Secret Pop

Apr 7, 2005


On Sunday night, I wasn't feeling so hot, and Martín called because he was on his way to Von's and wanted to know if I needed anything. That's a sweetheart if I ever knew of one. I actually did have a short list, but a few of the items were embarrassing enough that I didn't feel I could ask him to pick them up on my behalf. I'm squeamish. I'm embarrassed to talk about toilet paper, for instance. So, I suggested that I go with him. And I threw on a pair of jeans and scrambled out to meet him, and we trawled the aisles of the supermarket, cracking wise and loading up. And it was fun in the way that the most ordinary and uninteresting things can be when you're with someone awesome. Martín and I are thick as thieves. Best pals. History-bound. I can say more to him than to nearly anyone else in the world. And he cheers me on in ways that nearly no one else bothers to. Being able to hit the piggly wiggly (and, yes, I am arbitrarily genericizing the term) with him at the drop of a sickly hat is part of the heaven of having him live right down the block from me. Not since childhood have I had close friends living so nearby. It's the best thing.

I spent much of the past few days gathering photography quotes for the bid I had to submit. I was on the phone a lot. I was canvassing e-mails. I felt like an office worm all over again. And I grew weary of it almost immediately. I guess I'm spoiled. It doesn't take much in the way of obligation for me to start feeling cagey and overwhelmed. This morning, I had to meet with my attorney in Pacific Palisades, and that required getting up early and accounting for traffic and being prepared with my paperwork and everything. All of the sticky tendrils of responsible living. It's the same feeling of the willies I get when wading in the ocean and feeling the kelp crawling all over my submerged parts. I'd rather be eaten by a shark.

The drive to the Palisades did school me on how short a drive it actually is. I've lived here for a few years now, and I've still never been to Malibu, for instance. And if I hadn't been so sorry and tired and overburdened, I might have pulled over on the beach somewhere and sat and tried to write. There were people out jogging and doing things. And the Santa Monica pier was busy existing to the south. I felt like I was a tourist for a minute or so. And then I started wondering about real estate prices, and the magical spell was broken.

Sleepless sleeping. That's mostly all I've gotten. The sort of sleeping that ends in wakeful restlessness. The sort of waking that reminds you that you may live the rest of your life feeling taxed and bent. The sort of getting up that makes you wonder why you waste the time laying down at all. I see it in my face. And no amount of sparkling conversation will mask it, as far as I'm concerned. Days like these make me want to go shopping for eye shadow in bright colors.

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