I was in 90210 again today and saw her--the immaculately groomed Prada pushpin of a couple entries ago. It was a different day of the week than the first time I saw her (weekday vs. weekend), also a different time of day, also a different area of the neighborhood. I was stopped at a red light as she crossed in front of me, sipping on her lunchtime beverage. I drew in my breath sharply and muttered to myself, "It's her!"
Again, she was magnificently turned-out, this time in a different tailored suit jacket. It was just as delightfully detailed and sculpted as the first. The only criticism I would offer was that she was wearing the same hand-painted, silk-looking shoes. I suspect they put her back several hundred dollars, so I can cut her some sartorial slack in wearing them twice within 72 hours.
So now the mystery thickens. Is she a visiting diplomat? A shopgirl in a very snooty Beverly Hills boutique? An executive assistant for a high-rolling investment banker? An investment banker herself? I would trust her with distributing my filthy lucre to various blue chip funds, based on her exquisite taste and presentation. Speaking of investments, now I'm invested in finding out more about her. Perhaps she was sent from the future to give me a message. I hope I'm enlighted soon.
In accordance with one of my New Year's resolutions, I've been reading more. Here are a couple of my favorite passages from my most recent literary acquisitions.
An excerpt from Joan Didion's novel entitled Play It As It Lays:
Two or three times a day she walked in and out of all the hotels on the Strip and several downtown. She began to crave the physical flash of walking in and out of places, the temperature shock, the hot wind blowing outside, the heavy frigid air inside. She thought about nothing. Her mind was a blank tape, imprinted daily with snatches of things overheard, fragments of dealers' patter, the beginnings of jokes and odd lines of song lyrics. When she finally lay down nights in the purple room she would play back the day's tape, a girl singing into a microphone and fat man dropping a glass, cards fanned on a table and a dealer's rake in closeup and woman in slacks crying and the opaque blue eyes of the guard at some baccarat table. A child in the harsh light of a crosswalk on the Strip. A sign on Fremont Street. A light blinking. In her half sleep the point was ten, the jackpot was on eighteen, the only man that could ever reach her was the son of a preacher man, someone was down sixty, someone was up, Daddy wants a popper and she rode a painted pony let the spinning wheel spin.
As I read more of Jonathan Ames' confessional, neurotic, hilarious personal tales, I'm becoming a bigger and bigger fan of his. In fact, I'm nearly engorged. Outside of his near-constant onanistic thoughts, he and I seem to have a lot in common when it comes to how we translate the world (i.e., inner monologue). It's very comforting. And flattering. And, OK, a little worrying.
An excerpt from Jonathan Ames' collection of essays entitled What's Not to Love?":
I looked out the window; the Midwest was very dark and my thoughts were dark--I try to create literature and I'm sent anonymous bras. I moved the conversation off of writing.
"I feel very Jewish out here, away from New York City," I said. "It's a good thing I left my yarmulke back home."
"I don't mean to frighten you," he said apologetically, "but the town next to the school has a big headquarters for the KKK."
"That's all right, I belong to a Jewish terrorist group. These people really don't scare me."
"Really? The JDL?" He was naive and decent.
"Oh, no, it's called the Oy, Oy, Oy. We infiltrate organizations like the KKK and the neo-Nazis with an undercover, subversive agent--a worrier. Notice the similarity to the word warrior. And this worrier then transmits profound anxiety and insecurity into these groups, destroying their confidence, Yiddifying them, and making them less prone to violence."
He was a good sport and laughed, though I was a little concerned about wasting such material on him.