Part 3: Existential Cozies, Comforts, and Joys

Well my little hall-deckers, if Christmas it must be, then the Yuletide ought always to be like last night! Maybe there is, after all, something to this keeping an account of my cozies, comforts, and joys. So, Part 3.

MEGAN HILTY

andrea and charlie

Me and my Andrea between shows. Big drinkers; me with a coffee, Andrea with a Coke. Yep. Whoo-freaking-hoo!

Big fan. First saw Ms. Hilty as Galinda in Wicked. Next saw Ms. Hilty as Doralee in 9 to 5: The Musical. Next, became rabid fan of Smash, founding member of Team Ivy. Then, my dear Andrea birthday-surprised me earlier this year with tickets to see Ms. Hilty in concert at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre. And then AGAIN, a few weeks ago, Andrea surprised me with tickets to see Ms. Hilty’s Christmas Concert at the Kennedy Center for last night’s 7:30 show. It was only yesterday afternoon that Andrea told me she had gotten tickets NOT ONLY to the 7:30, but, also, the 9:30. And so, the two of us, front row, aisle, house right — for the first show, somehow, despite it being sold out, we were the only people in the front row, and for the second show, the only OTHER person in the front row was a yawning, unkempt looking fellow in aisle seat, house left. I don’t know HOW Andrea gets these amazing seats, but, uhm, she always does.

About Ms. Hilty. Wow, the last time I saw her, my birthday concert (yes, MY BIRTHDAY concert), she was quite preggers. She delivered the girl-child, Viola, three months ago, and is back, better than ever. She can belt with the best of them but she is also able to quietly croon you to tears. She invests each song with its beginning, middle, end, telling the story with an expressiveness of voice and emotional depth I think is rarely equalled among current singers and Broadway performers. She really is a treasure. Listen to this — which she did last night in an arrangement of mostly guitar (as played by her husband, Brian Gallagher, more below).

And, MOST OF ALL, the relationship between Megan and her husband, Brian Gallagher, who plays guitar and sings with her during these concert appearances, is so freaking beautiful. I want to be one of them. The love they share just radiates from the stage, envelops you in its warmth and fairy-tale goodness. Ms. Hilty sang the song A Place Called Home from the Broadway musical version of A Christmas Carol, and she started weeping just introducing it and speaking of having found “the love of her life” and having a child. Not only was she crying, but as she sang it, so did Mr. Gallagher weep. Both shows. It wasn’t performance, it was life, and love, and so much Light on stage. Great show. If you’ve a chance to share some time with these people, you really ought to. And for me, being there last night (BOTH SHOWS!) with them and Andrea, so much comfort and joy.

COMFORTS, JOYS … quickies

  • And gas is really cheap right now, which is great, as I will soon be returning to Aftermath — where I love to be, which bucolic setting is twenty minutes from the gym. So, cheap gas is good.
  • And, thanks to a niece, found Starbucks Christmas Blend Keurig Cups for 8-something a box. This is a VERY good thing. I know it’s ridiculous, but I don’t think I could function without a Keurig.
  • And I have discovered (thank you TwitterLiterati) the Agatha Raisin mysteries by M.C. Beaton. Delightful fun. Happiness.
ford penis necklace

Tom Ford $800 Penis Necklace

  • And Tom Ford is selling what appears to be a gold phallic symbol. [See New York magazine article here.]  How cool is an $800 dick necklace? I’ll tell you how cool — Bill Donohue of the Catholic League [click here for the fucking moron] is upset about it. And, an idiot. I mean, who even THOUGHT this was supposed to look like a cross? I mean, now, every time I see a nicely arranged set of male genitalia, I’m going to connect it even more vigorously to my memories of my catholic youth — those years when my knees were hardened and trained to the tasks and sacraments for which the catholic church so lovingly prepared me. Thank you to the catholics for making me so good at so many things involving being on my knees … speaking of which ….
  • And, at the gym yesterday, a really good-looking guy came on to me in the showers. I have no idea why someone as good-looking as he was would come on to someone like me, I didn’t see any mistletoe hanging on the shower head — but — without going into details — this was not another one of my hallucinations. He actually, really and truly, did come on to me. I did not reciprocate nor respond except to politely indicate the gym-showers were not a location where I intended to frolic. Truth, I am still snotty and unwell — this cold thing — and it would have been not just dangerously undignified (and, possibly, illegal?) to fool around there but, too, I’d have been spreading cold germs. But, you know, HOPE —

SPEAKING OF HOT MEN … Russell Tovey is cheating on me …

russell tovey nude looking

Russell Tovey on top of the home-wrecker and fantasy-killer, Jonathan Groff

Andrea broke it to me last night that she’d seen a preview for Season 2 of HBO’s Looking and it seems as if Russell Tovey — who I claimed as my own YEARS ago when he was in The History Boys on Broadway — is continuing — in the plotline — to have sex with Jonathan Groff’s character. I am not happy about this. And, clearly, the universe and all the demons of hell sent after me because of my lapsed catholicism and ever-increasing atheism (wait, that doesn’t make sense, well, so what) have conspired to torture me because this morning, Russell is everywhere. He posted this one of himself:

Tovey, Russell Dec 2014

Tovey by Turner

CLICK HERE FOR the website Cocktails and Cocktalk, and a whole series of new hot Tovey photos.

