The New York Trip – what to do?

algonquin charlie46 days from now, I will be in New York.

There was a time in my life – after my aunt, Sissie, died, and before the series of life-saving/life-changing physical and existential moves happened – when I visited New York City each year, alone, for a birthday trip. April. The Algonquin. Me. Walking around the city. Shows every day, two a day if possible. Walking. More walking. Sitting in the Algonquin Lobby (this was before Marriott bought it and updated it – curse them) in the same chairs where – I imagined – Mrs. Parker and her circle had cocktailed.

Well, things changed. I thought I would never be back in that way again. But, mid-October, for a week-ish, from Friday the 16th until I return to Frederick sometime on Thursday the 22nd, I will be in New York City – well, mostly Manhattan, mostly the theatre district – once again. Perhaps my last hurrah.

So, I need to plan. I’m seeing “Therese Raquin”* at matinee on Saturday, October 17 and “Ripcord”** on Tuesday night, October 20. This leaves me Friday, October 16 & Saturday October 17 evening shows. Sunday October 18 matinee and evening, Monday October 19 evening – although I don’t think there are any Monday evening shows I’d want to see, and Wednesday, October 21 afternoon and evening. I could also see a show Thursday, October 22 and take a really, really late train back to Maryland – which is not out of the question – but, now, what to see?

Well, obviously I would love to see HAMILTON, but every date is sold out except for 21st and the available tickets are hundreds of dollars. So, guess not.

FUN HOME, that’s near the top of my list. THE KING AND I, although not the evening of the 17th, since Kelli O’Hara is out that day. I also wouldn’t mind seeing HAND TO GOD. And, too, I think I’d get a kick our of SOMETHING ROTTEN. And I’ve been told CURIOUS INCIDENT is transcendent.

Oh dear. Limited time and funds make this extremely difficult. And, I’d also like to do some visiting with some people – but, I can fit that in around show attendance. I also need to walk. Also need to museum. Also need to weep copious tears while wearing black and a strand of pearls and writing in my journal in the Algonquin lobby – albeit, in a horrid chair with chandeliers that look like anal beads – nonetheless, it is the Algonquin and I will be in NYC and I am about to burst.

I hope I last the 46 days until arrival. Things not looking good this morning.

I’m off. Errands. Mother wants her sheets changed and she wants me to do it. Fun. Home. (Except, I don’t really have a home and I’m not having much fun. I once called a character in a novel Hamilton. What am I talking about? Nothing. My cramps are coming back. So long.)

*I have never read Emile Zola’s “Therese Raquin” so I downloaded it last night that I might before I see the show. Judith Light is in it. Judith Light who I have loved for decades since she was Karen Wolek on “One Life to Live” and who I have NEVER seen in person. Quite thrilled about this.

** “Ripcord” is an actual Broadway opening. I’ve never been to a Broadway opening before. Very excited about this. It is about a “cantankerous woman in an assisted living facility” – a comedy. Well, a comedy about an elderly woman in an assisted living facility – I am SURE I will be laughing while sobbing.

… I wanna hold my (?) hand …

I will be back soon. I’ve been ill. I’ve been preoccupied. I’ve been asking lots and lots of questions. I’m not sure blogging and writing serve any purpose, or, rather, I’m not sure I’m clear on the purpose of writing and blogging for me. I am afraid I am doing it for the wrong reasons.

letterI am, however, writing. Following the example of a Twitter-pal(ish – but more on that in a moment) I have begun composing hand-written, actual go-in-a-mailbox letters to people. It’s been grand fun, jump-started some creative urges long dormant, and flooded me with memories. My dear one, Sissie, while she was alive, for as long as she could see, no matter our proximity, would write me at least once a week, often two or three times a week. She filled the short missives with gossip, details about her days, and clippings from newspapers and magazines she thought I’d enjoy. In the days before the internet, when I was too poor to be able to afford a daily paper and magazines, these letters and clippings were fantastic gifts. Too, she’d often include Continue reading

Swiping right on myself … cultural onanism.

see no hear no speak noI promised myself I would neither blog nor Tweet about the presidential race. I was especially adamant about not mentioning the loudest of them; he who pronounces rude, arrogant slams and slurs, speaking the entitled, dismissive language particular to high school cafeterias — except in his delusional world the alphas radiate an aggressive distortion of truth and embrace of various bigotries like teenboys radiate Axe cologne — where those of us who don’t aspire to be successful and normal as defined by generations of power-crazed, hetero-normative, white males are sneeringly labeled “losers”.

I wasn’t going to write about him. Then, hordes of those people he’d define as losers began to support his brand of deranged bullying and candidacy. So, I thought, “Surely, I need to speak up about this?”

No. I don’t.

I have made too big a deal of all those who have swiped left on me throughout my life. I have cared too much. Just this week I loved myself less for a day or two because I’d felt Twitter-slighted.

Silly.

As silly as wasting time writing about the arrogant egotists who want to run the country, tell us what we can do with our bodies and who we can marry. They’re playing by rules in a game designed to marginalize me. And, while they work hard to appear hipper and more inclusive, there is still exactly the same sort of marginalizing on Twitter and Grindr and CraigsList, and too, in the job market, and even in my family and among some of my friends.

The thing: those rules, those assumptions about success and should and morality have always been stacked to marginalize and dis-empower me. Thus, for me to waste time worrying about an election — or its contestants — to a position in a construct where I’m nothing but a disposable speck on a replaceable cog is a sort of brainwashed acquiescence to the slavery all those Axe-soaked-overgrown-look-how-big-my-dick-is-white-boys want to continue to impose on me.

