Monday, October 31, 2005

All Hallows' Eve

After school, after a visit with Necker. Swimmerette's going down the stairs and I'm sort of floating down in front of her. "You practically had his head in your boob!" says she.

Err. There's a pause, unnoticed by anybody else in the stairwell. "What boob?" I say.

"...That's what I was about to say!" protests Swimmerette.

Now, there's a fashion that should could come back. I have so many reasons to love Gwen Stefani. But tonight, my wings are happily intertwined and I'm another generation's rebel. I wear makeup, I roll down my stockings, I dance. Were there any need, I would flatten my chest. I'm a flapper, and it's my very favorite holiday.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Guitar lessons yesterday afternoon, the first time in three weeks and third time in three months. I wait on a stool, guitar and purse and notebook around me, wondering why the screamy emo music being played in the shop is so bad.

The girl who's always had her lessons before me - why do these people not change? - leaves and I head in. My teacher, Dave, who doesn't scare me as much as he used to, asks the other teacher, whose name is also Dave, what his music is. The band's called Degenerate Hometown Heroes, or Degraded Hometown Heroes, or Desperate Hometown Hereos, something like that.

"Hmm. I don't really like it," I say.

"Well. That makes two of us," says my Dave, as he closes the door to the lesson room.

"You know, I really hate the word hometown." Hometown sounds like Homer Simpson and homie and hick. "You know there's that convenience store over there called Hometown Pantry, like oh that's going to give me so many cute memories of my hometown and make me shop there?"

We work on going from a G chord to a D chord. We play scales in several hard-to-reach places scales should not have to be played. Dave has fun actually playing something while I play that D chord as backup a billon more times. I say something about how nice it is to feel like you're hitting the wrong strings and have the right sounds appear anyway. Dave fits in a couple of starry-eyed mini lectures about how, for the greatest players, "there are no wrong notes".

I have a feeling I'm just overestimating how often I'm screwing up, but I do have this teeny mental glipse of what it might be like to be good at guitar. Ha ha ha.

Lesson over, I'm packing up. There's a ripped-down note on the beat-up piano that says, "Back in 5 min". But Dave has sloppy handwriting, and I read out loud, "'Beckinstin'? - Oh, no. 'Back in 5 min'."

"Beckinstin...," says Dave in his teacher-who-thinks-his-students-are-loons mutter.

"That'd make a cool band name."

"It would."

"Better than - better than -" I've totally lost it. I'm hitting all the wrong vocal cords. I can't stop laughing to get the words out. Apparently I manage some sound resembling "hometown", becuase Dave starts laughing too.

We leave the lesson room, and "the Goth boy who forgot to bring shampoo when he joined Vampire Academy last millennium" is waiting. "Ooo, I love how both our jeans are written on." Mine have stars and hearts in green and blue, his have lots of words in red and black. Goth boy actually cracks a smile at that and I walk out, keeling laughing, trying to explain to my mother why, exactly, this is quite so funny.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Quilted Cinderella

Suppose you were in my shoes. The shoes at the relevant moment are actually G's hot pink ones. They're comfortable for high-heeled sandals, but if you were in my shoes you'd know that "comfortable for high-heeled sandals" is not really all that comfortable.

You wouldn't mind, though, because no fewer than five Fairy Godmothers helped you get where you are right now. Bouncy A for convincing you to come, Brittany for the dress, G for the shoes and sweater, Laurel for the makeup, Swimmerette for general support. You feel a bit quilted, but you can see yourself in the threads and that makes you almost a different girl. Not too shabby for having been dressed in baggy jeans and your old gym shirt this morning.

Suppose you were standing in my shoes. You'd be standing in a hallway. It's a dark hallway, the walls crunchy with reams of black paper and iced with fake spiderweb. The school looks a lot different like this, playfully grand in the same way as the Disney palace, but it has the same corners and the same tile. You would be thinking distractedly about a certain person, a person who doesn't expect you to be where you are. Just then, that particular person would walk into that hallway. Also, Swimmerette would be holding your head so that all you can do is stare at this person.

Well, I suppose I could have closed my eyes. Good evening, Prince Necker. I may have no idea what that strange look you are giving me means - do I look like a slut? pleased to see me? or dreading me? am I cracked or is it my glass slippers? - but I am about ready to slap Swimmerette.

Suppose you were in my shoes some time later. They're the same shoes, but they're a lot more uncomfortable now, because you are walking halfway around the school and you are really cold. The hour is such that if you really were Cinderella, your shoes would be about ready to give up and turn back into carpet slippers. The only person you danced with is Brittany, and the only person you kissed is Swimmerette. But Necker's sister does no longer seems to you to be quite so hypnotized, and you re-met an old friend you haven't seen since Super Bowl night 2000.

Despite that people have been telling you how cute you and Necker ("You know, he does have a pretty long neck... What's his real name again, Anna?") look and how you ought to be dancing, and despite the fact that your pumpkin coach still hasn't shown up, there's been enough magic in this night to carry on for days.

