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Sunday, February 09, 2003

The mean reds

Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of my favorite books and least favorite movies. It's the sadness of the story, the yearning for security and safety and home, that tugs at me - the lost little girl stealing her way through life, the lonely bartender who sees beauty in her fierce struggle, the writer left observing her. The writer who wants to be a part of the story -- her story -- but is forever stuck outside, an observer. In the end, all he can do is preserve the memory of her. All he can do is hope.

And the mean reds. The sense of being trapped, lost, furious because of that lack of control. When Holly gets a case of the mean reds, she flees to Tiffany's. But what do the rest of us do?

Everyone has a thing. We dance, we write angry poetry, we cry, we scream. We curl up in bed and wait for dawn.

I do all of these things. But sometimes, it isn't enough.

Every six months or so, I buy a box of semi-permanent red hair dye. I buy it and I put it in my bathroom and I ignore it for a long long time, until a day comes when I just don't fit into my own skin, when I feel wrong all over.

Today came and it was a wasted day. I tried to do things and be a human being, but ended up in front of the TV with the laptop, burning CDs and backing up my hard drive. When I started sobbing during the Leelee-Sobieski-is-not-a-real-goth movie, I knew something was wrong.

But eventually I remembered my little box, on the high shelf of my bathroom, ready and waiting.

And I did this:

I think I'm a bit more orange than I'd like. It's pretty goddamn red.

The real issues I'm having -- whatever they are -- will emerge eventually. Meanwhile, I'll go to bed and reread Breakfast at Tiffany's and not think about how the movie ruined everything.

Even if the song was pretty.

I'm feeling much more red now - but a lot less mean.

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