“A Comedy of No Manners”

“A Comedy of No Manners”.

That’s what it was called.

I went to go see God of Carnage tonight, finally, after not seeing it for several days.

The last time I tried to see it (read: the previous post), I had tried to do it at the spur of the moment, calling my friend several hours in advance and then when he fell through, calling another friend.

History, doomed to repeat itself.

Even as I waited in line at the proper time for my tickets and got them and asked my friend if I should buy him one, I knew it wasn’t going to work out.

The fleeting sense of triumph I had from actually getting a ticket to a sold out play evaporated pretty quick when my friend informed that “West Side Story” tickets were more important than our friendship.

That sounds like a gay joke from Letterman:

Top 10 ways that you know that you are gay: When your friends decide that West Side Story tickets are more important than you.

“Oh, you can’t get anyone to come?” My Jet/Shark friend texted me quizzically.

Which sent me on a spiral.

I called close friends seeing if they wanted to see theater tonight, but at that point of course, it was only less than two hours from the show and they had things to do, understandable in retrospect, but right then they just seemed asinine,

Feeling like I’m “ditched”, as I’ve written before is an emotion that sends me into spiraling moods, dragging back bad memories of high school and lonely nights spent surfing for programs in my parents’ living room.

My thought process goes from heavy disappointment and depression, to anger at the person who ditched me, to desperately seeking someone else to hang out with in order not to be “perma-ditched”, to invariable anger at them when they’re not available at a whim.

There’s certainly a psychosis to it, but a logic as well.

“Channel it into positive energy.” My father told me on the phone as I walked back-and-forth through the recessed concrete of my “courtyard”.

“I’d rather channel it into someone’s right molars.” I said, only half-kidding, in reply.

Like not eating meat, not seeing movies or plays alone is a rule for me, a self-imposed guideline that I enjoy and feel uncomfortable without. The idea, trite as it may seem, is that art changes you and thus should not be experienced alone, since that denies the discussion necessary to process change.

Like I said, trite, but then again, I did go to “art school”.

I found myself giving away my extra ticket at the door, $26.50 lost to karma.

“Pay it forward.” I told the person who I gave the ticket to. “A bad movie, but a nice idea.”

The play was funny if not a bit too slick for me. A lot of movie stars and commercial shininess, where when I want a movie I’ll take one.

Still, the actors (James Ganoldfini, Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels) were having fun, on break from their careers and it was fun to watch them have fun.

My ticket, standing room only, was vigorously enforced and when I tried to take an empty seat, near curtain-time, I was sharply reprimanded.

“A Comedy of No Manners”, indeed.

***

So, no one’s been coming to my writing group.

My writing group? I started one, you know. I thought it might be a good idea to get together with friends and write. I mean we all went to four years of film school, or writing school, or creative writing school. We wanted to be in creative professions. We wanted to progress with our lives.

For me, it would be fun, it would be like continuing class, but cherry-picking the best people I knew, the people who were actually doing things, who were excited, who were making things, who had made things that interested me.

Except no one came.

“It’s because you’re offering them homework.” My long-absent friend Jonny-Jon-Jon offered.

“School’s over man. Why the fuck d’you think kids will still want to do homework?”

Jonny-Jon-Jon had a point, but then again he was in no position to protest. In between whiskey breaks, he’d found some sort of job teaching art and film to under-priveleged/inner-city youth through Americorps (of all places for him to end up) and was probably going to be engaged for the next considerable period of his life in the business of homework.

“Still, man.” I told him. “This shit shouldn’t be homework if you want to be a writer, if you want to make movies for your life. It should be your priority.”

Except it wasn’t anyone’s priority.

I heard excuses ranging from the legitimate (out of the country/shooting a film/in Vegas) to the less-legitimate (thought it was next Sunday/haven’t checked my email in a while/going to see a movie with friends/party, woo!).

Still, what became obvious to me was writing, or at least writing in the proposed setting, wasn’t a priority for anyone but me.

The first time it happened, I sulked, I got some gelato, I balked at the price of the gelato, was depressed and ended up getting better ice cream down the street.

The second time it happened, I just didn’t even expect anyone to come and left after 5 minutes of waiting.

Again, the personal conflates with the professional: when people don’t attend my writing group, I feel “ditched”. It’s not necessarily what or how they feel about me, but how they feel about the idea of it, or where they are in their lives.

Still, I change my facebook status to “p.s. fuck you, everybody”.

A silent protest.

Not.

***

So, a contradicton.

If I get mad at people for “ditching” me, they won’t hang out with me.

If I don’t get mad at them, I feel like a pussy for not calling them on their bullshit–and then they still ditch me.

So what do I do?

I move at my own pace.

I join the UCB improv class everyone’s been telling me to take. I sign up on the spot.

I send out an email to my writer’s group telling them that if they don’t show up next time, I’m going to cancel it and go join something else, maybe Naked Angels if I can finagle it.

My lease is expiring soon.

My money won’t last forever.

I’m still out one job.

But damnit, I won’t have people aound me “ditching” me.

I’ll keep moving forward, I’ll try to do something good.

I want to start my life.

And also ocassionally tell people to fuck themselves over Facebook.

Truly, the best of both worlds.

***

Postscript-

Speaking of Facebook (a.k.a Skip Bronkie): In regards to recent allegations as per my Facebook profile picture, that I have turned blond, I have this to say on this subject:

a. The iPhone camera, not always so dependable

and

b. I can’t tell, I’m colorblind, but that’s kind of weird.

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