Mar 31, 2003

Disappearing Ink

How simple a thing it is to rewrite history. How very many times I have already done it. With the addition of time and experience and perspective and cold, hard fact -- nothing is ever what it seems. Things don't remain as they were. Change gets in like unwanted moisture and spoils your favorite shoes. You can take a photograph today and then look at it again a few years from now, and it may very well be a photograph of something entirely different than what it was when you first took it. I feel as if everything in the world is being passed through a great, vicious sieve. And meaning gets lost in the scramble.

I am not good at leaving things behind. The network of my personal reference base begins to take on such an air of complexity and overcrowding that I barely have time to have a thought before I endow it with the meaning of a thousand previous thoughts. Bestow on it the mantel of the sum of my experience. Inject the whole of history and a few flashes of popular culture. Will anything that happens to me ever happen in the vacuum of the moment? Also, while I'm inquisitive, is it ever possible to be sure?

Caring for other creatures kindles warmth in me. I welcome such things when they become opportune. But few other corporeal beings could benefit from attuning themselves to the frenzied rhythms of my heart and mind. Surely, other living things are intended to sleep the night through.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:09 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 30, 2003

Three cheers for bartenders who call me "Sugar."

I am grateful for nights when things go well. When I am performing well. When I am amusing and welcoming to people. When I make a good impression. I realize that I offer my hand to others without hesitating. That I want to help. That I am not at all stingy with my resources, however hard-earned they may be. I always got high marks in sharing.

I am also weighted down by sad loss in my extended family and fear of what the future holds. I catch myself being exra sensitive to the dips and swells in the moods of those I love. I notice even the tough ones giving way, if only at the edges. And I want to be a sandbag to that undamming. I want to lend my support. How to do it, however, eludes me. I am clumsy and coaxing, and I worry that I only say things that will make it all worse. When what I mean to say is, "I'm here. If you need me. Don't worry."

Laughter is a welcome respite from all of that. And letting go of trivia. And paying ever closer attention to the moments when the birds are singing. Even when it's silence that I crave.

posted by Mary Forrest at 5:11 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 27, 2003


Music from these movies makes me cry:

The Cider House Rules
The American President
Murder in the First
The Muppets Take Manhattan
The English Patient
Schindler's List
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Deep Impact
Meet Joe Black
The Shawshank Redemption
West Side Story

I also cry when I watch Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes but for wholly unsentimental reasons.


posted by Mary Forrest at 7:47 PM | Back to Monoblog

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Los Angeles is a windy mother.

My windows are rattling. The trees are making that cheerleader pompom sound. And the wind is howling in through the crevices. It makes me want to go curl up under the covers and hide. With a flashlight and a book.

I can't put my finger on the weather the past two days or so. The world outside is a lot like I am inside. Too hot and too cold and seldom able to make up its mind and often in perilous danger of knocking something over.

Someone should save me. A girl enjoys a good rescue plot.

posted by Mary Forrest at 6:35 PM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 25, 2003

"Mad for a taste of light and air."

Find quiet when you can. It is more precious than the noisy moments will allow you to imagine.

Fresh scenery hides from me. I am determined to find it out. Girls like me get cagey. When the sameness sets in. We desire a new coat of paint. A window blasted in a bare wall. A tunnel to China. There are so very many means of escape. Even the small, symbolic ones will do. It's so infuriating and amusing to me that when I am most in need of an adventure, I often have to settle for tidying up.

posted by Mary Forrest at 2:02 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 24, 2003

The Breathy Sound of Sleep

I never wake from my dreams the way they do in the movies. There are many things I never do.

My recent dreaming has largely been filled with the things I do my best to avoid thinking about when I am awake. As if that ugliness needs an outlet. As if it just waits until my conscious defenses relax. I feel myself wearying. Drained by the act of sleep itself. Waking with some urgency. It's easier to take pictures when the sun is out. Only certain things flourish in the dark.

I am the restless agent of my own undoing. That's what dreaming tells me. So I avoid it. Starting fires late in the night so I will have a reason to stay up and watch them burn. And however late I begin, I end as early. And things look only slightly different in the wash of mid-morning. Some things drive you to the brink. But staying awake is no excuse for staying asleep.

