The Constant Fight

14 Mar

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“This is fucking ridiculous! You should blog it!”

….Is, oddly enough, how a lot of my entries come to be born. My subjects: mostly sourcing from some one or more of the “family”…and more often than not: from Cecil.

…She’s sorta like a happenings-magnet, as far as humans go. Much more than I am. Because she puts herself out there in the day-to-day. She’s the kind of person who knows the names of and forges relationships with the checker at the grocery store, and her barista, and the guy in the mall who stops you mid-stride to try and sell you something from the hair-iron/cellphone shield/Hickory Farms kiosks. She’s the kind of person who will start talking to a total stranger sitting on a bench in the park. The kind of person who will look you in the eye and actually ask-and-wait-for-the-answer to, “How are you doing today…” and she will tell the god’s honest truth in reply.

“…Well, thank you for asking, Ben, but it’s actually not been a great day. The bank was closed, so I couldn’t get that money order I needed to pay my rent and now I’m worried about having to write a check and have it clear in time,” …she will say…to the guy bagging her groceries. I’ve been there and seen it happen. Countless times.

…And so, because of this, she is –no matter how well I know her– a sort of bafflement to me, as humans go. Because she is a literalist at life. She makes no exceptions to the processing of her thoughts and feelings…possessing still that thing we did once in childhood, before all the social moores BS took over, and we were made to understand that one doesn’t go around just honestly stating fact all the time. If fact, we try at all ends NOT to.

“Does this make me look fat?”

“How are you feeling today?”

“Did you like the show?”

“Do you think he’s gonna call me?”

…It’s not that you will get mean answers to these questions. You will get very weighed and creatively kind and honest answers. Something like:

“Well, I mean, you’re beautiful, so lemme ask you this: how do you feel?”

“I had great sex last night, so: really well, thanks!”

“You were having such a good time!”

“How about: yes, and then you have an even better second date, or if he doesn’t…he clearly isn’t a quality/content person, it’s about quantity or whatever, so: good riddance. ”

…This all — BTW, is nothing in commentary to her age or generation…this is purely Cecil. From her mother, I am told, she was terrifyingly always like this…a person to which no one has ever been a stranger. Imagine a toddler who makes friends with and will follow anyone? It’s frankly a miracle she was never abducted or worse. But that is just another witness to her special amount of charmed-life she carries around with her.

…Sometimes we really do wonder how two such polar opposite humans can even stand, let alone “like” one another. Family. Whatchugonnado?

…Anyway…

…This is all set up to show you how different people can deal with frustrations. An offer of “study”…on how a struggle still wages for all of womanity…which fucking sucks, is ridiculous in it’s still existence, and in the end, must still be warred against…to the end…apparently, of all of time.

…It all starts with a little pill. Taken at midnight (for her) which single handedly prevents a world of problems, and gives her actual tangible control, of her own body. It’s one of the many things our grandmother’s fought and went to jail for…(in the annuls of our history), and yet, thanks to politicians and insurance companies, we are STILL having to wage an ongoing war with.

…And in this case, it took a responsible, proactive, determined, fully insured, College-educated, adult fucking woman…THREE DAYS, and FOUR HOURS, to attain said pill…in any form. After attempting to merely fill a legal prescription, at no less than 8 pharmacies, on a Sunday night… including one attached to a goddamn actual hospital.

…And as I was along for the ride of what should have been a sole drive-thru in five minutes, task…as she continued to call more pharmacies, whilst I Google’d others… I couldn’t help but think, that if it is THIS damn difficult to get some fucking birth control in this country in the “best” of circumstances…what the hell is it like in the shitty, super dire ones?! What the FUCK is wrong with a society that script you tiny blue pills to pop like tic tacs to get your dick up, but you need damn-near another revolution to protect the shit spewing out of it, from ruining our feminine lives, as consequence?!

…Which brought up the fact that every election year, we have to fight the same fight we’ve supposedly already won, over and over again, because of all the ignorant political limp-dicks trying to cock block us (literally) from living equal and free-willed lives.

