Secret Pop

Apr 3, 2005

Robot Innards

I had to wake up early this morning for my MRI appointment. I have this weird thing now that -- when I have to wake up at any time at all -- I am usually overcome by sleepless anxiety and am unable to really fall into any sort of restful slumber until it's an hour or so before I have to be up. This is only exacerbated by the terrible pain in my throat and soft palate. So again I got nearly no sleep, and I awakened hours earlier than I had to, and the pain was nearly unbearable, and there was nothing to do but to wait for it to be time for me to go to Beverly Hills and get my insides photographed.

The technician, Leonard, was terribly nice. He guessed at my lineage. Wondered if I was half-Japanese. I said half-Chinese. He thought that made sense. And he said, "And you're not married?" And I said, "No." And he said, "Well, someone out there is crazy." And I know he meant it as a compliment, but I didn't really know what to say. Sometimes, this compliment gets paid me -- this sort of idea that my not having yet been snatched up by some matrimonial assailant is a breach of all the universal laws -- and I fidget a bit and wonder what the right thing to say might be. I can say, "Well, I bet on a few bad horses." Or I can say, "I enjoy being single." Or I can say, "I've murdered a number of potential candidates. Shh! -- don't tell, right?" It doesn't really matter what I say. In the end, I'm just left to wonder if that guy is right -- if I somehow missed the window and slammed smack into a wall instead. I'm not thinking about marriage at all at the moment. I'm not thinking about serious relationships or ring sizes or tropical honeymoons or even weekend getaways for that matter. And I suppose there's a risk that I'll suddenly perk up at age fifty and go, "Oops. Maybe it's too late for all this." But I can't see so far ahead. I'm the sort of driver that pays a great deal of attention to the car or two right in front of her, making quick decisions about when to back off, when to gun it, and when to change lanes entirely. Looking too far ahead is a good way to rear-end the car in front of you. And bumpers these days aren't what they used to be. Nor are metaphors. Sure, I like the idea of being somebody's honeybun. I like the idea of handholding and sweet nothings and buying a lamp or an area rug. But I'm also fine with these things happening to the girl in the movie I'm watching at any given time.

It turns out that Leonard also went to high school in Yokosuka years and years before I did. And that he lived in Uraga, just like I did. Coincidences abound. But that was not sufficient distraction from the ordeal of being scooted into that big coffin tube for a half hour while a hideous symphony of grinding noises made relaxation impossible. I'm not claustrophobic, but once you get in that little cylinder and you know that you're not SUPPOSED to move, all of a sudden your nose itches or your shoulders ache or you feel like yawning. My body rebels against such restraints. It was all I could do to remain still and quiet for that whole time. I really just wanted to yell and kick and fuss. But I didn't. And that's how I know I'm at least partly a grown-up.

I was in enough pain that I skipped my workshop this afternoon. But Tom had already bought my ticket to Sin City, so I went with him and Tammy and Jeff to see the much-awaited cinematization. I really liked it, but I was also drinking whiskey most of the time. Of course, I was sober enough to tsk tsk Brittany Murphy's very noticeable pimple and also her groanworthy dialogue. But I really did not require any shushing. I only laughed where I was supposed to. And I write very quietly when I am taking notes. Maybe I'll write something more cogent later. Maybe not. A lot gets away from me these days. But not the fact that so many men in Hollywood look like K.D. Lang. First, I pointed out Jake Gyllenhaal. Years ago. He was the first. And everyone I pointed it out to could never not see him intoning their favorite hit from the Absolute Torch and Twang album. And let's be honest: it's always Constant Craving. But now, I've got to add Clive Owen to the roster. I saw a photo of him in a recent Entertainment Weekly, and I thought, "Lord. Him, too." And it's only further confirmed in Sin City, as is his lack of affinity for the American dialect. But he's terribly attractive and everything. So I guess it's no big deal. It's apparently a cinch to forgive a great many faults when a person is pretty as a picture. Even if the picture they are as pretty as happens to be of K.D. Lang. But seriously, I'm not trying to date K.D. Lang or anything. Seriously. I'm not. Really. Let it go already.

After the flick, we went to Good Luck Bar and had a few drinks, and I drove home with music I am fond of buzzing in my ears. I intend to spend the bulk of my Sunday in some recuperative state. But I fail at this more often than anyone could imagine.

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