Apr 30, 2002

Making Friends and Splashes and Headaches

I think that Barefoot is a nice place to go at happy hour. And it's true -- they do make an excellent dirty martini. I was pleased. And sort of beginning to lose faith in the dirty martini. I've had so many undrinkable attempts lately, I began to wonder if they've always been disgusting but I was somehow unaware. Not so. I'm relieved.

A pretty girl named Ivy got my attention and asked if I had been eating at Sabor last week, and I said that I had. She loves that restaurant and goes there often, and apparently she recognized me because of my hair. I was tickled and flattered and shook her hand and introduced myself and introduced her to Sarah, who was sitting next to me. The last time I was at Barefoot, I remember thinking I was quite content with how I looked. I didn't feel exactly the same way last night, but I wasn't as far from it as I had been earlier in the day.

We ended up at the Foundation Room, flashing our extra-special membership privileges around and being treated very well. I drank too much last night. That much is clear. I awoke this morning in the 5 A.M. hour and was still drunk. And not as happy about it as I had been when it all began. The bartenders befriended us and filled our drinks with cherries. Billy Bragg was playing downstairs, and we met some amusing British fellows who were drinking sea breezes. And I'm sure I made an ass of myself in some respect. Perhaps when I was asking the guy at the door if he had two dogs. That's a long story.

I had many many dreams last night. Running from the law. Being chased by a vicious bear. Not having correct plane reservations. All sorts of nonsense. With characters from my life who are more often in my dreams than in my living room. And I woke up at one point and realized that I was crying. And the candle had burned down very low and the covers were all askew. And I wanted a drink of water.

I'm feeling terribly sentimental today. How much of it is precipitated by dreams and discussions and discoveries, I can't say. But I am feeling removed from reality and pitched into semblances of it. And I am sorry for having shed so many of my tears in private.

posted by Mary Forrest at 11:20 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 25, 2002

Secret Chinese or How I Began to Feel at Home in Tinseltown

I went to the Twin Dragon to pick up food for me and my guests tonight. When I walked in, the woman at the register was talking to one of the waiters who had just walked up. She was asking if something or someone was pretty. Once I started ordering, the manager asked -- perhaps based on my propensity to order things that weren't actually on the menu (a quintessentially Chinese thing to do) -- if I am Chinese, and I said that my mother is Chinese. He asked if I speak Chinese, and I said that i understand a little. That I was wondering what they had been talking about that was so pretty. And he laughed and told me that the woman at the register was asking the waiter if he found me to be pretty. But the waiter was confused and thought she was asking if he thought she was pretty. And the manager said how dangerous a question that is. "Answer wrong, and that could easily turn into five fingers on the face." He laughed as he said it. And I thought it the most amusing and delightful description of a slap in the face that I've ever heard.

In the end, I was encouraged to date a Chinese man. I was told that I have the qualifications to be a flight attendant, whatever that means. And I was offered a hand with the food out to my car, which I politely declined. And when I got home, I found that they had given me a free order of egg rolls. They asked my name before I left. I'm hopeful that this may be the first of a number of places where I can go and have everyone who works there know my name and be glad to see me as the Cheers theme plays in the background. The waiter at the Chinese place near my office knows I almost always order the szechuan shredded pork. He rolled me to my mother on that topic when we ate there together. But he doesn't know my name. And perhaps he never will.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:45 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 24, 2002

"Tell me, where is the shepherd for this lost lamb?"

The clouds are grey and gold and silver-lined against a fairly blue sky. And the late day sun sits behind it all. It's like the way the sky looks in inspirational pictures where the sky is supposed to be god or something. Isn't that strange? That those pictures want us to believe god is the sky. Or that he's a cloud formation. Or that his voice is sunlight creeping through the clouds above the ocean or a mountain range? And isn't it strange that I feel compelled to go back and capitalize a whole bunch of words now? Like should I have capitalized "god" or "voice" or "he" or "mountain?" I guess I have this notion that capitalization probably isn't enough to pacify god anyway. If god gets upset about how much respect gets paid him, chances are that being mindful of capitalizing pronouns isn't going to cut the mustard.

