April 17th, 2002

Roman

last night

email I sent to Elaine:

Tonight starts a planet show. The five brightest planets will be visible at about dusk, next to the sun. They will form a row off at an angle. An astronomer on public radio told us to go look this morning. No need for telescopes, just look to the west. That is, if Vegas lights don't obscure everything in the sky.

Last night I went to a movie sponsored by HopeDance, a kind of "alternative living" magazine here. The movie was "Blood Makes the Grass Grow". It is an hour-long documentary, produced, it looked like (from the credits whizzing by), in Canada, about conscientious objectors from the Gulf War. It consists of a few shots up front of horrific bombing results in Kuwait (bodies essentially melted), then interviews with several COs, men and women. Tracking how they got into the service (in this case, Marines) and how they came to change during their time there, resulting in their filing for CO status. Some of them actually achieved the CO status, others were imprisoned as cowards or deserters, some were granted the CO status after imprisonment, most were dishonorably discharged. And of course they faced the wrath of their fellow soldiers and officers, as well as townspeople in their home towns. Following the movie, a CO who never was granted that status because he was "too political" spoke for about an hour, mostly answering questions. He was two weeks from discharge after serving four years in the Philippines, Japan, and elsewhere, and all that he had learned while on duty seemed to accumulate and reach its boiling point when he was called for active service in Kuwait. He wouldn't go.

It was gratifying that I was there in a rather large crowd (the Palm's largest theater, almost full) of people who mostly feel as I do. I get so lonely sometimes. There was one ex-marine who came as a favor to his friend and who spoke about how the marines treated him right, didn't deceive him, he hated being there in the Gulf, he hated being part of it, but he did his duty. He was a little tightly wound but expressed himself all right. The speaker thanked him for coming, said most would not want to discuss these issues. Otherwise, the theater seemed full of vocal opponents to war. I get so two-minded about this. It is easy to scoff at the corporations and the government and laugh derisively, but somehow that didn't make me feel good. I am so hurt by what I now know, more than I used to know, it makes me sick. I am trying to find some kind of way to deal with it. I have thought of articles I might write but they are so all over the map. I don't know yet how to bring them in.

I didn't recognize anyone there. I do think I will go to other showings by HopeDance, particularly on war. They rent out the Palm theater about twice a month for these things and charge $8 (only $3 for high school students). They also have a dinner at Big Sky at five, ahead of the movie, and I may want to get there if I can one of these times.

I talked to Mary on my cell phone last night, on the way to the film. Somehow it seemed easier to talk to her on such a portable thing that, somehow seems like a part of me. She was on her way out, too, so we'll talk again tonight.
  • Current Mood
    discontent discontent
Roman

My life as a collection of wonderful moments

I spend a lot of time in here complaining, bitching, whining, and it may appear that I go through this world with a snarl on my face. But I don't.

The wind is blowing today and it feels wonderful. For lunch I went to Quizno's, had my usual veggie sandwich, no avo, no dressing, then on to Starbucks for a latte. I read at each step.

I am well into "My Life as a Man" by Philip Roth, and finding it more than a surprise. I am delighted by the twists it takes, the thoughtfulness, the edging on past the easy comedy it could have been. It is awakening thoughts in me, getting my brain in full gear and I am loving it.

When I stepped up to the counter, the genuinely friendly young man behind the Starbucks counter told me I look nice today. When my latte was ready, he grabbed it and brought it to me so I wouldn't have to rise up from my total immersion in my book. How nice this was.

I walked past the storefront windows to my car after, noticing my reflection. I haven't gotten over who I am now, the changes in my body. Long ago, when I was a teen, I loved the feel of fresh spring wind brushing against new clothes. I imagined myself different, was able to suspend reality just for a little while and think myself thin and beautiful and my image desirable. I kid you not, it's possible one could think this of me now. Aged beauty, to be sure, but what is really more beautiful?

Do I sound vain? If so, maybe it's about time.
  • Current Mood
    good good
Roman

and then there are the other moments

I did Tracie tonight, using lighter weights for some of the exercises. My lower back hurt going in and didn't get any better. My nose started running. I wasn't feeling all that strong. But I was glad I did it. I hope this is the start of the climb back, and that it doesn't take long.
  • Current Mood
    recumbent recumbent