can't stop myself from laughin' no matter how sad these things can be..

it's that feeling, like aching lonely and the need for that person who knows, really knows when you're falling apart. the person who knows that you need someone to agree with you even if you might be wrong. even if it is just for a while.

i'd think it were impossible if i hadn't had it at one point in time or another. it's out there. sometimes i think it was easier to believe it wasn't. always miss something more when you know what it is, how it feels.

don't answer the phone. don't get out of bed. don't lift your tired head. there are only so many things to do in a day with no meaning. forget yourself, forget breathing. this weight on me like the entire world. nobody's on my side, nobody seems to see how much, how deep, how far these things can be..

it's sad stuck inside your head with no one to pull you out. sad to stand alone in such a vast universe. sad to see them all go..

sometimes i think that if it were not for a couple little strings..

the fine art of falling apart.
My brother has unawaringly just awoken the whole house and its approximately 12:40 a.m.. Everyone woke at once almost and ran downstairs at the sound of cutlery hitting the floor to find my eldest brother (22) wearing only jocks, with a glazed expression on his face, screaming at the top of his voice:

"Where the FUCK is it? I know one of you fucking has it you fucking bastards. Now come on hand it over. I said hand it over. COME ON!" While pointing a spoon accusedly at the sink and the oven.

This quickly became a babble of "Where's he gone? Hello? Are you a tree?" And as we carried him back to bed we laugh as he continuedly prodded my other brother with the spoon which he refused to relinquish.

They are there, all around me watching my every move as I stalk her with my eyes, the girl across the room, the one who reminds me of a life I thought I forgot. Like a subtle reminder she calls out to me in my mind conjuring up places and faces, people I can no longer find. Love grows cold now, I have had my belly full of this and that. The need for female companionship, to talk, to trust, its just the way it is, some times I can not talk that way to me. When you say potato I say patattah.

I am calm as any breeze and I am still staring. I don't think they notice. I don't think any one knows, so far away, so paranoid. I creep like a womb. I need to be inside my friends and like a vampire to suck, to become a personality that is compatible, to be more than a niche. I am stuck now and I need to know, what it is about you that will not let me grow. Past the small talk, past the shit, I want to get inside your head, to spread your guts out and scri your rune, to taste your soul and drink your rhythm. The connection is to weak, you are not near all I once was or am, I am weak, to rigid now. I wont step outside my mold.

To break this glass or that would be an empty gesture now as I crawl in to meet my voided crowd of gawker's. Always thinking about me and thats how I should know, to see and look, I hear them, whispering at me, why else do heads turn. Silence comes now and I stare at them all, the pages are turning, next book, new subject. The same, they are all the same and I am still sitting here paralyzed in part with fear and in part confusion.

I can't help but wonder who it is that takes the time, to note it all down, to say whats yours and mine. To push these soulless continents on us, these sets, these things called friends or acquaintances. The evolution of a life time singing about whats yours and mine. The lights grow dim and the hall is quite now, another lecture, it is about to begin.

My health continues to be poor with no signs of improvement on the immediate horizon. I now take Phenegan for nausea which works much better than the Compazine from last week. I see my doctor on Monday to hear the results from the x-rays I had earlier in the week. He would not give me the results over the phone which typically means it's bad news I'll be hearing come Monday. I took today off to stay in bed to rest, and I have a restful weekend planned.

I spoke to my contact at my college's student disability office on Thursday. Under her advice I've decided to drop one of my classes this semester to take some of the stress off of me. It's just as well because the professor wasn't much help. He had been asking for doctor's notes for each day I was absent and with a chronic illness that's not really an option. He also doesn't speak English very well soI don't believe he totally understood my situation. My other three classes are easier to handle and my grades are good. I've been very fortunate to be able to download class notes and turn in homework via e-mail.

Monday is also my birthday. The big 2-2. One of my birthday gifts arrived today - the Mystery Science Theater Collection, Vol. 2. I know what I'll be doing this weekend between naps!

