Secret Pop

Jul 24, 2005

When you were a young and a callow fellow

Yesterday was hot. One of those days so hot that it's literally all anyone can talk about. Heat apparently saps our imaginations. It crowds our brains until even the sight of something truly odd has no purchase. All you can say is how hot you are and how little relief you got from the various remedies you tried. "It was so hot today that I snuck into Ralph's and spent the day in the freezer, sitting on a pallet of ice cream." "I sat in my car and ran the air conditioner until it ran out of gas." "I drank hot tea." (That's what Chinese people do.)

Extremes of weather are peculiar in that way. I guess people are relieved about it. Having something to talk about. When there's a world incident or a noteworthy weather change, all of a sudden, you don't have to sit there in silence, wondering whether the person sitting across from you speaks English anymore. And yet who really cares about current events or the weather or how your family is doing. It's a shame that people don't just say what they're really thinking. Although, if I were to do that, I'd probably have far fewer friends. My brain comes up with monstrous things only I can enjoy.

I forgot that my workshop was over yesterday, so I drove to the building on Santa Monica and opened the door to the room to find another group of people in it. Two of them on stage, clearly offput by my very quiet entrance. I excused myself and stood there in the hallway for a few seconds, processing my error. Then I went to the Smart and Final on Wilshire to buy Red Bull and other things in large quantities. Then I went home to my hot apartment where my dog was in love with me and the sweating became second nature. I've been experiencing the nag of a cold all week. A dry cough and some congestion. I was thoroughly exhausted by late afternoon, so I tried to take a nap. But it was just a series of feverish wakings and discussions with myself about whether I should just lie still or get up and see what's on TV.

In the evening, I picked up my friend Kevin, and we went and got a drink at The Dresden before catching Ron Lynch's new show "The Tomorrow Show" at the Steve Allen Theater. We ran into the impeccably-attired and always-gracious Poubelle Twins, who were attending the same performance, so we all made our way over together when it was appropriate to do so. Then we watched the show. And then it was too late to go anywhere for a drink. The problem with a midnight show. So Kevin and I raced two a.m. to get to Von's and buy booze. We did. But it was no longer of interest to anyone else to share it, so we took it back to his house and sat outside drinking and smoking until nearly five a.m. I told him stories of work. We talked about a sketch he is writing. I offered some suggestions and thought as I was doing so, "Hey, Mary, I guess you DO know a thing or two about writing." And then I was immediately ashamed that I was not writing my own sketch instead of just helping someone else with his. Always an editor, never a bride.

This past week was one of the most taxing ever. My consulting job. My freelance work. My health. My wishes. I ended the escapade feeling bruised and battered. Canceling my plans to go to San Diego to perform. Knowing I wouldn't survive it. Wanting the opportunity to sit still. Knowing that I never take that opportunity when it presents itself. I want to be so much that I'm not. Some of that wanting is so lackluster and unambitious as to be content just going back to what I recently was. I'm not greedy. I could never get away with it.

Try to remember. Try to remember. It's not the right month for it, if you go by the song lyrics. It's never the right month. It's never the right day. It's never the right time. It's never the same for you as it is for me. It's never what I thought it would be or what I keep trying to make it. I'm just scrambling eggs over here. I prefer them over easy, but I'll eat them any way they are served.

Today's not so much cooler than yesterday. It's cloudy out, but still hot and humid. Tornado weather, if we lived in a tornado state, as I said to Krissy a while earlier. Krissy, who recently learned that she is the oven for a little baby bun. I am fearful of change. It has seldom been my ally. Except in extreme retrospect, when you adopt that worldview wherein everything that ever happened to you helped you get to where you are. And that only works when where you are isn't some place you hate. Or some place too hot to stand.

Loren Bouchard was kind enough to send me some photos he took at one of the after-closing hotel room parties we both attended during Comic-Con week. I am not the star of this photo, but I love what I'm saying in it.

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