Secret Pop

Jun 29, 2004

Dizzyingly Late

My cold and I are headed for sleepytown. Sweet dreams, suckers!

Jun 28, 2004

I'll cough myself to death, and then you'll be sorry.

I'm home safe but feeling poorly. And the only optimistic part is that I know I get extra skinny when I'm sick. I'm preparing for the cold medicine tingles. My face is hot, cheeks pink. But I think I look more like a happy little girl than a fatigued grown-up. That's what a barrette will do for you.

I haven't much voice, but what I have I would use to say sweet things. And you would be sweetened by them. And then I would cough all over you.

The night has been called one.


   

Jun 26, 2004

Shame on me, for it is dawn.

I'm doing it again. Shunning the rest my body requires. Even though I am throttled by the onslaught of a cold I do not wish to have. Thursday was opening night, and now it's smooth sailing, but I'm sitting out in the misty mountain nighttime for hours and hours, sucking on cough drops and then marching out to my car only to seek out the revelry elsewhere. Tonight, a cast member who has known me for a number of years asked if I was off to meet someone. Apparently, it looked like I was. I neither revealed nor rebuked. I suppose I am always off to meet someone. But it isn't always anyone in particular.

I liked the look of the hairband I chose, but I'm not so fond of the vise-like pinching sensation I have been experiencing in my skull. It's time to revert to pajama notions. If it weren't for the inherent rudeness of it, I would call everyone I know and tell them something noteworthy.

Jun 24, 2004

Please don't make me care about this.

I have never been someone who cared all that much about my age. When I was younger, I was often mistaken for older. I was a precocious child. An annoyingly precocious little peepot of a child. I wanted to be a prodigy. I remember watching some "news" magazine story (probably on That's Incredible! or something like that) about a family with an Asian mother and a Caucasian father and four daughters, all of whom had been raised to be geniuses. Their mother read to them in the womb. They were performing simple math problems by the time they were like four days old. They were reading before they could open their eyes. The oldest one was in college at age eleven. And I envied them. I resented my parents for not ever giving me a chance to be that brand of brainy freak. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that by the time I was fourteen and on the debate team, I was occasionally mistaken for a teacher rather than a student. And I didn't mind in the least. The only embarrassment was to be had by the Nabokovian lechers who wanted to get to know me better, only to find that they would be judging my debate round. And that I was still a sophomore. And a sophomore who skipped a grade (and was therefore all the younger).

Looking back on it, I was proud of such things at the time. I could hang with the parents just as easily as with the kids. Maybe more easily in some cases. But I never used this chameleon gift to buy cigarettes or liquor. I was afraid of consequences. And by the time I actually realized I wanted to buy cigarettes and liquor, I lived in Japan, where you can buy nearly anything you want from a vending machine, no questions asked.

So, I was always mistaken for older. Until such time as it no longer made sense to be. And then I started being mistaken for younger. In the Asian tradition. As I have actually gotten older, I have found myself in a sort of age-appearance eddy, swirling around a twenty-something epicenter. And now that I have cut my hair, it seems that I have regressed all the more. I met a few of Beulah's high school/college friends tonight, and they asked which of us was older. Said that we looked like twins. A stylist at the hair salon asked me the same question. I'm seven years older than Beulah. And for a good stint there, I was often mistaken for her mother. It's a wonder what a little barrette will do. I'm sure it's not that Beulah looks older than she is. If anything, it seems that we all just collapse inward towards some vague mid-twenties appearance. Fashion tugs us there. Music, maybe. Something like that anyway. Tonight, a clerk at the drug store looked at my i.d. as I was buying beer and cigarettes and said, "Fifteen. Just as I suspected. Do you have a note from your mother for these?" I laughed, the way you do when you are participating in the social formality of not saying, "Please shut up and complete my transaction. You are troll-like and wasting my time." He made a few other conversational quips. Flirting, of course. I have to admit, I laughed at each line, but I honestly couldn't understand what he was saying anymore. I wondered if he knew it. If he had asked me a question to which laughter would not be the appropriate response, we might both have experienced a moment's awkwardness. Fortunately, I didn't care if he thought I was a moron. When that happens with a friend, I'm mortified. When someone says something to me and I mishear it or try to play along without actually understanding, I might laugh or nod or say some packaged thing, and then in my internal instant replay, I begin to sound out what was actually said, some interpolation happens, and then all of a sudden I realize that my friend asked, "What time is it?" to which I scoffed, "I'll say!" There's no fixing such blunders. You have to just walk away and pretend it never happened or look the person in the eye and say, "I don't know why I just said that. I'm retarded."