I went with Braunbeck to Barnes & Noble tonight. While he eagerly ran from shelf to shelf, scouring the titles for thing he'd been dying to read, I could barely stand to look at the offerings on the shelves.

I grew up in a household of bibliophiles, and when I was a teenager, a trip to the bookstore was one of my favorite things. The bookstore was like a wonderful smorgasbord of entertainment and edification, and I was always eager to save my pocket money for whatever latest novel I could find from my favorite authors.

But all that's changed. I read all day as a part of my work. Endless screens of Web pages pass through my brain.

And lately, I've felt a little queasy just going near a bookstore. It's the kind of queasy you feel when, after you've eaten way too much of an American-supersized dinner at a restaurant, the waiter wheels out a cart of monstrous sweets to try to entice you to spring for dessert.

I have dozens of books at home I've been meaning to read for years. I can't justify buying Another. Single. Book.

Yet there they are, hundreds upon thousands of books on programming languages I can't comprehend, poets I've never read, classics I've never cracked.

And, on another level, I'm staring at the hundreds upon hundreds of books and realizing that, someday, if all goes well and I get a novel published, it will be but a slim, easily-overlooked volume on those overfull shelves.

Those rows and rows of fresh reading now look like Mt. Everest in a blizzard: forbidding and impossible.

I don't like feeling this way. I should dislike the sterile stink of hospitals, or the smoky grubbiness of dive bars ... but instead I dread the bibliocopia of bookstores?

I hope this is just a phase.

Wow. I can feel my brain rotting already.

You know you've been sitting at a computer for too long when you realize you just on it for the sake of being on it. I've been doing just that for the past hour. I can't get off because.. I don't know why. It's an addiction: you know you should get off and do something productive rather than just playing Yahoo Games or Solitaire until your mind feels numb, but you can't do it.
I think in my particular case I get hooked because of instant messaging systems like ICQ. I don't want to get off if there's someone on who I can talk to. So I play my mindless little microsoft games until I can play them in my sleep, and I repeat "I'm bored, what are you doing" and "nothing" at the same people for hours on end. Hooray endless repetition.

I've made all the changes I can currently make on my site. I'm not going to redesign it all over again.. at least not for a few more months.
I don't feel like writing my book. I've got every plot problem except one worked out and now I'm avoiding the hard part: writing the damn thing... Things. It's gone from one book to five, or even six if I decide to do the last one. Damn.
I don't want to play Solitaire. If I play it too much I start playing it in my sleep, or any time I'm not exactly thinking of anything. I used to do that with Tetris a lot, but I cut down so now I'm okay.
I don't want to play around with Photoshop right this minute either.
So here I am on E2. The true source of information I never knew existed... at least it's something to keep my brain alive. Which is good.

I think.

At least I have Winamp to make sure I'm not completely numbed. A good mix of good songs and nonsense keeps me awake. Metallica, Sesame Street remixes, Moist, and random .wav files. And Denis Leary. Yay me.
I have lots of things to be doing, but somehow I'm still being a zombie in front of this hypnotising box.

No, don't kick me off!
I'd rather sit here mindlessly staring than wander around the house and be bored to death. Because that's exactly what always happens.
It's just another type of zombie activity, only I'm staggering around in circles instead of staring numbly at a screen.

Oh well.

Hoedown in Hontown:

A fictio-factual account

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, acutally, it wasn't stormy at all, and mercury vapor lamps reflected brilliantly off huge piles of snow lying around the parking lot of the Tower Shopping Center on 41st street. (Baltimore has a 42nd Street, but it's in a different neighborhood, and isn't all that interesting except for having been the city line 100 years ago. So we make do with 41st).

As I pulled onto the lot, my mind raced with excitement, anticipating my first meeting with other noders ever. This excitement rapidly devolved into frustration finding a parking spot, as said piles of snow took up 3/4 of the spots on the lot. Eventually, I found a spot, although it was halfway to Catonsville.

