Secret Pop

Sep 7, 2004

It is expected that I be gracious and fulsome in my praise.

Never a fan of the hot hot heat. Never that me. I like it cool. I like baring my arms, but I like not having to. I like turtleneck sweaters and sleeves that are too long. I like fireplaces and chats by them. I like roasting chestnuts and pretending not to be disappointed by how they actually taste.

I have never chosen summer as a favorite season. I have never preferred it to any other time. I like the late autumn. I like the winter. I like the cold February. In Los Angeles, February is priceless. Sunny and clear but crisp and expectant. None of the haze of disappointing June. Clarity and the occasional bit of rain.

And spring is fine. All that hope and possibility. All the references to rabbits and the incessant humping they do. Easter candies. Egg-shaped and with gooey insides. I saw chocolate-covered Peeps at the store. They looked horrible. I think it was for Halloween. Imagine the makers of Peeps thinking they could branch that brand out to the trick-or-treaters. What arrogance.

I have an outfit in my head that I wish I was wearing. Something Sophia Loren wore. Or Ann-Margret. Or Audrey Hepburn. I will wear it someday. All I need is the perfect pair of pants.

Angie is in town again. She sent me photos from the party yesterday, where she claims I was fending off the boys in some amusing fashion. I tell a good yarn is all. Maybe boys like that. I'm no expert. This is one of the pictures I like best. It's Drew protecting his delicate parts.

"Fulsome in my praise..." I liked that phrase when I heard it. Even though I found precious little else to like in the movie it comes from. There is merit in that -- finding the specks of pleasantness in even the most hateful things. Highlighting the good. Fondly remembering the parts that don't gnaw at you. I lived in Guam for four years, and I didn't like it every day I was there. In fact, I liked it very little for most of that time. I prayed for the National Spelling Bee to provide me with all-expenses paid passage back to the mainland. And it did. But only after three long years of having only one television station and schools without air conditioning and very little access to American conveniences beyond McDonald's and Shakey's. It was a drab backdrop to my adolescence. But when I remember it, I smile. I remember glass-bottomed boats to Cocos Island and Sunday brunch buffets on Hotel Row. I remember Catholic girls' school uniforms and cinnamon buns at snack break. I remember boomboxes playing Hard to Say I'm Sorry and Abracadabra on the bus in the rain. I remember the baseball stadium and the Pescador and playing in the orchestra and playing the part of a princess in the Thanksgiving parade. Climbing up a ladder onto our white-painted rooftop to lay out in my bikini and listen to Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Siouxsie Sioux. I remember mango trees and badminton and school-age crushes and shopping trips. I remember the good parts. And when I remember them, I always forget how sweaty it all was.

I jotted down the words, "Time takes away all feeling," but maybe that's not what I meant. Maybe time only takes away the feelings that can't redeem themselves.

David Sylvian sang something I liked. "And the mind's divisive. But the heart knows better." And we all know what that means. Except the brain dead. And they're the lucky ones.

It is too hot for my liking. I slept like MURDER last night. Like bloody murder.

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