…Which literalized what is happening to us, as a sex, as a part of this nation right now, this second, so specifically that maybe only a Cecil –charmed as she is– can manage to break through. With much, much effort. And a lot-too-many car miles.

…Because: what about the ones who can’t?! What about the ones with no voice, or capacity to beat their brains against the damn door over and over again, until they finally attain what is already rightfully THEIRS?!

…Which is as far as I will go, in saying –because I mutherfucking HATE, loath, and despise politics to the marrow of my bones– but despite that, here’s the little alagory to state quite plainly:

Get out and cast your damn votes, people. Because, no matter how accommodating, kind, affable, endearing, hardworking, dedicated, and responsible you are…it means dick when you are stripped of your own basic rights, because of whatever-the-fuck reasons they wanna throw at you.

…Cuz the rage of even a Cecil, denied these things across the course of that time in today’s age, leads to one hell of a “holy fuck” blow up.

As it should.

Sound out, sister!

~D

The Burgermeister Meisterburger Troll

25 Feb

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Have survived another visitation by Corporate for inventory count, calling it out loud as I watched the rental car pull off our lot.

…Every quarter the counts have to be made, which (in a perfect world) should be the only time we see these people. But (of course) it isn’t. Not when you’ve gone through all the management changes and shit that we have. For a bit there, the bastards were occupying our lobby and reproducing like fruit flies…tag-teaming one for the other…or sometimes swapping two-for-one, across months and months of time.

…Since then, we’ve gone from 32nd in the Nation to 3rd, and finished counts in 2.5 days instead of 5…so: here’s hoping we’re off the shit-list now, and those asshole good-ol-boys can go dick around in someone else’s lobby for a while.

“Why so hostile?,” one might ask, (if one were anyone other than a late-middle-aged white man.)

…The reason is, of course, due to the fact of how little has actually changed in Corporate America since the Don Draper years. And having to try to do actual work while it actively fights against you in the form of dozens of long-lunches, loud conversations by your desk, no tangible answers for anything important, half-assed problem solving, and lots and lots and lots of cigarette smoke.

The Chief-Boss of our region is actually one of the longest-term employees of the company, therefor, likely the most useless. He paces the lobby on this cellphone at all hours, wheezing and attempting to cough up the same deep phlem ball he’s been culturing in his lungs since prob’ly 1956. Through this, he yells into the phone, as if attempting to cover the west to east coast miles in lung power he obviously doesn’t have, in between puffing on an unending supply of Winston’s.

…This bastard, every time he comes, soaks our branch in hotel suit, mini bar, write-off Happy Hours, and BMW rental fees, across weeks at a time, while constantly on the phone with other places, doing whateverthefuck, but certainly not in the least helping with things here.

…In fact: he smells up the place, drinks all the coffee, and yells so loud on that fucking phone, it’s like a major battle just to get my own crap done. And so: I despise him.

You would too.

…Even if you didn’t know that he looks like the love-child of Burgermeister Meisterburger and a Troll from Trolls 2.

…But now: you do…

…And now he’s gone…

…For (God-hope) at least a month or two…

…If we gotta have this 1960’s office crap, why can’t we at least get the benefit of the old, “bottle in my file cabinet/flask lunches” to compensate?

~D

Cecil & Gwen Do The UK

22 Feb

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There might be cooler things than a former Cecily and Gwendolen having High Tea at Harrods, London…but prob’ly not.

…Unless it’s them also certing up in RADA classes, while there.

…And getting rush tickets to two weeks of shows…

…And being in Stratford during the 400th Shakespeare anniversary…

…Doing reads with past Cecil abroad-year friends…

…And meeting her former Profs…

…And taking a day trip to Edinburgh to hike my Fitbit on a serious legit Highland tour, obliterating even the neatest of fake digital badges…

…And visiting Lady Croom in her new digs…

…And having a day in Bath…

…And doing writerly things…

…And swapping, “this was my favorite thing /place/event when I came last time, so lets do it again” stories…

…And surviving on food budgets of bread, cheese, and wine, like French peasants…(which is way cooler than Raumen, black beans, and eggs, our now current budget, stateside.)

