Friday, February 27, 2004

Dreams without Rosa...

Last night, for the first in a very long time, I had a dream without Rosa in it! Believe me, I was shocked!

So, what was this dream about, you ask?

Well, I wasn't all together... all together. I was hearing voices... my own.

Something had happened with Sean and Megan and money was a lot harder for them to come by. (Maybe he'd lost a job?) So, Megan decided to move back east and leave Sean working here. Meanwhile, instead of sleepwalking or nightmaring, I'd begun talking to myself...but with a myself only I could see and who would talk back!

So, we pick things up at Sean's place. The phone rings. I answer it. It's me on the other end.

Me on other end: I've checked out your bike. It's just fine.

(Oh, my self wanted me to stop what was happening with Sean and Megan and it wanted me to ride my bike to Washington state.)

Me: (into phone) Stop it. I won't go. It's too cold.

Sean: Who is it?

Me: It's me!

Me on other end (Moe): Have you checked with Sean? What about that coat he has?

Me: (into phone) No. It wouldn't work anyway. That coat's no good.

Sean: Who else is on the phone?

Me: Me!

Sean: So, you're talking to yourself on the phone?

Moe: What are you talking about? The coat's fine! I'm in the closet right now, looking at it! It's Gortex!

Sean: What are you saying to yourself?

Moe: And you said this was worn-down rabbit skin - It's the softest down!

Me: (to you) Why's Megan leaving?

Sean: She's going to live with her sister back east.

Me: (to you) For how long?

Sean: I don't know. A couple years... or until retirement. Why are you asking?

Me: (to you) He wants me to stop you. He's afraid you're making a big mistake, like I made when I lost Rosa. He thinks we have to stop you!

Moe: This would get us to Alaska and back!

Sean: Are you okay?

Me: Me? I'm fine. My invisible friend thinks we need to stop you or save your marriage or something. He also wants me to ride my bike to Washington!

Sean: Oh, god. You're not going to, are you?

Me: Of course not. I'm not crazy! (putting down phone) Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to look for myself in your closet.

Sean: Oh. I see. (Yelling after me.) It's a good thing you're not crazy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Shrub and the need to amend the Constitution...

There's been a lot of talk lately. Most of it is coming from the Religious Right, er, I mean the Republican party. It is being met with anger and contention by the American people.

What I'm talking about is Shrub's plan to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriages.

Only today did I realize that this is a subject I should have written about long ago and that I've been horribly remiss. After all, Tim, my best friend, is gay. He's been my friend for 20 years now and I love him very much. Sure, I wanted to smack him when he told me he was gay but only because he thought I'd hate him because of it. (The dummy!)

People have a responsibility to speak out about this. I do because Tim's gay but it goes beyond that. I'm talking about black people having a responsibility because they, as a group, have been here before. Beyond that, anyone with a religious conviction has a responsibility because there's not a single group that hasn't at one time been prosecuted. Folks, just because you're on top now doesn't mean you weren't down once or can't be down again.

I find it highly ironic that Shrub wants to amend the Constitution when his ilk has been ignoring so much of it for so long. Might as well recreate it in his own hypocritically-Protestant image!

But I say we should amend the Constitution.

Yes, you heard me right.


We should amend it to guaranty liberty and tolerance and freedom for all and protection against small-minded, but extremely powerful, people only looking to forward their own divisive, hate-fueled agendas!

... all I can hope is that Shrub's pissing enough people off to actually vote this time - and get his punk ass out of office!
It's called "Depth of Character"...

Karrie was evicted from the hospital last night. Turns out she bled them dry of morphine!

... okay, so I'm kidding. But she was released and sent home. Rather than go home, however, she's living with her parents for a few days, where her mom is making all the food she can eat. Mind you, she can only eat a few bites every now and then but I'm sure her mom's making sure those bites are something good.

We talked last night about her daring escape and her freedom, which includes shuffling from her bed to the sofa - it's nice talking to her when she's not doped up on morphine. I told her about the blog entry about all the characters I've played. I said, "I must just look like a bad guy." She said, "Well, I know that's what I found attractive!" She was kidding.

She said, "I'm sure there are other people who know you far better but my guess is that you've probably been through a lot of pain in your life, which gives you a depth of character so you can empathize with these characters."

Depth of character. I like that. That rates right up there with what she said before she went into the hospital, which was, "You made me less nauseous."

Mind you, she hasn't heard the Ken & Rosa story, yet. If she thinks I've been through pain... wait until she hears that.
KHED... Ken's Head Radio...

Wouldn't it be nice if we were older...


I'm notorious for having a radio station playing in my head. It's annoying at the worst of times, distracting at the best... it can waver between the theme to the Brady Bunch (Here's the story of a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls, all of them had hair of gold like their mother.... the bitch.) and Al Stewart's Year of the Cat (Well morning comes and you're still with her and her eyes shine like the moon in the sea, she comes in incense and patchouli so you take her to find what's waiting inside...) and everything in between.

Time on my hands could be time spent with you, laughing like children, living like lovers, rolling like thunder under the covers...

Hmmm... I suppose that's why they call it the blues...

Sad songs (though they say so much) are always tough to have going through my head because they bring up thoughts of Rosa. (And so many can! Don't get me started!)

I simply love you more than I love life itself...


There's this new band, called The Thrills, that I absolutely love.

You build me up so high, My darling
You brought me down so low, You know it
You build me up so high, My darling
You brought me down so low, You know it...

More songs about Rosa... even after Rosa's gone.

I saw Sean for dinner last night and we talked over soup and salads. (Souplantation, don'cha know?) And I dropped a bomb on him.

One year ago, I promised to keep a secret for Rosa for one year... and now, I'm talking. One year ago, Rosa and I were dating. I was in love with her. I thought we would end up back together again. Rosa was having money problems at this time and needed help. She'd extended herself too far, trying to have improvements done to her home. She needed $10,000.

And I gave it to her.

It was a loan. She agreed to pay me back in six months if I agreed not to mention it for one year. Six months later, however, she was having difficulties with her pregnancy and asked if she could have another year to pay me back. Well, I'd loaned it to her without a contract. There really wasn't any way I could force her to pay me, so I agreed.