And, as if that wasn’t enough to get me all … well, whatever it is a man my age (who, I hasten to add, was COME ON TO in the showers yesterday — WHILE NAKED) gets, then, I was assaulted by this photo to the left in my Twitter TL. An entire new set of Tovey photos. Dear god (in whom I do not believe) STOP!

SPEAKING OF GOD … final comfort and joy of the day …

Andrea. My dear, dear Andrea, she who allows me stays at Aftermath with her dear, dear Judah, yes, Andrea is a Pastor. Pastor Andrea. A person of the cloth.

I know, right? I can hear many of you exclaiming — as did my family and some other friends when I spoke of Andrea and they inquired as to details — “How is a Pastor friends with you?”

Well, here’s how. In a life you meet/have a very few people — if you are lucky, and I am INCREDIBLY lucky in this way — who “get” you. These people see you, who you are, at the soul, at the source, at the center of your Love and Light. They don’t judge you, they don’t try to change you, they don’t forgive or accept, they don’t have to — they KNOW you. They never see anything but the Love and the Light. If I believed in God — and when I did believe in God — it was that sort of seeing I thought defined God. My complicated cosmology didn’t have room for sin or hell or right or wrong — but, rather, had space only for the aim of seeing only the Love and Light at the source, at the core. Not saying there aren’t people who behave in heinous ways, saying, instead, the job of a God — the job, I think, of everyone, all life — is to believe PAST all of the heinous, to believe that — ultimately — the Love and the Light, no matter how distorted they may become, are all that are. All That Is, the truth of the Love and the Light. Everything else is illusion, temporary, words, labels, not important.

How does Andrea stay my friend? Because for Andrea, that is all there is. Andrea is what anyone who wants to do God’s work should be, a person who works always to live in and see in others that core of Love and Light, and believes in it — no matter how those others parse it or fuck it up or hurt themselves and others or fail at life — Andrea sees and encourages and cultivates and BELIEVES in the Love and the Light.

That’s faith. Faith. That’s God. And I am incredibly blessed and comforted and cozied and joyed and un-deserving of having found this late in life (although I hasten to add I was come on to when naked in the shower yesterday by a very attractive much younger man — ARE YOU LISTENING RUSSELL TOVEY?) a friend, a dear one, a treasure, like Andrea. Andrea, a Pastor who doesn’t measure me by whether or not I profess to believe in God; Andrea, who doesn’t measure me at all except by the glow of my Love and Light, and finds me to be friend-worthy. I love her. So much.

Here’s wishing all of you have an Andrea and such blessings as do I to count, and, my dears, at least one who sees your Love and Light like Andrea sees mine.

Love and Light kids.

 

 

 

A Single Man … and the vampires who killed him …

Christopher Isherwood.

I have vacillated my entire life between worlds, in the beginning I thought I’d be a musical theatre star. I first heard of Christopher Isherwood, then, as source material for Cabaret. At that point, my main literary influences were not those likely to have read Isherwood, and so, I hadn’t. I didn’t. Not then.

I aged. I realized I would not be a musical theatre star.More and more, without my noticing, my focus changed to writing. I had always been a reader, but as theatre faded away, and as I became less and less happy, I started my own course of study, looking — not so much for answers, but rather like some cosmological Jeopardy game, instead, the questions I ought to have been asking that explained how I’d arrived at the horrid answers I had.

I wondered, worried, how had I never – why had I never loved someone with whom I could share rare and recherche jazz recordings a dog and Kafka and Capote … someone who got me and wanted to touch me. Oh, Isherwood’s A Single Man broke my heart. Then. Even. When I wasn’t yet the old (really old) man.

Getting older, well . . .

… it’s a load of shit. I think I’ve actually got sillier and sillier. … Experience is not what happens to a man, it’s what a man does with what happens to him.

Can we go back to your place sir?

Of course, where else?

Where else.

Are you out of your mind?

What’s the matter?

You can’t go home like that.

We’re invisible, don’t you know that? You know, Sir, they ought not to let you out on your own; you’re liable to get into real trouble.

Oh, I excel at it.

By which time I was, sadly, this symbol to people rather than a person … and I was, fooled and foolishly, half in love with those half in love with half of who I was, none of us, neither of us, less than fools, able to navigate the sorrows of what we were not, could not, would not be. And so, I accepted being made a fool of.

I think we should get you out of those wet clothes.

Yes, Sir.

