Lost in Translation
Thank God the air conditioning in my office is busted. After three days of sauna-like conditions, I emailed the landlord who asked me to please be patient; a part had been ordered and the cavalry was on the way. Hell, I told him, I was just relieved it REALLY was broken, cause I thought maybe I was having hot flashes (and Im not even 40! I protested
though Ive been trying it on for size, and telling everyone I am, in anticipation of next months birthday, when Ill turn 39. I figure itll take me a year or so to adjust.)
He said his assumption was just that I was in a state of perpetual afterglow.
Would that it were so.
I could blame the romance breakdown in my life on so many things (namely my insignificant other)he doesnt live here; we never see each other; I have a roommate now (my mom)
But mostly I think its laziness (his and mine).
I could say we take each other for granted but that seems such an
endeavor. As if we actually devote time or thought to the process of benign neglect. We dont.
In any given week, theres at least 50 things we each have to do (which dont include the other one). And another dozen or so that we want to fit in that also dont involve each other (in his case: sports; in my case
uhhhh, probably sleep
And maybe read the new InStyle).
My mom feels guilty, thinking his absence is due to her presence, but as Ive told her, hes never here anyway.
We are not a couple that thrives on togetherness, which means Ive finally gotten what I always wanted: complete devotion to somebody who will just leave me alone.
Not only do we not see each other, we dont even talk on the phone.
Whereas even my mother checks in with my stepdad at least twice a day, and sometimes more often (which says something about the depth of their undying love in that they are willing to recklessly squander Verizon peak minutes on each other; if Id ever had any doubts about their commitment, boy, that squashed them flat).
My response to people who seem to feel the need to engage in such regular (OK, needy, if you ask me) discourse is, no one is endlessly fascinating.
Mostly I am pretty sure what he did today: he went to work. So did I.
Last Tuesday, the dog got sick. On Friday, my stepdad fixed the broken doorknob in the bathroom. OK, admittedly that was pretty exciting (cause now we dont have to push the scale in front of the door to keep it closed.) Over the weekend, I had friends in town. It rained. Sunday, my brother went back to Austin. He said, see you in 11 months, and then he hopped on his motorcycle and headed south.
Everybodys up to date.
Anything in there worth a phone call to my ol ball and chain? A conversation? Nah.
The other night I did dream that he colored his hair a really odd shade, and I didnt like it
but that was about it....
At least my brother managed to infuse some drama while he was here.
In addition to the firestorm his grocery bills ignited, he also has a way of doing deliriously oblivious things that you kinda just cant help but marvel at.
Like the night my folks sent him to the video store and he came back with Monsters Ball.
Now. Theyre big Billy Bob Thornton fans. And they think Halle Berrys attractive.
But a movie thats famed mostly for its graphic sex scenes between Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry?
Eh. Not so much.
Sure, Ive seen it. Loved it. Went out of my way to watch the European uncut DVD in fact.
But the thought of my parents watching Halle Berrys over-the-top make me feel goooooood displays of emotion is way more than I can take without cringing.
My mothers prim review was, Well, it certainly wasnt about anything.
I couldve launched a counter-critique about how it spoke movingly to themes of race, class, poverty, emotional desperation, need, familial cycles of violence, the death
but whom I kiddin? EVERYbody watched it for the sex.
Training Day was also, rather predictably, NOT a big hit with my mom.
At least she acknowledged that things did happenbut she didnt really understand themand just when she thought it HAD to get better, it KEPT getting worse.
Im not on a mission to convert; I just bring home things like Under the Tuscan Sun that I think shell like (That Diane Lane?! Now that girl is plucky. Moving halfway round the world and buying a house! If you can imagine!) Seabiscuit was another modest hit (that horse had gumption).
Earlier this week she cajoled me into Lost in Translation. (I tried to talk her into White Oleander instead, because she was kinda bored when I made her sit through The Missing, with Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones, which I had pre-screened and deemed accceptable as appropriate parental fare).
On the other hand, even though I loved Lost in Translation, and theres nothing inappropriate in it
I knew itd be a sleeper (and not in a good way).
Well whats it about? she implored, the critics really seemed to like it, yknow
Ive read some good things. Didnt it win an Oscar?
Its not ABOUT anything, I insisted. NOTHING happens. You will NOT like it. Though I threw in for good measure that Bill Murray wuz robbed at the Oscars!
So after much debate, I watched it with her.
I was right.
Though she did find Bill Murrays karaoke modestly entertaining (particularly after I played the real versions of Elvis Costellos Peace Love and Understanding and Roxy Musics More than This, to further enhance her appreciation and amusement quotient).
We did agree on one thing though. We both found Scarlett Johannson a little vapid and overrated, not to mention downright unattractive.
Though my mother pinned it better than I did when she said, Poor thing. Its her mouth. It looks like a sore horses ass.
So from now on, Ill leave the movie critiques to her. n