It's especially sad when the writing on the wall manages to write itself on the walls of your dreams. That's a persistent form of anguish.

posted by Mary Forrest at 10:26 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 23, 2003

Snippets that went missing.

Scott Aukerman (of Taint fame) was standing behind me at the Joe Jackson concert on Friday night. He once complimented me on a little Chinese dress I was wearing. But I'm sure he won't remember that.

Joe Jackson is one of the palest men I have ever seen. And he plays music in such a euphoric manner that you forget all about it. He did a solo piano cover of the Beatles' Girl, and the entire audience made that sucking in sound when you're supposed to. Joe exhaled instead. And some people made the sucking sound after the second "girl," which is stupid and wrong.

Natalie Portman was having lunch at Newsroom when I got there. She walked past my car a little while later, as I was getting into it. I said, "She must be on spring break." She looked very pretty. This woman sitting to my right who is an actress whose name I probably don't know yet didn't look so very pretty. It's funny how the camera lies with such inconsistency.

I, half crazy apparently, actually thought I was going to get to leave Amoeba Music last night without buying anything. I didn't have any titles in mind. I was a little caffeine-dizzy, and I was tired. So I wandered the aisles. And then I realized I was carrying so many items that my arm was fatigued. I have no idea how that happens. But I'm running out of places to put things.

It was a beautiful day today.

posted by Mary Forrest at 6:19 PM | Back to Monoblog

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The face that is slapped and the thing what slaps it.

I'm up and down and all over the place. Who to forgive. Who to forget. Who to show kindness to. Who to dismiss. Who to count on. Who to count out. Who to go to. Who to lose. Who to be lost to. Who to dream about. Who indeed.

I have all this music resonating inside me. Some of it dirgelike. Some of it triumphant. But I can hardly bear to listen to it. I can hardly bear to acknowledge that any sort of journey has been made. In any given moment, I am hopeful -- even happy -- in command of myself and enchanted in some ways. But then, of a sudden, the thing comes out and confronts my cheek with its bony palm, and I'm left with that stinging that can only be nursed by the salve of time and a little bit of running dialogue in my head. Ill-begotten ideas. Memories I shouldn't have. The stain of what is now true. What I would have been willing to pretend could never be true. What I would have played at believing was something entirely other than what it was. What it is.

Doors get opened. Ideas get planted. Something germinates. And all of that goes somewhere. Sometimes to a place of dying. Sometimes to a greenhouse. Sometimes to another metaphor entirely. But then there is the secret dark stuff. The inky fog of memory and the desire to remove what pains me. The frustrating fact of the impossibility of removing the assailing pain with the pain itself. There is no such thing as undoing. Even in untying a knot, you create the state of the un-knot. It never moves backwards. It never becomes a circle. It is always what is ahead of you. Like it or not. There is the possibility of a reference to Superman and the undoing of present and the erasing of memory, but that is an analogy that has been soiled for me.

I can't decide if callus is something wonderful or awful. Is it a cold shell of indifference? Or is it a mighty armor that shields the tender innards from what would poke at them? Should I grow callous? Should I applaud those who got there before me? Should I abhor them? Is it any of my business?

I am on the verge of a sort of exhaustion. And I fear that it comes from the dull, repeating play of getting my hopes up and then having them dashed. Like the cruelest sort of broken record. Hope. Tonic. Elixir. Toxin. Opiate. Better to have had it and lost it. But ignorance is bliss. None of the sayings make sense anymore.

posted by Mary Forrest at 4:00 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 20, 2003

"Activity suggests a life filled with purpose."

I went to see The Sound of Music at the Egyptian tonight. It sure is nice to just sink into a good old-fashioned romance every now and then. I suppose this film has too great an abundance of nuns and lederhosen in it (and don't forget the singing) to be considered a traditional romance, but there are certainly some sweet, tender moments. And Christopher Plummer -- who, my dad is quick to point out, never seemes to play anything but a villain -- is a lovely romantic lead.

