all. Drab and uninspired. Even though Fran Walsh keeps dedicating the awards it wins to some dead kid. And I'm glad Sophia Coppola won, although I hear a lot of balking because her "script" was largely improvised. I didn't see Cold Mountain, but I'm certain that Renee Zellweger didn't deserve the Oscar, because I find her appallingly ugly. Nicole Kidman still looks insane. Johnny Depp was awfully good-looking. And I was surprised Sean Penn actually showed up, even if he was considered a shoe-in. I wish Bill Murray had gotten the statue, but I think Sean Penn was a class act, and I can't begrudge him any victory. I wonder if Madonna was happy for him or sad.

And there are still a lot of movies I haven't seen. But that duet with Will Ferrell and Jack Black was worth the money, huh?

In its original form, this message was riddled with typos, because I was fairly swimming in cabernet by the time I wrote it. But I forewent the use of the [sic] business because I have no fear that I might one day sue myself. It was also considerably shorter, but I'm an editor and an embellisher and I never waste the chance to get it right the second or third time. It's in my blood. Anyway, that's that.

I spent today with Josh. He's moving. I was helping. It's funny how cleaning someone else's bathtub can take your mind off things. But then I am also empathetic to the upheaval of moving. And to the emotional havoc that can be wreaked by opening those old boxes and finding what's inside. And I looked around Josh's place -- the artsy digs on Western that I have visited enough times to know where to park if you're smart -- and I saw it empty for the first time, and that reminded me of the night I went back to San Diego when my parents had completely cleaned my apartment and I was going back to turn over the keys. It was strange to be there at night and all alone with absolutely nothing in the place -- to be reminded of how it had looked when I first moved in. How big it was and yet how small. And all those ghosts traversing the grey carpet. Josh's carpet is grey, too. But that was no big deal. My hands were so cold today.

It's no fun to move in the rain. And it's no fun to come home cold and wet and with a headache. But it's great to be a good friend and to be told so.

These pictures were not taken today.

In like a lion? No. Not me. March maybe. But not me. I wonder if lion tastes as good with garlic and rosemary as lamb does. I'll bet it's gamey. I don't think I'll have any this time, thanks.

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