Now, she's blocked my email. She won't even talk to me.

I feel like I've done everything I promised while, in return, Rosa has given me a great deal of disrespect. Please let me emphasize that I don't think she's intentionally avoided paying me back. She's had money problems and I acknowledge that. But now she's shut me out - something I do not deserve. I feel it's important to talk about it now because it's important that I recognize this side of her - the side that really doesn't care about me.

Yep, she's the woman I love... and I think all signs point to her not being someone entirely worthy of that.

And the thought of Rosa not being worthy of my love is enough to remove all light from the world and every song from my heart.

The upside being that I don't have to hear the theme from Gilligan's Island.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

You know when Fortune magazine talks Global Warming, there's a problem...

That's right. For those of you who aren't paying attention, it turns out that the people who pay a lot of attention to money are paying attention to global warming.

Turns out, it's gonna be bad news.

Now, who would'a thought that?!
I'm a nice guy... really...

After a couple weeks of rehearsal, something has occurred to me.

After rehearsing being a bad guy, something has come to mind.

After weeks of disparaging remarks, there's this thing I've realized...

Ken and people, well, they don't mix, do they? I mean, people think I'm pretty rotten. It sucks! I mean, okay, sure, I kissed another woman and left my wife because I felt I wasn't worthy which may have driven her to having a child with a man who doesn't love her, consequently leaving me out in the cold, but... shit...

So, where did this come from? From whence did this thundercloud of blame blow in?

Because I suddenly realized that people like casting me in the role of a bad person - a louse - a rat - a fink... and I'm pretty good at it...

Don't believe me? Check this out:

In January of 2001, I played Tony Wendice in "Dial M for Murder". Tony was a blackmailer and a would-be killer.

In May of 2001, I played Billy Boylan in "40 Carats". Billy was a flake and a womanizer.

In April of 2002, I played Theodore Wexler in "3 Days of Rain". Theo was a psychologically disturbed alcoholic in a possibly abusive bisexual relationship... and, yes, he was the abuser... to both sexes.

In May of 2002, I played Benjamin Jorge in "Everything Changes". Ben was such a self-important prick that everyone who knew him walked out on him.

In July of 2002, I played Greg in the film "The Salesman". Greg tried to sabotage another person's hard work.

In February of 2003, I played Tom in "Atheists". Tom was rude and insulting and belittled everyone.

In June of 2003, I played James Newman in "Whatever Happened to Me". James cheated on his wife and disrespected his father.

And I wrote the last three, folks! Even I cast myself as a bad guy!!!

In May of 2003, I played Sam Houston in "Love and Politics". Sam was a pedophile.

In September of 2003, I played Dick Christie in "Play it Again, Sam". Dick was... well, he lived up to his name so well that he drove his wife into another man's arms.

In December of 2003, I played Bob in "The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever". Bob was lazy and a bad father.

In February of 2004, I played Chris in "Do Hoosiers Go To Heaven". Chris was an alcohol and drug-addict.

Now, I'm Howard Holt in "Something to Hide"...

Everybody casts me in these horrible roles of these awful men.... people you would spend five minutes with if you were stuck in a theater with them... but I'm really nice guy... honestly...

So why does everyone think I'm a dick?

Monday, February 23, 2004

The worst person to be mad at is yourself...

I'm really mad at myself right now.

I came back from lunch and saw Chris and Sarah returning from lunch. It's not important for you to know who they are, people from work, and it's not like they're dating or romantically involved; they just went to lunch. The thing that makes me so mad is that I couldn't do that. I can't just ask someone to lunch or just talk to someone.

I tend to think that I don't have anything that important to say - hard to believe considering this blog - or that anyone would be interested in spending time with me. Oh, sure. I don't say it like that. I think, "They're obviously busy. Why waste their time." or "They probably have other things they'd rather be doing." I can't just go up to people.

... and it makes me so mad. No wonder I'm isolated from the world. No wonder I'm so alone! I exist in a world removed from the real world, a world apart, and while others have their lunches and make friends and don't suffer from loneliness, I watch and wish I could be invited.

The obvious response to this is, "It's your life. If you want it to change, do something about it."

Sure. And if you want to be able to fly, you should be able to do something about that, too. Just start small. Jump off curbs and boxed, working your way up to the tops of cars and the roofs of small homes. Then, build up to parking structures and cliffs! Eventually, you'll be flying!

And you'll probably die in the process.
In the beginning... there was Rosa!

Sorry about the subject line. I just wanted to let you know that I could still work Rosa's name into just about anything.

Actually, this entry isn't about Rosa. (You can all stop cheering.)(Honestly.)(I mean it.)

This weekend, I went to visit Karrie at the hospital. She had told me, before she went in, that my pre-surgery visit had made her feel less nauseous - and what better vote of confidence is there, really?

I couldn't park at St. Joseph... because I'm cheap, basically. I parked down the street at Taco Bell and had a 7-Layer Burrito just to prove I was a customer. (The man who invented "Customer Parking Only" can blow me.) And I walked through the rain, ignoring how wet I was getting - heck, I like the rain - all the way to the hospital. On my way, of course, I noticed that the parking lot was open and you didn't have to pay and I'd just parked blocks away for nothing... except that I love 7-Layer Burritos.

I walked into the hospital like walking through glue. I remembered having my arm put back together here. I remembered the nurse wheeling me out to Rosa, who waited by her car, ready to bring me home and make me a fried-egg sammich... God, I loved that woman. She used to work at St. Joseph Hospital... what do I love now? She won't talk to me. She won't let me talk to her, not unless I want to go into full-stalker mode... and I don't think I'm ready to do that.

It was hard walking in there.

I went into the gift shop and started giving the stuffed animals the "hug test". This test was developed years ago, back when I'd get Rosa stuffed animals. What you do is you hug all the animals to see which one either a) makes you feel all warm inside (which is when you buy it) or b) hugs you back (which is when you run!). The warmest one was this big kittie... $26!