For the thirteenth time in two weeks, I wished I'd brought my snowshoes. I suppose the scene was beautiful, in a grimy Baltimore fashion. I eventually made my way to a storefront with "Alissa's" picked out in green neon overhead. I walked through the door into a landscape of oak and hunter green. Hunter green wainscoting with an oak chair rail, hunter green tables with oak edges, hunter green carpet, waitresses in fetching hunter green outfits. The only flaw in the theme was a pathetic heap of misery huddled on a long oak bench against a hunter green partition. It was a person, pulled up into fetal position, tremblling and moaning.

My next step was to walk up to the sign, in hopes of catching a server's attention, and being led to the table of the people I expected to meet. This is when I noticed the sign said "Please seat yourself". There were many open tables and I was afraid there might be a repeat of the fiasco last spring when I wandered around all day wondering where everyone was.

But at that moment, the figure on the bench let out a particularly fearsome moan, and I turned back, thinking to ask if I could be of assistance.

The figure pre-empted me by a croaking a question. "Are you looking for E2?"

I was momentarily taken aback, but eventually replied, "Well, actually yes". A trembling hand extended in tentative greeting. "Czeano", came the choked, nealy inaudible whisper.

I introduced myself, but hurried off to find a waitress. She went in the back and got a stretcher, and between us, we carried my new acquaintance over to tow tables that had been pushed together for a large party, and laid him out on three chairs next to it. Panicked patrons streamed out through the door with the "Please use other door" sign on it.

"Will it be just the two of you?" "No, we're expecting at least four more." Czeano regained consciousness long enough to order a Sam Adams.

After a few sips, the figure who had looked to be at death's door not five minutes ago sat up and said "Please forgive me, I'm just getting over the flu." While waiting for the rest of our party, we exchanged the bits of information that are usually exchanged between new acquaintances. It was a long wait. Bob Turk, a local weatherman, entered the restaurant, ordered, was served, had dessert and coffee, paid the check, and left (through the "please use other door" door). Talk of noding and the WBAL sign sining out across the Jones Falls Valley died away, and "Where are they?" became the prime target of conversation.

Eventually, Czeano suggested we order our food, as it was the one act which was most likely to bring the rest of our party descending on us. Sure enough, no sooner did we order than a young man in a white shirt and tie came through the door, and told a waitress "I'm looking for some friends". Czeano called "Kensey?" and waved him over. The identification appeared to be correct, as he walked over and sat down. Our food arrived,

Just then, another man walked around the partition. Czaeno recognized this one, who turned out to be knile. His statement "So you're Gorgonzola. You look like my uncle" erased any trace of avuncularity I might have been feeling at the minute. A barbershop quartet was out of the question, as everyone was a baritone, so more gabbing and eating ensued. Stories of the bizarre people you met in college always help to pass the evening.

Eventually, we reached the stage of dessert and coffee. Except for czeano, who had been defeated by his chicken parmesean. Knile had to use his credit card, as the store wouldn't change Krugerrands. He also bought each of us a Rolls-Royce in commemoration, which I thought a nice touch.

We filed out of our meeting-place, soon to be marked with a granite plaque, and into the history books.

Two very exciting things happened to me tonight:

1. For the first time ever (it's what, my fourth semester at college?) I went into Washington, D.C. Friday night with friends, and went to a bar. We even got kicked out of the bar!

2. I got to see an actual book that had once belonged to Roger Ascham, and even had his personal handwriting in it! *fangirlish squeeing*

Guess which one I found more exciting? (hint: it wasn't the bar.) Somehow I feel this marks me as an abnormal person.

Yes, okay, that's not the whole story. To justify a daylog I suppose I should elaborate.

The big news this week is that I've lost my university ID card, which means I can't get into the dorm by myself or eat at the dining hall, so I've been surviving on ramen noodles and Vanilla Coke, and doing a lot of standing in the snow. This was made even more desperate because tonight, most of the Writers' House in which I live was going to the PEN/Faulkner reading at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and I needed my card to get on the bus to the Metro and to get my student ticket.

