Thursday, September 12, 2002

I don't know what to make of this:
At the gym tonight, I watched a story of firemen who gave CPR to a kitten who had stopped breathing and whose heart had stopped. A teeny little thing it was, maybe four weeks old. And he did this kiss of life on little puss for 14 minutes. Kitty pulled through in the end and is still alive. Firedude adopted him and named him Smudge.
Now I can't decide if this is sweet and lovely or dumb. I certainly wouldn't give CPR to Murphy the Wonder Ocelot (he still thinks he's a small Meso-American jungle predator and not a small suburban housecat) at all, let alone for a quarter hour. The scarring would make me look like a cat-baiting victim.
Do you know cat baiting, Gentle Reader, as I've babbled about quite a bit since discovering it's real? But I need something to believe in.

Unemployment, Day III
I put in an application and had a little interview at a place called Thunderbird or Firebird or something. I so don't want to work in another resteraunt. Before this, I got all the local want ads/classifieds. Tomorrow, I go to another R. and call a third. I have heard nothing from Duke U Press...
...Sorry, but I just saw an ad for a local fundamental Christian church that blames homosexuals for All The World's Evil. We're not, you know. We do have big meetings once a week, but it is only to discuss cute boys. We have no plans for world domination, massive social plans for depravity or the continued removal of prayer from Schools. Just so as you guys know: blame the Neo Nazis... Oh wait... They don't want to go incrimanting themselves.
I am so sick of spaghetti. I get my last Elmo's paycheck Friday. It will be $30. Fifteen of which has to go for an ad to find a roommate, $5 for gas, $5 for food and a fin for a bottle of rum. How I need a job.

Dr Who of the Day: Mine! With all this spare time, I've been writing a submission for BBC books. I quite like it. I'm thinking of calling it Deus ex Machina. Short version of plot: there's a machine lost in time trying to create the scenario in which it was constructed (a big war), so it manipulates time. So far, I'm setting it in North Carolina (cause he's never been here, natch) with Lost Colony and the Gimghouls.

I so love The Basic Eight! I've read 150 pages since last I mentioned it.

I realize that with all this self-important, self-indulgent moaning, I've forgotten something important.
Today's reason Laura Llew rocks: Part the first -- she doesn't mind I've forgotten she rocks on a daily basis. Part the second -- she doesn't mind I never sent her the present I promised.
Umm, financial issues cropped up.
It was great, too. I'd say what it was, but then it would ruin the surpise when I do finally send her this Gear, Fab and Boss present.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

That's it.
I've decided that if I am going to waste away unnoticed, then I shall do it in appropriate style.
I'm making myself Absinthe. When I have money again.
Then I shall drink it.
I've been thinking a lot recently. Not things I'd put here: generally, the paranoiac thoughts that haunt you when you are attempting to sleep (not that I do that much lately, even less than normal) are generally bad news. I'd hate people to worry.
But here's one*: in contemplating the Exodus -- and I do mean it in the epic sense suggested by the Biblical capital -- of friends away from Jay, I have thought on wit. In darker moments, such as I described above, I think whatever company brooks me does so out of a desire for amusement. "Oh," they think, "Jay and his remarks will amuse us, no matter how deplorable his comportment elsewise may be." Deplorable here means "When his wit is turned on people we like." Hardly anybody -- I would have said nobody, but there are one or two blessed souls I can recollect -- discusses literature or poetry or art history or drama or music with me. I mean three of the four I have actual degrees in and the other (music) I've studied even longer, (I took piano for a decade).
The one person -- late my best friend, now silently removed to Boston in the Yankee Beyond -- I talked to about philsophy is gone.
It feels like I am sorely lacking in actual, meaningful interpersonal relationships. I can't connect with the people I'm with.
And then it hit me. Wit**
It's a shield. If I make some witty/smart-assed remark, you learn absolutely nothing about what I really think. If it truly is wit and not petty vengeance, you can't even determine anger or irritation. All's one to the wit -- and I think that's a quote from a Restoration Comedy***.
Nobody likes me because nobody knows me because I never let anyone find anything out.
(By the by, I know why that happens, too. I can deal with people I don't know and/or don't like me. It's when people are nice and/or like me that I get all confused. I know why that is, too, but I will have some discretion.)

To remedy this, some random personal information. Well, it makes me feel better to tell it, even it is the Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness.

*This post should be accompanied by Chopin's 'Rain Drop' Prelude (Opus 28, no. 15, in D flat major). It is very beautiful. I could play it once, when I practiced and I had a piano. I'd probably cry like a baby if I heard it now, especially the middle part, where the melody moves to the left hand and is played with big, loud block chords that you literally have to fall into: Bum bum bem bummm, bum bum bem bummm (little flittery right hand note)... Sigh.