Was I ready to spend $26 on a stuffed animal for this girl? Oh, the hell with it, I thought, and bought it. I also bought a pack of peanut-butter M&Ms... you know... cause they're good... right?

Karrie couldn't eat the M&Ms ("I'll save them for when they break you out," I told her.) but she loved the kittie. Of course. It passed the "hug test". We sat and watched a little TV and I watched her fade in and out as a result of her morphine drip. I stayed there for about 90 minutes. This is a long time for me to sit in a hospital without restraints.

It was good to see her, though. I spent much of this weekend in a very dark loneliness - the kind where you want to pick up a hooker just for conversation, you know? Now, I'm not saying I visited Karrie out of loneliness, any more than I made the many phone calls I did, but that it helped punctuate that loneliness with a little light. She and I have the strangest relationship... it keeps creeping towards "relationship" like an iceberg... I keep feeling like I'd better duck. Before I left, I held her hand... and I thought of a year ago at the Newport Beach Brewing Company, holding Rosa's hand across the table... and I wanted to run.

Sunday night, I was back at rehearsal. The costumer was in and we were fitted. Let's just say that, after measuring me, I was left with one thought - I'm a fat fuck.

Performances are only a month away - and I haven't even begun memorizing my lines. So, last night, I started recording them. I recorded them on the PC so I could play them from my PC and so I could download them into my MP3 player. Later, I'll make a CD out of them. My own voice... with a bad British accent... over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over... wherefore art thou, Grand Canyon?!

The woman who plays my mistress needs to take a week off in the midst of the run and, so, will have an understudy. Her understudy came to last night's rehearsal... and I wondered if there was some way I could break both of my legs! Is it too much to ask that the women I kiss on stage be beautiful?! Huh?! Well?! Not only would I NOT kiss this woman if I didn't have to - I wouldn't shake her hand! I mean... ICK!

Lucky me.

The woman who plays my wife was sick - she got the thing everybody else has been fighting, that I just got over. In one scene, we're supposed to kiss - but I wasn't about to kiss her because 1) we're only in the third week of rehearsal and 2) she's sick, for Pete's sake! Well, we got to that scene, we got close as if we were going to kiss but wouldn't kiss because she understood I didn't want to be sick, and... she kissed me.

... Maybe I'll get so sick I'll have to drop out of this play!!!!

Friday, February 20, 2004

Dream from last night...

It's taken me a while to recompose my recollections of a dream I had last night... you know, when I wasn't having nightmares or awake from them...

It's the 1800's... the old west... and I travel back in time. I meet a distant relative and start to get acclimatized to the lack of technology. But it's rather difficult and I started to think it would be nice to have some of the benefits of technology... toothbrush, razor, stereo, tv - an X-Box! Of course, to have all of this you need a generator and gasoline and you might as well bring it in your car...

As you can see, the 19th century soon met the 21st...

There was a moment when I was sharing a drink at a little soda-shop with a teenage great-grandfather, explaining to him how he didn't want to go into the 21st century. "Some things are better," I said. "But some things are worse. There's little consideration for life or for truth or for honor... not unless it can make someone a buck."

How true.

So, is that the only way I can have kids? To talk to teenage apparitions of grand-parents??????
Relapse in Blue...

Last night, I went to see "Proposals" at the Huntington Beach Playhouse. While it's not my favorite Neil Simon comedy - because so much of it isn't funny - it was so well done I didn't care. What did bother me was that I saw some Westminster Community Theater people there. Westminster - site of my return to theater, obscure as it was - was not a place I wished to return and I kept thinking "Don't recognize me! Don't recognize me!" I only realize now that I had nothing to worry about. Those people are so caught up in their little world that I didn't even register. To them, their Westminster Community Theater world is so HUGE that anyone not involved must not be important - Thank God!

After, I saw my friend, Annie, who is lucky enough to play Annie in the play. What must it be like to play to your own name? She was wonderful - as always! It's no wonder she works all the time and that she's wanted by so many directors! After being told she was great in so many plays, a hint of suspicion crept into her voice as she asked, "Are you sure?" (I guess you begin to wonder if you're just being humored.) "Absolutely," I said and then complained that she made me cry towards the end of Act Two.

I went home and cuddled my cats, who have been missing me more and more and who I've been cuddling less and less. But by midnight, I had to go to sleep. My ears wouldn't pop - they wouldn't pop all day. I tried blowing my nose but, once again, that didn't help.

Into bed I went, cuddling down into the covers until - NIGHTMARE! It was two in the morning and I was shaking as the dream faded. I had to get back to sleep, though. I had to get to work the next day, today. I couldn't cuddle down into the covers to easily; terrible thoughts kept popping up.

NIGHTMARE! I sprung out of bed as if my body was covered with maggots. I'd been driving Rosa to the hospital. She was pregnant. There was an accident. Suddenly, she was driving and the steering wheel shot through her abdomen and as I helpless tried pulling her away, her body rotted away, eaten by maggots - is it any wonder I ran away from the bed?

I grabbed a cigarette, went outside and smoked it, and was awake until nearly 6am.

I went back to bed.

When I woke up, it was 9:25.

9:25? What the hell? Had I reset the clock in my sleep? It couldn't be that late. If that were true, I'd be nearly two hours late for work. So, I rolled over and looked at my computer.

It was 9:25!

Oh, shit!

I ran around, getting on some clothes, coughing. I should never smoke before going to bed, I always wake up with a cough... even if Rosa was being eaten by maggots...

I couldn't breath. I went into the bathroom and blew my nose, again and again.

By the time I got to work, my cough was worse and my nose more plugged.

Oh, shit. A relapse. This is all I need. A relapse - and whatever I had/have was/is close to bronchitis or pneumonia. Every cigarette makes it worse but when you want to die anyway, how's that a bad thing? And is it any wonder I want to die? The woman I married, the love of my life, hates me. Do I even deserve to live? And if I do, why the hell should I expect better than that?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Haven't talked about Karrie in a while...

For those of you wondering... Tim!...