…And a layover in Iceland, so we can say, “Hey, remember that time when we (ate/drank/pooped/spent a krona/took up whaling) in Iceland??”

So, thanks for the early, giant birthday surprise, Cecil n’ Ma…

…And for all the memories which haven’t even been made yet, but will…

…Which I’m not at all excited about in the least.

Obviously.

~D

This Is How You Do It

15 Feb

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Due to already being booked for a show mid-yesterday, (and a variety of other reasons), Cecil n’ I were depressed and already together in a car heading back from Seattle when we decided to link up for the whole night and do something totally decadent…like we deserved.

…Having no idea what that would be as yet, and with we are talking the very “last minute,” of last minute planning– we reached my house at 3:30, and immediately began tossing back drinks, like an Ab-Fab reunion special. By 4, we were sensibly sloshed, but with a plan.

…And because magic things sometimes happen to drunk people…we Ubered our way to arguably the swankiest place in town, walked right into their open seating bar without reservation, and had two $15 cocktails in front of us within 3 minutes.

Who gets this at a place booked a year in advance? We do!

…Who gets filet minon and presented a long stem rose from a hottie bartender? We do!

…Who documents all the unbelievable radness on the Facebooks, so we can remember it all on days that really blow? We do!

…Who gets extra red wine sauce and are mid food-gasms when a call comes through to the bar about us? We do!

…Who has boss-friends who do things like put money on your tab, which you decide to thrust immediately towards a chocolate fudge Julia Child dark brownie sundae with Madagascar vanilla ice cream? We do!

…And then who Ubers back home for a three hour dance/kareoke party, supported by Stoli vodka and Juanita tortilla chips? We do!

…Until 8-something…by which time we’ve buzzed and resobered twice, before going to see a girl movie where we laugh and cry, and binge (amazingly somehow) on even more junk food.

…And somehow… SOMEHOW…the magic lasts all the way to this morning, with not a hint of hangover.

Of course, as much could not be said for the Boss, whose foul mood has been oozing out of his every pore all morning long.

…Some people obviously just don’t know how to do V-Day the right way.

…And some people, fucking rock at it.

The end.

~D

Video

Woe Unto The Cecil

10 Feb

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*Note: the situations in this blog are real. We don’t even change the names to protect the innocent. They don’t need mutherf***ing protection. They can clobber your ass all alone, thanks.

(The phone rings)

Me: Yus.
Cecil: Am coming over. What are you craving?
Me: I’m good.
Cecil: I’ll be there. I’m coming.
Me: Got it.

(A bit later, the buzzer sounds and I press the pass button. I am wearing my home costume, which I always put on as soon as I enter my door…like Mr. Rogers did. It contains whatever shirt I wore today and pajama pants. I hear clomping up the hall stairs as I open the door, and a curly head rises past the bannister.)

Me: Almost there…

(A furrowed brow and frowny face rises into view.)

Me: Allllmost. Keeeep trekin’…

(Cecil emerges, her arms full of stuff, including a bunch of flowers of which she shoves at me as she walks toward me, with disgust.)

Cecil: I bought you flowers.
Me: Okay.

(Cecil and groceries smoosh into me just past the door, and stay there. She stands with her face in my hair all muffled, as I hug her.)

Cecil: I wanted them.
Me: Got it.
Cecil: And all this stuff.
Me: I understand.
Cecil: …I put the box of chocolates back. But mostly only cuz the heart box depressed me.
Me: How do you have this much money?
Cecil: I charged them.

(We move into the kitchen where she unpacks a loaf of French bread, Peachy O’s, Honeycomb chocolate, red wine, Pamprin, and a tub of double fudge dark chocolate mudslide ice cream.