** Not too long ago, I ran one of the follow spots for one of the first regional production of Wit. This is a great play. You should read it. This train of thought should have hit me one of the 60+ times I saw it, as it is about a woman in the same position. 'Cept she's dying. But aren't we all...

*** I love Restoration Comedies. These are English plays written (obviously enough) during the English Restoration [of the Monarchy, c. 1666 to 1740]. After a generation of the playhouses being closed by law, all theatrical tradition was gone. They were, at the time, a wholly new theatrical and social event. They still have little in common with our modern theatre. Their entire basis is on witty exchanges. Within a relatively short time, they passed away, largely because people couldn't tell the difference between Wit and Spite.
They were replaced by Sentimental Comedies. (ugh.)
Hey! You know how you can tell meat is better than Ramen?
There's meat-flavored Ramen but not Ramen-flavored meat!
Chicken with Garden Vegetables is the best... It's almost like A Real Meal, what with sodium based vegetable flavor and sodium based chicken essence.
If poverty don't get me, the incipient heart disease will, the two hours a day at the gym notwithstanding.

I'm reading this faboo book (words straight boys can't use 1867) called The Basic Eight. It is a trip. I laugh out loud on practically every page. How I wish I was like that in High School! (That's my only complaint about the book: these kids so aren't high school kids. I wasn't even that chic, hep and witty as an undergrad. Dinner Parties? Wine? Maybe San Fransico is vastly different than Hickory, NC) Then again, I think was relatively happy in high school.
Apparently, I wasn't. My friend Darren (who has disappeared into a hole called Boston, evidently permapeeved at me) swears up and down I was miserable. Oh, the Joys of Supression! I don't remember a damn thing.
My high school was so very, fundamentally weird. I'll tell stories one day. Of course, when I Become Famous I will say I attended St Brendan's Academy in Norwich, Connecticut. Who's to say I didn't?

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Unemployment, Day II

I turned in my resume to Duke University Press early this morning. I also went to the Employment Security Commission to file. I learned that -- should I be approved, and I may not -- I will get $100 a week. Starting in a month. And I am fit only for retail/service. Sod that. So sod that.
Tomorrow: the new Village Advocate and Independent come out, so pavement pounding. I'll take anything at this point.

I miss protein. All I have left to eat till I draw my last Elmo's paycheck (a whacking $30 -- and won't it be fun) is rice, spaghetti and noodles.

So I have this friend I talk to very late at night.
This is great. How much better does it make me feel to talk to somebody then? I could never say...
Now, I'm poor and unemployed and riddled with debt. I *know* why I'm up.
But why are they (yes, ungrammatical, but still) awake? Are they worried like me, or upset, or hurt. Of all the people I know, they deserve any of that the very least.
So, yeah, this isn't an subtle inquiry, Person (at all, obviously). I think I've just got so many worries I'm parcelling them out commutatively.
JayleMurph: the lost Baudelaire orphan.

Somebody send me the boy from this month's Sak's Fifth Avenue spread in Esquire. (Go get the mag and look at him -- new word here -- *megaswoon*). Perfect hair, perfect eyes, perfect lips, gorgeous cheek bones: if he can't make me happy, Nothing Ever Will.
Sweet Jesus!!!
The Alamance County Fair is this week!
I've missed the first night, but I can turn tricks to make the fair fare the rest!
Oh yeah: I'm whoring myself to see swine!
I am now officially broke.
I spent my last brass dollar on gas and my loose change on Diet Coke.

This place is getting depressing. I apologize. Imagine how much it sucks to be me. By the by: who are you people? I got a site meter (the big tacky thing up yonder) and over a dozen people a day visit this place. Exclusive of me. Now I know Llew and Aruni stop by, but they ain't here 4 or 5 times each. Drop me a line. Make my day.

Oh! Good news! I got a job DJing at WXDU, the groovy station all the cool kids listen to. Okay, so it's 3 to 5 am, but still. I've wanted that for a while. I hope to find out what night and when I start soon.
I enjoyed several minutes today, driving to Hillsborough to find the Unemployment Office (I did find, but I had to ask directions). It was sunny and warm, it was a nice country drive, I was listening to Laura's mix tape (well, only the first 30 minutes anyway. I screwed up copying it. It ends right at the great Dorothy Parker song. Sod. And it was the girly sex bit, too...) and the XDU BossaNovva show.
There's a job at Duke University Press (Senior Editorial Assitant) that I'm applying for. I'd be gear at it, but I prolly won't get it. I've worked all day on my resume and cover letter. I may post it up for giggles and prolly even its parody.
I thought I had a new roommate lined up -- he was going to bring the deposit Wednesday -- but he balked until Saturday. I seriously need him. I hope he takes it. I can't even afford a new ad in the paper.