Karrie went in for surgery on her tumor today. It's a lot more serious than she'd originally thought and she'll be in the hospital for at least a week.

I've known this was coming, so I've kept things cool between us. I mean, I don't want to get emotional about someone who's about to die, right? Okay, so she probably won't die but, still, I saw what Sean went through when Megan had leukemia. I don't need that right now.

So, I've been her friend.

Last night, I went over to her place after rehearsal and we sat outside and had a few cigarettes over a few hours. Yes. That's right. Sick as I am, I sat out in the cold and smoked! Fuck the world!

We had a great conversation and it was nice, with Rosa thinking the absolute worst of me, to be with someone whom I saw eye to eye. And, for just a second, I thought, "It's Rosa's loss." For just a second. Anyway, I'll be visiting her in the hospital and over her recovery period and we'll see where that goes. I'm not making any plans or thinking ahead.

It was just nice.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

An ode to baseball...

With the start of baseball season soon upon us, I thought I'd share a baseball story with you.

The last game I went to was last year with Sean. We got in our free seats, a gift to Sean, and they weren't as crappy as I thought they'd be, and settled back for the pre-game show: Sean pointing out which women had the best breasts. Sean's spectator sport is women, though he's very devoted to his wife. The funny thing is, he's such a pig that no woman other than his wife would want anything to do with him! (He's only a pig on the outside. On the inside, he's a terrier.) So, as I wait for the game to start, he pointing and talking bra sizes.

Then, the game starts... and we begin to talk. We're talking about work, our lives, our histories, music, movies - everything except the game. This was after Rosa dumped me - AGAIN - and, so, of course, I had plenty to talk about. When there's a good play, we talk about other games we saw with similar plays - never the game, mind you, but what our lives were like when we saw them: the price of hot dogs then or how the field was shaped different or how that was when we were in the sixth grade and Mork and Mindy was on TV... no, wait, that was the seventh grade.

By the fifth inning, I want a cigarette. So, I look all around but don't see a single "No Smoking" sign... but I also don't see anyone else smoking... but it is an outdoor stadium... but this is Orange County... but I do want a cigarette. So, I take out a cigarette and just hold it... UP! I point with it. I juggle it. I do everything I can to make sure everyone around me knows what's coming! Then, satisfied when nobody voices opposition, I light up... and am immediately flogged by the voices of the irate OrangeCountesians who can't believe I would so endanger their existence! They scream! They cuss! They threaten! Finally, I get up and say, "Okay, you fucking Nazis, I'm going! You'll notice there's no sign saying I can't smoke and that we're outdoors but fuck that - who wants to sit next to YOU!" And I walk quickly away, over to the stairs.

Sean comes out a minute later, saying, "I don't think we should sit back down there."

I offer to buy him a drink, where they're watching a different game. I make a joke about how silly it is to watch one game while you're at another... and we decide we'd better not sit there, either. Yep, I was popular that day.

So, we start walking the perimeter of the field, right around all the food stands, watching this play or that, talking about everything... until the game was over.

For us, the baseball game was a place to be rather than a thing to see. Now, I wouldn't do that at a movie. But do you know how some people go to Disneyland with the intent on getting as much in as they can in the time they have while others just enjoy it and, maybe, get a ride in... well, I guess that's me.
Rosa's learned how to block emails...

Well, it's official.

I sent Rosa and email tonight. Nothing too dramatic. I asked her how she and the baby were and told her about my rehearsals. I wished her well.

Then, I got a notice back that said she "IS NOT ACCEPTING MAIL FROM THIS SENDER".

I really don't know what has prompted her to shut me out so. Nothing I've said to her in the last months, via email, has been negative or mean. It's all been upbeat, hoping she's well. Sure, I've said I miss her but I don't dwell on that.

I don't know what to think or what to do.

How the hell did I get here???

Monday, February 16, 2004

Changing the pace a bit...

Sometimes I have to thank God - or whatever it is - for this mind of mine.

In the deepest depression, I can sometimes find some thing that brings me up.

This time, it's a song from the Charles Chaplin movie, Limelight. If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it. It's one of the bravest love stories I know. Laugh and cry time. If you have seen it, you know of which I speak. There's a song in there, a great song, the lyrics go:

Birds are calling.
Skunks are crawling.
Wagging their tails for love!
Spring is here.
Whales are churning.
Worms are squirming.
Wagging their tails for love!
What is this thing
Of which I sing
That makes us all bewitched?
What is this thing
That comes in Spring
That gives us all the itch?
Oh, it's love, it's love,
It's love, love, love, love, love
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love,
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love,
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love,
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love!
Status Report...

My god, I haven't written since Friday? Jeez!

Well, my sickness has waned. I'm feeling a bit healthier. My fever is gone but I'm still coughing a bit.

Saturday night was horrible. A fever so high I couldn't move except to writhe in my bed from the pain. I was hallucinating visions of Rosa. I couldn't sleep and it was all I could do not to cry out her name. I kept thinking that, maybe, I might die... hell, I was hoping!

It's been nearly four years since I lost Rosa. For those of you who might think that I still miss her or maybe that I regret losing her, let me clarify things. Her absence is not just a negative. Being on this earth without her in my life is a constant source of agony, physical agony. Continued existence is torture.

I'm not kidding.

And it pisses me off.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Sick thoughts...

Not much to write today. I'm very sick. Upper respiratory infection is my guess.

So, just a short thing, then...


He came in from the west with a hunger for brains... and justice!

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Lameness, they name is Ken... ness...

Well, I'm back at work today. Back with nose and all... well, not all. I left a great deal of it at home... in Kleenexes... but enough of that.

I was looking forward to coming in today because I was hoping to get my script bound. My script was given to me in photocopied form, two script pages per page. Others had cut their pages in half and spiral bound that bad boy up. Nice, I thought. So, when I came in today, I went to the person in charge of the binding machine... but she wasn't in. Okay. So, I went to the person next to her, who said, "I think what you do it... isn't there supposed to be?... you've got to maybe, I think there's a..."

So, I started doing it myself.

