Wednesday, November 03, 2010
It may have been her imagination, but Sarah noticed her hair seemed to be becoming finer, more fly-away. She also noticed that she was able to maintain muscle tone - to even look slightly ripped -- while spending almost no time at all lifting weights. The most she did any more for her upper body was to close the door to her office when she was feeling groggy after lunch, and do 10 sets of 10 pushups against the edge of her cheap and grotesquely heavy veneer-over-particle board office desk.
She always had the sense that her life was interchangeable with a Hal Hartley film. She lifted the book she had bought because it was cheaper than a 10-pound dumbbell, and it gave her nice definition in her deltoids.
As she watched her muscles flex in the mirror, she wondered if she could find the email addresses of the editors of the weighty tome she had in her hand -- the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. She would like to express her appreciation of their catholic, all-inclusive view of the world. Her leg hair was definitely thinning these days. She could go weeks without mowing her legs and they looked just fine.
For fun, and to see if her muscles bulged, she did a yoga pose -- the anjaneyasana pose -- a forward lunge with arms in the air. Whenever she did yoga, it had a very oddly familiar feeling about it, perhaps because when she was in junior high school, the warmups and cool downs after dodge ball or some other humiliating "team" (read "gang up on the weird kid") sport, were meditative yoga poses and asanas.
Yoga was a good thing.
It helped her ignore it when she was duped yet again by a too-friendly face asking her overly solicitous questions -- which she answered in good faith until somewhere along the line she realized she was being mocked, not interviewed. She was their entertainment, their sport, their way to feel still in control and on top of the world. (sigh)
If her hair really was fining, and if it were due to some odd shift in her hormone production, should she feel awkward about the change?
She liked the word "transmogrify" -- it had the convenience of meaning to change shape, but "transmogrify" also had the sound "ogre" embodied in it, which is exactly how she felt of the time these days. Perhaps she should live under a bridge. Menace billy goats who happened to clippety-clap over the bridge. The nice, ripped body would be nicer if she had someone to share it with. But, who had time?
Her favorite Hal Hartley film was Henry Fool -- about two people -- a garbage collector poet and a hack writer -- and the unexpected encomiums that result when work gets out, goes viral...
She used to care about having work go viral, but the only was she could get her youtube videos to go viral was to do reaction videos from the highest-ranked videos of the day and put in all the same tags; and then not care when all the scathing insults came through when people fell for the bait and switch. Her best viral video was a reaction video to the news of a Siberian tiger mauling a zoo patron.
Today there was Great White Shark attack in California. A surfer's entire leg was detached in a single, ghastly, scary movement of jaws and razor-sharp serrated teeth. How? Why? Let's look. A shark 20 feet long can exert a bite force of over 18,000 newtons (4,000 lbf).
In Hal Hartley's sequel to Henry Fool, the garbage collector's wife, Fay Grim, finds herself in an odd situation. The camera angles reinforce the oddness -- they incorporate "Dutch angles" -- in common terms, the camera is all catty-wonky ... it's in the wrong direction. In theory, the filmmakers had a reason for it. She could not figure it out. Don't be afraid of your geography. She went to the Dollar Tree store to load up on 5 dollar movie candy selling there for a buck a pop. Instead, she bought a gallon of Crystal Geyser water. It was all in the interest of world peace. Be free. Accept yourself. Love everyone like a brother or a sister. Keep a disciplined approach to life and your goals / personal mission (if you have one).
There were one or two scenes not shot with Dutch Angles. By that time, she was tiring of cattywonky for cattywonky's sake.
The camera shot flat, straight-on shots, nothing "dutched" with angles; nothing made dizzying with too much dolly-work. She needed to tell someone she loved him. She dialed. No answer. She texted. No answer. Same with email. Nothing.
As she descended into a slough of despond, she realized that she could be her own friend, her own companion. Spend more time in the gym. The body that emerges can be your own special friend. Does that make sense? It shouldn't. And, the fact that it does not is good. The most beautiful place on earth is 30 floors up overlooking the Caspian Sea and the "ichiri sheher" -- an old walled city and a drowned fortress, the "Maiden Tower," said to have housed a Azerbaijani variant of Rapunzel.
Then she realized she was not able to "un-Dutch" herself. All angles, all perspectives were destined to be high-angle and to not conform to those of the world. Ah. Nice. Eventually, with 20-20 hindsight, this will look to have been prescient; somehow fore-telling just what she needed to experience and to do in order to get to a place where love is love and that's all that matters.