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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Khaela Watch. Day 1 

He called me up and told me there was something that I absolutely had to hear and did I want to go for a drive, she says. So I said, yes. And it changed my life. Well, that sounds silly, but it’s true. It’s perfect. Perfection. Do you know her? The Blow? It’s a girl. Her name starts with K and her last name is kinda funny. I couldn’t say it right, even when I was looking at it.
Do you know her?

I smile and laugh once through my nose as I am wont to do when struck by coincidence like it’s a clipboard being wielded by a "Get Out the Voter." She stares at me accusatorily – as if to say, but have you re-registered since your last change of address? We don’t know each other all that well, even though we live together, so my self-absorbed laugh is nothing short of rude. But the laugh isn’t meant that way, so I do my best to gather myself and respond.

She’s an artist in residence at PICA who’s doing a piece for TBA and who sometimes sleeps in my friend Kristan’s extra room, I say. She’s young, or at least she looks young.
I think she’s from Olympia, or maybe she’s just on K Records. It’s funny, I’ve been thinking about her a lot today. Khaela Maricich – or something like that. It has one too many "ic’s"; that’s what makes your tongue stumble. You should come with me to see her do her thing for TBA.

Her jaw drops far and fast; an exaggerated gasp of bug-eyed astonishment escapes from her lungs. It’s not disbelief in her eyes, but a fleeting recognition of the Fates’ delicate handiwork being laid out before her.

She’s performing? She says. Here? In Portland?

Yes. I say. Here. In Portland.

The toilet flushes. Or the tea kettle whistles. Or the faucet drips. Something water-related happens to break the silence. I think about the cover of the TBA schedule. I think mine’s yellow. It’s downstairs. I have no idea what she’s thinking.

So, what do you think? Is she perfection or what? She says.

I don’t know. I haven’t heard her yet, I say.

And then there’s a flicker of recognition in her eyes. One laced with a hint of embarrassment and confusion.

Oh my God! She sleeps at your friend’s? She says. Do you know her? Wait, she wasn’t the girl that was over her the other night, was she? That would suck. The house was a disaster.

No. That’s funny, but no, it wasn’t her who was over here the other night, I say. That was Adam and Nik. Supposedly I met her at Holocene, but I don’t really remember. I was too wrapped up in otherworldly ginger ale and pink yarn. I doubt she remembers meeting me, people rarely do.

Silence. Uninterrupted. At least five seconds worth.

Oh, she says.

Yeah, I say.

She’s a pop diva, she says. I love her and that EP is all I want to listen to but my friend said it doesn’t come out until October or something. He reviews albums for a paper, which is why he has it. I don’t think I can wait until the leaves change to hear her again.

Maybe my friend has an advance copy, too, I say. I’m supposed to be part of the Press Corps for TBA. Maybe she’ll let me borrow it to write a pre-show review. I swear that the description of what she’s doing for TBA had something to do with mood altering karaoke or something, but maybe that was some other performer.

Mind-altering karaoke, she says?

Something like that, I say.

She opens the door to the microwave distractedly. I look at my ink-stained fingernails and then at the blue plastic clock that is ticking away on our disheveled kitchen table.

Great, she says. We have a project. I'm going to bed.

Great, I say. A project. Good night.

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