I photocopied the pages. They didn't come out straight but what's a little crookedness? Then, I cut the pages in half, dividing them into the two script pages. Sure, with the pages already crooked, this skewed the pages even further. Then, I punched holes in them. This took some getting used to and I accidentally punched the wrong side of several of the pages but I eventually got holes in all of them. Oh, sure. Most were crooked and skewed - a few were upside-down - and they had holes in the wrong places but I wasn't going to let that stop me. Then, I put them in the binder... backwards! I pulled them out of the binder, put them in order, and put them back in again. Unfortunately, the ones with the holes on the wrong side were put in reverse order but I caught this and fixed them and bound it up.

... here's to doing things yourself when you're too impatient to wait for someone who knows what they're doing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Sick day...

I'm reaching that point in my life when I have begun to feel bad when I call in sick. (Some people take longer than others... YEARS LONGER!)

Well, this morning I woke up with my nose dialing work and telling them I wouldn't be in. OY, this dry weather has my nose busy. If it were any more busy, I'd send IT to work!

With this in mind, I won't be saying much today. I will tell you, though, that we had the read-through for "Something to Hide" and it looks like it'll be a lot of fun. The bad news, you ask? Well, I kiss two women in this play who I don't particularly want to kiss... because the woman I don't kiss, the maid, is abso-fucking-lutely beautiful. She's also so young (19-21), I stop myself from even thinking about kissing her.

Oh well.

Gotta go find my Kleenex.

Talk to you later.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Three nights...

Newport Theater Arts Center. Three nights.

First night. It was late November, 2001, and Sherryl was appearing in "Not Now, Darling" at the Newport Theater Arts Center. She'd invited me to the final dress rehearsal, to see the show without paying. I could bring a guest, she said. Who did I choose? Rosa. Rosa, because I didn't want her to think it was anything special. Rosa, because I wanted to be with her but couldn't tell her that. Rosa, because a free play was all she was after what she'd put me through.

Back then, I felt about Rosa the way you feel about a broken down car. You hate it for breaking down and yet you desperately wish it would work. You want it back but you're afraid to put more money into it because you're afraid it won't pay off.

We sat in the plush chairs in a rather empty house. The emptiness of the house seemed to bring us closer together - not something I particularly wanted. So, I talked to the other people there, making conversation with them so I wouldn't have to with her.

We saw the show. We walked outside. Out there, in the cold, I had a spiteful cigarette and waited for Sherryl to come out to congratulate her, though Rosa was cold. Then, I drove her home. This was back when she'd allow me to go to her home, back when she'd want me to go to her home. She invited me in but I begged off. I knew what she wanted. She wanted the night to go on. She didn't want it to end. I did, too, but I was afraid of what would happen. I was afraid of how much she would hurt me. I was afraid of hurting her again.

Second night. Less than a month later. Early December 2001. DeAnna and I went to see Sherryl in "Not Now, Darling" on a Saturday night. Before the show, we had walked around the paths behind the theater that overlooked Newport Beach and I didn't smoke. I wouldn't smoke. Not around DeAnna!

It was the night of the "Full Court Press", named so because after dating for nearly a month we had yet to kiss once. That night, I decided, we would kiss. I had to - I had to see some sign that she would rescue me from this aching loneliness, this terrible pain that had only one name: Rosa. If we kissed, I would know that she would save me from Rosa, from hurting Rosa or her hurting me. Anything other than that! And so we walked those paths and I tried to get my arms around her but she was too elusive.

After the show, we didn't wait for Sherryl to come out. DeAnna wanted to go get a drink and, I figured, the closer to drunk I get her the better. (Tim has speculated that I got out of there because I'd once been intimate with Sherryl, but I assure you this isn't the case.) We drove to Laguna Beach while, on the radio, commercials played for romantic Christmases. DeAnna said, "Fucking Christmas." Thoughts like these made me think a relationship with a Catholic would work.

We got our drink at a walk-up bar, the type that makes you think some mysterious stranger would be giving you a message on a matchbook. DeAnna liked that idea but, try as I might, I could find no matchbooks. Then, I drove her home. We sat in my Saturn behind her apartment. As I tried moving closer, she smeared my windshield. "Your windows are dirty," she said. Shortly after that, she was gone. I sat in my car, angry at myself and my failure. Then, I heard her call my name in the night but I was sure I was hallucinating it... so I drove home.

Third night. Last night. I went to the Newport Theater Arts Center last night because a director had asked me to come and audition for the male lead in the play "Something to Hide". Did I want to act? No. Not really. I've grown very tired of acting in the last few months. It burns my soul that I should do this alone - what's the point, after all? But, then, how often do directors ask you in person? So, I went.

I pulled up behind the theater early and, stepping out of my Honda Civic, walked the paths behind the theater. I took out a cigarette and lit it, seeing Rosa, seeing DeAnna. Both were there. Ghosts of mistakes. Ghosts of loves lost. Ghosts of pain. Yet, more than ghosts. I could smell Rosa's intoxicating scent, even over the cigarette smoke. She always wore the most heavenly fragrances. I could feel the longing for DeAnna, the perfection in her eyes. My last best chance for happiness here on earth. All of it. Gone.

And again, I felt loneliness. It's not intangible. You can feel it like a lead suit. Cold. Unforgiving. Immovable.

I put out my second cigarette and went inside, sure that I didn't want to do this.

There were three people standing in the hall, two man talking to each other and a woman. I didn't want to disturb the men so I asked the woman, "Excuse me, I'm looking for Teri..." I didn't get a chance to finish because 1) she recognized me and 2) it was Teri. Teri, the director, is an attractive woman in her late-forties (I'm guessing) who doesn't realize she looks like someone in an early 70's sitcom. I can see her visiting Mary Tyler Moore's apartment with Rhoda - I sweah to Gwad!

We were reading two scenes. The lead actress was there as was another actor auditioning. He was young, tall, handsome, thin - I hated him. He read first while I stood out in the hall. When my turn came up, I hadn't a clue as to how to do the scene. I couldn't wrap my mind around it. On top of that, I was supposed to be British and for the life of me I couldn't wrap my lips around this British accent - an accent I've been doing for over 20 years! Finishing, I looked at Teri. Teri looked at me. She clucked her tongue. "Okay..." she said in a slow, reserved, "How the hell do I get rid of him" fashion. "Well, go outside and get ready for the next scene."

