"I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves." Ludwig Wittgenstein

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Advice to Strangers

A 'disaster' of a boyfriend, a mother who had committed suicide when Lola was just a girl, a father who, back in Boston, defended corporate criminals, and who believed money was love, in fact better than love---how could Lola ever hope to give advice to others about love, life and relationships? She tugged at the Wal-Mart, faux diamond bracelet that Richard had given her, as she worried herself into a mood as empty and abandoned as a junkyard refrigerator. Who did she think she was, writing an advice column at LA 29? She felt like an impostor.

Of course, Lola's failures, her 'train wrecks' and imperfections were not really the professional liabilities that she feared they were. On the contrary, these were the very things that perfectly prepared Lola to give advice to strangers, the very qualities that made her an actress that could reach the emotional depths that, sadly, Hollywood rarely needed.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Out of Left Field

"Left field, left field!" he shouted. Richard then bolted upright from his dream, a feeling of terror splashing over him like a bath of icy Gatorade. He'd dreamed that he'd been playing baseball with Lola, just popping up some hits, so she could catch them. He kept on hitting them, but Lola failed to catch a single one. He realized now that in his dream, he'd been so intent on hitting flies that could be caught by Lola---a woman who hated baseball, and who said that she hated any game that required donning gloves--that he hadn't noticed that no one was in left field. In fact, Richard had been so intent on trying to get a game going with Lola, that he failed to notice she had abandoned the field entirely, while he remained struggling at home plate, futilely hitting hundreds of shiny white balls into a baseball-littered empty field.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gradual Cooling

Richard suddenly awakened. He hadn’t been dreaming, just a blank sleep, from which he abruptly arose, as if he had been electrocuted. He looked at the clock—3:00AM-- and after his initial shock began to subside, settled into a resigned bout of half-wakefulness, which he knew would last at least an hour, before he would submerge again into the dark blankness of a full sleep.

His mind turned to thoughts of Lola, but not as you might imagine a man might think in the early morning hours about his lover, but rather, he began to worry, to brood, about how Lola never called him. Then he thought ‘She never invites me over to her house anymore; I have to invite myself.” His anxiousness deepened as he further agonized, ‘She rarely kisses me anymore, either.’

Richard began to fear if, in fact, there wasn’t something “wrong” between he and Lola, or if he was just irrationally imagining some change in the ‘temperature’ of their relationship, a gradual cooling which he feared was really more than a mere cooling, more like an un-recognized chilling in their formerly searing love?

Lola’s Poison Pill

Richard was speeding his way to the emergency room to visit Lola. He hoped it wasn't too late. Lola had ingested a handful of M&Ms, which she had earlier mistaken for sleeping pills. Richard knew that she wasn't in any real danger---after all there aren't many medically documented cases of M&M overdoses, except perhaps for a few cases among 6th graders in the San Fernando Valley, where everything is just a little twisted. But Richard also knew Lola's was not entirely a medical case. 'It's the thought that counts,' he thought to himself---Lola really intends to take her life, even if it is only death by very little low-dose chocolate PIXIES---the kinds all the really big stars ingest with impunity.

Read the Last Page, First

Lola read novels, backwards---not upside down, of course— but backwards, from front-to-back. This fact drove Richard crazy.

“Why do you read the ending first? ” Richard inquired, as if he was pleading a case for the preservation of Western civilization.

“So I know, of course, how things turn out in the end,” she explained in a tone that revealed her impatience at Richard’s failure to understand the self-evident benefits of her reading technique.

“But doesn’t that take all the mystery out of reading, all the pleasure?”

“Honey,” Lola explained,” reading is like our relationship: the only reason I’ve stuck around this long--which, by the way, is a lot longer than I have with others--- is because I’m curious to see how it all turns out in the end.”