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Posts Tagged ‘being present’

“What’s the point of work? Or marriage and kids? We ‘re born, we grow up,  go to school, work, get married, have kids and die.”

“It’s whatever point you want it to be. You’re in charge.”

“You get up, go to work,  come home,  go to sleep, get up,  go to work, maybe relieve a bit of tedium in a bar or someplace…”

“So do something else!”

“I knew you wouldn’t understand.”

“Of course I understand. Just about every single person who’s alive thinks the same thing at least once in their life.”

“Marriage. Tying yourself down and merging yourself legally, financially, all that to someone else, and for what? So ten years down the road, you divorce? And if you have kids, they grow up to hate you? And you buy a house with a mortgage and you’re stuck with that for 40 years…”

“What’s brought all this on? Existential crisis?”

“Mmm-hmm. Well,  at the party yesterday, I was talking to somebody about life…”

“The tall woman with the long hair?”

“She’s very smart.”

“Oh.”

“Julianne can’t help that she’s beautiful,  I mean, smart! ”

”’Julianne?’ Kevin, you want that woman.”

“I… Yeah.”

“Wait, you’re dumping me? Here?”

“I’m sorry, Sheila.”

“All this agita was fake?”

“I’ll get my stuff out tomorrow.”

“To think we would actually have a real conversation…”

“But I agree with you; it’s all a choice.”

“No wonder we’re at Starbucks. You bastard.”

“Yeah, well. Good luck with life. Really. I mean that.”

Reader, I punched him.

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Walt Rorschach surpassed Brice Wickes by $4.5 million for Salesperson of the Year, yet was only in second place. Renee Frazier dwarfed all: $285.7 million in new sales for the fiscal year. After 3 outsized belts of 50-year-old Glenfiddich, Brice approached her with a smile, pumped her hand vigorously and whispered, “You rancid cunt.” Renee had blinked twice and turned away on her heel.

But that was last night.

Casey, Brice’s mistress (and Walt’s secretary), had gone flying through the window of his room on the highest floor of the lodge, her body pierced through by massive shards of breaking glass. A thunderous crack had interrupted them, the building groaned as it was thrown down the hill, and the screams of the trapped went silent as their rooms were either crushed or had filled with black, clinging mud. Brice’s grip on a sturdy wall fixture saved him.

The sky was faintly grey when, though a gaping hole in one wall, Renee found him naked and in shock. Her hands were dotted with tiny cuts and she wore mismatched shoes. Her filthy cotton nightgown was torn.

“Are you hurt? Can you move? We have to look for people!”

Uninjured, he crawled out shortly thereafter in what he could find; a pair of boxers, a tee, trainers.  On seeing her, shame overwhelmed him.

Brice climbed over broken planks to where Renee was kneeling.

“Renee, I…”

“No! Just dig!”

Brice caught sight of a motionless hand grasping at nothing through the muck and shut his eyes.

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Catcalling season is here. As it has been for 30 years, if I had a dollar for every man who’s already said something sordid and gross to me, I could get 10 people dinner at Peter Luger’s today. 30 years.  Since I was 11. Guess how young I looked at 11? I would be a multimillionaire with all those dollars.

Two days ago, some guy talked about my bottom for an entire city block. “C’mon, girl, gimme dat azz!” He was serious. I almost felt sorry for him.  And he was about the 7th or 8th rude man that day.

Perhaps you think that at my age, I’d feel complimented by men loudly talking about my body as I go along, minding my own business. “Listen, old broad, you should feel flattered”, right? Imagine your wallets, fellas, in clear view to passers-by; your money exposed, no matter how modest you were being with it. Every few yards, some woman loudly remarks about your money, how she’d like to get with your money, and “Ooh, baby, you know you wanna give me that money!” Would you consider her for your next date? No? But why not? She’s only complimenting you on your money!

Is there no other way for these dudes to feel manly other than trying to assert some masculine privilege on strangers? Do they somehow really believe they can roll up and get sexual favours from women? Not. Happening. Idiot!

I won’t look back on it at 82, thinking, “Damn, I was something in my day.”

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“Bon! What are you doing here?”

“I… No one’s seen you for months, so…”

“Come in.”

“Where’ve you been?”

“Around. You know.”

Really?”

“Yeah, I… No.  Lost my job. Unemployment’s a joke. My savings are… I’m being rude. You didn’t come here to hear this. I’ve got tea.”

“No, I’m good. Why haven’t you told anyone what’s happened?”

“I’m not looking to bother people. If I’m in a jam, I’ll get out of it myself. Told my parents.”

“They haven’t offered any help?”

“Sort of, but I said I’d be fine. They’re not rich. Mind, Cookie’s right under you.”

“A kitten!”

“A stray I took in.”

“Oh. Hi, Cookie.”

“Look, at some point I’ll get something. I’ve called every temp agency in town.”

“You need a real job, not temp work. I wish you’d said before now.”