I went out, told Josh, the other actor, to go in. Why go again, I wondered. I was sucking. I should leave. I'd made my wrong choice here - let's not give Teri the opportunity for just the same kind of mistake tonight!!

But then, as I listened to Josh, I noticed something. For all his looks, and height, and youth, and lack of fat... he was missing something: a British accent. He sounded Norwegian! And this second scene was one in which I'd have to be bitter and cruel and spiteful and just plain mean. In the mood I was in?! Hell, I thought, they could blindfold me and I could still pull it off!

Josh walked outside with a puzzled look on his face. I walked in and said, "Let's go."

And I got the part. Now, I have about six weeks of rehearsing in this tomb, in this graveyard, where the ghosts of loves both great and tragic reside. But then, the reside everywhere, don't they? Can I go anywhere without seeing Rosa on every corner, on every street? And though DeAnna is fading away with age, the are still places where she strides very solidly, even in ghost form.

So, then: March 26-April 25, Newport Theater Arts Center presents "Something to Hide", starring (among others) Me.

Hope you see it.

I'll show you the paths out back. We can have a smoke.

Monday, February 09, 2004

I had a cigarette this morning...

I woke up shaking, which is hard to do in my bed. My bed is like a large, firm marshmallow and when you lie in it you are covered in chocolate sauce. (With analogies like that, is it any wonder I'm fat?) I was still tired and started to sink back to sleep but, as my dream seemed to force its was to the fore once again, I knew that the last thing I wanted to do was go back to sleep.

I threw on some clothes, stepped outside, and lit a cigarette.

I wouldn't write this one down in the dream journal. I didn't want to jot down every detail. I kinda wished I'd forget it. But I was still half-asleep then and thought about it.

Rosa had allowed me to move back in again. Allowed. I use that word because there was no love there. Maybe I'd lost my home or my job or both - she wasn't doing it to be with me. I packed everything carefully in my truck (in the dream, I had a truck with a camper shell) and headed over. The house was not the same one where I'd lived with Rosa for five years and that fact scraped along my skull like a rusty tack. In dream and waking hours, that truth is inescapable. She found me a room and left me there alone. For some reason, I'd moved in at night and I didn't sleep my first night there. Strangers wandered in and out of the house. Huge, paper signs pointed out Rosa's room and pointed upstairs to Michael's room. The baby was hidden from me. Also gone was Chloe, my puppy, who Rosa has very effectively stolen from my life and who I don't mention I miss nearly as much as I actually do. In the front door, Rosa's keys hung carelessly. When morning broke, I asked Rosa if she could give me a few feet in the garage to store my things. She figured she could but only begrudgingly.

And I woke up shaking.

I analyzed her emotions through the cigarette. It wasn't love. It was never love. This drove an epiphanous, iron spike through my heart.

When I think of Rosa, I feel love.

I think when Rosa thinks of me, she feels shame.

I shouldn't have been surprised to awake as I did. I'd also gotten out of bed at one this morning from a dream I cannot recall, wishing it was time to get up. I'd gone to bed after a long Sunday spent cleaning. In the midst of that cleaning, I'd realized a few things.

The first thing was that I had never meant to live there as long as I have. It was supposed to be temporary. You know, until Rosa saw the error of her ways, that kind of thing. Guess I showed her, huh? For a long time, I'd thought of it as a prison cell. Then, only a few months ago, I'd become comfortable in it. Soon, I'll need to look for a house (condo/townhouse) and stop paying rent. Get the fuck out. Rosa will never see the error of her ways and she'll never take me back. I'll never have her in my life again.

Kinda makes you wish you could stop breathing.

The other thing I realized came as the result of an email I'd been sent by a director. I was being asked to audition for the lead role in "Something to Hide" in Newport Beach. Another play. Yet another play. Another in a series stretching back to the end of my life, stretching back to when I'd lost Rosa. One after another after another - that's what my life had become about. Keeping busy. Keeping productive. I remembered entire weekends with Rosa when we'd do nothing but cuddle and I wouldn't need to be productive because I had love. Now, I have nothing.

I'd just finished a play. "Do Hoosier's Go to Heaven?" Sure, it was just a staged reading but still, one more performance. It went exactly okay. It was 2.5 out of 5 stars. It was graded a "C". Nothing to write home about but nobody walked out in the middle.

It was the first time I'd refused to follow direction since returning to theater. The idiot director had us stomping our feet as we said our dialogue... the stomping was supposed to be in time. We looked like preschoolers. I told her that it looked silly and amateurish. She said, "That's because you're throwing them off." So, I told the others to stomp without me - and it sounded about as synchronized as falling hail. (After two rehearsals, what do you expect?) I told her I wouldn't do it. She said, "It's nice to see someone so optimistic." This is when I kind of lost it. "No. I'm being realistic. I want Eric's play to look good, not like something out of grade school. You should appreciate that." In the end, the director said, "No stomping." Was it because I was a prick? Maybe, but Eric's play sounded less goofy as a result, so I was pleased.

One of the actor's, Tony, is in an improv group through Ask Kevin Productions and wants me to audition for it. Personally, I hate improv. To do improv well, you have to be willing to make a complete fool of yourself. Unfortunately, I have a mental block when it comes to making a complete fool of myself. Actually, I'd rather not. I tend to avoid those situations. (Okay, except when it comes to Rosa.) Hopefully, he'll forget about me and forget he'd asked.

He was impressed by my performance; that's why he asked. He thought I played a drug-addict drunk rather well. It wasn't hard. Going method, I'd gotten nice and drunk Friday night so that I'd suffer from a hangover the next morning. Then, I didn't eat before the performance. When it came time to perform, I was shaky, slack, and slurring.

And to make sure I had cotton-mouth during the show, I had a cigarette before we went on.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Oh, and about Janet's breast...

