Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Silence Between Us

It seems, many times, that life is naught but one huge transition.

Well said, Sonia.

I am in one of those mini transition that makes up the one large, aforementioned-and-conversely-annoyingly-stated transition.

Moving back home.

It's not that I am despising my time. I sleep late, lazily walk to coffee, sigh, breeze through magazines, a mall, a salon, thank you notes. Lots of breezing and sighing and sleeping. It's nice really. It feels like time moves slowly, but then in a sigh it's Friday again and I have no where to go but my living room.

I read a short essay by a friend of mine who described an Anthropology lecture. The subject was more or less about communications between other cultures, one in particular whose young people did not speak to one another during courtship.A student volunteered his dismissal that it would seem impossible to chose your mate without conversation. The professor then ceased to talk for ten minutes, to the increasing anxiety of the class. As they giggles, twitched and shuffled she waited until the intensity of the silence seeped in. Then she asked of the class if they could imagine existing in that still and quiet space, while locked with their Other, slowly falling in love.

Jesus, can you imagine?

When I am in a damn post argument silence with my mother as she carts me around in her little Prius, five million angry little thoughts and quips are running around my head like mice in a maze. Over an argument about how much she hates Julia Roberts because her laugh is the same in every movie. NO IT'S NOT MOM, SHE HAS DEPTH. But picture a mandated silence surrounding falling in love, an experience that literally functions around over analyzing feelings, perceptions, and the potential of life binding. How do you tell someone about all those crazy things, if without a very long and verbal pronunciation? How do you send them a look that says "Set the date!" or "Hey, how about we make this thing official? I mean, unless you want to keep seeing other people. Because I'm kinda keeping quiet with two other guys but I'm at the point where I just thought we could keep the silence between us."

Anyway, Home is my silent place.

And my Other is my newly minted, almost graduated self.

And she and I are not in a good place.

But we're keeping it quiet.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Angel Cum

Today, on my second to last day of vacation in Hawaii, my grandfather cooked us dinner. He insists that the best way to prepare food is to keep it simple.

"Sauces," he'll scoff.

"I tell you what delicious," he looks my sister and I, bouncing his eyebrows up and down, lapsing into Hawaii's pidgin dialect. "You make it simple, wheew and it's ono."

My grandfather made beef macaroni and it was delicious. We melted cheese on top and sat around in the living room, eating off plates balanced in our laps and talking story. My mother had been looking through old pictures before dinner and she had found some from my aunt's wedding. As soon as she turned to my aunt and uttered the words I began to get a knotted feeling in my spleen. I knew picture talk would lead to talk of the DVD. Moments later, my knotted spleen tightened.

"Ohhhhh! We should watch the DVD!"

I was just about to turn twelve when my Aunt and Uncle tied the knot. Around that age I was inspired by things of the theatrical nature. I was enthusiastic about my eventual ascent to stardom, so much so that I was genuinely upset when Brittney Spears kept churning out more refrained hits. The competition, I thought bitterly to myself, was heating up.

Despite my limited resume consisting only of a few solos in the catholic Children's Choir, I trusted that my shaky soprano was the stuff of greatness. So I prepared myself to bestow upon my engaged Auntie and Uncle the honor of a song. Not just any melody, but a song composed by myself and consequently performed at the reception.

It took me a long time to write the lyrics. Since I did not know how to play a musical instrument, the tune was improvised. I only remember a bit of the verse.

Like an Angel, you came for me.
God must have sent you, we were meant to be.
We gave each other all we had.
And I will always love you.

You gave me all the strength I needed.
You're the reason I've succeeded
We've helped each other through so much
And I will always love you.

(Two more verses, a bridge with the climax of the song, in which I hit a high note, don't know which one because I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PLAY MUSIC, and then a wrap up, repeat verse in which I sing the first verse all inside out like B Spears on "Crazy")

Telling this story is making my fingernails want to separate from my skin. Under the lover as an angel metaphor, I had made a joke about orgasms. I desecrated the purity of angelic love with a preposition. I am not sure how much a 12 year old student of works such as "Baby one more time" knows about the institution of marriage, but apparently the idea of everlasting love and godly destiny resonated with me.

And, once again, the song was going to be sung acapella. In front of a wedding reception of about 200.

So amidst heartfelt and trembling speeches from relatives and close friends, my little warble of a accidentally porny Christian rock love song was to debut. The parts of this build-up sometimes hit me in waves of reflective shame and embarrassment. Acapella. Age 12. Inside Out Last Verse. High Note. Awkward Stage. God Love is Lyrics.

