I was just leaving my apartment to pick up the Kozlet from school, when who should turn the corner and motor past my humble front door in her hot pink Corvette? Why, none other than the famous Angelyne, that most telling of Hollywood icons, woman of indeterminate age, famous for being famous. It reminded me that I live where I live. Also, that I have been neglecting my blog again.
I think I had started writing something about straws (or was it chickens?) when the world was literally knocked off its axis by a series of catastrophes, each worse than the last. It seemed heartless to post such fluff when every day the news was full of more accounts of terrible suffering. Then came the announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed. I was on my way home from a friend’s house when the breaking news interrupted the radio broadcast; stunned, I pulled into a Trader Joe’s parking lot to listen to a live speech by the President. To my left and right a car and a truck sat idling. By the serious, intent looks on the drivers’ faces, I supposed that they were also listening to the news. When the speech ended, the car drove away and the truck’s owner got out and went into the store. It occurred to me that in another time, we’d all have been gathered around a single radio, hearing and discussing the news together. Now that everyone has individual radios, laptops, iPhones, and all other manner of paraphernalia designed to disseminate information, we increasingly experience historical moments such as this in isolation. Maybe that is why I decided to go walk around the store even though I didn’t need anything, just to be around other people. I picked up some small item and carried it to the checkout counter. “Did you hear?” I asked the cashier. “They got Osama bin Laden.” “Oh yeah?” she replied, snapping her gum. “Do you want paper or plastic?
So much for historical moments and the human connection. Anyway, that’s ancient history by now and the newspapers are back to reporting about Lindsay Lohan, and I can go back to pondering the things people still care about, such as: why is Angelyne lurking around my place all of a sudden? I’d actually forgotten she existed – it’s been years since she had a billboard up. But that’s three times in two weeks I’ve seen her roll by within a block of my apartment building. I doubt she’s stalking me, so I can only surmise that renting all those billboards must have wiped out her bank account and she’s been forced to move into my shitty neighborhood. I wonder if I would recognize her without the tinted glass if I passed her in the aisle at Trader Joe’s?