And what is this business of cutting mustard, while we're on the topic? Do I really need to go back and study the blueprints of any mechanism which isn't sufficient to cut through mustard? Unless we're talking about stone ground mustard here. Because I guess I can see that. That's a rough substance.

I don't know what the sky tells me today. And I'm no sailor, so I suppose it isn't important. I always carry an umbrella. And my shoes keep me well out of puddles for the most part. It's probably silly of me to think that the sky is any sort of personal messenger anyhow. There's very little in nature that is designed to tell me anything. That much is clear. Trees are fun for climbing, but it never feels good to have sand in your pants, and water is seldom as clean as you'd like it to be.

What the devil am I talking about? Yes, I can see how you might ask that.



posted by Mary Forrest at 7:07 PM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 23, 2002

Separation of Church and Mouse

Okay. I just turned the television on and caught the tail end of a vintage episode of The Mickey Mouse Club. Jimmie was leaning on the bottom half of a fictitious barn door under the rustically lettered heading "Mouse Clubouse," telling the moral of a story that had just concluded -- I think it was an episode of "Annette" -- and using the biblical story of Jesus rescuing the adulteress from certain doom with the utterance, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." Jimmie went on to say that we should apply this to our daily lives and the world would be a better place with more love in it and something to that effect.

So, I was surprised by this. I didn't realize that Christianity was ever part of the Disney strategy. But I suppose I can see where the twain should meet.

In any case, we can all learn an important lesson from this, even if it is a guy in a mouse-eared hat telling it to us: Don't throw rocks at loose women. Mickey Mouse doesn't want you to. Even if your tribal laws permit you to and the woman is the foulest temptress you've ever seen. Mickey Mouse came to this earth so that you might be freed from the old laws. Mickey Mouse wants you to have a fuller and richer life, culminating in a reward of eternity with him. In Disneyland, I guess.

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


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     Apr 22, 2002

"I'm just out to find the better part of me."

I went running on Saturday morning, and I managed to fall flat on my face before I'd cleared the first block. I caught the tip of my running shoe on a bit of uneven sidewalk and went through that slow motion ballet of gawkish flailing that can only really be experienced in that split second that feels like minutes and minutes. All at once, I felt both my pelvic bones hit the pavement, I smacked my knee very hard, and I worried that I had broken my MP3 player. I did not break my MP3 player. Nor did I break any skin, save for a tiny patch on one of my palms. And I did not injure myself severely enough to justify not completing my run. So I picked myself up, brushed the bits of grass and dirt off my pants and finished my run like a champ.

There's a moment when you're falling when you're sure that you're not. You sense yourself losing hold of the ground. Or it of you. But you reach for those invisible handholds that you can't quite find or grasp. It doesn't seem possible that you will lose control. You're certain it's only a matter of will. You can will yourself not to fall. You can choose to maintain your composure and dignity. You can choose to remain erect and upright. That makes it all the more disappointing when you fail to keep it together. It's as if you let yourself down. By not wanting it enough.

When I hit the ground, I made a sound that was sort of an "ungh" and couldn't tell if I was more embarrassed or physically startled. I'm sure I made quite a spectacle for the passengers in cars driving by. I ended up falling in such a way that my hands were stretched far out in front of me. I recall thinking that I could put my feet between my body and the ground. I tried to catch them up under me. But they never managed to find the firmament. So, maybe for a moment there I was actually flying. That's one way of looking at it.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:52 PM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 18, 2002

"How often would you say you eat meat snacks?"

I am indecisive. When someone asks me my favorite color or my favorite song or my favorite anything, I panic, realizing that I don't have any idea how to answer such questions. I like all sorts of things. I guess I'd be able to say what my favorite song from late 1983 was, for instance. Wait. No. Still a tie there. Matthew Wilder's Break My Stride and Duran Duran's Union of the Snake both equally rocked my world, as I recall. Okay, so I MIGHT be able to give you a straight answer if the query created a very very specific and narrow category. But in most cases, I just have too many things that I like, and I can't make up my mind. I have to create parameters. I have to answer like this: "Well, I guess if I was stranded on a desert island and could only listen to one song for the rest of time, it might be something by John Lennon. Woman, maybe. Or Imagine."