But I managed to sneak on the bus, and the house director picked up my ticket for me. And we got on the Metro, which was exciting as always. The boys were being boys and switched cars at every stop. The girls sat quietly and discussed hats. Yes, hats. And we got off at the right stop, and only got slightly lost on the way to the library, and only had one snowball fight in the middle of a busy intersection, and only ended up being about ten minutes late to the reading.

The Folger Shakespeare Theatre is incredibly nifty, and I can't believe I'd never been there before. It feels old, all vaulted ceilings, dark wooden paneling, red drapes and marble sculptures. We ended up sitting in the balcony. The theater itself looks exactly like I'd always imagined an indoor Elizabethan theater like Blackfriars to look, and must date back at least a hundred years. (I could look it up, but then I might as well be noding the library.)

The reading was a panel discussion with Francisco Goldman, Manil Suri, and Claire Messud. When we came in they were discussing globalism and the concept of the American Novel, which I found slightly surreal in the Victorian-Elizabethan atmosphere of the theater, but it was a great panel. The most memorable part, of course, was when Manil Suri read the sex scene from The Death of Vishnu and talked about how he reads that scene at every talk and the different reactions he gets in different places. (Suri: In Germany, they laughed at all the wrong spots. Goldman: Well, Germans probably do that during sex too).

After the reading was a reception. I rushed in as quickly as I could to snag refreshments,(because frankly the ramen's getting fairly old), but before I'd made it ten steps in I saw in a glass case by the door, a First Folio! I knew they had them there, but I didn't expect to actually get to see one! I was struck dumb and just stood there staring at it for a while. By the time I got to the food all the mango slices were gone.

The reception made me feel very literary. We stood around drinking sparkling water, taking advantage of free food, commenting on the quality of the cheeses and discussing foreign novels. Except me. I spent the time staring at the displays like an idiot. An original copy of James Boswell's Journal of a tour to the Hebrides! An entire case full of books scribbled in by John Dee! One of Henry VIII's Latin textbooks! Walt Whitman's pocket Shakespeare! Part of Robert Dudley's collection! And, of course, the aforementioned Roger Ascham inscriptions. (He's the only famous person I ever had a real schoolgirl crush on. He was Queen Elizabeth I's Latin tutor. Someone should fill that nodeshell.) And some random photographer took our pictures. Check the DC area alternatives.

At some point the house director asked us if we all wanted to go out for literary discussion and drinks (!) Even though only one of us was over drinking age. We all agreed. I figured it was probably the only way I'd ever end up in a bar, and it felt very safe. We were headed for a bar which I believe was called the Ark and Dove. Unfortunately nobody actually knew where it was, and instead we ended up at a Red River Grill. Which was not quite the ambience I was expecting. Half-a-dozen TVs blaring different channels, loud rap music, smoke, no room to move. The adults told us they no longer considered themselves in charge, but if we had fake ID's they didn't want to know about it. I wasn't at all interested in getting a drink, even an orange juice. Actually I had no idea what to do. I went into writer mode and stared around wide-eyed, drinking in all the details to remember so I could use it in a story (or, yes, a daylog) later. Loud rude people in trashy clothing. I couldn't tell if they were drunk or just naturally that way. Harried barmaid. Ashes, dirty dishes, empty beer cans, red-vinyl seats (I got my cloak caught while sitting down, so now I know what it's like to fall off a barstool). Reproduction movie posters on the walls. The bar itself, with all the bottles lined up behind it, which I can only describe as "shiny" in the "ooh, sparkly, I can't help staring at it" sense.

After about ten minutes one of the employees came up and politely asked those of us who weren't drinking to leave. Yes, that counts as getting kicked out of a bar! It does! So about three girls walked back to the metro station. I suppose I should have been worried, DC late at night, but nothing happened more alarming than wolf whistles from some stoned guys on a porch, and I've gotten *that* much in Glen Burnie. And we took the Metro home from Union Station, caught the free shuttle bus back to campus, and one of my friends let me in the dorm. I suppose the others are still at the bar. Meanwhile I've written a lovely journal.