Robert Wise and some of the actors were there for a panel after the screening, but I made for home. I've already seen Robert Wise talk a million times (well, two), and I didn't want to spend another moment listening to the shriveled crone behind me crinkling the infernally noisy bag her candy came in. Sweet Factory and all such similar candy-by-the-pound establishments, I implore you: please start giving your customers soft cloth sacks to tote their selections in. Or just make them carry the stuff out in their hands. That ruddy crackling cellophane noise is likely to instigate a small, but bloody, altercation at a cinema someday. And you don't want that on your heads. Especially if that bag contained some of your sugar-free offerings. What would be the point?

P.S. Poor Friedrich. He looked like an alpine fairy in every scene.

posted by Mary Forrest at 11:46 PM | Back to Monoblog

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Do not disturb.

There is a guy who has been doing work in an apartment in the building behind me for several weeks now. I am growing to despise him. Every day, he parks his giant truck diagonally in front of the two garages behind me so that I have to go fetch him and ask him to move before I can get my car in or out of my garage. And each time I've asked him to do this, he has this attitude. Oh, it's nearly imperceptible, really. But it's just enough so that I want to take him by the throat and yell, "I pay to park my car here, you circular-saw-toting imbecile! I live here! And I am often trying to sleep when you are hammering or drilling or planing or talking on the cell phone right behind my bedroom window!" But I smile and thank him politely, even when he puts me off for ten minutes while he finishes a phone call in his truck's cab, giving me the "just a minute, lady" hand gesture that makes me want to catapult him into the chilly solitude of outer space. I'm on the verge of launching a shock and awe campaign of my own.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:34 PM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 19, 2003

I am a modern Asian girl.

I think a van just drove past my kitchen window playing some sort of popular, contemporary music with a koto as the lead instrument. The cherry blossoms are always calling me home.

I think I have figured out a tenet of my taste. It was nice to realize it. For the past few years, I have found myself surrendering my tastes. To loved ones. To jobs. To circumstances. To such an extent that I began to wonder if I really had any idea what I actually like. But today, I had a firm grasp on it. And I knew that, had I the resources, I would reinvent my surroundings to reflect what pleases me.

Reinvention is key. It's so easy to just wallow in sameness. To say you thank the lord for all you have. To tell yourself you want for nothing. But I don't think it is the natural way of things. Everything around you -- including you -- it's all constantly dying. It's all falling away. So you have to compensate. You can't sit still. Or suddenly you will find that you are up to your collarbone in flakes of dead skin and the fecal matter of dust mites. You've got to keep moving. And brush yourself off once in a while. It's the itchy build-up you want to avoid. Removal is renewal.

Memory lives in the things around me like scent in a sweater. It's important and wonderful. But it's dangerous. Like the charmed poppies in the Land of Oz. Memory threatens to take on the cast of lullaby. And I linger. And my lids grow heavier. And the passage of time becomes a forgotten thing. I know this from the many times I've gone to tidy up a room and found myself sitting cross-legged on the floor flipping through old postcards or scanning journals whose pages have rippled from having been dropped in the swimming pool. I have gone through my closets and boxed up clothing I don't intend to wear, labeling the parcels "Sentimental." I have saved napkins and wrappers and corks and pennies and candy bars and drinking cups and shreds of unidentifiable substances that were once part of something whole. And then -- at some later date -- I go through it. The distraction is intoxicating. (Is this something only girls do?) Even my fantasies are often retrospective. I am keen to relive. Keen to go back. To revisit. I order the thing I know I like at a restaurant. I go to restaurants I know I've liked before. And the widening of the circle slows down. Until someone or something pops through and nudges me a little further out.

I want the circle to splay out in every direction, amorphous and uncontrolled. I want to find myself elsewhere, in the blobby recesses of the shapeless border that was once a circle but is now reminiscent of a political map of Finland.

I blabbed about my intention to visit Paris to a couple who had recently been there. They urged me to go with great haste. They even complimented my coat and said that I would fit right in. That I looked Parisian already. I was immensely encouraged and flattered. In the persistent tug of war between the desire to look like everyone else and the desire to look nothing like anyone, I often find myself getting rope burns.

So, I will go to Paris. And I will go to South Dakota. And I will go to Moscow. And when I'm in each of those places, I will buy a souvenir and put it in the box with the sentimental clothes. And one day, I will waste another afternoon reliving it all when I should be doing my spring cleaning.

posted by Mary Forrest at 8:48 PM | Back to Monoblog

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"Strike" is a verb for snakes.