I really admire people who have clarity. "What's your favorite color?" I might ask. To which they would say, "Green." No disclaimers. No footnotes. Just a straight answer. But then there's me. "I think green might be my favorite color. I certainly buy a lot of it. But I really like blue, too. And don't forget red." It goes on like that. Endlessly. Don't ever send me one of those forwarded questionnaires in an attempt to get to know me better. You'll never get a straight answer out of me.

When I was a bit younger, I used to find myself making lists a lot. I would write to friends in faraway places and tell them what music I liked these days. It would end up being some twenty-item list that included three albums from the same artist. Probably The Smiths. Could any of my friends have possibly found this interesting? Was I just posturing? Do I actually have tastes of my own? I guess I do. I just lack the ability to commit. I don't want to alienate the Burl Ives-lovers of the world with my cries of how great Mitch Miller is. I don't want to drive pie-eaters to tears with my insistence that ice cream is the superior dessert confection. I want to be friends with everyone. And I welcome the influence of a new opinion.

I do have the ability to feel strongly about things. But I think I tend to do it in secret. Or on a web page.

posted by Mary Forrest at 2:01 PM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 16, 2002

A good deed

It wasn't tonight, but Nick Swardson made me laugh on a night when I was feeling low.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:14 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 15, 2002

April Come She Will

Today was a hard day. A long day. A day with very little in the way of reward. I feel beaten down and kicked in the teeth by today. And I am ever so anxious for it to be today no longer. Fortunately, time is on my side.

posted by Mary Forrest at 11:59 PM | Back to Monoblog


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One breath at a time

This weekend, I was looking for something to wear, and I found a couple of things that got packed when I last moved and never found their way back into circulation. They were things I used to wear to bed. I could distinctly smell that bed scent in them. That warm, sweet smell that is me through and through. I got very sad for a second. That sort of sadness that comes from the immediacy of a nostalgic interlude. It passes. Thankfully. I got sad thinking about where I used to live and the bed I used to sleep in. Where the lamps were and how warm it used to get in the summer. How a long shower would fill the room with a sultry, steamy something. How candles used to cast their glow and flicker against the walls as I slept. I don't think I miss that place, but I do miss that time. As I have missed every time that has gone before. Missing it because it just darts past me, never giving me a moment to stop and reflect or to feel it or to notice it happening.

I was mentioning this quotation to a friend recently: "Happiness isn't something you experience; it's something you remember." It was said by Oscar Levant, who wasn't necessarily known to be a philosopher, but was certainly known to say things worth remembering. Isn't this true? That you seldom have cause or the chance to realize that you are happy in the span of a moment. But later, when you measure it, when you categorize it in your own history, it bears that ranking and you yearn for it, if it felt like happiness when you took stock of it. I know this was true for me. As a child, I moved around a lot. And, as was often the case with children like me, I usually despised the place I was living until I moved away. At which time I came to see it as an idyllic stage on which the glorious dreams of my childhood were played out. I remembered each place for what was good. I forgave what wasn't so good. And I forgot to consider this formula in my criticism of the setting of my now. I never told myself, "Enjoy it, Mary. You're going to miss this place when you move far away. You're going to wish you could have all of this back." And yet it always managed to be the case. So, maybe it makes sense that I feel a sort of softness about that old apartment. Even though I often thought it was the worst possible place. I am remembering who I was there. And I am able to be fond of that time because it is a part of me. Then and now.

I think there is a component to living that requires you to stretch out experiences in retrospect. Moments you can relive again and again. Sensations that can be recalled in the most peculiar and profound way. When someone touches my hand or my hair, I can go right back to that feeling. I can replay it in my mind and my body plays along. And when I swallow a great gust of some familiar scent, I am transported in the most captivating fashion.