Strangely, this adventure did not increase my desire to go out and get trashed every weekend. It did make me determined to go back to the Library sometime and sigh over all the wonderful, sexy old books.

***

In other exciting news, this is my 25th writeup and first daylog! Go me!

She says, "So... after you left the other night, when I was playing pool with blonde Josh, he and I got to talking. He asked me if I felt awkward about being the only girl in the group while eight other guys are flirting with me constantly."

I say, "Huh. And?" I'm driving and am unable to look her in the eye, except for the occasional glance. I'm in the process of changing lanes on the way to my place, where we will make out like naughty teens and nothing else will happen. Maybe. We havent' gotten there yet. We're going under the pretense of playing Scrabble on my computer since it'll be a few hours before our friends come back from bowling. It was her idea. Kinda.

"I told him no. That I kind of like it, but I don't take it seriously because of all the guys hitting on me, I see them only as friends. And, really, he's the only one at the time I would even consider dating, but since he's engaged to someone else, he's off-limits, so it's no big deal." She pauses for a few moments. "Then he says that he's sorry to hear that, because if he was a girl he'd be crazy not to want to date you."

"Me?"

"Yeah. And you know what I said?"

"Uhm... no."

"I said that I'm crazy for not dating you, too. You're the perfect guy. Only problem is that, well... you're thirty."

"Nearly thirty," I correct her. "I'm still twenty-nine, you know."

"Yeah, but not for very long."

She's been making comments like this all night long, like she's trying to rationalize every reason she can come up with for not dating me (not that I've asked her to... the word "girlfriend" still hasn't fallen from my lips in reference to her), but the only one she can devise is the little matter of my age.

I've made no bones about it, I'm attracted to her. I've said as much and haven't bothered hiding it. I flirt with her incessantly and make it quite clear that I think she's beautiful. I'm not looking for a long-term thing, not really. Commitment would be nice, for a while, but I'm nobody's fool. She's 18, I'm nearly 30. There's a whole, wide gulf of experience and living between us. She's just now discovering things about herself and the world around her that I've long-since gotten through my thick skull. Every step she takes over the next few years is, quite literally, child's play for me. Been there, done that- from her perspective.

She's concerned with having to introduce me to her parents, some day ("Hi, Mom. This is my new boyfriend. Ignore the gray hairs, please."). She's worried that she'll always feel like she's playing catch-up with me. She's scared that she might drive me crazy with her growing pains. She's young and she's looking at the kinds of reasons young people think of when they're involved with older people. I thought the same things and felt the same way when I was in her shoes, once.

I tell her that she's not my child, that it isn't my responsibility to raise her and that I think her parents have done a superb job of that already. I tell her that she's a woman who will make her own decisions and that I respect her right to do as she pleases. I tell her that I will not try to force her to do anything against her wishes, but I will leave the option open if she wants it. I tell her that I have no expectations, that I'm... testing shallow waters, still.

"You know the perfectly right things to say," she says. "And the worst thing is that you mean them. You mean what you're saying and you're telling the truth, and I know it because you don't say things you don't mean. That's what really sucks, because it's not fair that you know the right things to say without even thinking about them and I still can't date you."

How can I tell her that her concern is all a load of hogwash? Okay... no, it isn't all hogwash, but it's not the kind of stumbling block that she's making it out to be.

And I'm not anything like the guys she's dated before, she tells me. I mean, even if our ages weren't a consideration, I still wouldn't be like any other guy she's been out with.

She says, later, while we're on the way back to the cafe to meet our friends, "When we kissed... the way you kiss me... it's like... something familiar. But I don't know what it is."

She's scared, not of the difference in age. She's scared that she might not be able to control me, that I'm going to break her record of breaking or being broken by the men she's been with. I do not conform to her previous liasons. I'm not a "boy" or a "guy." I'm a man. Big difference.