So, we are at war. I hope it is swift and that it requires very little in the way of bandages.

If I should die before I wake, I wish I would have gotten up earlier today.

I am ready to come to terms with the fact that I don't think interesting things.

posted by Mary Forrest at 8:06 PM | Back to Monoblog

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"When it's cold outside, am I here in vain?"

I got up early this morning -- hung just enough over to make that a thing for lamenting -- to take my car in for service. I paid $4.00 on the toll road to avoid nasty traffic. I was given a lift home from the service center by a nice guy who thought I was younger than I am. Enough for it to be flattering. Not so much as to be insulting. He even began trying to set me up with his brother, a tattoo artist who lives in Los Angeles. But we were both distracted by the near-collision we had with a careless minivan. I nursed the hangover for a bit. Mostly with dozing. I listened to news coverage and had unfulfilling dialogues in my head that couldn't be spoken aloud for fear of strife. I went and got a replacement knob for the temperature control on my car's air conditioner. I have been unable to crank up the heat for several days now. With the rain and my hands that are so chilly as a rule, this was a source of great duress. And shivering people sitting in the car with me were understanding on the surface, but I feared their secret wrath and/or disappointment. I picked up my car, in exchange for six hundred filthy American dollars. Then I went to my sister's house to kill the time between then and the concert we were going to see.

I was afraid we would have a lousy no-good time. Our moods were both less than perfect. But we ended up enjoying the night immensely. I even bought her a concert t-shirt. Something she would never ordinarily do for herself. I buy souvenirs almost as a rule. I don't know why. I figure the chance to commemorate will be fleeting. That's a surefire way to market to me. Another surefire way to market to me is to give me an opportunity to buy for someone else. Gift-giving is my bag. I would have it be Christmas every day, if it weren't for the inconvenience of city-wide store closures. And I do tire of the color scheme after a few weeks.

My mind is on many things.

It's not my sense of emptiness you fill with your desire.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:10 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 18, 2003

The worst thing about war is... it makes some of the people you love look like morons to you.

I've taken a step back from my low-grade activist stance these days. I've realized you can't convince people of anything. And what's the point of trying anyway. No one I know can keep us from bombing. No one I know is involved enough to even respond to a web site poll. I don't need to change anyone's mind. I'm reluctant to even ask anymore.

For the record, I don't think we should be attacking Iraq. I know some people will think I'm a predictable liberal know-nothing. But I probably won't run into them when they're deployed in the soon-to-be-worldwide regime change and occupation we are about to embark on. So who cares, really? And it's easy for me to be sarcastic, I know. But the truth is, my breath is wasted in queries about how war will impact us economically and whether we have employed any sort of foresight in making this decision. No one wants to have an informed discussion. If a dude is for the war, he smirks and snorts and rolls his eyes when I say why I'm not. And if a dude is against the war, the discussion we would have would consist mostly of, "Yeah, I know. I feel EXACTLY the same way."

I don't think it's unpatriotic to question aggression. I support our troops and hope that we don't lose any of them. But that doesn't mean that I think we have a leadership that is infallible. As if we could. The silencers out there seem to be plenty willing to question leadership whenever it's someone they didn't vote for. That drives me nutty.

Of course, I don't want to generalize. I'm sure there are plenty of reasonable, informed folk out there who like to FORM an opinion rather than assume or accept one. But they never seem to be nearby when I'm watching the television.

Much of the broadcast journalism on the air in this country is an insult to the collective intellect. So, by the way, is Cher's lipsynching.

posted by Mary Forrest at 7:27 PM | Back to Monoblog

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I must be wasted.

I'm actually laughing at a rerun of Jay Leno. Apparently, drinking a lot of wine turns me into Kevin Eubanks. Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Some of the wine I drank was green, even.

posted by Mary Forrest at 2:26 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 17, 2003

How far will one girl go to avoid stepping in a puddle?

I continue to declare my love for the rain. Even when the gutters are pregnant with it, swollen up and overflowing. Even when I have to yank my jeans up over my knees to avoid getting them dunked. Even when it brings difficulty. When else will I ever have cause to do that little dance of duck and cover. When my jeans are wet with the rain, I'm especially grateful for a warm pair of socks.