This weekend, I was taken by it unawares. And I wasn't prepared for it. Afraid I might suddenly sense my knees going weak under the massive weight of the passing of time. Who am I now? Who was I then?

When my father used to come and visit me in the house I once rented from my parents, he had a room that was just his. His clothes were in the closet. The old bed he and my mom had shared since they were first married was in that room. And his lovely old desk with all the ornate carvings and the drawers that smelled of cedar and the candy that used to be hidden there. After my father would come for a visit, I would go into that room and just take in the scent he left behind. It would cause me to miss his physical presence. And to sort of reach for him in my head. To reach for little things -- little moments and objects that might make it seem as if he hadn't gone off so far away. Back to Europe. Back to the life he led with my mother and my younger sister in the house in which I was only ever a visitor. I think something of the essence of a person lives in his or her smell. Maybe this is just the manifestation of the simple, animal behaviors we often take for granted or disclaim altogether. Or maybe it's just me.

I have been wearing the same perfume since I turned fifteen. And underneath that perfume, there is a skin and a temperature and a musk that is entirely mine. I took off a sweater I was wearing this evening, and I pressed it to my face. It smelled very nice. Even as I thought so, I knew that one day I would remember that very moment and feel a sort of sad remembrance for the moment and for all that came after it. All that flew by before I had a chance to pin it down and make it stick. There are answers in those remembrances. Truths. Secrets. I walk back through them as a ghost. They remain still and allow me to examine them. To walk around in them and notice what I missed.

It was always warm in the afternoon in my old bedroom. The sun would make the window coverings glow a sort of buttery beige. I don't take naps often, but when I would have cause to be lying down in my bed in the afternoon, I remember noticing the light and recognizing that a day was coming to an end. Whatever else I might have known or supposed or wished, the one truth that transcended the rest of it was that you cannot hold on to anything. And that perhaps it isn't necessary to.

The days are passing. Still. But I am aware of them. And I am keeping up as best I can.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:28 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 12, 2002

"I Don't Mind, If You Forget Me."

This is something that Yoshitomo Nara said: "After all, set apart from [other people], while sometimes falling into a kind of autism, or sometimes experiencing a self-concluded happiness, if you think about what it is you are thinking about, every time you try to confirm how you feel about your feelings, such as 'Am I afraid?' or 'Am I having fun?' or 'The sky is pretty,' I believe that one finds one's way to the real past that accompanies one's experiences. When you ate some candy and thought it was sweet, if you think about where the 'sweet' came from, don't you go back to the very first experience you had as a child, to the time when you were given the word 'sweet' the first time you had that experience?"

 

I want to go back to the time when I was given the word "sweet."

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posted by Mary Forrest at 1:07 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 11, 2002

This is a stick-up.

There was a bank robbery just moments ago here in my building. Two men in ski masks came in and robbed the bank and then took off, but not before scuffling pugilistically with one of the maintenance men -- who was curiously motivated to struggle with assailants despite his apparent inability to find the time to come and fix my air conditioner.

No one was hurt. The men in blue are on the scene. Sometimes I forget that I live in a city. And then I remember.

posted by Mary Forrest at 11:31 AM | Back to Monoblog


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Soaking Up the Surface Streets

Delving. Delving. Deviling?

I'm making progress and slipping backwards. Accomplishing much and undoing much more. My home is becoming more mine each day. My self is returning. But I didn't open up in the way I wanted to. I kept reaching for things that had been put away. And facing the great coring out of things that is always on the verge of occurring. I felt my well of notions drying up, and I panicked. Tried to recapture the inspiration that coated everything only moments earlier. What is the device of my distraction? It will be my undoing. I feel as if I am readying for battle. Although I'm sure I have no idea what that's like. And movie-watching doesn't count.

I'm waiting for answers. Looking for them half-heartedly. Toying with dreams of celebration. I'm adrift. Too far from the shore to swim, and yet I can see it. And I wonder if I could get used to opening my eyes in salt water.