I am different and that scares her.

Funny. You'd think that a person who's college major is psychology would understand this simple fact of human behavior: most people are typically afraid of that which is different and the only way to overcome that fear is to embrace that which is different, to accept it.

Long days ahead of me, I know it.

I just read Lucy-S's daylog. I sympathise. I can't read either, but for a totally different reason.

Usually at this time of year, I'm reading 3 or 4 books a week...mostly junk but with a few gems in the mix. I'm a huge sci-fi nut, the harder, the better, and I'm always scouring the shelves of my local library for new releases. Or going to the bookstore, seeing what's new, and then rushing home to put holds on them at the library. (I read way to much to buy many books...my house overflows with them as it is.)

But now.....here's my sob story....

I quit smoking in September. (Good for me!) I used Zyban to help me, and it worked great as far as helping me quit. However, I had a bad reaction to it emotionally and spiralled down into depression. My poor kids...I was psycho-mom for a while.

So, here I am now, off the Zyban, still not smoking (yay), taking Celexa for depression and awaiting an appointment with a psychologist. AND I CAN'T READ!!! I can't seem to sit still long enough to get past a page or two. It's making me crazy. I've got the new Robert Jordan sitting here, and a Robin Hobb that I was looking forward to, just collecting dust.

I hope spring gets here soon. I can't help but feel that everything will be better in the spring...when my bare feet can make contact with mother earth again and I can have good, honest dirt under my fingernails.

Memories have been floating in and out of my brain constantly for the past few days. Memories of things loved, and of things lost. They materialize for an instant, and cause me to become lost in thought. I "awake" from such an occasion dazed and unable to fully recall what I was doing only seconds ago.

These brief yet desirable thoughts come without warning, but are usually provoked. Sometimes the lyrics in a song, or an object that I associate with recent times, cause me to go into one of these periods of recollection.

Be it painful or euphoric, these memories are welcome to occupy my thoughts as often as they see fit. I would much rather be able to think of them now, than for them never to have been created in the first place. I am clinging. Clinging to things that have been suddenly and unfairly taken from me, and these frequent memories are the only thing I have left to remind me of what I came to depend on and what I held so close to my heart.

Despite the fact that I will never be able to again have what I've recently lost, it comforts me that the memories will always be there, and whether provoked or spontaneous, I know that they will help me get through this.

Yawn. Stretch.

I really am addicted to freedom. That's another way to say I'm lazy. I've been billing myself as "living proof there is no correlation between intelligence and ambition" for years now. Everything is relative though.

I was actually awake by about 2 pm today. That's really not so "lazy" when you consider I often go to bed at 6 am. I love the grave scheduale.

Seeing that today is March 1 I was reminded of the radio commecials I've been hearing the last couple of days as I listen to Howard Stern. It seems Jenna Jameson and some other porn star will be at Sapphires tonight, which is supposedly the largest strip club in the world that just opened up here in Las Vegas. It's funny the stuff I read on E2. I usually check to make sure my links go somewhere (although in the poem I wrote I left in a link that goes to the town I grew up in, even though no node exists, just as a RL reference) so I glanced over Jenna's node here. Quite a long list of films.

Had I devoted my life to making money it might be fun to go tonight, but as I'm currently "living at the poverty level" (as my mother put it the other night) by playing low limit poker, I think I'll pass. In fact I'll proabably just go play some poker tonight. Working whenever I want is so...NICE.

I was thinking that Las Vegas reminds me of the brief time I spent in college before I dropped out. No matter how much I screwed around and put off homework and studying for tests, I could always look around and see a lot more people screwing around a lot more than I was.

I live in what many have called a bad part of town. Maybe it's the beggers, the drug dealers, and the crack whores that remind me of college.

I had a new experience with a begger last night. He was the most aggressive I have ever encountered. He was also very drunk, but I just wasn't positive he wasn't going to try anything stupid. I also felt that he wanted me to think he might. Basically he just wanted to do whatever it took to get another beer. I can relate to the feeling if I apply it to relationships. You know when a woman you are in love with breaks up with you, and you just want to do something to fix everything. So desparate.

