(from Wednesday night)
Sitting here at the coffee shop. Ron is across from me reading the latest Men’s Health magazine and learning how he can accentuate the parts of his physique that his girlfriend is most likely to like. We just got back from dinner at Mars – I had the Szechuan chicken.
I got an x-ray of my ankle yesterday and then saw an orthopedic specialist today. I was thinking that they’d diagnose arthritis. But now they want to do an MRI to rule out cartilage problems or scar tissue from the stress fracture two years ago. The best part was as Dr. Chuckles said goodbye and was facing the door on his way out, he remembered his customer service mandate: ‘Good to meet you.’ My guess is the MRI will reveal scar tissue or something and they’ll give me a cortisone shot periodically for the inflammation – Brigitte does that for the soles of her feet – wrecked by years of ballet.
The silverfish are back. I swear the motherfuckers know that I’m leaving and so they aren’t even waiting until the lights are off – they are making a run for it across the floor in plain daylight. I missed one of them – trying to crush it’s pestilent body with a Maxim but I didn’t get it- it has scurried under the oven to snicker and cajole with the rest of the silverfish under there. I hear them having a luau. I think maybe it might be as I pack I’m moving stuff that hasn’t been moved in a while so I’m disturbing the habitat of these wretched insects.
I’ve been slipping into overwhelm lately – but it’s gradual enough that I recognize it. I’ve spent the summer and now the fall trying to trim back my commitments and projects so I have more time to myself and to get some creative excavation going. I find myself getting into the terrible habit where I’ve committed to do something but find myself dragging my feet because it is convenient to do so. I’ve got one more web design client to phase out – I finally got Javier’s site done – thank God. That project was dragging on way too much. Javi, you’re great and talented and still my favorite Venezuelan – but we took way to long to get your site done.
I’ve felt a keen sense of hopelessness lately. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s a mood swing and I’ll be chipper in a few more days. Or as usual, if I write all of this out now – I’ll feel fine the next day.
My sister’s wedding was wonderful. I had never really had to introduce myself, ‘Hi, I’m Andy, Heather’s brother.’ That was just odd. She looked elegant in a simple white dress embroidered with beads and her beau wore a dapper olive green suit. There were about 18 people total. The ceremony was short and was highlighted by benedictions that we had all written on cards before the proceedings began. It was short but long enough for a long tear to make it’s way down my cheek. I cried at Alan and Jessi’s wedding too – I think not because I’m particularly sad about anything. It’s just there are so many struggles and conflicts in this world – life is so hard – that it is such a joyous time if you can find someone to hold on to for the rest of your life. And there are few greater blessings I could wish for my sister. She’s kicking ass in the massage therapy arena in Nashville and now she’s made the legal love plunge. The in-laws are a little subdued compared to my family – it’s not until I’m around ‘normal’ parents that I realize how colorful we all are. When you meet my family you have to expect bear hugs.
The cake rocked. It wasn’t some multi-tiered contraption that had been drying for two days – it was a two layer chocolate cake with vanilla frosting filling and thick chocolate frosting that looked like a torte’s topping but remained pliable and soft. It was really really good.
There was very little emotional chaos – just the anticipation that wracked our nerves. When you’ve got a family highlighted by generations of depression and anxiety disorders – there’s bound to be a little flopsweat. I was hoping we’d be getting Xanax during communion – but there wasn’t a communion – there was a handfasting based on the old Celtic ritual. Heather’s shawl became the ribbon for the rite and they were binded by four different energies and expectations. They even recognized the power of ‘God and Goddess’ to witness their love – and my Aunt Joyce didn’t even flinch!
Work is slow lately. That’s about all I can report for right now. I try not to talk about my dayjob much here.
I cannot wait to move. At least once an hour I think to myself that I absolutely cannot wait to be in my new place. I need to do the final packing and laundry and find more stuff to give a way. I’ve got about two and a half boxes of stuff to give away.
I spent yesterday ripping my showtunes CDs more for archival purposes than anything – I rarely ever listen to shows anymore. I’m going to see if the used CD store will buy them from me. There’s a few moments in musical theatre that I just think are truly magical. And not the usual candy-ass moments. I’m talking about extended sequences like the first 20 minutes of The Secret Garden or The who’s Tommy – telling a complete narrative without a single spoken word. There are many such moments in Into the Woods that are just heart-breaking in their sheer poetic power. I once spent time cataloging my favorite rests – pauses – in musical theatre scores. Like the one when Sweeney Todd says ‘At last! My arm is complete again!’ and the ensembles launches into a shrieking ballad of operatic revenge. Or the rest where Kim shoots Thuy and Saigon becomes Ho Chi Minh city. The pause before Hinckley shoots John F. Kennedy in Assassins. The pause before the chorus laments ‘Oh, Ti Moune’ in Once on This Island. As you can tell – my knowledge of msuical theatre is pretty old and limited. I haven’t been a big musical buff in a long time. But I am so totally excited that a theatre here in the city is doing Sweeney Todd and I can’t wait to take Ron to it. It’s like seeing your favorite movie again – except this time there’s so many other things that can be different. Last time I saw the show it was in concert at Ravinia with Patti LuPone – it was their preview rehearsal before opening night. Each time Patti LuPone forgot the words I said them to myself. I could tell you what measures they skipped and where they trimmed the score down. I think I love that show for so many reasons. One, it is relentlessly dark and gothic. It is set in the oppressive machine of the industrial revolution. Another reason is it is full of great ballads and music for men. ‘There Was a Barber and His Wife’ – is such a beautiful keening koan – it’s not some shallow dickhead talking about the Princess – it’s a grown man yearning for his long lost wife and daughter. I’ve always disliked love stories – the lovers always seem so damned selfish – concerned more with their own little trifling arguments when the world is crashing down around them (yes, Romeo and Juliet is really about two families – not two hormone-crazed teens). And finally – you can’t help but love a musical/opera that includes throat-slitting and cannibalism as major plot points. I can’t wait to watch Ron see it for the first time.
