August 2008


Overcast day. Even Jaunty looked a little downtrodden. I got to the parking lot a little late so I was one of the last to board the bus. We had a reunion of sorts with both Jaunty and Nazi Guy on the bus today. He still has the same scary hair cut–and wind blazer! I dozed off about 10 minutes into the bus ride and woke up as we were entering the city. Since I’ve seen the movie Fried Green Tomatoes about 100 time I thought it was about time I read the book on which it was based: Fried Green Tomatoes and the Whistle Stop Cafe. So I borrowed a copy from the library and I read it on the metro and the bus (until I fall asleep). Its very different from the movie but it is still very good! The characters are a little darker, especially Evelyn Couch, and there are more characters in the book. There are more subplots and themes in the book also.

To think, prior to this, I just thought of Fannie Flagg (the author) as the actress who played a secretary on The New Dick Van Dyke Show and a perennial guest on The Match Game. Who knew she had all this talent as a writer?

Somebody cut in front of our bus downtown and we were almost in an accident. I thought we had been but I guess the bus driver stopped in the nic of time. When the bus stops like that everyone is jolted forward but luckily nobody was hurt. My forehead landed on the cushioned seat in front of me.

Since I’ve been setting my hair at night and no longer wear the floppy hat in the mornings and I think folks don’t recognize me and are concluding I’m a new bus rider. I think this because they smile and say hello. You’d think the glasses and back pack would be a give away though.

Last night both Jaunty and well-groomed were on the bus but they didn’t sit together. Maybe they had a lovers spat.

Today on my drive to the bus stop, they were discussing German wines on my classical music station. Here’s a few adjectives they threw around: sweet yet nutty, crisp yet soft, simple yet provocative, AYE YI YI YI YI!! How about this: facist, but with a dash of democracy!

On the bus I listened to Crosby, Stills and Nash on my IPOD and nodded off as visions of white and orange tie-dyed elephant bell bottoms danced in my head.

Last night I woke up at 3:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep so I watched this movie The Dead Girl on cable. The movie revolved around the finding of a dead body of a young prostitute and how this intersects and intertwines the lives of seven unrelated women. I only watched three of the first five segments, two of which stood out for me. The first story involves an unhappy woman named Arden (played by the fabulous Toni Collette) who’s whole life consists of caring for her verbally abusive, invalid mother. She discovers the body of “the dead girl” and calls the police. This attracts attention and brings her some local notoriety much to the chagrin of her mother who rightly assumes if given the chance Arden will fly the coop. Arden accepts a date with Rudy, a man obsessed with serial killers. As she is preparing for her date her mother calls to her demanding help. Once Arden’s mother sees she’s preparing to go out she lets it rip with a slew of staccato, venomous insults (like the sounds of bullets being fired by a machine gun). Arden his built up a small arsenal of courage from the attention she’s been getting since she found the body and uses this to pack her bags and leave her mother for good. She goes out on a date with Rudy and partakes in abusive sex. The next morning Arden calls the authorities to alert them that her invalid mother has no guardian and presumably flies the coop with Rudy. I thought this story was building up well but the abusive sex with Rudy kind of threw me. She goes from one abusive situation to another and the other liberates her? Go figure.

Another story involves the long suffering wife Ruth (MaryBeth Hurt, who I’ve always liked), a middle aged woman, who is married to Carl. Carl disappears for days on end leaving Ruth to cope with his storage unit business and cook and clean around the house and do his laundry. Ruth balks and warns Carl and anyone who’ll listen that she won’t put up with this much longer. Carl leaves one evening to “go for a drive” and the next day two young men come by and want to rent some storage space. Ruth takes them to a storage unit that’s listed as empty and finds a chest of drawers full of bloody, ripped womens clothing, some drivers licenses that belong to young women and other artifacts. Ruth recognizes the name on one of the drivers licenses and goes home and checks an old newspaper and finds it matches the name of a young woman listed as being a possible victim of an as yet found serial killer. Ruth puts all of these items in a plastic bag and goes to a police station but doesn’t report what she’s found. Instead, She goes home and burns all of the evidence. Carl returns and Ruth, sitting in the living room in a flannel nightgown and watching TV gets up and heats him some supper. So now I’m left to think what? Is Ruth so desperate that she feels any man, even a serial killer, is better than none OR does she feel this knowledge will give her an edge in controlling Carl OR is she just paralyzed by fear?

While I was pondering all of these questions I dozed off again and didn’t wake up until the alarm went off.

An interview with Mary Beth Hurt about the film