This is how it started...
It? What It? The Summer It, that's what I'm talking about today.
I started the summer with a singular idea in my head: Get through it alive! After all, I'd been dumped by Rosa only recently and believe me when I tell you it hurt worse than a testicular indian burn. I also knew I had two staged readings coming up: one for a play I had not written wherein I'd be playing an heroic pedophile and another for a play I had written that I'd also end up having to direct! With my rotten job, my finances (or lack thereof), and my loneliness all piled up, it didn't help to remember that it was only a year ago when I hadn't been sleeping, had been sleepwalking, and nearly went over the edge at the Grand Canyon! Getting through the summer alive seemed to be a full plate.
I had one other plan but it wasn't much of a plan. I decided to devote my summer to finding someone with whom I could share my life... for however short a time that might be. So, once the staged readings were over, I joined Match.com and started trying to get "out there" more. Here are a few things I've learned from this:
1) I still act like a married man. That is to say, I'm no good at approaching women. I've completely forgot the shorthand single people speak when they meet each other or even if one exists.
2) I'm shy. Yep, I'm admitting it. I'm shy. 'nuff said.
3) Most people are incredibly stupid. One lovely thing about being married is that you're allowed to spend your time with someone who is about your equal (if you've played your cards right) and don't have to humor ignorance and 21st century laziness (Why is it all some people can talk about is reality TV, anyway?) in the name of, at least, having some company.
4) I am past being tired of hearing friends who are in relationships tell me how easy it is to be single.
5) More people are allergic to cats than you would think. And I can't get rid of mine. They're my responsibility and what kind of person would I be if I shirked that? (Note: Either they're allergic to cats or taking an easy route out. ... Let's say they're allergic.)
6) If it wasn't for Annie, I'd be the only single person I know. (Sorry, Annie.)
7) Most women who say they want someone with manners, intelligence, and ethics are rude morons who would sell their own mothers for a rock of crack.
So, we're halfway through summer and I've yet to meet anyone. DeAnna once said to me that she'd always believe it was, "Ken La Salle, table for one." When I asked her what she meant by that, she said that I was too smart for the world and could never find anyone with whom I'd be compatible.
Which brings me to my next point. Since I was a teenager, I've had the whole "genius" epithet thrown my away. Either it's been "comedic genius" or "literary genius" or "musical genius" or your regular, run of the mill genius or the obligatory genius. Recently, it's either been the "misunderstood genius" or "unappreciated genius". Quite frank, I'm rather sick of it. When I was eighteen, I was told upon high school graduation that I was expected to win a Pulitzer. Now, with my plays, I'm getting it again. I wish people would just lay off! I'm just a human being. I would trade any amount of genius simply to be happy. And while I know it's not always our lot to be happy, the lot of some is to suffer, that just sucks and I don't like it.
As the summer started off busily, I took some time off to rest. Rest, however, was quite elusive and it's been a month now that I've had nightmares, insomnia, and the occasional sleepwalk. When rest is elusive, what's the point of trying? It was with that thought that I began writing a few weeks ago. I finished the first act of my new play, This They Call Freedom, late last week.
Saturday, at the OCPA meeting, we had a reading of the very early draft. The play is about a society where people are lulled to sleep through television, religion, and various other vices so that business, government, and other rotten forces can control them. So, it was surprising to me that most people, after the reading, thought this took place in the Soviet Union, or in some fictitious land that could never be. I had thought it was clear I was placing it in America. The jokes went over exceedingly well, however, and it is always after moments like that when I wonder what my friends in Danger Zone (Southern California's eminent sketch comedy troupe) must think of my comedy... and if they'd ever want me to write for them... There were many comments, of course. One gentleman said, "That 'Three Hands of Government' idea - that was genius." Oh, shut up.
So, my summer didn't turn out as relaxing as I'd hoped and keeps getting busier. Last week, Steve cast me in "Play It Again, Sam" at the Cabrillo Playhouse. I'll be playing a small part as a favor to him. This won't be a play I'll solicit to all my friends. I don't think I'll care too much if anyone goes. The part is so small that I'll be able to continue working on my play at the same time and, so, I'll be busy until the play's run ends at the end of September.
I get through this, I get through the summer alive. Mission accomplished.
Then, we'll enter autumn. (The season...) That will hold my birthday, painful holidays, and worst of all, the delivery of Rosa's baby. I'm hoping I die before any of that... shortly after this play closes and I complete writing This They Call Freedom... living through that alone will be far too painful.
I always end these on happy notes, don't I?