a required taste for the pretentious as all get out





May 30, 2002, 10:17 p.m.

"Do you think James Dean is in heaven?"

"I think James Dean is heaven. Where have all the James Deans of the world gone? Why aren't boys like that anymore? Rebels with decent qualities to them..."

"Because they're all trying to be James Dean."

Natalie left this morning. Off to Iowa for a sweet radio gig, hosting some afternoon zoo (1630 KCJJ). I'm going to miss her terribly, even though I was convinced she and I would never be friends.

Natalie is one of those girls that any female who weighs more than 130 lbs. and is not gorgeous automatically hates. She walks into a room and immediately takes it over; seducing with a wink and the flare of her hips every single male in the place. When she's not dancing more scandalously than anything Britney Spears can dish out, she's singing: a throaty, vibrating voice that puts any pop superstar to shame. She's flirty, she's ostentacious, she's a diva, through and through. And she's smart.

The girl reads a crazy amount of books of sound literary merit. Her favorite author is Steinbeck. We argue over him all the time (I can't stand Steinbeck). We have conversations that last hours: on the legitimacy of Lucius in Julius Caesar being Brutus' lover (why ELSE would he have him hold the 'sword'? Hmmm?); on the drama of September 11th; on the plot of "Vanilla Sky"...can anyone tell me what the hell happened in this film? Anyone? She's a much harder worker than I'll ever pretend to be. To say the least, Natalie surprised the hell out of me.

She likes friends that challenge her. I've always wondered what she's seen in me: I live vicariously through her comings and goings, through her bar hookups and naughty rompings, through her Mr. Wrong Rights and Mr. Right Wrongs...I don't know what I've contributed to our friendship besides watching in bewildered awe as Nat regaled tales of things I've only heard about in movies or tv...stories that, if I were her, would be commonplace to me.

In truth, she is larger than life. Which is why, as we sat awkwardly in her living room, chain smoking our last two cigarettes together for a long while, she seemed so small and huggable. I teared up, proclaimed that we weren't doing "this", and held her. Told her good luck and that I loved her. I'll see her again this summer, because I have to visit. I need my dose of diva. Most of all, I need to see someone whose friendship I value so highly because I never thought it could happen.

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