AK and I really needed a break, so we decided to take a quick trip to San Diego this weekend. Then we decided we needed a break from labor-intensive breaks, so we canceled it at the last minute. Who says I’m not capable of spontaneity?
That’s how we found ourselves, Sunday night, at Griffith Park watching the Independent Shakespeare Company perform a play not by Shakespeare (that’s how independent they are, I guess). It was called She Stoops to Conquer, an eighteenth-century farce by Oliver Goldsmith about a young woman trying to determine whether her betrothed is a tongue-tied goof or a lecherous Casanova. He has a rep for being the former with society ladies and the latter with barmaids.
|These cousins have to pretend they're in love. Of course!|
The play was a little long, as you can imagine a two-and-a-half-hour episode of Three’s Company might be, but well acted, with glam rock touches on the period costumes and a lot of genuine LOLs.
A group of three girls sat on a picnic blanket in front of us, dressed in high-waisted shorts and floral crop tops. I.e., the clothes of the early nineties, which I wore in high school, now worn by college students.
Alberto poured white wine for our little group and said, “Looking at them, I think, This is totally the kind of thing I did when I was in college in New York. But then I remember, Wait, I’m doing this now. Here.”
“Nostalgia is weird,” I agreed.
2. love is a dangerous yet well trod angel
I tried to describe what it had been like, on Saturday, to reread parts of Weetzie Bat, a YA book I fell in love with in middle school and again in college. Like the Little House books, Song of Solomon and Rent, it was instrumental in shaping how I write and how I view the world. It’s a sort of urban fairy tale about a pixie-like punk chick and her boyfriend and her bff and her bff’s boyfriend and their magical life in the Hollywood Hills. I can see now how it’s a snapshot of late-eighties punk culture with a touch of New Age culture, but at the time it just seemed saturated with magic.
|First edition of Weetzie.|
Now, sitting on my bedroom floor and organizing AK’s bookshelf (because now that I no longer have cancer as an excuse, even my weekly cleaning seems like it should be above-and-beyond), sentences like “She massaged My Secret Agent Lover Man’s pale, clenched back with aloe vera oil and pikake lotion” seem kind of comical. Less subculture-y and more Whole Foods-y than I remembered, although in 1989, whole foods were still a subculture.
Or this one: “At Noshi, they ordered hamachi, anago, maguro, ebi, tako, kappa maki, and Kirin beer.” Why the restaurant and beer brand name-checking? This is a text from a time when my references were different, and when the cycle of subculture-to-mainstream-appropriation was just slightly slower and looser.
But other passages still sparkle with their vivid, chaotic lists: “And so, Witch Baby stayed on in the house…eating up all of Duck’s Fig Newtons, and using Dirk’s Aqua Net, and insisting on being in My Secret Agent Lover Man’s movies, and dressing up in Weetzie’s clothes, and pulling heads off Barbie dolls and sticking them on the TV antenna and ruining the reception.”
When the sun set in Griffith Park, the coyotes came out. They yipped in packs just beyond the abandoned animal cages of the Old Zoo. They sounded too close and crazy and human to be real, but they were.