Last night, I got to hover in several of my different worlds. I realized that I am grateful to have so many disparate circles of friends. And I noticed that I am not always happy when I realize it's time to go home.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:59 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 15, 2003

"This was unexpected."

Do you ever go to a place you've not been in years and realize you had a completely inaccurate recollection of what it was like? You go back to a place you remember going. You even remember the circumstances of the last time. What sort of day it was. Who you were with. Interesting little details about what went on. And then you go back, and the place is half the size you thought it was. Not because you were a child when you were last there. It was only three or four years ago. And it was light out the last time, but not so light that spatial perception is altered. It's so distracting when that happens. You get so caught up in how different it is from how you remembered it that you forget to pay attention to why you've come back. And the only new memory that is ever made is the one of your realizing the incorrectness of the first one.

I am against missing chances for the making of memories. Maybe that's why I feel so dashed when plans don't work out or when the evening ends earlier than expected.

I think I have been a bit cruel to myself this past week. I hope it won't happen again.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:35 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 14, 2003

Don't knock today.

It's already been a twenty-hour day for me. But they have been mostly wonderful hours, filled with things for which I can pat myself on the back, or -- more importantly -- things about which I can scribble in my journal, probably in a self-congratulatory tone. My only complaint is that I'm not finished. I'm never finished. I never get to shut down and brush my hands together in an "I'm finished" gesture and do something else. It's all become this endless, linear thing with no demarcation whatever. My younger sister told me about the Lost Boys of the Sudan today. And I suppose I have less right to complain about a seemingly endless journey than they do. But I can only speak from this frame of reference I have. And from where I sit, I need a lengthy vacation. But such things aren't written in my book. I am forced to get my vacation feeling from trips to Whole Foods. There are a lot of things with foreign-sounding names there. If I hang out in the cheese section long enough, I can pretend I'm in France. It even smells funny.

Here's my vow to smell the cheese in France. Perhaps not before the year is out. But certainly before they stop selling cheese there.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:03 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 13, 2003

"We'll jump, and we'll see. That's life."

In the past couple of days, I have been nearly hit by cars more times than usual. Even as a pedestrian. Well, I was running, but I assure you, I don't clock in anywhere near light speed, so I should have been readily visible to that creep in the white truck who nearly flattened me and then glared at me as if my being on the sidewalk was a statement of my hatred of my country.

I've also noticed that the cars that almost hit me in my car are almost always being captained by someone holding a cell phone to their ear. Can it be? Are the activists right? Is legislation necessary? But I wonder if they can legislate the absolute remorselessness that sets in after the near-miss. That's what gets me. Hit my car. Fine. But don't give me that look. Maybe it's that sudden flash of adrenalized embarrassment that causes people to freeze up and become jerks when they've nearly caused you harm. But that's not how I was raised. And, no matter how much I would prefer to rise above it all, I'm realizing that it's difficult to maintain an air of politeness when someone is being rude to you. Rudeness is infectious. And it has a tiny little incubation period.

Thursday is the day when the gardeners come and use heavy equipment to mow the 6 x 6 patch of lawn behind my bedroom window. Thursday mornings, I'm often tickled by a compulsion to pave over that 6 x 6 patch of lawn.

You never know what's coming. That's the beauty of it. Even when you've got yourself a solid plan. Even if it's spiral bound with a nice, thick cover. Chuck it. You never know. You can't. There's inclement weather that will have a go at your bathing costume. And sunshine that will heat up your galoshes. If I could ever just learn to try and not know, I would probably be better for it. For now, I always leave room in my handbag for a small umbrella. And a camera.

posted by Mary Forrest at 11:52 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 10, 2003

There's more than a bunch of big teeth in Jimmy Carter's mouth...

...there's also wisdom and eloquence that comes at a crucial time. See for yourself.

posted by Mary Forrest at 9:59 PM | Back to Monoblog

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"I'm so tall, can't get over me."

Among the search terms used to call up my web site this past month were the following:

"pork mary forrest"
"36-25-36 filipino"
"red light district"
"eternal punishment"
"a poem of the mahabharata"

My interest in this is purely scientific.