Okay, I know. It's old news now, right?

Well, I've been waiting until just the right article came out that reflected my own view. (That view was just to the left of the TV... with TiVo!)

So, here you go: the last word about Janet's, er, attribute:

Q. Do you seriously mean to tell me this country's entire radio, television and print media worlds went on a three day saturation bender of self-righteousness simply because we got to see Janet Jackson's boob for a split-second in a long shot during the Super Bowl halftime show?
A. Well, to be fair to the press, not much else was happening this week; just a couple or seven primaries in not so important states and an admission by the President's chief arms uncoverer that there are no arms to uncover -- and the reasons we were forced to preemptively kill, I'm sorry, liberate, thousands of Iraqis never really existed. Oh yeah, and some suicide bombers. But we've gotten used to them by now.
Yes, this is the headline...

Surgeons operate on baby with two heads.


Normally, they use scalpels...
The News from Spain...

On my way into work this morning, I was listening to an old song. I say it was an old song, not just because it was recorded in 1972 (and it hurts to admit that's old), because it was a song from early on in my relationship with Rosa.

When Rosa and I first dated, she broke up with me often.

She broke up with me weekly.

Sometimes more.

During one of those times, I heard a song by Al Stewart and dubbed it as our breakup song. In 1993, when Rosa left me, I made her a going-away tape, as usual I didn't think our splitting up was a great idea, which ended with this song.

The song is called "The News From Spain".

I have heard the news from Spain
Now you say you've many things yet to be learning
And you don't know if or when you'll be returning
It depends on how
Everything works out
If it can somehow
In Carvajal

And I have heard the news from Spain
Now you've found someone you don't have to be tied to
And he dried your eyes, and later he lay beside you
As the simple wine
Of the flow of time
Pulled us out of rhyme
In Carvajal

Into a taxi and down to the airport
In only the clothes I was standing in
A scribbled address, a toothbrush, a passport
The money we saved in the biscuit tin
Running afraid to a strange Spanish town
Searching the sands and the shoreline...

And I have heard the news from Spain
Now the Winter winds possess the Southern reaches
And the sea folds like a mantle on the beaches
And the crowds have gone
And I've left my song
To be killed alone
In Carvajal

Today, as I was listening to this song, I thought about how appropriate it remains. I mean, wasn't the point of Michael to find someone she didn't have to be tied to? And that little glint of hope she gave me last year all depended upon how things worked out.

And though Carvajal may not be a real place (is it? anybody?), how long have I been running afraid through these strange, Spanish towns, through winter winds, the crowds dispersed?

Some things just stay with you.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Rosa's Birthday...

Who guessed I was up late last night? (A shiny, new penny for you!)

Last night was rehearsal for this train wreck of a staged reading I'm in. My god! If this woman ever directed before, it must have been children. Blind children. Stillborn, blind children. Because those are the only people who wouldn't immediately look at her and ask, "What the fuck are you on?!"

She seems to think that this little one-act, family comedy is Fellini! Everything has to represent something! We aren't dressing as the characters but in all black! She has us standing and sitting at strange moments - because she thinks it symbolizes something! Here's one: she's asking one actress to pretend to be driving - because she's "supposed to be upwardly mobile". She's a fucking freak!

By 10:30 last night, I had to get out of there. I mean, I'm a big supporter of the old, "The director's in charge" rule, but this woman is an idiot! After a while, I could no longer hold my tongue. (The writer, Eric, is too nice to say anything directly and kept making suggestions, which she wasn't hearing!) So, I started challenging her - over and over - but it didn't take. I'd say, "Look, if the actors don't know what the hell's going on, the audience isn't going to, either." She'd reply, "Oh, but it represents the meaning behind the play. Don't you think so, Eric?" Eric would answer, "There really isn't a meaning behind the play." "Sure there is," she'd insist, shutting him up.

After I left, I went home. I had to sign the birthday card I'd bought earlier that night. Yes, I bought Rosa a birthday card. Maybe I shouldn't have, but it would feel unnatural not to. I can't explain it; I know it doesn't make sense in the face of Rosa's monumental apathy. (Rosa couldn't be more apathetic if she was dead.) But, oh well.

I went home, finished watching "The Thin Man" over a couple of cigs, and signed her card. I even included the two paw-prints, signifying Bandoo and Alacrity's signatures. It used to be three paw-prints for the two cats and our dog, Chloe. But, of course, Rosa wouldn't allow Chloe in my life any more than her, so there went that paw-print.

By the time I drove to her house, at 1am, I was exhausted. I've been more tired lately; I think it's the depression. Thankfully, there was no traffic that late/early... with not a sole on her street. I pulled up in front of her house, turned off my lights. Standing outside of her house, I was struck by how much the neighborhood felt like a graveyard. Maybe it was the hour. Maybe it was the similarity of the buildings, standing like tombstones - and how all the trees were leafless, dead.

I put the card in her mailbox. Will she read it? Who knows?

This was my house, where I'd spent five years of my life with the woman I loved, for all that was worth. Now, it felt sterile, as if the memories had been sandblasted away. It was a mausoleum in the midst of a huge graveyard, where pieces of my life were laid to rest.

But, like any good graveyard, there are always ghosts.

I drove away. Went home. And didn't get to sleep for quite some time.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

What to do about crappy food?...

I know I bitch and moan a lot about petty, little things like, oh, diseased food on this site. So, I thought I'd turn that positive into a negative.

There's a market that I'm a big fan of out here in California (and elsewhere)(yes, even Florida) that I completely endorse and sincerely recommend: Whole Foods.

Here's a link to their meat page, too, to give you some idea of how meat should be sent to market. Now, I don't eat meat regularly, as you know, but I know some of you do and I hope this information comes as some use.
Remember Mad Cow?...

You don't hear about it in the news too much any more but I found this article today: It seems that guy who found the heffer with mad cow says it's probably already been made into burgers and eaten.

With the beef industry completely self-regulated, are you dumb enough to think they'd do anything to hurt their business?

Gotta take better care of things, folks.
How dry I am...




