This term has been like living out of my own body … a show, being sick all the time, not doing well in class, having a girlfriend. Show’s over, i’m finally getting better, i’m trying to steer my classes in an upward direction. Which leaves one element messing with my equilibrium… Shit. I hate myself.
Theatre is so stressful to me now, and it used to be fun. Every night before i went out on stage this week i didn’t feel exhilarated, i felt put upon. Why did i have to be the one to wait for the lights to go out before taking the stage? Why did i have to set the tone for the whole show? Why was i the first solo song? Why did my scenes have to be the ones used to move the plot along? I’ll be the first one to admit that i loved my character and i wish i could stay with him for a few more months to understand him better, since i wound up turning him into a sort of characature of what he actually was, but i don’t love my role, and i never loved the play. Every night before we went on stage i had the dread of entering a production that i didn’t like at all, save for the people in it, and that’s the only thing that got me through. And now it’s over, and all of those people are dispersed to do what they normally do, and my life is totally back to normal. Well… almost…
our set is struck. the show is over. i am free.
Another new song just sorta showed up half-formed and tangled in my head, which makes for three in the last two weeks. They’re all very strummy and slightly discordant, but none of them wander too far afield from “Relief,” which was obviously the establishing song for my sound this year (since it’s both of those things). Of the three so far, only one of them feels “complete” – which can be a function of the amount of work i put in, or of if the song even can contain a complete thought within its structure. Even if this new one doesn’t pan out, i get the feeling that i might be visited by a few more sometime in the near future
I’m eating turkey that reminds me of being a vegetarian.
Let me qualify that statement. Junior year of high school i was still on my normal poultry-heavy diet, and there were two events that led up to my turning into vegetarian. One was an awful encounter with an open-faced roast beef sandwich which i’d rather not revisit. The other was peppered turkey from the lunch meat department at Acme. Junior year I brought that turkey to school every day for lunch, with dijon mustard and some munster cheese. Every day. By May, my stomach was in full revolt against the spicy red edges of the turkey, and the mustard that kept it glued to my kaiser rolls. Every night i’d go to bed after having eaten other snacks and a normal dinner, and my stomach would still remind me of the turkey i’d consumed for lunch. I would lie awake at night because of it.
When i told my mother that i wouldn’t eat any more meat, at first she thought i was just being stubborn, and then she thought i only meant red meat. But, when she bought that next batch of turkey it sat in the refrigerator until it was spoilt. She was angry that i had wasted it, but she got the point.
Obviously she still buys the turkey from time to time, as it was in stock just now when i raided the fridge to make myself a sandwich. I didn’t really realize what it was when i took it out and pasted it down to my kaiser roll with dijon mustard, but one bite sent me back to sitting on the floor of the basement hallway at JR Masterman, opening up my bookbag and pulling out a turkey sandwich.
Yesterday on the phone with my aunt, she off-handedly asked what i’d be giving up for Lent this year. My family isn’t the most strict in terms of Catholicism, but on my father’s side they all go to church every week or two and make sure to observe all the major holidays and the rules that go along with them. So, they honestly practice Lent – giving up something extravagant like chocolate (i’ve always known it to be a food item with them (rather than buying new cds, which would be more apropros for me), but i’m not sure if that’s a symptom of my own family or Catholicism as a whole). I replied that i didn’t even realize Lent was upon us, although subconsciously i’m quite aware that the whole purpose of the Mardi Gras is to have one last wild night before heading into Lent. She clucked in reply that i should watch out lest i wind up in hell, and though she meant it light-heartedly its intended effect was felt.
Am i to think that i’m really going to hell because i didn’t give up chocolate for a month? While i realize such a practice obeys the letter of religious law, you have to obey the spirit as well, and obeying the spirit of the law is more important. I have a laughable line in my play where i implore to the gods “Well, good will, for instance, might do instead of love? Or, good sportsmanship instead of justice? Instead of honor, outward propriety?” I gave the line with a chuckle for nearly a month before my director stopped me in the middle of it one night and asked me to tell him what was going on. After some mulling on my part i realized that i wasn’t offering up my “insteads” as a joke to the gods, but as a reality. I am taking the stance that to ask that we always love our neighbor is asking too much, but that we should at least offer him our good will in hopes that we get it in return.
Somewhere in there is my feeling on Lent. I won’t begrudge my family their religious practices, and i’ll be mindful of my frivolous nature during Lent, but you can be sure they’ll all be on a chocolate binge when it’s over, and that shouldn’t be the point. Giving up something you like for an amount of time shows a commitment to your god, but actually changing your habit as a result of true self reflections shows that you’re really honoring him.
Plus, i don’t really like chocolate to begin with.