And that prick-size-conscious-pecking order also, sadly, informs Twitter and Grindr and Instagram and, well, life. How many likes, how many follows, how many re-Tweets, how much, how often, who loves you, on and on and on – the yardsticks, the posturing, the constant dousing in the stink of society’s (and all the micro-societies’) measures of popularity, success, and worth is, in fact, a form of subjugation.

I won’t. I’m not going to write about it. About them. About him.

I’m going to right-swipe myself. My rules. My game. I’m taking my balls and playing with them all by myself. And I’m okay with that. Because if I’m going to embrace a prick, from now on, it’s going to be mine.

 

why i am tired

Were I a writer, these would be the perfect metaphoric scenes for the entirety of my life:

SCENE ONE

ME: Oh, damn, my dinner plans got canceled.

DEAR ONE: Your friends do that all the time. Decide they don’t really want to be around you.

SCENE TWO

ME: Dear one, guess what? I’m going to make a smorgasbord of chocolate chip cookies this weekend for you.

DEAR ONE: Can you not put salt on them?

SCENE THREE

ME: (Shoots self)

DEAR ONE: Who’s gonna clean that up now that he’s dead?

existentaustion

One does get tired.

Exhausted.

Existentially. One has burnt the notes, one more time. But, then . . . I’m fine. I’m fine.

But one can’t help but feel, sometimes, one is speaking a language difficult for others to comprehend. Oh well, we all fade away. When. Not if.

I don’t pretend to be other than I am. But all of my truth belongs to me. What I show to you, also belongs to me. How you respond, belongs to you. How I react to your response – my responsibility. See what we did there? Response-ability.

When I was fifteen, still in high school, I was doing a show. The cast included a few “jocks” who were less than fond of me. I was still in hiding. I was being regularly beaten up. Abused. Bullied. I asked for help; family and counselor answered: “Can’t you just try to be like the other boys.”

I had been trying my whole life. I didn’t know HOW to be like other boys. Still, I thought, for a few moments, some of those “jocks” in the cast had come to semi-accept me. One of them was -in fact – sneaking into my house at night, fucking around with me, down-low of course, in ways he could claim to himself were not reciprocal. Until, after final dress rehearsal, late that night, he did for me something I’d only done for him. Maybe, the other boys were like me? A little?

I had shared my love for Patti Smith with the cast. The Horses album. I had it in dressing room backstage, propped in front of my mirror space. Opening night, I came into dressing room. Saw the album had been moved. Was flat on table. Picked it up. Someone had broken the album into many pieces and placed it back into the sleeve, so when I picked it up, shards fell onto the table.

I knew who’d done it. He’d done it. Or, been part of it.

One does get tired of wanting to believe, picking up one’s treasures, finding them in shards. Existentially exhausted. Existentaustion.

 

Libertytown: The Stink of so Many Imminent Goodbyes . . .

At the moment I am unable to finish (anything) a blog-post. Thus, indulge me. Chapter 1 of my unsold novel, Libertytown. As it turns out, long before I knew my Mom would end up in Record Street, it had been included in my book.

here we are going

I’m all afterglow from the National Book Festival yesterday and so, I hope you will indulge me if I drop part of Chapter 1 of my novel, Libertytown, here today. Here goes:

CHAPTER 1
where r u
September 2003

I cannot sleep. Again. All these stories.

My fifth night in my new home, well, really, my old home, and as has so often been the case with passions into which I’ve thrown myself, tumbling, staggering, and refusing to consider the possibility my first instincts might – just might – be a mistake, I find myself again at two a.m., just like my first, second, third, and fourth nights here, panicked, unable to figure out what to do when the inevitable morning after arrives.
What have I done?

Two hundred and ninety seven boxes and I have no idea where to begin.

It does not help that in my precipitous…

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DGDC (Duchess Goldblatt D.C.) August 7, 2015: Day of Great Joy

I hope I will be writing about today at some length soon. It was a fantastic day when worshippers of Her Grace, Duchess Goldblatt, met at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. and . . . well, worshipped. But, it was so much more than a group of people joined in their love for a fictional person. In her fictional-ness (fiction-ity?), the Duchess is more real than most people populating my “real world” and despite her lack of corporeal form, she has loved me more, given me more love, spread more Love and Light through creation than almost anyone I know. There is a far deeper and wisdom-filled discussion to be had about this, but, not tonight, Geraldine. I am just going to post my pics (not mine, actually, but taken by Pamela and Jamie – 2 people I adore, brought to me by the Duchess) and revel in this joy I am feeling.

One last note: I honestly thought a few years ago, when I had to change my life to save my life and lost so much, so many, and worse, discovered that I had never really had some of who and what it was I thought I lost (again, longer discussion, but not one I’m ever having in public), I believed that for me there would never again be friends, or love, or trust, or joy. I thought my life was a matter of waiting for it to stop.

The Duchess, her joinings, her faith, her words, her friendship, her insistence I not surrender – she has made a miracle for this Miracle Charlie and I can never, ever repay her. Thank you, Your Grace, for all this Love & Light you have brought to me. Goodnight, all!

Ann and Duchess Ann Jamie Charlie Bf & Gf Bowing to the Duchess Charlie & Duchess captured by Pamela captured by Jamie Charlie and Pamela and Ann Charlie Pamela Ann Charlie Ron Ann Pamela 2 Charlie Ron Ann Pamela Duchess and Charlie Duchess and Pamela Duchess and Ron Duchess Ann Pamela Charlie Duchess name tag Duchess Pamela and Charlie Jamie and Duchess Pamela and Charlie and Ann Pamela and Charlie Ron Ann Charlie Security Guard 1 Security Guard 2 Security Guard 3 Security Guard 4 Security Guard 5 Security Guard 6