As if at the behest of David Byrne, I have stopped making sense.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:40 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 9, 2002

You're rubbing off on me.

Things that have been said to me recently by people who say interesting, brilliant, and/or clever things:



"I'm working like a monkey, and I'm frankly wishing the room would clean itself." ~ S.K.

"I have tons of college of friends who just hang around on the net all day and talk about how interesting and underrated they are and how they aspire to greatness. I'm thinking, 'That's great, but you know, what do you do about the fact that you're lazy?'" ~ K.L.

"If we expect those with whom we're romantically and/or sexually involved to make us feel good all the time, we won't find it easy to be faithful or compassionate. I think we would be better off thinking of romantic love as the deepest and richest kind of intimate friendship -- if we did, we'd emphasize closeness and trustworthiness rather than the unsustainable high for which we so often seem to be searching." ~ G.C.

"You know for a FACT that Beetle Bailey was one of the main reasons you got together with him in the first place. To even suggest that Beetle Bailey might later say that you were never meant to be together makes no sense and you know it." ~ A.C.

"And what's with all the people in tiny boats? Where are they going? Losers." ~ A.M.


I am privileged to have many, many smart and witty people in my life.

posted by Mary Forrest at 5:23 PM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 8, 2002

"Hail, Knight of the Woeful Countenance."

Jo came to see my show on Friday night. And then we met for breakfast the next morning at the Waffle Spot. Then we shopped a little and had a coffee and found an excuse to buy shoes. I scurried home for a nap. Then it was time to head north for Bernadette Peters' dazzling performance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Then it was time to drive home. Then there was daylight savings time to be dealt with. And running to be not shirked. And lunch to be made. And shopping errands to finish up. And a laborious drive back up to my proper home. And all the clocks in the house to reset. And a mirror to hang. And unpacking to do. And a program to watch. And a phone call or two to have.

If I just lay all the events out on the table, it seems like plenty happened. But somehow, I leave this weekend feeling -- as I often do -- that not enough was accomplished and not enough time remains. From Friday night until now, I only slept about nine hours. Why should I feel concern that I am lazy or lacking in industry? Even on the days when I have something to show for the time, I sniff at it and wish it might be something more. Dissatisfaction courses through me like the fuel it is. The catalyst of my ambition and my accomplishment. I am always looking forward, because I am always hoping for more. I am always reaching, because I covet what lies just beyond my grasp.

I have everything and nothing to prove. And many more windmills to fight.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:58 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 6, 2002

The rain in Spain falls mainly in my brain.

The rain came all of a sudden tonight. In the aftermath of a pretty good show and as a predecessor to a fun late night out of shenanigans and the like. Then the rain came again, enough for me to unsheath the leopard print umbrella and worry for the state of my suede pants.

Other people seem to connect more deeply than I at times. I catch myself envying it. I am usually open to the depth of meaningful interaction, but I feel alien and outside of it. I feel like I'm the one person sitting at the foot of the Christmas tree who didn't get a present, and everyone else is jubilantly caught up in opening their gifts and showing them off and fawning over them. And I don't want anyone to make a fuss, so I just sit still and silent and tell myself that I didn't really want a gift anyway. No one knows what I want. I'll just buy something for myself. Oh, that's a tough candy coating I wear. One could shatter it with less than the assistance of a toffee hammer.

I think it would be a step in the right direction if I didn't always have to feel such shame about the weaknesses I fall prey to. If only I could allow myself to express a desire or to come to the table with a need. If only I could allow myself to ask. But even those who promise to be there for me when things get harrowing never expect me to hand over my claim check. And I sense my own reluctance to gauge that disappointment -- that look of inconvenience that comes over a face when I say, "You see, it's just that I've been feeling this way..."

I have no idea what I want.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:01 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 5, 2002

Biochemistry and the Single Girl

Sometimes I can't tell whether I'm excited to be alive or just suffering from the effects of too much caffeine and too little sleep. There's more supporting documentation for the latter case, and I'm a scientist at heart, so...


posted by Mary Forrest at 2:34 PM | Back to Monoblog


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Proper use of the possessive

I've got the world on a string.

