Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Yesterday, I felt refreshingly alive for the first time in a rather long while. It is hard to explain how I was before, and even harder to explain how I am now. But the funk that I assume was perceptible only to Brey and myself is now a thing of the past.
There are several events that I believe have led to this blissful state of mind, and I believe they progress in this order: A fight with Brey, a hamburger to the face and reading "Little Women".
A little over a week ago, during a rehearsal for "Guignol X" (currently playing at the Hunger Artists Theater through October 31st...shameless and ill-placed plug), Brey and I had yet another of our little quarrels, in which one of us says something in a certain tone, which causes the other person to give a certain sort of look. These small misinterpretations escalate to the point where we are both in foul moods.
While trying to get out of this argument, Brey informed me that I seem less happy in our relationship. I considered those words carefully, and for the first time, I felt like it was true. What I wanted more than anything is to be a couple where we could tell each other everything, and I felt like we were both walking on eggshells so as not to offend each other. We were turning into the exact opposite of what I wanted.
What followed were frighteningly serious talks about our future. What amuses me in hindsight is that these discussions could only take place in fifteen-minute spurts until one of us had to be on stage to be funny or frightening, then back to the discussion.
However, one of the things that I love the most about Brey is that we can sit down and talk through our problems like sensible, logical adults. In the glow of the College Business Park streetlight, we listed the problems that we have with each other, the things we need to work on. It was immensely satisfying to both say and hear those things, and we have been back to normal since then.
Then, we had opening weekend of "Guignol X" (this is where the shameless plug should have been, but I'm a rebel), and one of the vignettes that I am in is having a perspective-changing effect on me not felt since "The Gog/Magog Project". What's funny is that both pieces were written by the same person.
The piece is called "Gorge Rising". It is a brutal attack on the fast food industry as two Hansel and Gretel-like characters (played by the incredible duo of Joe Smash and Jessica Beane) tie up the assistant manager of a hamburger chain called Dinky's, and proceed to wreak havoc on him.
Throughout the show, I am shouted at, pushed around, licked, nearly have my neck snapped, and am forced to eat not only five hamburgers, but sawdust (really crumbled up graham crackers), bloodworm (brownie mix and gummi worms) and rat feces (chocolate sprinkles and raisins). The show is a grueling experience, as there is very little in it that is an trick of stage combat or special effects. Yes, I'm really getting that much food shoved in my face.
After the show, I walk off-stage covered in five types of food, fake blood on my face and in my hair. My mouth is sore, cold sores forming on the insides of my lips. Every so often, there might be a scratch on my face, or something up my nose like graham crackers or fake blood. I look like I've risen from the grave after being buried under a Nabisco factory.
And oddly enough, the piece makes me feel alive. I am not simply skipping up to the stage to recite meaningless jokes or tearfully pound home an "important" message. I am volunteering to go through an experience that most people in their right mind would not subject themselves to simply because I love the play. It's strangely revitalizing to know that there's a piece of theater so good that I am willing to be tortured for it. If only more shows could be this immediate and redeeming.
Then, I recently found out that I am going to be cast in the next Hunger Artists show, which is an adaptation of "Little Women". I will be playing the role of Laurie (which was played by Batman in the latest version), and to better understand the character, I have been reading the novel.
Yes, go ahead and make your gay jokes now...I'll wait...Okay...Oh, that's a good one...Oooh, burn, got me there...You finished?...Oh, wait, one more...Okay, now done? Cool.
I've discovered a couple of things while reading the book. First of all, Christian Bale had a very unusual approach to Laurie in the movie. Where the Laurie in the novel is bashful and lonely, Bale's Laurie was charming and playful. It worked in the movie, but was an odd choice, considering the way the source material describes him.
Secondly, it's really quite hard to feel depressed while reading the book. I believe one of the reasons that it has held up over time is its incredible warmth. These characters, steeped in poverty, trying to do good while making ends meeet, are so sincere in their nature that it is difficult to not get drawn in to their problems which, especially in the backdrop of the Civil War, seem rather petty.
It made me look at what's been going on in my life? Why was I in such a funk? What was bothering me so much? What was I desiring? I can't answer these questions, for I really don't know why I was being such a dick. All I know is that I've undergone a severe attitude change. Brey pointed out yesterday that I even seemed to have a sense of joy when talking about my job.
So a fight, some torture and a classic novel. Like two left jabs followed by a right hook, it knocked some sense into me and showed me what I have and what I should be grateful of.
On a completely unrelated note, the movie "Me and You and Everyone We Know" came out on DVD today. I know I've obsessed about this movie in previous posts, but I can't express enough just how awesome this movie is. Rent it this weekend. You won't regret it.
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