Archive | Past Matters

That Stranger Called My Life

I just saw an old lover on the street. He didn’t see me (or pretended he didn’t) but I got a good eyeful. We were together off and on for four years and I hadn’t seen him in two. Recently he turned fifty, so he’s been on my mind though our connection is too dangerous to ignite with a polite phone call or card. We live in the same neighborhood so it’s a wonder we don’t run into each other. I often think spirit is protecting us by ensuring this doesn’t happen; we caused each other a lot of pain–more than the pleasure we gave each other, even. I watched him talk to someone–a friend, it looked like, but not a close one. Maybe a colleague. I watched him clasp his big hand on that man’s shoulder, then make his way down the street in the opposite direction from where I was standing. My old lover seemed smaller and bigger, blurrier and more filled in. It was a shock to see him alive at all–still human, not just an animation of my many memories. Continue Reading →

And the Portions Are So Small

I’m still laughing about a cinema club talk I gave recently. We were screening a dour Polish biopic that I couldn’t entirely endorse but didn’t want to bad-mouth since our attendees had paid good money and gotten up really early. It turned out they were not into it either, a fact made abundantly clear.

The way things usually go: We screen the film, I give a 15-minute talk, and then we open up the discussion to a question and answer period, during which everyone tells me the film was great and my interpretation supersmart. (I preen, I tell you; all hail the unbeloved child.) This time, they were just plain pissed. While I was talking, everyone kept screaming SPEAK UP YOU TALK TOO SOFTLY WE CAN’T HEAR YOU’RE MUMBLING. Continue Reading →

OJ Simpson and the Dual Realities of Our Land

I spent the day at Metrograph rewatching OJ Simpson: Made in America in its entirety. Once again I found it stunning in its meticulously layered breakdown of how media, race, gender, violence, money, and injustice intersect in OJ’s rise and fall, in the history of the LAPD, and in the precarious construct of fame.

It’s shocking to realize it’s been more than two decades since all this occurred. I remember crushing out on OJ when I was a little girl; he was so damn fast, so fine, so fly. And those dimples! Also so damn funny in the Naked Gun movies (an echo you saw o shit when he infamously hamhanded the gloves in his double murder trial.) I remember crying at my kitchen table when the Rodney King verdict was delivered, crying again when LA burned afterward. I remember watching that white Bronco slide slo-mo down LA freeways with Julian and Michael (our 20something love triangle temporarily on hold while the 12 hours of this drama juicily eclipsed our own), and I remember the news suddenly being ALL OJ ALL THE WAY for the next year. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy