Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Triad

He's calling me. I'm not picking up. He's not getting the hint.

***

My take home midterm essay was postponed twice, a week apart. You'd think with all that prior warning, I wouldn't have left it until 10 hours before class started. But there you have it. Instead of tip-tapping away on my crummy machine (which freezes more often than Michael Douglas's jowl line), I took a shower, gave myself a facial, watched La Femme Nikita, cooked up a gourmet meal for one, cleaned up my apartment, read a few chapters from my new book, then finally got down to business at 4 a.m. ... in between chatting on instant messenger and reading the news. I told myself I'd make it and I did after missing 98% of my class and catching the last 5 minutes of Pedro Almodovar's Matador:

"Now, is that unbelievably ugly lady supposed to be a man or is she just ugly?"

Apparently, she's just ugly; that face is real. Think a Jenny Craigafied swamp troll with football shoulders. Now picture that and a whole lot of talk about orgasms and losing one's virginity while zonked out from sleeping pills.

It's the principle of it all!

***

Anne Bancroft died. I remember religiously watching Alfonso Cuaron's adaptation of Great Expectations. I remember the way she drew on her beauty mark, her face magnified to frightening proportions in the mirror. And the way her makeup sank deep into her facial creases, ghostly pale and hungry for life. And the beautiful way she lost her mind on the staircase as she apologized in vain to Finn. I remember humming the tune to Besame Mucho as if to reassure my romantic affections while placating the growing animosity that comes with pubescent disappointment. I remember being a child of 12 and lying in bed, eyes closed, fingers crossed, hoping that one day, I'd be part of the literati, that I'd have an ambitious (and slightly scruffy) young man after my own heart and he'd have an unspeakable need to whisk me away from my frisky fiance and I'd say yes to his offer to dance right there in the Chinese restaurant and he'd put his hand on the small of my back and guide me out the door and into the rain and aggressively press his lips against mine as if not doing so would result in the destruction of our bodies and he'd take me by the hand and trace the outline of my breast through my wickedly-drenched Donna Karan emerald green sheath before ... the obligatory mechanics set in.

I was 12! Nothing looked better than a good subtle seduction unless it involved William Hurt hurling a chair through Kathleen Turner's double French doors in Body Heat. That scene trumps everything made since. Nobody pulls off sexual ambivalence like old husky voice.

Now, as a newly minted 19-year-old, fantasies like that just get me down: who'd have thought holding hands would be so ... blech? What is the attraction of this gesture? (I might even write a post on the perils of handholding; it's just that unappealing.)

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