Monday, November 14, 2005

Husbands and Wives

A cold shower in mid-November is a different thing from a cold shower in mid-August. The coldness was more than I was expecting, more than I thought I could handle since it made even my hand that I tested out the water with, cold. So instead, I stood just outside the tub and tried to wash my hair by leaning my head over the tub. I caught myself letting out screams but could do nothing about them. It felt good, letting these things out.

The cold water occasionally hitting my back, the terror it induced was enough to erase the stress that I had been feeling earlier this morning over nothings. What also helped was the maturbation session before attempting to shower. I lied on my bed soaked in rays of sunlight, felt the sun on my skin, watched these two flies circle around each other up and down through the air sketching little DNA spirals, came all over my chest and wiped it up with a towel.

Three other things that help, helped, are helping: this cigarette, this second cup of coffee, this old Aimee Mann CD. And there are all these things that hold pleasure, and there are things are body holds that can be released to enable pleasure, and you've got take what you can get, let go of what you can.

At Daniel's brown party, drunk and in love with words, hearing myself talk and talk to strangers about life, Woody Allen and watersports, talking like I sometimes like to write, hearing myself riffing on all these things, performing my best, trying to impress, intrigue boys whose clothes I wanted to see on the messy floor of my bedroom, I found myself talking to so many people, starting out usually by asking them what their favorite Woody Allen movie was. A litmus test that's easy to pass. Only one person, one of my crushes, failed. Josh of the saucer cup brown eyes said that he didn't like Woody Allen. This is only the second person I have ever known who has said such a thing. I am really convinced that there is something subhuman about people who do not like Allen movies, that they are underdeveloped human beings.

Not that I needed to forgive him for this or look past it since he barely looks at me and has no interest in me, but he still has the ability to make me giddy just looking at that brown hair, those big eyes. But a common response to this question by other crushes, probably the most common, aside from Annie Hall, of course, was Husband and Wives, and so it was that one that I picked up at Videology yesterday. And it is amazing that some bands have trouble compiling a decent Greatest Hits album after numerous albums, that they are incapable of assembling even fifteen works, three minutes in length that are worthy of being remembered, and yet, Woody Allen, I have now seen probably twenty-plus movies of his, much longer than three minutes and they are all so amazing, that this is a mind constantly at work, and while he may rework the same themes over and over again, the insights he is able to provide doing so never tire.

I am really in love with good opening paragraphs. One I still remember clearly is the opening to The Fortress of Solitude. I still pick up that book from time to time just to read those first few paragraphs and marvel at how perfect they are. This is from years spent working at bookstores and libraries and picking up book after book and reading the first few lines, bored at work, picking up this one, reading that paragraph, looking for meaning, hidden advice, Ouija board, Ouija board, would you help me?, because I still do feel so horribly lonely. A couple years ago, I picked up Rabbit, Run and really loved the opening lines and made a mental note to eventually get around to reading the lines that followed those, the book. Yesterday I got the book and reread those first few lines, vaguely remembered them, thought slightly less of them than the memory I held of them, and even did a little mental editing of the lines. Excised three of the words, changed the tense of one word, and thought to myself how much better the sentences flowed sans those three words. These are Updike's opening lines, and since you know, he was won a Pulitzer and all, I won't edit them:

"Boys are playing basketball around a telephone pole with a backboard bolted to it. Legs, shouts. The scrape and snap of Keds on loose alley pebbles seems to catapult their voices high into the moist March air blue above the wires."

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