Secret Pop

Nov 4, 2005

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds

When I was in high school in Japan, there were two girls who became inseparable best friends. Jo Ann and Natalie. They were a year behind me. I knew both of their sisters better than I knew them. They were pretty and popular and all the boys wished they could get as close to either of them as they were to each other. I envied them.

I remember towards the end of my junior year, Natalie was moving with her family. Back to the States I think (that's what you call America when you are in a military family overseas). They were in drama together. Either in a class or in the extracurricular activity. I can't remember. They were performing Paul Zindel's play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. I don't know if it was the whole play or just a scene from it. I assume they were playing Ruth and Matilda, but I never saw the performance. What I remember is hearing that they had a very emotional scene together and the reality of Natalie moving away and of this being their last performance together and perhaps one of the last times they would spend together reduced them both to very real tears on the stage, and everyone in the place was moved.

Krissy and Dorian are moving away next week. I am going to perform with them on Saturday night at the comedy theater. It will be their last show in San Diego and our last show together for what will certainly be a long time if not the longest of times. I've thought about this story of Jo Ann and Natalie a lot recently, wondering if I will find myself in a scene with Krissy and just not be able to handle it. Of course, doing improv is hardly the same as a play about adolescent angst. I'm less likely to have an emotional breakdown in a game of Forward Reverse. But still. I haven't been able to think of much else for the past few weeks. I don't know what it will be like. It isn't the same as when you live on separate continents. I said a great many of those sorts of goodbyes growing up. Everyone was always leaving. Someone was always moving away. And someone was always showing up in their place. And very few people kept in touch. We'll be better about that. We'll call and write. We'll instant message and e-mail. We will do better. But we won't be able to do many of the things we used to. And we won't be able to do anything at the drop of a hat. Anyway who wears hats anymore.

Gotta Get Up and Be Somebody

I went for a run this morning. I did some editing work. I met my friend Michael for lunch. I did not get a parking ticket. I dropped off some film. It hasn't been a bad day. But it hasn't felt like anything at all.

Titanic is on the television. It's been on a lot recently. Someone's residuals checks will get a nice bump this season. I remember going to watch this movie in the theater and crying like a total wiener. I took the day off work to see the movie, and then I went shopping at Tower Records and bought things I didn't need. And when I got home, Beulah was making fried chicken, and the whole place smelled like it. I went upstairs and took a nap and dreamed about Titanic and knew my eyes would be puffy on waking after all the crying I'd done. What a ninny I was. So crippled by delusions of romance. So jelly-like inside. So manipulable. I can understand being sad about all those people dying. It's awful awful awful. Especially because it's true. But it's still such a clunky movie. Heavyhanded and obvious. All that treacle and vinegar. Subtlety is a lost art, isn't it? People don't seem to like things unless they're easy. Especially people who think looking for fifteen minutes at one of those Magic Eye posters is a sign of deep intellectual exertion. Of course, those Magic Eye posters have gone away, too. Too many brain injuries, I'm sure.

Anyway, I have wasted a lot of time feeling bad about all the time I've wasted. I've wasted a lot of time feeling bad about a lot of things. I don't know how one gets wired that way. Damned Chinese ciruitry.

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