…I prep and vase the flowers.)

Me: Wanna talk about it?
Cecil: I cried nine times today.
Me: Uh huh.
Cecil: All of them, for no reason. Like the ice cream…
Me: Oh yeah…?
Cecil: I didn’t even know I wanted ice cream, till I was passing by the aisle all pissed and saw it and was all….

(Her face scrunches instantly and she starts to cry, again)

Me: Mm hm…so you got it.

(She nods, and pulls herself together.)

Cecil: Another time at the Sales Manager, when he asked me to double count and till the cash in his office.
Me: “At” him…?

(Cecil rips the French bread in half and bites a giant chunk off of it.)

Cecil: …And then this little asshole challanged me to push ups…
Me: Wait, what? The Sales Manager?
Cecil: No this like five year old kid was all, “You’re not the Black Widow. You can’t even do a push up.” And I was all, “Yes. I can.” And he was all, “No you can’t…” So I got up out of my chair, walked around my desk, dropped onto the floor IN MY DRESS, and did eight push ups.
Me: …Because of this kid.
Cecil: He belonged to some customer.
Me: …Kay…
Cecil: But, yes. He was an asshole.
Me: Don’t tell a woman she can’t do a thing.
Cecil: Fucking right!
Me: Best learn that lesson now, son!

(We grab the flowers and armfulls of junk food, heading to the living room, where she opens and pours wine, and takes a giant gulp.)

Cecil: Bridesmaids.
Me: On it.
Cecil: (Between gulps)…And then there was this seminar.
Me: Yuh?
Cecil: Inner Peace and Emotional Stability.
Me: …This is at work?
Cecil: –The speaker is this psych guru guy, comes in, does this spiel, and then is all, “Anyone have any questions? ” And I raise my hand and say, “Yes, what are easy ways to deal with day-to-day anxiety? ” And he asks me, “What do you want?” And I say, “To not be anxious. ” And he says, “No not ‘what you DO NOT want’ but ‘what DO you want.’ What DO you want?” And I’m all, “Um, to be CALM?!”
Me: –Uh huh.
CECIL: …The rest of my day was total shit after that. Just sat at my desk doing bare minimum. Lookit my phone history..

(I do.)

Me: (Reading) “Why am I Moody on my period.” “Chocolate for period.” “Best wine for period.”
Cecil: …While crying…
Me: There isn’t like a mutually exclusive type of wine or chocolate, babe, but I think you’ve hit a highly marketable idea…
Cecil: …And I read this article where this PhD wrote about how some women can have this total emotional wreck-house feeling for 7 to14 days before and after their periods! And that’s like…THE WHOLE MONTH!! Can you even imagine?! What if my hormones are changing and I become one of those women?!?

Me: …

Cecil: …Which is all NOTHING compared to the “Boy Toy” text war about how, just because he’s a PT and knows anatomy, that somehow means he understands my mentral cycle better than I do.
Me: Oh. HELL. No.
Cecil: No! No! You don’t get to think you know whats going on better than I do. It’s here it’s happening. TO ME!
Me: –Over and over again–
Cecil: And won’t shut up, even when I tell him to. He just keeps egging it on. Telling me it isn’t disgusting or horrible when I’m TELLING him, I FUCKING LIVE WITH IT! Don’t TELL me what it isn’t! You have no idea what I just took out of my vagina in that bathroom, asshole…NO idea what it’s like to have no physical control of your own person…the pain, the gore, the emotional roller coaster…the aches, the binging on everything in sight…

(She eats a spoon of ice cream and washes it down with wine.)

Cecil: …Telling me, “I respect you and your opinion about your menstrual cycle…”
Me: Well, that’s big of him…
Cecil: “…But it’s all clean and natural. And don’t forget, I’ve studied a lot about your anatomy, and what happens…”
Me: –Not the same thing–
Cecil: “…And even though I’ve never been with a woman sexually during that time…”
Me: –Amazing how he just keeps digging that hole–
Cecil: “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Me: –Or: not.
Cecil: “…I just want you to know, I don’t find it gross or repulsive or a wasteland or something…”
Me: –For the love of god–
Cecil: “You have your thoughts on it, which I appreciate, and I have my views, which you’re now aware of.”
Me: …
(Long pause.)
Me: …
Cecil: RIGHT?!