I don't take special note of instances when people think I'm younger than I am. My mom always used to. She always used to brag that no one believed she had a pair of grown daughters. People would see her with me and my older sister and tell her that we all looked like sisters, and she would coo over it, and it would make her day. I don't know if any of these people weren't hitting on my mom or trying to sell her something. It's possible these sentiments were genuine. My mom was a very young mother, and she's Asian, and she takes good care to look nice all the time. There's no reason anyone should think she's not a good deal younger than she is. But the difference is she cares about it. And I don't. My older sister likes to cite instances of twenty-three year-old dudes thinking she's twenty-four. And there's nothing wrong with that. But I have never made it a thing on the list. I don't want to care about it. And I fear that all this youthful mistaking will leave a greying hole if it ever ends. If someone tells me I look exactly as old as I am, it might actually hurt my feelings. But it shouldn't. If a crass street urchin points a soiled finger at me one day and cries, "You're old, oldie!" it shouldn't make a crumb of difference. It shouldn't even matter when I one day cross the threshold after which people start saying, "She looks great for her age." Age is for census-takers and tree surgeons. Who cares how old you are or how old I am? The only time it matters is when we're trying to figure out whether we both watched Charles In Charge. This isn't Logan's Run, is it? And if it is, cool! -- I love domed cities.

Jun 19, 2004

"You've just gone and missed it."

I don't want you to adore me, don't want you to ignore me, when it pleases you.

What is this sunny disposition all of a sudden? Under more pressure than olives giving forth their oil. But it's weightless. This time around, all of the wry looks, the snide remarks, the guise of politeness -- they're unnecessary. Even the disappointments are inconsequential. I just keep moving. I'm finding that it's much easier to keep from getting mired in the muck if you make certain to never let your feet touch the ground. I have often walked down this street before. The pavement and I never parted.

Don't know where I am. Don't know how I got here. Don't really remember what it used to feel like. Even the things that recall the old chaotic exasperation do it in cartoonish parody. And I do love a good parody.

Yeah. I'll do it on my own.

Jun 18, 2004

Heaven or Las Vegas

I like that it's nighttime, but I don't like the way it gets to be that. I'm tired, and I have every reason to be. But I bite down on it just the same. The week ahead is frighteningly crammed. But I wouldn't be surprised if I come out on the other side of it with a suntan. There will be plenty of poolside hours, I expect. It's the nighttime that will be gruesome.

I often joke about being a vampire, and maybe this goes against that. But I'm nothing if not inconsistent. Anyone who knows me will affirm this.

Last night, late night brought me to Monterey Park and Peking duck and assorted delicacies at prices that make you WANT to drive that godawful stretch of the 10. Bring on the food adventure. Monterey Park is Adventure Town, U.S.A. But then it suddenly felt so late, and I couldn't keep from yawning, and I just wished that something in my body would right itself so that I could feel chipper and rested for just one small stretch. I'll bet I could fashion a metaphor with that old adage about Chinese food and being hungry soon after eating it, but I'm tired again, and I can't make the ends meet.

I'm going to be playing my violin a lot for the next few weeks. a) Hurray. b) Please don't make a point of noticing the red mark under my jaw. You will want to make a sly remark about it being a hickey, but you will be wrong. And I will feign amusement but only enough to make it clear that I've heard it before. Save us both the tense aftermath, won't you? If you like, you can gesture at the bruisy patch and say, "Hey. I like your throat."

Jun 17, 2004

Sugar Free

I don't have anywhere else to put these, and they're building up something awful. I wouldn't presume that they are long-awaited, but they are at least long-promised. If you download them all and scroll through them quickly in your file list, they make a fun yet uninteresting flipbook of sorts. In the story, this girl looks up, then down, then to the left. Sometimes she smiles. And she is nearly never more than the length of her arm away from you. It's not much of a story, but our minds have been dulled by decades of bad television writing. I'm pretty sure SOMEONE will find this plot captivating.

I put some blonde in where there wasn't any before. That's what this is about.