Me, Braff, and Zappa

I enjoy the movie Garden State. So much. I love the movie Garden State. I’m sorry if that changes your opinion of me. I promise I’m still the same girl it’s just that I think I get sad in the wrong way. I get sad in the way that men get sad because my body produces too much testosterone. Which is true I have a DISEASE. So fuck you for making fun of me for having so much hair on my chin. Yeah! Fuck you!

“We’re gonna do Shirley Temple, but I wanna start with Frank Zappa.” 

This is something my writing professor said in class this morning. He told us about how Shirley Temple was expecting to be the ambassador to the new Czech Republic, as she had been the ambassador to Czechoslovakia, but the president Vaclav Havel chose Frank Zappa instead.

I feel like a supervillain because I was totally rooting for Zappa. I feel like one of them. I had no sympathy for Shirley Temple at all. He said that once the transfer of title had been set in motion, the press confronted Temple in the Czech airport and she burst into tears then subsequently left the country in sorrowful disarray. In my head I laughed in her face. “Take that Temple!” 

I love Frank Zappa. I love anyone who understands how totally fucking metal clarinets are. I love the implications of his ambassadorship. That the purest tie to American culture Vaclav Havel could think of is a man who’s kids are called Ahmet, Dweezil, Moon Unit, and Diva. Because exactly! Because of course! But I wonder what kind of person I am. Why I can’t rejoice in the rise of Zappa without spitting in Shirley Temple’s eye. 

Rock and roll comes quick. It’s cruel and slick and unforgiving. The rise of one thing must mean the fall of another. Always or, never and. Celebration comes with violence. It’s all the same. 

A guy in Joe in the Juice asks his friend if she visited Nino in Paris and she responds that Nino died. and he lived in Bologna anyway. “I remember the stories he’d tell about Uncle Frank and my dad,” he says. She chews her club sandwich, licks her lips, and replies “and theyd all be rolling laughing! All the men!” They talk about Andrew and Frankie and Dave. Curly hair and gold chains and “those glasses that they wear.” Their accents sound like Judaism and Queens. At one point the man starts to whisper and I worry that he’s somehow clocked that I’ve been listening. He hasn’t. He asks about Mike. Mike and his townhouse. 

Everyone in this city is so tough until the subway stops moving. “Come on, please don’t do this. Move the train. Come on.” He was one of those men who thinks that the only thing strong enough to defeat him is God. The kind of guy who puts himself to sleep at night by imagining a world ending meteor plummeting towards earth until he intercepts it like a pigskin. “You ladies alright?” He says, to the entire human race. Really though all it took was a five minute MTA delay to get him to literally start begging. 

Maybe I understand girlhood only by experience and it’s really boyhood that I might understand by nature. I don’t know if I want to be a cowboy or if I want to be a cowgirl or if I want to be a cow. 

I once chose to be a cow during the Lee Strasberg animal exercise and my teacher said it was too safe and she wanted me to pick a new animal. Something that growls, she said. So I did. And my friend, the pigeon, tripped over her feet and bit her tongue running away from me, the tiger.