Unfortunately, the string is made of some very shabby material and has managed to splinter apart, causing the world to go hurtling out of my control, killing an unwed mother and injuring two proprietors of competing nail salons in the process.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:08 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 4, 2002

"Who Will Notice When You Die?"

I was reading this article in an issue of Mosquito. This is the opening paragraph:

Three weeks before Christmas 1993, Wolfgang Dircks died while watching television. Neighbours in his Berlin apartment complex hardly noticed the absence of the 43-year-old. His rent continued to be paid automatically out of his bank account. Five years later, the money ran out, and the landlord entered Dircks' apartment to inquire. He found Dircks' remains still in front of the tube. The TV guide on his lap was open to December 3, the presumed day of his death. Although the television set had burnt out, the lights on Dircks' Christmas tree were still twinkling away.

The same article contained a quote from Kierkegaard, who wrote in his journal that, though he was often the life and soul of a party, he was desperate underneath: "Wit poured from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me. But I went away...and wanted to shoot myself." I connected with that intensely. And with great empathy. I don't know if I am proud or ashamed to admit that. Loneliness is a fact of life. But sometimes it seems as if it is the only fact.

I don't know how much any of it matters. Or whether it's even possible to live a meaningful life. But I do know the sinking sensation of is-that-all-there-is. I do know that it is necessary for me to continue stringing together the highs -- concatenating the spells of glory and greatness -- laying them end to end so that I can continue moving forward. I don't always see life in terms of ebb and flow. Everything is very linear to me. Past. Present. Future. Now and what comes after. It's not a bladder, expanding and contracting but always retaining it's objectified sameness. It's a string, unrolling into a line. And there are points along the way. And there is space between the points. And when you condense it all down so that the points are right up against one another, long stretches of life turn into i-love-you-goodbye. What of it all will stand out when I get further down the road? For a girl who remembers nearly everything, what will I forget?

Maybe there is hope, though. When I remember me, I am usually smiling.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:44 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 3, 2002

Keep your dirty brain off me!

My officemate is playing the Ode to Joy on her computer. It's sort of a bit of heaven, once removed. They're at the "steht vor Gott" bit. I remember singing that part. It was a challenge. But being on that stage was one of the most exhilarating things I ever experienced. And I carry the sense memory of it with me always. Every replaying of the glorious Ninth transports me. Sets my synapses firing and my brain chemistry aflow.

I'm a bit caffeinated at the moment. And plaguing Adam with the clip-clopping of the little horses on my keyboard. And I'm wondering if it ever gets better than this. And it occurs to me that that is a very adolescent and self-involved thing to be thinking. I recall being a starry-eyed youth with plans of changing the world. I gave money to Greenpeace when I could barely afford to buy my own lunch. And I was often tempted to buy myself one of those children Sally Struthers was selling. But the world didn't change much on my watch. And then I got very busy. Now, I just fill my head with rules about how to buy good seafood and an inventory of my belongings for handy reference. I don't think there is a category for that in the Nobel Prize.

I'm cold and hot at once. But it's dark outside and I can take this up with the fates later in the evening.

Seid umschlungen, Millionen! Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!


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posted by Mary Forrest at 7:16 PM | Back to Monoblog


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No one lives forever

I am treading tenderly today. And I don't mean "today" in the sense of this rotation of the Earth. I mean "today" in the sense of the one diorama that might be used to illustrate this era in my life, if my life were an exhibit at the Museum of Man. Such a diorama might depict me wearing jeans and boots and a snappy top of some sort. And I might have a tote bag slung over one shoulder as I cross a busy street on my way to work. Or I might be taking a picture of a dimly-lit room or a very purple flower. Just exploring this page in my imagination has me straying dangerously in the direction of a Gil Elvgren painting. How ever did that young lady manage to find her panties down around her ankles as she attempted to flag down a taxi without dropping that bag of groceries with the one stalk of celery keeping watch periscope-style? How indeed.

