Sunday, November 23, 2014

There Is Nothing Like a Dame

She called me Friday morning and knocked me sideways off my perch.

At my age, personal phone calls are rare, and they usually convey news of somebody’s death. But not this one.

This was just her being her, part Juliet and Auntie Mame and Joan of Arc and Lilith and Eleanor of Aquitaine and Madame DuBarry all rolled into one.

It’s odd, but I have no recollection of ever meeting her. She seemed to be always there. In my circle. A part of my life.

This morning, she was calling to see how I was doing.

Why? Who knows. She has this sense. And she has the cure for whatever ails you. It might be a caress or a slap across the face, but she can always tell what you need when you need it, whether you like it or not.

She can see the little boy I used to be before “Life” started to happen to him.

Women like that are either witches or wise, and it is always best to hold them close and on your side.

I love her.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Just a Thought

The impulse to create this poster came to me one day last week when I opened my news reader and stumbled across a review of a local production that should never have seen the light of a follow-spot. It was inane, trivial, and assembled by people possessing negligible talents and less imagination.

The review was quite favorable, though, and predicted audiences would enjoy the show. I didn’t doubt it.

Sometimes New Orleans theatre patrons put me in mind of those lost, forsaken souls who used to troll Tulane Avenue pre-Katrina, foraging for a twenty-dollar blowjob from a two-bit whore.

I can only conclude that the end is no longer near; it has already occurred.

I know, I know. I’ll never work in this town again...

(A note to those colleagues of mine in the New Orleans “theatre community” [sic], I’m not talking about your show.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I Will Turn My Face Away

I have always believed in quitting.

I know Norman Vincent Peale once said, “It’s always too soon to quit.” And Douglas MacArthur (who had to be fired because he wouldn’t quit), said, “Age wrinkles the body; quitting wrinkles the soul.” Then there’s Lance Armstrong who recently said, “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” (Um, maybe there was something you should have quit, Mr. Wheely-Go-Round-In-Circles.)

Well, screw them. I'm a quitter from way back.

I quit the seminary when it became clear to me that I didn’t belong there. I quit substitute teaching when a riotous class of seventh graders induced a vision in my mind’s eye in which I saw a bright white light and heard the voice of God booming, “You don’t need this shit. Go home.” I once quit as director of a play when the leading lady became so toxic I couldn't remain in her presence because I might have assaulted and battered her. I even quit my job and retired from my career when our state’s politicians mangled what had been a supportive agency and turned it into a punitive one.

Quitting is a noble act, a triumph of the will, a Heathcliffian fist upraised in defiance against a raging storm.

So what did I quit this time?

Why, Facebook, of course.

And why would I turn my face away from the biggest virtual community in the world?

There are several reasons.
  • It made me lonesome. Here I’d sit in my ratty room in my ratty shorts, reading status updates from my friends (some of whom I actually knew). I’d hear about all the wooly things they were up to and compare those things to the vast lack of things going on in my own life because, instead of going out and doing something, anything, I was sitting in my ratty room in my ratty shorts, reading status updates.
  • The lonesomeness led to depression. That should be obvious.
  • On Facebook, there are cool kids, geeks, and losers. I could never quite make it into the cool-kid clique.
  • Facebook is a drug, and you know what your brain on drugs looks like.
  • And, finally, Facebook is inherently evil. God says so in the Bible. Somewhere in the Bible. Maybe indirectly, but He definitely has something to say about it!
Most of all, I guess I quit Facebook because it discouraged me from encountering people face to face and substituted that with―what?—six or more degrees of separation.

I don’t know about you, but as a derelict Facebook hop-head, I missed human contact. I discovered that, as stand-offish as I might normally be, I desired human contact. I needed it. I need it.

Now and then, of course. I’m not ready for, nor am I advocating, profligate or promiscuous contact at any cost. Please keep your distance.

I am still spreading.

But I also am available.

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