last glass...dusty buckets...parched e-lips...sponge...drip...drop

2001-12-07 - 12:01 a.m.: bloody mary

Today was an amazing day! (This is going to be a long entry because I feel very guilty for what I did last night... I felt like I needed to write in my diary but didn't want to spend any time on it so put down a bit of a song that had been running through my head all day... it didn't take any time or effort at all... and though it characterized a bit of my day, it by no means explained the whole thing... So I copped out, and I'm going to try to make up for it by RUNNING my figurative mouth off tonight. Sorry.)

Anyway.... so toDAY!!! Wow! Off to a terrible start at 3:39am I *went* to bed... woke up at 6:00am to put the finishing touches on my play (to be performed at 10:00)... WAY too picky... worked on it until 8:46am... tried to save it... computer froze... restarted computers, re-did revisions... 9:05... tried to print it out withOUT saving it... paper jam... cleared paper jam... had to restart printer... printer runs out of ink. 9:35.... it takes approximately 1/2 hour to drive to campus. DAMN!

(I have to admit, reluctantly, that at this point I was behaving like a complete idiot. When I ran upstairs to grab my coat, I put a little extra "POUND" into my footsteps... when I shut the door upon leaving, I put a little extra "HEFT" into the slam.)

SPEED... get stuck behind a mini-van (is there anything more obscene?)... Pull into the parking lot at 9:59... get into class... breathlessly inquire where I can find a copy machine (oh yeah... I forgot to explain that I needed copies of the script for all 4 characters... only had 2)... ran up three flights of stairs... didn't have correct change.. begged it off a kindly old professor... ran back down... slid into my seat.... handed the scripts to the actors... sat back... took a breath... and watched the other three plays that came before mine on the program.

I've never had anything of mine read aloud... performed... published.... Never exposed anything of myself in any kind of public forum that wasn't more or less free and anonymous. I felt like my chest was going to EXPLODE! I felt giddy! I felt high... Like I couldn't get enough air because my lungs were already overfilled with oxygen. How do you describe a feeling like that? Imagine that you're going skinny-dipping with a group of dolphins, and you slip into the water... but you don't know (for sure) if they'll play with you or bludgeon you, when all at once they tell you, through telepathy, that they love you and want to play tag. That's as close as I can get.

All in all, it went pretty well. Everyone loved it... laughed hard... but I've really come to hate it since this morning. I'm not sure why. I think it's because right after the performance I went to my modern drama class and read "'Night, Mother." Oh my god. If you ever want to feel like shit... just read that. Or rent it.. I think there are about 4 versions of the film available. It's about this young woman who, from the beginning of the play, is determined to kill herself. She tells her mother about her plans, I guess to prepare her for living on her own. Her mother tries... god... so many different things to try to convince her to live... but nothing works. She ends up killing herself, anyway. (Sorry if anyone's reading this and I gave it away.)

What's depressing is not so much that she kills herself, but that the reasons the mother comes up with for living are so.... inadequate. Even to the audience. It makes you think about what exactly we *do* live for... what keeps us from "getting off the bus..." the things you can name are so small. So transient. So easily lost and found. Mostly it's hope, or fear.

And mostly it's unfounded.

So... the reason I'm going there... *My* play has nothing of that. It doesn't "question," it merely pokes fun. The characters are soulless... they parody human beings, but to a comic effect. I've taken nothing seriously, and I've been careful to keep things just realistic enough to be recognized, but too surreal to relate to. Even the ending is a joke. A cynical joke. Why? What am I afraid of? What am I afraid to do?

(in another entry I'll post the whole thing so anyone curious enough to read it may do so)

I'm not saying I want to write another "'Night, Mother..." but I DO want to write something that is *me*... that I can read or watch and recognize myself as a character, or a power, or a beginning or an end. I want to be able to grow through it. Maybe I'm expecting too much of myself. Maybe I have to grow up a little, first.

And here's where my "punishment / therapy" comes in. From now on, in this diary, I'm not allowed to sugarcoat things or turn my life into a pleasant little narrative. If I can't undress in a room by myself, how am I going to strip down in a stadium?

So.... I'm going to include, in each entry, at least one thing that I'm deathly ashamed or afraid of, that I've never admitted to anyone (who didn't already, by association or inclusion, already know about). (And these are NOT allowed to be clever little things that I really don't care about, to be included merely for effect. Penance for violating this ordinance will be set at.... uhh.... I'll decide later.)



(okay... look at yourself... you're pushing aside the first, biggest thing that comes to mind , fishing for something less complicated. Coward. STOP BEING A WRITER AND BE A PERSON.)

1. I have lines on my left arm from 1999 when I thought it would be fun to tally my emotional pitfalls with a razor blade. Number 4 is the biggest and most visible, and the one that scared me enough to snap me out of it. When it was "fresh," I would make up different, obviously facetious lies to tell people who asked about it (to Desmond: "A cantaloupe did it one morning... as revenge....") For a long time... the only one who *knew* was Lush... he displayed the perfect combination of ridicule and fear to make me feel both guilty and ashamed... no room for self-pity or pride, there. Other than that..... well, it's amazing what people won't ask you when they're pretty certain they don't want to deal with the answer. I haven't had to deal with it out loud. But there's a sort of sadness that lingers with uncorrectable mistakes. I can't wipe it off. I don't know what I'll tell children or grandchildren... too innocent to know you're not supposed to ask those kinds of questions. I hate looking at it. I hate thinking about it. It's like... the proverbial string tied around the finger: "Hey, don't forget...!"

That's all for tonight. Not so hard.