I am treading with great tenderness today. And wondering what goes on in the world as I sit still. And loathing the very thought of sitting still for one minute longer than is necessary to sustain life or hold down a job. I am walking ahead gingerly, careful not to bruise the grass underfoot. Careful not to awaken the neighbors. Or the sleeping lions. Careful not to upset things. I am traveling in secret. It seems. While no one is looking. But what does it all mean?

I have many pretty dresses. Smart little black numbers that can be worn with a pair of high heels and a bit of jewelry. Pretty things that are so sweet to look at you'd almost expect them to smell of peaches or apples. I have many pretty dresses. But I am almost certain that my this-era diorama would show me in jeans. Expensive jeans, but jeans nonetheless. I have many pairs of pants that aren't jeans at all. Some of them even have glitter on them. Why must the Museum of Man be so committed to this notion of portraying me in the most casual of dress? Don't they want my mother to be proud? Those jerks. I'm never going there again.

I'm fond of the French dip. But I think we are fooling ourselves if we believe that the French ever eat them.

I am dismayed at the way that electronic devices have supplanted the tangible in my life. I bought myself a nice address book a few years ago. But I never write in it. I keep all of my contact information on my computer or in my cell phone. Despite the fact that I relish the thought of having things written down on paper. I do write things down on scraps of paper and shove them in my handbag for safekeeping (which often turns out to be accidental discarding). And I do have this pleasant picture in my head of a man wearing a nice suit and perhaps even a hat, and he's reaching into the inside breast pocket of his suit jacket to retrieve a piece of paper that has been folded over several times. And he's unfolding it. Then he reaches into the outer breast pocket to get his spectacles. And he puts them on, still holding the piece of paper in the hand that holds the glasses. It flutters in the air like a delicate bit of wing. Then he clears his throat and adjusts his eyes to read what is written on the paper as he straightens it out, causing that sound that paper makes when you straighten it. I have no idea what the paper says. I just have this picture in my head.

I'm the sort of friend you can call at any hour of the night. I hope the Museum of Man doesn't forget that one crucial fact.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:24 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 2, 2002

"When something hurts you, you take it out."

I am nowhere near ready to face sleep. And yet I have early demands on my brain and my body tomorrow. I suppose I shall have to pretend tired and see what comes of it. I am quite tired, actually. Just not ready to stop.

John Cleese was 24 years-old when he lost his virginity.

posted by Mary Forrest at 2:03 AM | Back to Monoblog


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Savory smells and wine in the glass

If chilean sea bass is at risk of extinction, it's because I cooked the lot of it tonight. But it was well worth it. The grand fare I prepared far outshined the value of perpetuation of a species. I'm sure of it.

I adore cooking for friends. And I love the way my home smells afterwards. I love occasions and fancy plates and candles on the table and music in the air. There is something very satisfying about catering to the sensual pleasures. I'm certain I would love having a restaurant if it weren't sure to rob me of my will to live and hurtle me headlong into bankruptcy.

Every day, I find reasons to abandon my faith in people entirely. And every day I find reasons to hold on to it. It's hard to get through the mucky times when you no longer have access to the people you used to count on to see you through even the most mundane of tribulations. Is that codependency? Is it unhealthy to take comfort and consolation in the security of unspoken support? I wonder. It seems as if the only way to escape the disappointment is to avoid relying on the steadfastness of other people. And that seems like a tragic existence to choose. I want to believe in people. I want to trust. I want to relax and know that if I let myself fall, someone will catch me. I want to settle the score.

I remember when I was a child and learned the word "comeuppance."

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posted by Mary Forrest at 12:48 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Apr 1, 2002

Haze malaise? Razmatazz?

I'm not feeling particularly well-rested or lovely today. And the rude man at the parking garage started my day off on a much-unneeded wrong foot. I'm hoping things will pick up but not entirely optimistic that they will. It's April Fool's Day. Who cares.

posted by Mary Forrest at 10:20 AM | Back to Monoblog


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