My mom reads my blog.
Have I mentioned that before?
My dad does too, but he’s sometimes a little more discreet about it.
Or at least, he likes to comment on it in person, in a wry self-deprecating manner as in “So are you sure Eva isn’t your ‘not-girlfriend’, har-har”, as opposed to my mother, who leaves comments on my post like:
“Another well-though-out post! I am so proud of your writing abilities!”
To be fair, such things are not pure embarrassment/mortification.
I should be thankful for a doting mom in some ways, since I am aware of the alternatives, from friends who talk about their parents in past participles to the ones who think “twittering” is a sound attributed to certain avians.
It is a nice thing to hear some encouragement from time-to-time, as well as in some ways, a wholly expected thing from a well-meaning-but-over-bearing Jewish mom.
But it always makes me groan and sigh a bit (i.e: saying the words “groan” and “sigh” out loud) when I check my phone and tell my friends, whoever around me, that my mom just commented on my blog.
Then again, those actions might be appropriate for most things that happen in this forum.
So maybe, I just shouldn’t sweat it.
A showdown, recently.
Or more like Hipster-Williamsburg-style.
At work one day, gathered around the conference table, biding our time, one of my fellow employees, a recently arrived out-of-towner, described how she now lives off the Bedford stop in Williamsburg, to which we all replied with raised-eyebrows-comma-rolled-eyes.
“Hip.” One person said.
“Really hip.” Another.
“Benn to any Yo La Tengo concerts yet?” I asked.
“Actually,” She told us. “It’s not even a hipster neighborhood anymore.”
“Well, what is it?” I said flatly.
“It’s, well, post-hipster.” She described.
“It’s like all the hipsters who lived there five years ago left and now the people showing up are people from all over who heard about that it was a hipster neighborhood and who want to be hipsters but aren’t.”
We all took in this description and it sunk in.
“Wow,” I told her. “Apt.”
And there I was, a few days later for a friend’s going away party, in that “post-hipster” neighborhood trying to figure out whether I belonged as a hipster, a post-hipster, a faux-hipster, or just a guy with unceremoniously long hair.
Anyway, I was with Eva, my girlfriend, so the evening was mercifully light on these sorts of contemplations and more heavy in the “stopping ever half-a-block to make-out” department (Yes, I did mention that my parents read my blog.)
In recent days, Eva and I had been trading anxieties about our relationship, with friends simultaneously complimenting us on our new-found happiness and turning a suspicious eye to the alacrity of our affections. Personally, I was most comforted to find out from Eva that we both shared a deep-seeded fear that both that we would lose what we had together and that even if we did stay together, it would be the death of us artistically as writers.
As I walked down the street today, I realized that my perspective on being artist was formed by the book and later the movie of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, about a young girl who smart and intensely stifled develops amazing powers of mental acuity, which she loses upon the happy ending of the book.
For me that book was tragic, because I felt I was living at that age in a stifling hell, but that if I ever got happy, then I might lose something.
The whole thing seemed a metaphor for artistry, one of the dark messages embedded in Dahl’s children’s books and a message I took on, like many messages and commands we hang on to unconsciously from childhood.
But here I am writing and maybe it’s time to grow past that story.
And so much to tell, anyway.
I spent that night, like I said, making out with Eva as she finally got to have her showdown–as Jonny-Jon-Jon arrived at the bar.
He spotted us making out, like bandits in a dark corner and came over.
I introduced him and, as expected, he responded with some witticism.
“Well, you shore know how to pick him Nick.” He commented.
And Eva, bizarre and wonderful, having heard all of the stories about him from me, just laughed at him and stared weirdly as she stuck her tongue in my ear which caused me to make a sound like “Brrrr-oo-ooh!”
Which successfully won her the showdown, as Jonny-Jon-Jon, unable to pick off/mock or try to fuck the girl I was with, went to go find a girl who would react more kindly to his intoxicated state.
Knowing him, I bet he found’er.
But I had my girl, already.
Opening night was this past week and it was really, like most other nights.
I feel I gave one of my most intense performances, the one where my character, often played as a goofball, got serious and tried to con the con-man.
I played him exasperated and intense, a feeling motivated by a need to “step up to the plate” or something when pressure is applied to me.
I don’t feel I’m doing the sensation justice, other than to say that I feel a burning sensation, a tension or a boiling, when faced with something I feel is momentous and I try, or something more than my conscious mind tries, to do it justice.
As I ran around the boat that’s my play-thing though, I noticed my sister who greeted me during the show in-between scenes but who I did not converse with.
When I saw her later, it was walking out of a scene to take a couple phone calls, which I saw her do in full-view.
Later, during one of my lulls in the show, I talked about how charged I felt by the night and the energy and how the audience really seemed to dig.
“I haven’t even seen anyone leave.” I told my fellow actor, a curly fellow named Brendan
“I saw one person leave.” He told me.
“Bathrooms?” I asked.
“The other way.” He told me.
And in the pit of me I knew it was Cecily.
When I saw my parents and my grandparents waving to me as I went to get changed, she was gone., a spot on my night.
Days later, I would call my parents and complain about her, ask how she could take phone calls in the middle of the play, how she could be the only one to leave, how she could upset me on my opening night, but I realized that just as they hadn’t been able to give me answers for the last 7 years about her, they couldn’t give them now.
I confronted her on the phone about her behavior, her lack of sobriety, how she’d been staying out late and hanging with the same people she did before her conviction, before rehab.
“I’ll go to meetings. I need structure in my life. I need a job. I don’t have any friends.”
“You said you’d go to meetings three weeks ago and self-control comes from you and if you want structure go volunteer somewhere. If you want friends, go to NA.”
“How could you do that at my performance. How could you think that was appropriate?”
“I was having a bad night.”
“You seem to have a lot of those.”
“Is your girlfriend going to help me get a job?”
“I don’t want her to help you.” I replied. “I don’t want her to stick her neck out for someone who I can’t trust.”
“So you won’t help me then.”
“It sucks, but I’ll help you when you’ll help yourself.” I told her.
“Call me when you think you can be a functioning sister to me.” I told her and hung up the phone.
That was a few days ago.
I don’t know how good I feel about it all, but as they say, there’s one more week and the show–
Well, it goes on.