I check my email often. And I'm beginning to notice my self-esteem being affected by the contents of my inbox. When a slew of emails with subject lines like "Gingivitis? Bleeding gums? Gum disease?" or "Don't keep psoriasis a secret!" show up, I ask myself whether a friend anonymously added me to some list in the hopes of alerting me to a problem I need to take care of. Or what about the ones that ask if I'm a homeowner? No, I'm not actually. Do I really have to feel like I'm not financially successful enough to read this piece of unsolicited email advertising just because I don't meet that criterion? I've also noticed there are new deceptive tactics being employed by email advertisers. I keep getting emails from actual food items. The sender field will read "Red Beans and Rice" or "Lobster Bisque," which causes me to feel tempted to open the emails. What might "Pear Custard Tart" have to say to me today? Is "Turkey Tetrazini" concerned about whether we will go to war? Have I said or done something to offend "Chicken Pot Pie?" I'm so reluctant to get tricked into opening an email I don't want to read, I have actually discarded electronic gift certificates sent to me by friends. There's a baby/bath water analogy in there somewhere.

The past few days were tip top. And The Fifth Element is playing on TV, so today continues the ruling trend. I feel lucky. As if I am the keeper of a wonderful secret.

Part of that secret -- the not-so-wonderful part -- is that I just hit my head really hard again. This time on the mantel, as I was reaching for a log for the fire. There is a purplish bruise beginning to form on my forehead. Someday, science will determine that -- had it not been for this most recent bump to the braincase -- I would have discovered a replacement for fossil fuel. It's a good thing for the Middle East that I'm as clumsy as I am. That was a close one. For them.


posted by Mary Forrest at 6:07 PM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 9, 2003

"Sometimes, accident happens."

I went to see Ex-Girl at The Casbah tonight. I loved them. They made me long for Japan. So I said hello to them afterwards and bought their merch and reminisced a bit about the good old days in Kanagawa Prefecture. I was a different girl back then.

Apparently, the wig-bedecked ladies have a new drummer playing for them now. She ruled. They all did. Japan teaches us the importance of packaging. And theatrics. And showmanship. And white platform boots. Bless it for that.


Some facts I learned today were of that shifty variety where you're not sure whether to be flattered or dismayed. I experience that a lot. I'm beginning to lean towards shunning the grey areas. Draw me a line, someone. Please.

I want everything to last forever. And instead, nothing does. Maybe this is what's wrongest with me.


posted by Mary Forrest at 4:02 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 7, 2003

Border Crossings, Real and Imagined

It takes more than stripes of paint to make a zebra of a donkey. So many other truths can be lifted from the grimy surface of a day trip to Mexico. What a rich trove of semiotic treasures lies just over yonder, past the trash river and just to the right of the soul of the place where the bad smell originates. You've also got to be exceedingly clever and sharp-minded and focused to be able to carry on a conversation or attempt an anecdote. Just as you're getting to the climax of your sentence, you'll have to pause to tell the mariachi band that you don't want a song just now or to regretfully decline the urging of the silver jewelry salesperson who is certain he has something you will like. One frank entrepreneur called out as I passed, "I need your money!" And I thought that was a refreshingly honest description of the transaction that would have ensued. He needs my money. In exchange, he will give me a colorful pile of crap. Or braid my hair for me.

But what then? What if you follow your tequila-rimmed excursion with a trip to the Asian market? Now, that's what I call adventuresome. A sort of ethno-bending escapade into that special place where -- whatever the language they're speaking -- they're able to read the markings on your cash currency. And that's all the reading they need. Asian markets are also disarmingly smelly. And there is a curious lot of yucky-sounding, isn't-that-actually-garbage foodstuffs being sold in your choice of fresh or frozen packaging. Many of these items have the required nutritional disclosures affixed to their outsides, but if you look closely you'll see the ingredients list says, "You don't want to know, sailor." So very little of this is true. I hope Asian marketeers aren't discouraged by my gibes. I'm known to buy cartloads of curiosities of the edible variety, and I'm not sorry anyone knows it.

My brain is all a-scatter. How far can a girl get on ninety minutes of sleep?