And finally, I realized, with a horrifying lucidity, the complete rotting of my heart, un-nourished so long, thanks to the emptying of my once Light and Love filled soul by the vampires I had invited to feed on me, the last of whom had ruthlessly stolen from me all that I was, all that I had, and then staked me through the heart, laughing as the ashes of me hit the ground, waltzing through the detritus of me and wiping off their shoes, complaining about the mess I’d made.

I was, and am, alone: A Single Man.

A few times in my life, I’ve had moments of absolute clarity; when, for a few brief seconds, the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think, and things seem so sharp, and the world seems so fresh, it’s as though it had all just come into existence. I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but, like everything, they fade. I’ve lived my life on these moments. They pull me back to the present. And I realize that everything is exactly the way that it’s meant to be.

And just like that, it came.

 

… synaptic leaps of joy …

Last night I drank champagne. As I sipped it I thought, “I simply adore champagne.”Naturally, the next leap was to the sentiment, “It is divinely decadent.”

Thompson, Kay

Kay Thompson in “Funny Face”

If you know how I got from start to finish (and it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish: Shirley MacLaine, The Apartment, SeeSaw, Tommy Tune, Barbara Cook, You Can Get There From Here – can you follow THAT synaptic path?) then I wish you would be my friend so that we might sip champagne and leap the light synaptic together!

The thing: the syntax and the sentiment of “I simply adore champagne” made me think of Eloise. Many folks think of the Hilary Knight illustrations but for me it is all about Kay Thompson. (SEE EVERYTHING ELOISE AND KAY THOMPSON AND HILARY KNIGHT HERE) Miss Thompson was the epitome of the svelte, soignee sophisticate with whom I imagined I would spend my life. We would toss about witty bon mots and drink to excess with no effect, and everyone would desire us: Our Company, Our Companionship, Our Approval.

Thompson, Kay bookMiss Thompson was rumored to have invented the word “pizazz” and in addition to her legendary nightclub act (“not just an act, and experience”) she worked as vocal coach with all the MGM greats – including Judy Garland who made her Liza Minnelli’s godmother. It was Liza on whom Eloise was modeled. And so, you see, it was a short synaptic leap to the Sally Bowles line as purred by Liza Minnelli as no doubt instructed by Miss Thompson when Miss Minnelli filmed the musical “Cabaret” (I’m now sitting alone in my room, from which perch I can see “Liberation: Diaries 1970-1983 of Christopher Isherwood who was, indeed, a camera in ways I will never be) directed by Bob Fosse – another of the types with whom I thought I’d be cavorting throughout my life and …

You see how this goes? So many connections. Such fun to live in my mind and make these leaps. However, now I can’t decide WHERE to focus my attention. Do I re-read some old Isherwood? Search YouTube for snippets of Kay Thompson in “Funny Face” or her nightclub extravaganza? Watch “Cabaret” and fall for Michael York again? Or … spend hours on the Kay Thompson website (CLICK HERE IF YOU’D LIKE TO DO THAT – IT’S RAWTHER FASCINATING!)

Cabaret_31134_Medium

Hell, why don’t I call up my Kay or Liza or Fosse or Christopher and hit a bar for some champagne sipping and the tossing of bon mots to and fro? Both champagne and bon mots are frequently described as “sparkling” which is an interesting synaptic connection … oh dear … this is all rawther sklonkingly exhawwwwsting … I think I really better skibble over to my bed and have a rest for my brain.

Happy happy leaping to you … and if this makes sense at all … please call me. Especially call me if you might be the Don to my Chris … or the Nicholas to my Colin … if you follow … would pictures help?

A SINGLE MAN GIFisherwood being painted by bachardyIsherwood Chris and Don

Yes, if you do follow, well . . . that would be just darling!

“A SINGLE MAN”

I’ve been watching “A SINGLE MAN” again. I know I shouldn’t. Based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel of genius, the film manages to capture much of its brilliance. While on the surface it may seem to be about a lonely man, it is so much more. It is about the very nature of alone-ness, the absolute alone-ness in which we all live. Written by Isherwood when going through a difficult time with his much younger lover, Don Bachardy, the book is about the terror of allowing someone into your soul; the terror of recognizing a true connection of souls; the horror of losing such connections; the absolute, edge of the cliff, pain in the chest, unable to breathe agony of suffering the consequences of forging such a connection, only to experience the inability of one or both parties to cope with the connection; it’s about the rarity of finding someone who really and truly sees you and then losing that person; it’s about the awful, day after day, eviscerating loneliness with which one must live when one discovers that we are all, finally, alone in our own skins, in our own minds, and that is it is possible to love someone passionately, completely and not have that love returned. I should not watch it. I should not re-read the novel. I should not imagine that someone like Nicholas Hoult might still be out there, might awaken something in me again in a conversation across a table. I should not wish that I have the words like Isherwood (like Colin Firth in the film) to explain myself, ever again – or, having the words, the courage or faith or hope to do so ever again. I should not envy the Firth character’s ending. But, there are many things I should not do, should not have done, and yet, I do, and have done and here I am . . . going.