(She pours another glass, rips off another chunk of bread and pops a Pamprin.)

Cecil: FUCK periods!
Me: Fuck em!

~D

Nominal Fever Ravings

5 Feb

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I need a break from this Chekhov.

…Am stress dreaming about it at this point, because with almost no rehearsal other than talking about it, we open in 9 days.

….And while “concept” is great and all, I need to “do” the fuck out of a thing in order to actually build a tangible reality. One cannot just “theory” a show into existence. But we are having to…because we don’t have time together without giant gaps in between, and schedules are so harried from everyone’s conflicts, that there is no like “panic meet-up time” where one can get private scene partner work slipped in, or try every which way to do a scene, or…well…

…Anyway…I’m toasted. Have been reaming this script alone for days and hours and trying to make choices, hoping they won’t interfere with scene partner’s choices (who I’ve never worked with before), but having to stake out like three or four levels of options here so I can alter or try to connect my stuff to his stuff, for tomorrow morning…when we next meet up.

4 more rehearsals to figure it all out.

…God. You know you’re stressed when Stoppard is the easier, happy place you wish you could fall back into.

…Meanwhile…

The required post-show crash hit, was obtained and nursed for half this week, on my couch. A lot of sleeping. A lot of first generation X-Files-watching (which I had never seen the first time ’round.) I happen to think it’s fun, badass, and slightly terrifying…whilst simultaneously worrying about my cold being a deadly alien variety which has no earthly cure, and/or becoming abducted.

…I wish I was joking about that. But: I am not.

…I induced it even further into my Psyche by watching some episodes across hours of fever sleeping…so now I feel inevitably doomed, in a very deep marrow-of-my-bones way…but have to keep viewing, as like a “How To” mental log of how to combat them, when they do eventually come for me.

…The truth is out there. And so are “they.” Cuz there’s no fucking way that the buck stops at humanity. Microscopic animals take us down, for gods sake. Lets get real, here.

…Anyway…

…No X-Files after dark, is the rule mandate. That’s reserved for script stress, and inevitable alcohol consuming. Mostly with Cecil. Who I gave the cold back to. Cuz I’m an awesome, sharing, sister-friend that way.

…So.

…It’s Friday night. Rent is due, therefor: I’m broke. No Arcadia to go play in. Too distracted about tomorrow morning’s rehearsal to go see that other show I was going to, tonight…even as a PWYC. Which is prob’ly better anyway. Am still not back to even 80% ungross-feeling, across any length of time.

…Oh, and Mrs. Johnson dropped in…about three hours ago…to mix it up a little.

Oh, what a wicked cocktail of life, I do breed…

~D

The Old Woman

27 Jan

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…some brain away time…

***

There’s this old woman.

…She looks a little like me, and she spends a lot of time at this book cafe, sipping at endless cups of coffee, leaving large red slash-stains along the porcelain lip.

…She doesn’t talk to people, mostly remains consumed in her books and papers, only sometimes, will sit back…take off her reading glasses, put a perfectly manicured hand to the back of her neck, and ease out a kink of stiffness settled in there, from too many hours of bowing over her work.

…And she is working…always…on something. Her interests are totally eclectic, but somehow themed across pockets of time, which only the wait staff will notice, because she has come here…for years…doing the very same thing. Alone at her table.

…But never, “lonely.”

…When not absorbed in her studies, she does manage to recognize the human beings all round her. She watches them, in fact. Rather closely.