Deep in another dream,
Thinking about you
Feels like the final scene,
Thinking about you
Save it for a little while,
Thinking about you
Time for another smile,
I’ve been thinking about you

- Ivy, "Thinking About You"

Saturday, October 22, 2005

All Dressed Up

It's Anna. It's Saturday. Anna is... going out on a Saturday!?

Before two o'clock, Bouncy A calls Anna to ask if she can get a ride to homecoming. "You're going, aren't you?"

"Uh... no."

Bouncy A, quite dissapointed, proceeeds to carry on a conversation about how Anna ought to go, how Anna shouldn't be scared of Necker's sister, whether there is a large stick-beating in the Bible, whether or not she will beat with Anna with stick if Anna doesn't go, why the only dresses Anna owns are an outgrown qi-pao and an elf costume, how Necker probably doesn't hate Anna, how Bouncy will ask Necker to dance with Anna/beat him with a stick, and how Anna really just ought to go.

Three o'clockish, Brittany has repeated all of Bouncy's arguments. Three-thirtyish, and Brittany's brought Anna a whole stack of dresses that aren't outgrown qi-paos or elf costumes. Five minutes later, Anna's picked the hot pink net one with the metal loop as a clear favorite. Four o'clock, and Anna has accessorized, added a black velvet skirt underneath, and realized she owns a hot pink purse with metal loops that matches just superbly. She's also realized that her hot pink flats live in her hall locker, and that she must now choose between black heels and fishnets, black boots and kneesocks, or hot pink cowboy boots and stockings.

Four-thirtyish, and Anna is off to shower, shave her legs, make that shoe-and-sock decision, maybe dye her hair, find a black sweater, call a whole spate of people, pack up her pink purse, and actually attend homecoming.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Voyeurism Quotas Skyrocket

Ever wonder where writing comes from?

Take that last post. That was a note to Necker, orginally. The half-finished scrap is currently lying on my bedroom floor, with a lot other scraps, worksheets, shoes, and all the clothing that I wore or considered wearing during the last two weeks. Sweaters, fishnets, boots, jeans, tops, camis, various underthings. It's a garmet garden. Buy a packet of miniskirt seeds, grow the yellow-and-chartreuse one for yourself, give the violet-and-blue to your friend. Your friend crossbreeds jeans and cardigans, then picks denim jackets with little pearly buttons and knit pants with rivets.

I have found what the very worst thing about my life is. It's stress.

Anna: and, most classically, I am reacting to this by stressing out
Necker: naturally
Anna: you're like an icicle of playing-it-coolness
Necker: yup

I'm constantly stressed. I'm a electric wire with millipede feet. Late arrival? I'm tightly moored and humming along. Three tests in the afternoon? I've slithered down from my pole, kicking and sparking on the pavement.

One the very best things about Britain was even though I was under stress, I didn't feel it. Moving hotels every couple of nights, getting along with friends and roommates, writing in my journal, not being locked in fire escapes - and I was happy. Just look at that bubble picture. Can't you see it in my face? I'm gorgeous!

And you know I'm stressed when I can't even give a compliment. "G! Hey! I haven't seen you all day! You weren't - where were - on the bus - this, this - morning? And that looks - OMG I have a history test - your, your shirt's - Swimmerette!? - really - I am so scared! - where? - how'd you get? - That - that - dress, skirt, thing, it's - so far ahead of me! - it's, you know, cute! See ya!"

On the plus side, my stressing did lead me to get fifty out of fifty on that Mighty essay. That assignment was like shaving your legs for gym class: irritating, perfunctory, scarring. I can't wait until my teacher sees my poem, which I'm coming to like quite a bit: "The stanzas connect in places the rubric didn't specify? Everybody could relate to it? This needs a few revisions, honey."

Friday, October 14, 2005

Irritating, Shut Up, Tolerated

Fog is cool. The nearer you get, the more you realize that you'll never be close. Walk to where there's fog and it'll be in every space but there. Which is what they mean by "the mists of time", right? Hah, spacetime.

So it is with Necker. How am I supposed to tell if I'm tolerated, appreciated, disliked?

Do you have any idea how seldom people are right? Sometimes it's by choice. Who would honestly say you're ugly, fat, irritating, except behind your back? And sometimes it's not. I was totally the first person to Magic Marker my jeans, but damned if anybody gives me credit for it. People complain about television, video games, prejudices warping minds. Think about how the mind warps itself.

And then there's the Two Persons I Really Don't Like. The Two Persons I just want to step away from me, avoid me, be absent, all of the above. Bumbling, unfunny Persons who either like me or used to. Persons who I just want to punch, choke, shut up in a very small box, though I suffer through their advances. Persons whose eyes I won't meet. Unchain me from your pedestal, boys, dorks, eunuchs.

Boy, am I glad the Ex-Guy and I don't attend the same school anymore.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Censorship Sickens

How did Anna blow off excess romantic energy last Wednesday night?

By spending half an hour running up and down her gravel driveway in worn-out flip-flops! Y'know, how else. There's a metaphor for romance in there somewhere.

