Thursday, November 15, 2007

No One Belongs Here More Than You

"No One Belongs Here More Than You"(Simon & Schuster) is a collection of short, charming stories by writer, director Miranda July.

My normal practice when I read is to fold down, circle or highlight passages which catch my eye, move me emotionally, or contain grammatical or syntax errors. This book has most pages turned down with nothing but praise for July's writing abilities. I don't think everyone would like this book for its quirky nature, because it contains passages such as this:

“I made orange juice from concentrate and showed her the trick of squeezing the juice of one real orange into it. It removes the taste of being frozen. She marveled at this, and I laughed and said, Life is easy. What I meant was, Life is easy with you here, and when you leave, it will be hard again.”

Most people may recognize July for her role as writer, actor and director of the movie, "You and me and Everyone we know." July clearly likes to take a child's point of view about love, as demonstrated in the following line from the film:

"You poop into my butt hole and I poop into your butt hole... back and forth... forever."

Orange juice concentrate and poop have never described the great loves of my life (in fact, I never farted in front of my last boyfriend ... although I definitely was caught trying to sneak one in every once and awhile). What's endearing about July's POV from a child is that most children are very honest. Every adult carries an arsenal of adorable stories from their youth of when they were almost TOO honest with strangers, or took words from their parents too literally.

Here are a few of mine:

When I was in 6th grade and living in Connecticut I saw a movie preview on television for "Escape from LA" starring Kurt Russell. I had to call my best friend in California and tell her all about it because she was a devout Russell fan. We talked for about 3 hours long distance. My mom came home after work, asked who I was talking to, and for how long. With long distance rates being what they were pre-cell phone, she was mildly displeased with what had been going on for the last few hours. By mildly displeased I mean she yelled at me a lot, so loud even the dog left the room and cowered in the corner. She said, "Lauren, that should be on HER dime, too." I thought she meant the phone call cost her one dime, therefore I could not understand why she was so upset. I ran up to my room, took a dime from my bureau and presented it to my mother. She laughed and said, "Life is Easy" ... until your father gets home.

From a very young age, my family could NOT pull me out of the water. Going to the beach with toddler Lauren was never easy, nor relaxing for my parents. On one particular trip with my Grammie C and mother, they got tired of chasing me around in my cookie monster swim suit. My mother picked me up, set me on the beach blanket and said, "Lauren, you sit down and do not lift your butt up from this spot!" So, little by little, I inched down to the water by waddling on my butt and checking back on my Grammie C and mom nodding, laughing and rolling their eyes as I got further and further away. I never did lift my butt off the ground.