I just stood in the parking lot talking to him and watching him. I kept assuring him I wasn't going to give him any money. I just waited for him to go away. Truth was I didn't want to go to my car because I figured he could do more damage to it than to me. He could live here for all I know.

And then there is e2. I edited a little node I wrote a long time ago. Some e2 user was helpful enough to explain to me how I should make my nodes stand alone, that inadequate nodes will eventually be destroyed and should not be referenced. Having enough nodes of my own destroyed I now understand what he was saying.

I think the vote dumping on daylogs is interesting too. I got some words of encouragement from a user who I saw somewhere admitted to being a serial upvoter. I love statistics. I would love to look at long stretches of daylogs and see how people vote them and look at correlations to who the writer is vs. that particular time on e2.

An old man sits at his computer and turns to his grandchildren...

"I remember back in April of 2005 downvoting daylogs was all the rage. A man couldn't utter the words 'Dear Diary' without losing a ton of experience..."

A child whispers to the other, "Why is Grandpa so weird?"

"Mom told me he always refused to be put on any medication..."

Playwright in Tech

D -6 Day

Wake up at 4:45 this morning, and am stumbling the half-mile down Capitol Hill to the Westin Hotel rolling my suitcase behind me by 5:10. The cold I’ve been nursing seems to be promising remission. When will we ever learn? Viruses lie.

Still, all cities are at their most beautiful in their wee hours, and Seattle is no different. Amid the predawn emptiness, a few gulls screaming as they carve the starry skies between the buildings, the whole damned quixotic adventure I’ve set out on seems almost worth this one moment. Of course, I might argue the point later. After all, beauty lies, too.

Caught the Gray Line airport express on schedule at 5: 40. So far, smooth as class. In fact, it went that way through ticketing, security, boarding, the flight and deplaning in LAX. Hell, my luggage was at the baggage carousel before I was, and I don’t dawdle in airports. Car rental, again, smooth as glass. And the ease with which I found the theatre seemed to promise bon fim.

Inside the theatre space though, it is cue-to-cue chaos as usual, perhaps worse, since I still delude myself that this simple little show isn’t going to cause as much trouble as some of my earlier, more ambitious pieces. No such luck. The challenges always expand to overwhelm the limited staff and time any show has. Over the next 10 hours, as I sit in the tiny theatre, my cold returns with a petty vengeance, my sinuses gushing forth like newly tapped mountain springs. As a playwright, I have little to offer on the mostly technical stuff going on. All I know is, if the actors are performing anything close to what we’re gonna see on Opening Night, I’m in for another bitchy crucifixion from the 7 confirmed critics who'll be sitting in the audience with me. The director assures me the actors are merely “in their heads”. I guess I’m in my head, too, along with a 2 and half gallons of snot. He needs to start cracking the whip to keep things moving on a stricter schedule, but I’m too sick and too new on the scene to tell him without setting him off. (He’s a rookie to this, and very sensitive about it.)

Feeling like a pussy, I leave when the actors do, around 8:30 pm, with only part of the first act teched. Like an idiot, I was hoping that we’d be well into the second act so that we might try a run at the end of cue-to-cue tomorrow. That’s looking like a delirious fever dream at this point. There’s still a crap load of building to be done on the set (on this count, I feel like I’m leaving the set designer, a very good friend, in the lurch), and the director, stage manager, lightening and sound designers plan to do dry tech on Act II till they “hit the wall”. (They should have dry-teched everything at least as early as yesterday.)

I drive my rental car back to the director’s apartment, which is a sty. It always is, and I always wind up staying here. The horrid state of this guy’s bathroom says in no uncertain terms, “I’ve given up all hope of getting laid.” Sad, really. Is it so hard to clean your shower and ask a girl out once in a while?

Tomorrow? Fuck it. I gotta shake this bug before I can think about tomorrow.

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