Posted by: jt | January 2, 2009

take off your shoes and socks and run you

I’ll try to remember to water the plants. I will.

I just finished watching Stranger Than Fiction and this post probably won’t consist of much more than a series of abstract thoughts. Come inside my head for a moment.

I like the way my fingernail feels tracing the side of my nose. It’s blunt and sharp at the same time and colder than it should be. Why are my fingers so cold?

Northwest finally delivered my second bag – exactly a week, to the hour, from when I left the airport. I wondered if I should tip the deliveryman, but I didn’t actually believe he’d show up and was so surprised when he did I didn’t think about it until it was too late. That, of all things, will haunt me.

After I met him at the door, I turned around and saw that one of the plants – one that I set my purse beside every evening and pick it up from every morning – is turning yellow and dying from lack of water. I looked around in horror with the realization that all of the plants are dying from thirst.  I hurried to fill the watering can but couldn’t find it. As I looked, I realized I was walking in time – almost dancing – around the house to the beat of the continuous loop of music at the menu screen for Stranger Than Fiction.

I found the watering can and had it half full before I realized I was running straight hot water that would scald the plants. I switched to straight cold and wondered if that would be too chilling. By the time the can was full, I had to pee, so I left it in the sink and dashed to the bathroom. It’s still in the sink. I sat down on the couch before I remembered I was mid-water.

The phrase “forget her head if it wasn’t attached” rolls through mine quite frequently. It’s funny, no one’s ever said that about me, but it feels so appropriate.

I wonder what else I’m missing – what else is right in front of me, like the dying plants. I wonder if it’s somehow incredibly important; a key to my existence and fulfillment. But then, what if missing it is the key.

Sometimes it worries me that I might forget something really important, like those horror stories about people leaving babies in bathtubs. Is that real, or just on television?

I love that Dustin Hoffman jumps into the pool looking normal and natural, not some Hollywood-svelte version of himself. I love the way his bare foot twitched in rapid-fire movement, changed patterns, and then reverted to the original speed.

I need to get the soundtrack to this movie. It’s perfect.


Water the plants, Jennifer. Water the plants.

I love that we do have movies, mass pop culture things, that make us think, like I Heart Huckabees and Lost in Translation. Sure, they’re rare, but we have them. We do have art, this modern art, amidst all the crap. It’s hard to remember sometimes that every era is full of crap and it’s just the good stuff that survives.

Sort of.

Last night I picked this up at the grocery store, standing the frozen foods aisle, pissed that they didn’t have Amy’s Organics samosas. I stood in the middle of the aisle glaring at the cases of processed food and absently started spinning a wire rack with movies. I almost picked up Sense and Sensibility, trying to remember if I actually own it, or if I just watched it a million times through Netflix. Instead, I opted for something new.

And you got this.

Water the plants, Jennifer.  Water the plants.

The end of the movie is like one big gratitude list. Love it. Love it.

I’ve had the music from the menu screen playing for the last 45 minutes or so – ever since the movie ended, the Northwest guy brought my bag, I ran for the watering can and got distracted here. Sometimes I wonder if I could ever live with someone, really live with someone, because things like that would drive them crazy. I would drive them crazy.

But maybe in a good way.


Update: Maybe I don’t need the soundtrack since it doesn’t include this (at the very end of the credits). I miss singing in a capella groups. Hm.


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