Secret Pop

Aug 31, 2005

In the hopes I can spell out my name

I was running early Friday morning. Listening to my usual line-up of hip hop classics with the occasional Wham! song mixed in. My running mixes always get me thinking. Usually reminiscing. Often wishing I was carrying something to write with. But I would hate to save sweaty swatches of paper for future transcription. Because I'd never be able to throw them away.

So it was occurring to me as I was listening to the Notorious B.I.G. laying down gangsta truths that language evolves now as a means of evading censorship. And maybe because of science to some degree. Whereas it used to evolve through poetry and metaphor. And maybe because of more advanced respiratory health. Words get made up now to make it possible to say things you aren't actually allowed to say. And there is a bit of beauty to that. The stealth of language. Secret messages. Hushed whispers. Under the radar. It's nearly as intriguing to wonder if what you're saying is even being heard. A message in a bottle takes on a fantasy life. Whether it is ever retrieved. Whether it is smashed to bits, committing its glass parts back to the sand.

And then I saw what looked like a guy walking a rat.

But it was just an aptly shaped piece of paper floating along the sidewalk in front of him. Many many tricks of the eye when running. Even when it's not hot out. You see things in passing. In a car, you don't see them at all. But on foot, you see just enough to get a misguided impression of them. And, if you're at all committed to getting where you're going, you're still unable to stop and figure it out.

On Memorial Day Weekend a few years ago, I took a couple of my cameras with me and walked the route I usually run. I wanted to photograph the many things I thought of photographing when I was running. Every now and then, you have to make a concerted effort to solve these little problems you create for yourself. It mixes things up a little. And I like to think that is the way to not die right away.

I used to think of all sorts of things to write while running. And before I started this most recent employment adventure, I would come back and make the time to sit down and type them down, sweaty fingers and all. Not so anymore. I'm lucky if I remember to make a note to myself before dashing into the shower and rushing off to work. The writing gets away from me. And it's a shame. Because it's one of the staples of my toleration. Its absence is an ulcer waiting to happen.

The week before last, we celebrated my sister and my dad's birthdays, as well as Justin's, Tasha's, and Audrey's. I don't know when Audrey was actually born, but August 19 is the anniversary of her coming to me. And I commemorate that gladly. Especially when I'm getting my daily dose of sleepy dog love. We were having a lovely lunch out by the pool. I was not feeling so super great. I sang in church in the morning and was tired. I took Audrey for a walk around the pool, and I heard my mom say, "Mary looks like a postcard." In my party dress with my little dog and my black heart. I'm sure I looked like a postcard of some kind.

Stan Lee was in our offices a few days back. I didn't say hello. I peered up over the cube tops, but I didn't make a spectacle of myself. I wouldn't really have known what to say anyway. I'm weird that way.

I bought heirloom tomatoes. They were pretty enough to eat.

Everyone loves wasabi peanuts. It's a good thing I have so many of them.

I made so many things for you. For the you that is no more. The you that never was. The idea of you. How do you give a gift to an idea. You don't. You save it. You put it away. You hope you don't have to look at it that often. Otherwise it reminds you that you fall in love with ideas. And you're too smart to be so stupid. I made so many things about you. And when I started making them about me instead, I found that the themes were all things I despised. I'm no good for me.

I like running. Until I don't anymore.

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