…The students taking up multiple tables together, books, laptops, and papers everywhere. The quiet and comfortable husband and wife settled in, consumed in their newspaper and magazine, as they prob’ly have, in exactly the same way, over Saturday morning breakfast for the past however many years. There are the young people gabbing back and forth “at” one another (rather than “to”)…as one cannot hold actual conversation with a person, burried in their cellphone news and social  feeds.

…Sometimes, there are the awkward couples on first dates, the families with little people and their weary parents,  focused on the coffee reader board ahead and the promise of help that it will bring to their harried day.

…Sometime, it’s a man or a woman, alone. Some used to it, some visibly uncomfortable, as if wearing a new skin.

…She imagines their fuller selves as she watches, these pairings and singles…what they stepped out of to come here today…what awaits when they get home. What is their work? How do they play? Is the marriage one of old friends? Will there be a second date?

…The old woman watches all of this. But not with longing, or necessarily a sense of disconnect.

…She knows these stories. Well. In some way, you could say that she has lived all these lives, parading around her, and even holds special memories of the minutest degree, about them…from when it was her time…her sister, her son, her lover, her friend… “her,” thirty-five years ago, sitting alone like that one there…fully confident, hard at work, totally at ease…being the single, solitary lady at a table, in public, consumed in whatever the hell she was doing.

…But the secret she holds, sitting at her far end table, is one that no one in the cafe would ever imagine, or believe… to just look at her…even if they did.

…Which, they rarely do. Because why should they? To the eye, she is just an old woman, sitting in a cafe. Alone. So: a “spinster” or a “widow”…but of nothing any more complex or engaging to the curiosity.

To the young: she’s nonexistent. To the couples, perhaps a lonely peek at their one day inevitable future, to the singles…a potent gut kick of panic, “Dear God, what if someday, that is me? Alone. At a table. Just the same as I am now?”

…And every once in a while, because the old woman is keenly observant, she can feel these thoughts actually eeking out from the looks and gestures of those who are thinking them. For she is quite good at interpreting these even slightest of facial hints.

…After all, it is her profession.

…And I say, “is” not “was,” because she has been lucky with a job description one cannot age out of. In fact she is working, even now…at that table, as she has been for years on end. She is at study, waiting for a peek of something curious and extraordinary, blended into the everyday average of the average person’s busy day.

…She studies them like a scientist, interprets as an analyst, clicks in with their emotions, builds them in her mind as characters in say…a book.

Of course this doesn’t mean she knows the answers, that isn’t the point. It’s the art form of “what if” that she is after. Because life has so much endless possibility in even the most mundane of appearances.

…For instance, just looking at her…this old woman, alone at a table…could you imagine her true actual self? That she’s been a high end prostitute, a nun, an inventor, was once mostly blind, had been stabbed and shot a good many times, and had done her fair share of brutality, up to murder…several times. She was a lesbian with many male lovers, and a mistress…but also a spinster, with countless marriages, and children now dotting the globe in all ages, races, and colors.

…As well, as can toss back a neat double of whiskey as swift as any burley biker, holds more secrets than a government official at voting time, and has plans to meet up later with a gob of people twenty or more years her junior, where she will have love affairs, in public, and then go out drinking afterwards…just for the fucking fun of it.

Not for a moment, would this occur to any of the occupants at the other tables, nor the wait staff she’s known by sight for a decade or more. For despite her volcanic and tumultuous past, she is an introvert, and had always preferred to be the keeper of the secrets, than “out” them. It’s always been more fun, that way.

…Except sometimes…

…When she takes a look round a crowded cafe and spots a woman, alone, also sitting back and taking in the room. Their eyes meet. Across time and space, a connection is formed lasting perhaps only a beat.

Maybe the younger woman nods her head slightly. Maybe the old one winks. A smile begins on both mouths…saying nothing and everything. Kindred spirits: a meeting.

The younger woman holds the glance as if to say, “I see you, I know you, I will be you someday. And I’m pretty damn cool with that, actually. ”

…To which the old woman manages an actual chuckle and tilt of her head, as if to say: “Honey, are you in for a hell of a treat…”

~D

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