I went past the 100,000 hits mark last night. One-hundred-thousand. I was ridiculously excited about this. I know that some people get 100,000 hits every hour or day or week or whatever, and that is WONDERFUL for them within the construct of conventional wisdom and culturally approved norms. BUT FOR ME, in my world, having hit 100,000 late last night (early this morning, actually) was a big, huge, celebratory deal.
I have ALWAYS done this thing during birthday month of expecting “good luck” — or, to be more literary– magical realism to take over. I buy lottery tickets and wait for the millions to roll in; I patiently (not so much) watch for emails or texts or calls from people from the past in which they tell me they now realize how wrong they were and can they please make it up to me and … you get the picture.
But, this morning, the sun is shining like a glorious spotlight on my life, and I woke up smiling. Listen to the week I’ve had:
Monday: Dear, dear friends took me out to dinner and to see Roseanne Cash [READ HERE] and it was extraordinarily delightful. The restaurant was crowded but since I
drink eat there all the time, they managed to pay fast attention to us. Made me feel special. The whole night made me feel special. So blessed.
Tuesday: I was SUPPOSED to have a long overdue dinner with a friend, but we are SUCH GOOD FRIENDS, we were both able to say, “Not feeling so perky this evening – can we do it tomorrow?” And it would NEVER have occurred to either of us to be upset about that, even had it only been one of us delaying. GROWN UP FRIENDS. Hooray. So blessed.
Wednesday: Did the dinner thing. Spent three hours that went by like one minute, talking, sharing, laughing, on and on, with someone who I only met a few years ago but with whom it feels as if we have shared our entire lives. So many blessings here: 1) a person can make new friends later in life and 2) it is so amazing to share the world with people “of kind” who have lived long and been up and down and listen and trust and don’t judge and just LIVE with you, LIVE beside you, LIVE and hold you up when you need it and let you hold them up when they need it and just LIVE. So blessed.
Thursday: Spent the day with my amazing 86 year old mother who refrained from telling me how to drive ALL DAY! Hooray! Miracle. And in the evening I went to see Catch Me If You Can, the first time I’d seen the musical, at a local high school [READ HERE] with my dear, darling fifteen year old niece. The show was put together by some friends, one in particular with whom I have worked for years and who has always been a great comfort — an island of sanity and erudition and breeding and honesty and grounded intellect and love in a sea of madness. And the show was lovely. And I was blessed, once again, to sit with people I adored and bask in the art of it all, and too, once more, feel relief that I am no longer doing shows all the time — though I do not regret one moment of the times when I did. But that curtain has come down, the ghost light is on but the stage is empty. Blessed.
Friday: Cher. Verizon Center. [READ HERE] With my darling, grown up niece, in second row center seats supplied by Wednesday night dinner friend. WOW. Overwhelming. Loved it. Still reeling. Such joy. BLESSED!
WEEKEND: I was exhausted yesterday. I went to the gym because having seen 67 year old Cher Friday night in such amazing shape made me feel guilty for even CONSIDERING skipping a day (although I am NOT going today, it’s Sunday, a day of rest dammit) and went to the grocery store and darling sister got me SUSHI! for dinner and I headed to my room to watch the NCAA final four games —
— WAIT? WHAT? WHAT?!?!? Who is this Charlie watching sporting events? Well, here’s the thing – Monday night friends, who quite literally picked me up from off the ground and propped me up and carried me and made me family when most of mine abandoned me are HUGE college sports and football fans and somehow — though I TRIED to fight it — I am now addicted. Blessed.
So, this morning, driving to the store in search of the Sunday New York Times, I thought, “It’s my birthday month! I need to get another batch of Powerball and MegaMillions tickets — and, oh, the Publishers Clearing House is giving away again this month and — wait. WAIT!”
It was in the middle of this thought I realized — LOOK AT MY LIFE; I’VE ALREADY WON.
Okay, okay, I know that by conventional standards and measures, if one falls for the culturally-normative definitions of success and measures of fortune and fame and romance, I come up as a huge fail. And, far too often, I fall for those measures and feel bereft. But, conventions suck and norms are used to control and manipulate people, and I haven’t spent my life fighting against and arguing about them to allow them — this late in the game — (it’s my birthday this month, have I mentioned, and I am getting older so — yeah, late in the game) to control me.
It’s funny — stay with me on this — I read a blind item [HERE IT IS–CLICK] about a much older (meaning, no doubt, my age) famous fashion designer who is paying a much younger (meaning, no doubt twink tween twenty) beautiful boy $25,000 a month to be his companion (meaning, let me have sex with you) and I thought, “Yeah. And your point?”
If I won the MegaLottoPublishClearing whatever — I, too, would happily buy myself a twink. In fact, there are a number of people I ALREADY have in mind. I mean, it’s not unlike the Marcus Ewert story I covered earlier this week [CLICK HERE] — only, ALAS and ALACK, I have NEVER been the kind of wiser, older fellow at whom young, attractive men threw themselves, willing to sex me up so my wisdom might rub off. Believe me, like Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs before me — not only would I not have said NO, I would have said HELL YES.
And if I had money – I would spread it around. Because money is just another one of those tools of the culture meant to keep the peasants in line, and, frankly, I have any number of friends who should NOT have to be scrambling to worry about money — I know what worry about it has done and continues to do to me — and I know a number of artists and just plain, good people who I would definitely be supporting so they NEVER again had to worry about whether they should do another show or — instead — take a job they didn’t really enjoy so they could have a roof over their head. I think the world would be a MUCH better place if there were — like during the Renaissance — patrons of artists (and interesting people) who supported them, and if I could, I would – like the Medicis or Albizzis or — let us be frank, probably most like a BORGIA! (LOL)
And, I’d vanity publish LIBERTYTOWN: THE NOVEL, and publish some others I know too. And, I’d probably do theatre again — but only once a year — leaving the rest of the season to others, and I’d maybe teach an acting seminar once every few years and — well, IF I WON THE LOTTO —
BUT LIKE I SAID — I already won a different kind of prize. So, though I may not have monetary riches nor fame, and certainly am no Ginsberg or Burroughs attracting eighteen-year-olds eager to rub against my wisdom, and, okay then, perhaps by conventional measures I don’t look like a winner —
Fuck that. I’ve gotten 100,000 hits on this blog. Look at the amazing week and life and FRIENDS I have. I HAVE ALREADY WON. At this rate, can an eager-to-rub-against-me eighteen or twenty-something year old be far behind?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!!