Then Anna, with all that heavy breathing, developed a sore throat that lasted for two days. She was illish the next day, and for the weekend. Just today, when things were going pretty swimmingly, she's abruptly developed both a racking cough and a severe chemistry studying block.

On the bright side, Anna could download Desperate Housewives. It's far too immoral for her parents, but she adored the episode she saw on BBC something-or-other (4, perchance?) in Britain. Wheather she'll buy it remains to be seen, but having the option is certainly nice. iTunes Music Store receipts get emailed to her, not her parents, after all. Neh neh.

Well. Better call Swimmerette and tell her the homework she missed while out sick today.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Corn Flake

You know those people who hate Columbus Day? I'd like to make an agreement with those people. I'll listen to them cluck and gripe about having the holiday; they'll let me have it. Columbus Day, like any Monday off, is awfully nice. An extra twenty-four hours for SimCity and the homework I've been neglecting in favor of it. Free time for free thought.

Unfortunately for me and my emotional well-being, thoughts keep drifting across my head like, I still need to write my film analysis... and Lord above, may I never have to read the book, because The Mighty is a terrible movie!

It is. Jump up and down on a corn flake in frustration. It's a bop-you-on-the-head-with-a-Moral-Lesson-with-a-capital-M-L, then-maybe-bop-you-again movie. Its villian is not an obvious, oblivious blockhead like a bull in a china shop, but an obvious, oblivious blockhead like a bull in a china teacup. Line after corny line thuds dead on the ground, overbalanced with cliché.

Attempted discussion leads to wide, open, blank and bland places. Gaze into the airspace over the heads of a class that won't raise its hands not because it doesn't know, but because it's waiting for someone else to care. Why, it's thinking, did we watch ten minutes of To Kill A Mockingbird and nearly two hours of this?

Now, take your choice of resolutely inflakey prompts. There's Wheaties, "Discuss three brave acts...", Bran Flakes, "State and define a universal theme...", and Raisin Bran, "Discuss three examples where a metaphor is used...". "More points will be given for less obvious situations." Can you just see the standout essays?

They hover like clouds, waiting for a tornado of gripping prose and green tea, then tear in the unorginal wind and wear ruts in my cranium when they fall like corn flake hail.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Apt Smile-Back

Spent today getting murderous blisters from my sandals and wearing G's Orange Crush t-shirt. It says "Have a crush on me" across the back, which was possibly the aptly last bit of me Necker saw of me today after promising to write me a note tomorrow. That made me smile.

Then Rasheed held shut the door I was trying to go through, tried to throw me down some concrete steps, and then did it again. "Saved your life twice!" I don't often flip people off.

Bollywood recently bought a ton of practically every type of Goldfish crackers. "Y'know, I have some in my room, some in the living room, some in the den, bag in the dining room, a bag in the kitchen... I think I even have some in my bathroom."

In Britian, Bryn's homestay family freaked out when she asked if she could snack on Goldfish. They don't have the crackers, you see.

"Everyone has an excuse to get bad grades sometimes," is what Necker said when I was being down about getting a D on the second part of my math test. It would help, I think, to stop spending quite so much of eighth period finishing off notes to him or sleeping. (And with some of the random rubbish that goes into the notes, I'm convinced I've been doing both at once.)

Unknown quotients, you must be using potions
How else could you tie my head to the sky?
This new confection has left me wondering why,
I can't concern myself with ordinary tripe

Like what's this morning's paper got to say,
And which brand of coffee to make,
This is no umbrella to take into the wind
But before we begin, is there nothing to kill this anxiety?

- The Shins, "Girl Inform Me"

P.S. Bouncy A, Sly S, anybody like that, is it at all possible I could stay with you for the weekend? Please? I don't want to go to Wisconsin! Hooray! Anna isn't going to Wisconsin after all!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

You're A Fig Newton In My Imagination

What Alexa's friend Ventriloquist really ventriloquized on our way back from Jamba Juice was, of course, "You're a figment of my imagination." Saying things without opening her mouth, we were teasing her, could result in interesting situations if she does it around the guy she likes, but who hasn't yet met her: Necker's long-haired, t-shirted friend, Dan.

Ventri, Alexa, and I have the same fourth-period lunch period and fifth-period gym class, which yesterday walked to Jamba Juice. We make a little trio of silent-sophomore fanciers: Ventri likes Dan, Alexa's rather cozy with raven guy (Greg), and there's me and...

It's spelled Zach, and he can, actually, talk. For, like, twenty minutes, including the long pauses spent apple-eating/gazing into space. He's shy, as Alexa said when she described him as "like a poor, lost puppy", and skittish, as Brittany intended to say when she described him as "skiddish". He doesn't tend to look people in the eye, he figured out my name, and he plays bass guitar. Yep. What French Boy?

Then sixth period I went and got myself hit in the face with a phosphorescent baseball. All I had was a headache, but really, I'd spent all day in such a good mood that a black eye would have been pretty funny.

Oh when I woke up tonight I said I
I'm gonna make somebody love me
I'm gonna make somebody love me
And now I know, now I know, now I know
I know that it's you
You're lucky, lucky
You're so lucky!

- Franz Ferdinand, "Do You Want To"