However, those things I can usually let go. Chalk it up to inexperience and 12 year old bravado. But what makes me wince as my mother and aunt gush over the idea of watching the wedding video is the bit of improvisation I decided to throw in before I performed my song that fateful evening.

As I made my small way to the podium I felt a sense of increasing dread. I hadn't really bargained for these nerves, I thought, as my hands started shaking bit. Then I remembered my secret weapon, tucked away in my funny-things-to-say arsenal.

My aunt introduced my song and me to the patient audience. I stepped up to the podium and accepted destiny.

"Thank you all for coming tonight," I quoted. (I hadn't invited them) "I just wanted to say a few words before I begin." Pause for effect. Intake for breath. "For those of you who have your hearing tonight, I'd like to apologize ahead of time."Pause. Still holding breath. "And for those of you who are hard of hearing," Pause for effect. Lungs hurting "Tonight, you are the lucky ones."

Sound familiar?

It's from the film Mr. Holland's Opus, in the last, dramatic and tear inducing scene. A line that made sense in the movie because Mr Holland was addressing a room full of hearing disabled people, not, a party.

I plagiarized. Poorly.

There I was, a twelve year old junior bridesmaid in a red halter dress reciting pilfered lines from a film she saw on Lifetime as the preface to a song that began with a line that could have been substituted into a soft core.

This is why I cannot watch the video of me. The physical evidence of it happening will shatter any dignity I am trying to hold on to from that memory. I told my Aunt that we could maybe watch it when I am thirty.

Congrats on 10 years of marriage, Auntie and Uncle. I love you guys. Sorry I plagiarized at your wedding.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hag Time

Right now I am in Hawaii, on vacation.

I never realized I had anal tendencies. What I have realized about my newly discovered anal tendencies is that they are not the slight OCD type that manifest themselves usefully in things like recycling or wiping bathroom mirrors down. My tendencies tend to lead me to do things like try on all my clothes as I attempt to pack them for a trip, inspect the divots in my shoes at four a.m., or blog on vacation.

So, here's to all those with unproductive anal tendencies. This wandering, gap-in-thought of a muse is dedicated to you.

While I was driving home from being graduated, sort of, I saw a hawk hovering over I5's uninspiring strip of grass medium. One time my good friend saw a beautiful white bird as we drove together, going somewhere. She was so excited at the make and model of such a lovely animal, she called her mother who was equally enthused about the fowl. I understood her excitement then, when I saw the large bird who was able to sustain his position by his instinctual knowledge of the buffering air currents and his own physical ability.

It got me thinking as I flew by inland central California's monotonous landscape, how I wish I could AIR HOVER. It reminded me of that enviable athletic ability of hang time. In seventh grade I was the first girl who had a jump shot. This jump shot of mine had the accuracy equivalent of a first time urinal user. Still, I was the first pick of the girls for the Folsom Youth Basketball Association that year. I remember my coach discussing my impressive hang time. However my glory was short lived. In eighth grade, all the girls had jump shots and mine was still the pee hitting the wall.

But I think hang time is an impressive skill. To be able to delay one's return to the ground; sounds like something R Kelly would sing an inspiring ballad about. I wish this skill could translate to the non-corporal realm, since nowadays I consider shopping a cardiovascular activity. I don't really get my kicks at the gym.

So maybe something like emotional hang time. The strength to delay a reaction or outcome that is often unpreventable, like gravity. Often times I am placed in situations that...rub me the wrong way. Dramatic, violin-music scenarios, the kind that even your friends will roll their eyes over as you explain it to them over a salted margarita rim. I wish in those instances I could leap high into the subconscious and half conscious state of my slanted, charged deliberation, and instead of plummeting magnificently back down into an angry text message or booze induced monologue,I would hover. Like the hawk, I'd employ my knowledge of previous mistakes and current irrational state and stay their until I figured the best time or way to swoop back down.

But do I hover? Nooooooooo. I plummet.

My girlfriend once told me (after I described to her a particularly embarassing case of plummeting) that my, erm, displays work for me.

"I knew you would," she said, as we lay on our beds. "It's just so you. And you get away with it. More power to you."

I guess I can sort of get away with the crazy. But then I have to own up to the crazy. And while I think that people who are sane aren't really as much fun (cue Kerouac quote yeech), I don't always want to be mad, as it drives me nuts.

I think I am going to work to my hang time.