A Lush Life

The oddest aspect of a friendship / relationship with a drunk is that you find yourself hoping he’ll/she’ll fail.  You hope she’ll hit rock bottom faster so she’ll get help and you’ll get her bullshit off your back. It’s so soul sucking waiting for someone’s destruction.  So you can wait or you can walk away.  I’ve never loved anyone enough to wait or be the martyr.

A Pointed View

I sat on the grass and watched her enter through the gate.  We used to be friends.  Since childhood.  Before puberty.  She’s been in my life for most of my life.  And then she wasn’t.  Her actions toward me were untoward and I walked away.  Well, no.  I’ve stood staid; I’ve just remained silent. But when I see her I say hello.  I acknowledge her without warmth.  Out of spiritual obligation and not nostalgia. No longer affectionate. Once in awhile I’d look away from my group and see her across the patio.  Am I angry?  No.  I’m not an angry man.  And although I am an Irishman, I do forgive and often forget.  So I’m not angry.  Am I saddened?  No.  I don’t think of the loss; I think of the less.  She’s less than what I assumed.  I assumed loyalty.  I assumed fidelity.  I didn’t hope; I believed.

We live in an angry and bitter world.  We’ve become the Divided States of America.  And so I guard myself from a deep seep.  I refuse to allow myself to wallow or to stew.  So I sat on the grass and examined my conscience.  I’m not angry.  I’m not saddened.  But I am disquieted. No.  I’m disappointed.  Yes.  That’s the adjective.

It’s bigger than the less of a friendship.  It’s bigger than the loss of a believed.  It’s a reflection of my soul. I’ve held a human to an expectation.  I took her probity as granted.  I’ve considered the word. Disappointed.  Not properly appointed. I appoint people to positions in my life: loyal friend.  Sage adviser.  Amusing clown. Disappointed is a reaction.  Disappointed is mine.  I’m responsible for disappointed.  So now I guard myself.  I must avoid my bitter.  I refuse to embrace my hateful.  I repudiate a sarcastic.  I will not have a pointed personality.

Serving

I walked into a bar and saw a bartender I know. Now he’s a bartender and not a friend. But we know each other by name. I’ve essentially quit drinking since this heart diagnosis, so I haven’t seen him in a good year. We shook hands and he lowered his voice and said, “How are you?” And I replied I was fine. And he moved closer and said, “No. How are you?” And then I knew my close buddy (who I don’t hear from anymore since I got sick. He didn’t even visit me in the hospital. Now there’s a fuck-you friendship) had told the bartender about my health. And frankly I felt angry.

No one has the right to my intimacy without my permission. I decide who knows about me and my life. I’m a writer.  I’m entitled to tell my tales.

But you know what? You don’t call me, visit me, assist me, or ask how I am – we aren’t friends. And I’ll grab my ankles and fuck myself before someone uses me as an entertaining story. My life is not gossip.

There’s one really great aspect of facing death: I so easily and effortlessly remove people from my waning life who make my struggles about them. They can make their own film because they’re not starring in mine. Amen.

UNZIPPED TICKETS

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!  working on

 

“UNZIPPED” has performances on both sides of the river!

  • October 5, 6, 7: Minneapolis @ The Target Performance Hall in The Loft Literary Center Building.

  • October 12, 13, 14: Saint Paul @ The F.K. Weyerhaeuser Auditorium in The Landmark Center.

  • TICKETS @ EVENTBRITE.COM

“UNZIPPED.”

Men. Is it all about sex? Is it money? Power? What frightens men? Are men romantic? How do women’s actions impact men’s decisions? What happens when you don’t love each other anymore? Why the sports bar? How do you deal with friendships that become toxic? Is fatherhood an unrealistic expectation? What’s up with fishing? How do two men carve out a relationship without competition? What obligations do men have to each other? To women? To the earth? To their beliefs? What happens when friends with benefits becomes friends with expectations?

Real situations. Raw words. Men / Women / Straight / Gay.

Real people saying real things about real problems and real successes.

Theater

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I love that theater is illustrative and instructive.  Theater is almost unique as a vehicle to provide an echo of humanity.  Like a child marveling at the movement in an aquarium, we can watch emotions expressed that either mirror our own or antagonize us into new emotions.  And it changes us in an almost singular way by demonstrating behavior worthy of emulation or demanding condemnation.  It gives men permission and women communion.  And theater isn’t limited by space.  A parent teaching a child to tie a shoe is a life altering performance.  Theater is show-n-tell.