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:32 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 6, 2003

"Did they laugh at me when I won the gold championship?"

The fact that my day is just ending is testament to the sort of day it's been. It was full of laughing and frowning and driving and singing along and firsts of a few sorts. And, having long since crossed into the realm of tomorrow, it's my mother's birthday. Hip hip, and all that other business.

If I'm able to get any sleep at all now, it will be a wonder.

posted by Mary Forrest at 6:24 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 5, 2003

What's so fat about Tuesday?

I can't tell why it feels to have been such a long day. I was tired. But too antsy to rest. And I found my obligations to be more time-consuming than I had anticipated. But I didn't stretch and strain so very much.

Mardi Gras last year involved Chinese New Year (the blasted lunar calendar confuses me to crumbles), celebrity sightings, a seedy strip joint, nearly getting lost in Silverlake, and finding my way home late after much dimly-lit activity. It went from red lantern to sotto voce. And that's a fine spectrum to traverse. Was it even Mardi Gras today? Does it all just seem phony and dumb the further you get from the French Quarter? Will Ash Wednesday be celebrated with as much aplomb? I will look for ashen crosses on the foreheads of folks tomorrow. I'll wager I won't see many. Another Mardi Gras passed. Another nameless Tuesday, but this time with a name.

It's not the best plan to live in the past. But if you can keep your past sorted out with postcard-style snapshots of the memorable moments, I don't consider that a bad thing. And if you can recall vividly those moments when you were tender and shy and nervous and anxious, you should. I try to. If you can string together the lantern-lit flashes and turn your recollection into a lifetime's worth of first kisses and carnival cotton candy and sand between your toes and raised glasses, you should. I'm certain of it.

I'm not living in the past tonight. I'm living in the moment between then and later. It's both after and almost. But not quite now. It's like seeing everything you ever wanted, neatly packed into a cellophane package. So perfect it would almost seem a shame to tear the wrapping and let it all tumble out. It's that rare sort of pause. Wanting to wait. Wanting to freeze and stand utterly still and not breathe for a moment.

We can sleep all of our worries away
'Cause tomorrow, today will be yesterday.

Lullaby. And good night.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:37 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 2, 2003

Sun kissed. Freckle splattered.

It was the most beautiful day. The very most beautiful possible day. The sky was perfectly clear and the shade of blue that is probably a crayon. But only if you get the boxes of 64 or more. I never had those. And today, I've learned, they come with metallic colors as well as the luxurious built-in sharpening device. That makes me feel cranky and underprivileged. But I digress.

It was picnic weather. And the marathon had the streets nearby closed off, so I could stroll out across what is usually a treacherously busy thoroughfare and take stock of the runners and walkers and stragglers and policefolk. And then have lunch. Sometimes I wish I had a pool to sit beside. Or even a David Hockney painting.

The boardwalk at Venice Beach is good for a stroll. The canals are pretty. Ducks let you walk right up to them. The parking is hard to come by, pricy when you get it. Sometimes it feels as if all the world is a street fair, and the old lady at the shaved ice stand overdoes it with the syrup.

There is this theory that every time you go to sleep, it's like dying and you wake into a rebirth. If it's true, I died early today. And was reborn an hour or two later, in time to take stock of the extra freckles on my cheeks and the pinkness on the tip of my nose. There are days when I wish I never had to go home. And there are days when I wish I never had to be anywhere else.

posted by Mary Forrest at 11:06 PM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 1, 2003

Learning to laugh in a room on your own

Mottled sky. Windblown me. Tired and small and drawn to the indoors where books beckon and the posture of night can be assumed at any hour. Today was like traveling in secret. Like sneaking about. Like looking for something but forgetting it at the same time. I can taste the sun on my tongue. Feel the tingle of a breeze in my hair. I catch myself longing for it to be easy and trying to keep from wanting what I don't need. With one hand raised, I bear the sky upward. And it is heavier than one might think. I travel perpetually, but I never manage to go anywhere.


posted by Mary Forrest at 6:11 PM | Back to Monoblog

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Payment of Lip Service

There is something incredibly dreary about always feeling the same.

posted by Mary Forrest at 4:21 AM | Back to Monoblog

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