Changing of the Guard

About a year ago, if you’d asked me if I’m a guarded person, I’d have told you absolutely not. I write books and scripts that usually come out of some story from my life. I write quite publicly about my life online, for Pete’s sake. Clearly I don’t have a problem talking about myself. But I don’t write about everything here, and in the last month I learned quite a bit about my guard. Mostly I learned what happens when it goes down, even just a little bit. Continue reading

Toad the Wet Sprocket: Pale

Song: “Torn

If you had walked into my bedroom any night of my high school years, there was a 85% chance you were going to hear this album playing. I would often turn it on to mask the fact that I was on the phone, hiding under the covers, in the dark. The opening notes of this song still remind me of staring at the ceiling of my bedroom, tears in my eyes, my fingers tangled in phone cord, as I yearned to be wherever it was the person holding the other end of the line was standing.

Continue reading

I Love Tele… Jet Blue

Jet Blue.

I am the last person, I’m sure, to say this, but it’s true. Jet Blue. It’s the only way to fly. This is because it picks me up in practically my backyard and drops me off in New York City and the five hours between that time it spends distracting me so much I don’t even notice I’m flying. That’s very nice. It distracts me with the little map that tells me where my plane is, how fast it’s going and how high up we are. And then it distracts me with SO MANY CHANNELS. I’ve never been so happy to have cable. Continue reading

fur and feet

I wore a new sweater today, and it shed everywhere I went. I first wore it a couple of days ago, and I thought the little grey hairs on everything I owned were due to Taylor hanging out around my bag, which he does sometimes. But today I wore it all day and it was clear — the sweater was leaving pieces of me everywhere. Continue reading

do not curb appraise

Running through my neighborhood today, I passed a sign outside a house for sale. Underneath the three signs with phone numbers and information about the realtor, there was a tiny sign dangling from the bottom, on hooks. It said:

“I’M GORGEOUS INSIDE.”

In Los Angeles, even the houses need validation. Continue reading

on the way home.

[scripty]
EXT. LOS ANGELES STREET — DAY

A YOUNG WOMAN WAITS AT THE CROSSWALK, FIDDLING WITH HER PURSE, LOST IN THOUGHT. A YOUNG, ATTRACTIVE, AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAN APPROACHES HER. HE’S HOLDING A PIECE OF PAPER AND A PENCIL, LIKE HE HAS BEEN INTERRUPTED.

MAN
I just saw you in the bookstore, and I wanted to come out here… I never do this… and I don’t mean anything by this, I just had to tell you… you are a beautiful woman.

WOMAN
Oh! Thank you.

SHE TUCKS BACK HER HAIR, LOOKS HIM OVER AND IS SURPRISED AT HOW NORMAL HE LOOKS, AS THIS NEVER HAPPENS TO HER WITH SOBER STRANGERS.

MAN
No, really. I just… I had to tell you. Just so, I don’t know why I had to tell you. But I did. I needed to. You needed to know. Not that… I don’t know.

WOMAN
Thanks.

MAN
What’s your name?

WOMAN
Pam.

SHE THINKS: SHOULD HAVE SAID “PAMELA.” SOUNDS MUCH PRETTIER. WHY DOES IT MATTER? IT DOES.

MAN
I’m Christopher.

WOMAN
Nice to meet you.

THE LIGHT TURNS GREEN. SHE STEPS ONTO THE CURB.

MAN
Uh, hey! Where are you from?

WOMAN
I live around here.

SHE DOESN’T. BUT IT SOUNDS BETTER THAN “I’M MARRIED.”

WOMAN (cont)
Have a nice day, Christopher. And thanks.

MAN
I live around here too! Maybe I’ll see you.

WOMAN
Bye.

FLASHBACK

INT. CROWDED HOLLYWOOD MOVIE THEATER — THAT MORNING

THE YOUNG WOMAN IS WATCHING A TRAILER. THE STRANGER NEXT TO HER NUDGES HER ELBOW.

STRANGER
(GESTURING TO SCREEN)
I worked on that.

WOMAN
Hey, congratulations!

THE TRAILER CHANGES TO ONE WITH A SERIOUSLY HOT BRUNETTE WOMAN TAKING OFF HER BRA. THE WOMAN NUDGES THE MAN.

WOMAN
That’s me.

THE STRANGER HOLDS UP HIS FIST FOR HER TO DAP. SHE PUNCHES IT LIGHTLY.

END OF FLASHBACK

INT. CORNER STORE – A FEW MINUTES LATER

THE CASHIER INCORRECTLY RINGS UP THE WOMAN’S PURCHASE. IT SAYS $0.71.

WOMAN
I’ll take it!

CASHIER
Oh, ha-ha! I see you have the money, though.

THEY STARE AT THE CASH IN HER HAND.

WOMAN
Looks like I do.

MAN
Tell you what. You keep coming here, and if you ever don’t have enough, I’ll give it to you for seventy-one cents.

WOMAN
Oh.

MAN
I’m serious. Today you have the money, but you might not tomorrow. And that’s when you can just take it. For you. Just promise to come back and see me again.

WOMAN
Well, thank you.

WOMAN WALKS BACK TO HER CAR WONDERING, “WHAT THE HELL? THIS STUFF NEVER HAPPENS TO ME. MARRIAGE SURE DOES MAKE YOU ATTRACTIVE TO OTHER PEOPLE. EITHER THAT, OR I MUST REMEMBER TO WEAR THIS HOT PINK TANK TOP EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.”
[/scripty]

Thanks, But No Thanks.

I’ve never been good at accepting a compliment. I cannot explain the part of me that needs to negate the compliment. I always want to make it even, by knocking down whatever it was they just praised. I wish my brain automatically returned a compliment with another compliment, but instead it freaks out and explains why whatever it is isn’t all that great in the first place.

She says: “I love those shoes.”

I say: “Thanks! They were three dollars!” Continue reading