Murph has taken to sprawling on top of the fab '68 dinner table and matching sweet chairs (unfortunately, they really are from 1968, so they're snot green and mustard yellow respectively) in the hovel, like a lion on the Savannah. I blame the special on big cats we watched late Saturday night on PBS. He was way into that. He especially communed with the ocelots. He kinda looks like an ocelot. But he hangs out like leopard in tree, all gangly limbs and condescention to smaller animals. Pity I'm the only other inhabitant and I outweigh 20 times or so.

Monday, September 09, 2002

Yes I Am Invisible.
Just in case I thought I was kidding myself.

I schlepped to the grocery store to get milk and Diet Coke tonight. One day, I will describe my deep and honest love of Diet Coke.
In the vaunted U-Skan I ran into this nice couple. Their chopped off, dyed-black hair and black frame glasses matched. It was very Androgyne, Mon Amour*. It was sooo cute.

Androgyrl: You look so familiar. I see you all the time, but I don't know your name.
Me (thought): Yes, you do. We talked last night for an hour. Over an hour. You told me how your boyfriend
hates the Smiths and how you love them. We sang the refrain from "This Charming Man." We
danced to"Cemetary Gates."
Me (actual): I think we met last night.
Androgyrl: No, I'd remember that. *pauses, then doubtfully* You know Christina?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go be unnoticeable.

*Tonight's needless reference to Tennessee Williams. Androgyne, Mon Amour was one of his three books of poetry (In the Winter of Cities is one of the others. I can't remember the third.) His poetry rocks. He always considered himself foremost a poet and said that his plays were poems for the stage.
They just published all three books together for the first time, in hardback. I almost wet myself when I saw it at the bookstore. But at $30, it's trop cher for a guy with no job.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

I think that you, Gentle Reader, will like this story. It's caused more than one smile. I tell it in the effort of making me smile, for a change.

We'll call it
"My First Smooch"

When I was 6 or 7, my parents took me to Annapolis when they went to visit their old army buddies. One of their friends' two children was Eileen. She was two years younger than me.
Our parents decided we should go one night to Some Ritzy Seafood Joint. I remember this because somebody ordered me crab. They gave me a roasted crab and a little hammer. Nobody ever told me how to eat crab, so I used my little hammer to pound my crab into paste. This is what I really remember, because the Major refused to buy me any more food (after all, I had wasted one whole entree) and I was quite hungry.

On the way back, I coughed. Now this is was in an old Station Wagon, and as the youngest passengers Eileen and I had been forced into that creepy backwards-facing seat. Concerned, Eileen offered me a cough drop. Forced, more like, as she was a forceful lady. I took it.
A cherry Ludens Brothers', as I recall.
Then she gave me this searching look.
"What would you do if I kissed you?"
I thought about this.
"I don't know," I said.
She reached over and planted one on me.
I was quite surprised.
Everybody else in the car burst into laughter.
Including Eileen.

Yep. My first kiss, folks: a moment of public mirth. Even for those invloved.

No. Didn't work. I still feel like crap.
Several weeks ago, somebody asked me "If you could have a super-power, would it be invisibilty or the ability to fly?"
This is apparently some manner of pyschological query.
To me, it's a moot point: flight, obviously. I'm already invisible.

Almost any drama -- scene, act, play, whatever -- can have its whole meaning described in a single verbal exchange. In directorspeak, it's called a 'transaction.'
In the Glass Menagerie I directed -- and only in that single production, cause it very production from production -- it was Amanda's line, "I'm bewildered... by life." (scene two, by the by). How very appropiate for a group of 18 and 20 year olds doing Williams. What the fuck do they know about anything? Or what do we know now, five years on? It's such a perfect line, it can be so joyous or so tragic, but still is such a true description.
But why do I mention that?
Because I had such an exchange tonight:

Jay: *taps foot in rhythym to 'The Boy With the Arab Strap'*
Snooty boy: You like these guys?
Jay: You mean Belle and Sebastian?
SB: *looks Jay up and down with a sneer* Yeah, you look like a twee motherfucker who would.


A little later, they played the Smiths. I was dancing with some girl.
SB: *same boy, same sneer*: Figures...

Sometimes, I think 'cause I'm gay, I'm vastly separated from Everybody Else. I can go to some gathering, look like everybody else, talk like everybody else and still be on the other side of a huge gap. Much as I can look like it, I'm different from them. And they know it.

I've got this bottle of wine I got for my birthday a while back. I've refused to drink it alone because I think you shouldn't drink wine alone -- "Nothing can be sadder than a glass of wine alone" (Solomon Burke) -- but I've opened it tonight. Symbolism of me giving up on Romance. I shall grow old alone. I shall get several more cats and go quite mad. Jesus, Jane Austin was younger than me when she put on her spinster cap.
All I ask is that I don't turn into one of those creepy old guys who hit on 15 year olds.