“I’m not going to be that person who brings everybody down. Friends don’t do that.”

“’Good-time party buddies’ don’t do that, maybe. Friends help each other. If I lost my job and came to you, would you turn me away?”

“Of course not.”

“Well, then. I thought something might have upset you, so I decided to come see you and find out. I’ve missed you, Celia.”

“Bon. What a time to tell me this. I don’t know what to say.”

“Let’s just sit here a minute and not say anything. That OK?”

“All right.”

“I’m only sorry I didn’t show up sooner than this.”

“You’re here now, though. Thank you.”

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“Could I see a little more gravitas? Your father is dead and you think something’s going on, but you’re too afraid to find out, yes? Again. Please.”

“’K. Ahem! Oh, that this tootoo solid FLESH wouldmeltthaw and resolveITSELF in to a DOO! Or that th’Everlasting had not fixed hiscanon against self-slaughter! O God! GOD!”

“Stop.”

Rebecca Nelson warily regarded Colleen Lucas.  Rebecca hadn’t cast this all-woman Hamlet; she came on to direct only today, when Sheila Rodriguez called begging for help. Millicent Taylor had fallen ill. “Walking pneumonia”. No matter; the problem now was Colleen Lucas was terrible and Rebecca suspected Colleen had gotten extremely cozy with Millicent to get the part. There was no denying that she was lovely to look at, but seemingly that’s all she was. Was it too late to reframe the show? Rebecca knew several actors who would be splendid, including one who looked like a younger Kevin Kline.

Try to work with what you’ve got, Becs.

“You have read Hamlet?”

“Yes, ma’am. It was sad.”

“What do you think Hamlet’s problem was?”

“Hamlet’s the real king, and his uncle stole the crown.”

“Are you sure that’s the issue?”

“Yeah!”

“’Mad’ here means ‘crazy’, not ‘angry’.”

“Oh… OK. I’m so silly.”

Colleen batted her eyes.

Poor thing. I’m not gay.

“Why do you want to do this play?”

“’Cause it’s famous!”

Oh, Millie. You must bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, because this child must go.

“Come sit by me, Colleen. Let’s chat.”

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“Here, have one.”

“Looks funny. Funny weird.”

“Don’t worry about that, just try it.”

“You take me for your baking guinea pig?”

“Then think of it as an adventure!”

“So I’m Alice?”

“Exactly. ‘Eat me!’”

“This is a lump. If this looked remotely appetizing or if it was a recognizable pastry…”

“Will you just eat it?!”

“What’ll happen if I do?”

“You’ll escape a bop on the nose for a start.”

“You wouldn’t hit me for not eating… whatever this is, would you?”

“I guarantee it’s really tasty. You’ll feel better in a few minutes.”

“Why? Wait. There’s something illegal in here.

“You don’t trust me?”

“No.”

“If it will assuage you, I’ll have one too.”

“You’re breaking out the SAT words? Uh-oh. You’ve gobbled down more suspect things…”

“Apples, cinnamon,  nutmeg and sugar.  See? Apples. I’m your sister, Pen. Whatever I do, I would never purposely hurt you. It’s a cobbler.”

“Just a cobbler.”

“A cobbler.”

“Without any substances of an illicit nature anywhere within? You haven’t got a camera hidden in this kitchen? I’m not going to find a video of myself rocking back and forth, drooling and babbling incoherently about François Arnaud on YouTube with my underwear on my head?”

“Oho! You need to give yourself permission to let loose, chica! Although he is a hot number, isn’t he?”

“Answer my questions.”

“Why don’t you just eat it and find out for yourself? Go on, try!”

“Look at you. John Tenniel couldn’t draw any better.”

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His mouth is moving into the proper formations of nice-sounding words, but… It’s true what they say that to listen involves more than sound waves thrumming through to vestibular nerves. I’m listening with all my senses, and I hear him clearly. He’s lying.

I’ve never understood why it’s so hard for people to tell the truth. As if I’ve never been dumped before. Sure, it hurts, but that’s just the ego. I am not my ego. If I’m not what he expected, then no harm, no foul. Honestly.

Great, he’s asking me to come with him to his cousin’s wedding. He doesn’t want to go out with me anymore, but he can’t show up somewhere without getting grief for going stag – and he can’t handle it. Perhaps he’s not as mature as I thought.  “You’re 37 and unmarried!? Whatever are we to think?” I’m not saving face for him. The hell with that.

I wish he could see himself. Shoulders slumped like sacks of wet concrete. He keeps looking away; he can barely stand to look at me. And that’s the most monotone-y monotone in the history of monotones.

And… dodge.

You don’t have to put your arm around me. I don’t need reassurance. Anyway, it’s not me, it is you. It is most absolutely you. There’s a man out there who will appreciate me exactly as I am, and me him. Wish you weren’t such a coward, though.

“Hold up, Darryl. There’s something I need to say to you.”

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