Ron is now reading the rules for the Abs Diet Challenge. A before/after diet challenge that Men’s Health magazine is sponsoring. I wonder if they have a couples category. I told him we should enter all of the physique transformation contests at one time and do them all concurrently.
I’ve noticed a lot of the bloggers I read having the same sentiments as I – hopelessness, affectlesss, futility. Carey – one of my parents’s best friends – and a great free spirit that was one of many ‘bonus-parents’ I was surrounded with asked me point blank at the reception: ‘What are you doing for play?’ And I couldn’t answer her. I sit at work all day and try and squeeze out my 8 hours of productive time. And then I work on other non-dayjob, but still work-like stuff. Like prepping for the live seminar or polishing the Antigone adaptation. My gym-time has dropped off lately. I don’t feel like going in the mornings lately. I am eating better than ever – more consistently than ever – with occasional plummets into ice cream. I am looking forward to getting a wok for the new place and some new dishes – I’ve always like those square dishes I see at World Market that are covered with a deep red glaze.
I spend way too much time wishing I was someon else. I always have. A low self-image is a plush lined coffin to suffocate in. Usually I can kickstart and get out of the wallow – but sometimes it’s easier to throw an interior pity party for myself and indulge my inner martyr.
(the next morning)
Ah – fell asleep at Ron’s. Sometimes a different bed makes all the difference. I think it’s his heavier futon mattress that makes me sleep heavier. I was telling Ron how much like to watch him sleep. “I never watch you sleep!” he said. I retorted, “That’s because you always fall asleep first!” Which is true. Though I have to give him credit. He was stumbling around at 3 this morning after the crew desk called (he went on call at midnight). It’s like a doctor being on call except they can send you anywhere. He did score a trip to Hawaii in two weeks so he is really excited about that. Lucky bastard.
Continuing with the pity party motif of last night – there’s very few insults or criticism that I won’t entertain as possibly being true. Except a few – if someone ever calls me stupid or uncreative I know without reservation that they are wrong. Those are two things that I feel rooted and secure about. Other criticisms sometimes cut me deep. I’ve tried a lot to be much more accepting of criticism and not let it get me so deep but at the same time trying to realize how that might be useful. I know that as a functional person I take everything personally – and it’s the recovery time that makes the difference between action and crippling inaction.
Still haven’t watched any of Clinton’s address. I’ll do that today during lunch. I did watch Obama’s and he remains my new boyfriend. I want to be the white same-gender loving Barrack Obama. I do wonder if since the Dems let Kerry’s wife speak if the Republicans will let Laura Bush speak. I also liked Ossie David, Ruby Dee and Maya Angelou’s speeches.
I have got to stop drinking so much iced tea. My teeth are way too stained. I need to get Ron to get his teeth whitened as well. The smoking ruins his beatufiul smile.
I hope that I get better TV reception in the new place. I have resisted getting even basic cable for so long but I’ve only been able to watch Fox for the past two years. I can’t take much more Danielle Serrino and Rick DiMaio.
In probably the smoothest event of being outed ever – I was officially homosexualized to the sister of my one of my best friends from high school. I haven’t really ‘come out’ to most of the kids I went to high school with. I figure they’ll figure it out when I show up at a reunion with children and a husband.
He was my total best buddy and I loved him dearly and we were both always in plays together – he jumped/fell from a bridge after his first year in college. I’ve written about this before – I have never felt such deep grief. It was like having your guts sliced open and pouring on the floor. I felt like I was vomiting pain.
Anyway, I’d run into her at Hollywood Beach two years ago but lost her phone number.
So Ron and I are sitting at Sidetrack last night (showtunes night). And this girl comes up to me and says: ‘Andy’? And it takes me a few moments to recognize her. I was so happy to see her. And so very very happy to see that she is doing well. I was worried that she’s implode after her brother’s death (and other family turbulence). But she’s in Chicago and happily living in Rogers Park and she looks great. She was the gawky little sister when we were all in high school and it is so fantastic to see she’s turned into a young vibrant woman with long curly hair. So I introduced Ron as ‘my boyrfriend’ – and so was able to divert the G word. Like she would be phased – she’s still doing plays and she’s sitting there in Sidetrack.
The highlight of last night was a video mix of Mommie Dearest capped with a music video incorporating clips from the film and Abba’s ‘Mamma Mia’. It was hysterically funny. Especially when Christina Crawford says Because I am not one of your fans! and the video mix parked on the vowel in fans for a good 20 seconds. So funny.
I’ve always wondered if this existed. An event for adults to get together and explore affectionate touch and communication without it becoming sexualized. Maybe next time I lose my job I can be a cuddle escort. No sex – just spooning.
I’ve been at a seminar all weekend and reporting out on a separate website.
Day 3: Today!
I turned out either Hernando Abrazo or Hernando Rodriguez.
I already feel ethnically excited!
I do wish that it would pick up if someone submits their last name and it’s considered ‘ethnic’ enough and chides them that they already are an ethnic stud.
I was telling Anthony at dinner Tuesday night that I needed to go home and visit my grandmother. I’ve written about her here many times before. She’s now 96, nonverbal and mostly cloudy in a long term care center in Louisville. Still when I look into her steely blue eyes I can tell she recognizes me. I need to go and brush her hair (still a thick head of white hair!) and massage her hands with some lotion. Her skin is like tissue paper – like fragile filo dough. You can see her veins slighly pulse beneath her skin. Seeing her puts all of my millenial annoyances to rest. It grounds me again.