Um, I'm dry.

When I say that I'm dry, what I mean is, "I got nothing. I'm out. Kan't think of a thing to write. Hell, I kan't even write can't!"

Oh, sure. I could mean that I haven't been drinking... which I haven't. This isn't intentional, I assure you. I've just been too darn busy these days. I mean, what with all the frettin' and missin' of Rosa, what's a guy to do?! Seriously, though, I've been spending a bit of time revving my engine, getting ready for the big push that's going to start any day now. I figure once I do this reading on Saturday, the rest will follow.

So, how is this reading going? I'm glad you asked. We had our first rehearsal last night. The "director" came in without a clue as to what she was doing and she didn't get better from there. She hadn't read the script, had less ideas that your general My Side, and kept treating us like we were her students. (After about an hour, she learned to stop that with me.) So, it looks like this thing is going to be more like a radio play than a stage play - no blocking, no props, and music stands to hold our scripts. SHAMEFUL! Well, I won't be putting my script on any music stand and I told her I will have props. It would be one thing if we were performing on the radio but, and this is important, we're not! So, I'm going to sneak in a (fake) joint - I'm playing a stoner dad, after all - and maybe something else. Maybe a beer, that'd be good!

And then, I won't be dry!

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

About a monologue...

As you know, the time for getting busy again has come. (Everybody be polite. Say "Hi".)

So... this just hit...

"Suffering from a broken heart is like (screaming) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa - (normal voice) oh, nice car - (screaming) aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

I know what that is. It's material for a monologue. I haven't even thought about it but I know what it's about: Life without Rosa.

Here's the question:

Should I do it?
"Whoops" says Shrub...

I suppose the Seattle Post-Intelligencer summed it up best today: Whoops Doesn't Work For Wars!

How long are we going to let Shrub off the hook with his parade of excuses?

(And it's not even a good parade! Plenty of elephants and clowns, sure...)
It all begins today... again...

For those of you who were wondering what would ever happen to me and when this hyper-extended break of mine would come to an end... so was I.

Okay. Here's the deal.

I start rehearsal tonight on a staged reading I'll be performing in this weekend. The play is a one-act comedy called "Do Hoosiers Go To Heaven?" It's just a little funny but I do get to say "fuck" several times. The evil side of me beats out the side with taste. Maybe I'll get to expose one nipple... and so I agreed to do this. I'll be rehearsing tonight and tomorrow. The performance will be Saturday.

How are things coming on that book, you ask? I just got word from Rich this morning and it looks like they're not. It seems that Rich is caught up in grading papers (he's a teacher, not a child molester!)(I said, he's a teacher!) and so he hasn't had the time to write. I'm hoping he's going chronologically, from when we met. How this is all going to work is beyond me but I get the feeling that I'll be adding stuff to his stuff and he'll add stuff to that... until we're done with Chapter One. (Rich, if you're reading, you don't have to start every chapter if you don't want.)

Next up, plays. I'm finally completing all the copies of last years plays for my actor folk. I'm sure more requests will come along in time - and if you want any, let me know. With that behind me, it's time for me to start working on writing something new. I'm thinking this will start with rewrites of Atheists and Everything Changes. I haven't touched Everything Changes in YEARS! But I still feel there's a good play in there... somewhere.

But I gotta get busy again so you'll be hearing about that soon enough.

In the meantime... why the hell did I leave my smokes at home?
Rosa's Birthday approaching...

I spent last night writing.

Actually, I spent a great deal of it smoking. I was with Keith, smoking, and then I was sitting alone, smoking, and then Tim called... so it's all his fault I was smoking.

What can I tell you? I started sleeping again once all my depression left my subconscious and wedged itself painfully in the front of my head! But I've been working on denial to help me through. You know, keeping busy. First of all, I finally have everything together for my bodily injury claim, going back to last May when I got whiplash. Annie, who is a lawyer, has offered to help me out.

I also did plenty of dishes and ironing last night.

But on to the writing. You see, someone who was a great inspiration to me died recently. It is believed that he took his own life. His name was Spalding Grey.

Spalding Grey grew up in a very different time from myself and under very different circumstances. I discovered him shortly before Rosa and I split up and bought his CD, A Slippery Slope, around the time I was driving north. The CD is a monologue about how Spalding Grey made this terrible mistake the ruined his marriage - which actually turned out to be a good thing. I guess, in a way, it gave me hope. It was Spalding Grey who inspired me to perform my monologues, such as "Is it a Sin to Lick a Burrito" and "Driving North", which led me back into theater, which led to me writing plays.

I owe him a debt, which cannot be paid.

Instead, I wrote to a friend of his who also has a Blog and who has been writing about Spalding, working through his disappearance and death cathartically, you might say. I wanted to share with someone who knew Spalding and who was hurting over his loss just how much this person meant to me.

I've found that helping ease someone else's pain often eases my own.

And is it a surprise I'm hurting again? Rosa's birthday is Thursday. She'll be 37. Another year without her light, without her heart. Another year of our youth, of our lives, squandered away, frittered, thrown out.

Last year, I was taking her to orchid shows. This year, she wants nothing to do with me. My only sin, so far as I can tell, has been loving her.

I want to send her a card but don't know if I should.

And so I sit around, smoke, a feel sad, trying to decide.


Monday, February 02, 2004

Evolution! Er, pardon me...

Leave it to people in Georgia to find the word "evolution" offensive. Can you imagine them covering children's ears now? They must have gouged out eyes at the sight of Janet's breast!

The state is going to try the apparently less offensive "biological changes over time" but these right-wing, uber-Christian assholes won't be happy with any word but "Creationism"!
Going into the fourth year...

Four years ago, Rosa was asking me/telling me to find someone else. And after a few months of this, nearly four years ago, I kissed someone else and lost Rosa.

For years now, I wake up every day (when I sleep), missing Rosa.

Every day is a struggle.

People tell me I'm strong because I'm still kicking but I just don't think I have much choice in the matter.

I just don't know how much more I can take. I feel like I'm at the end of my tether - of course, I've felt like this for years, haven't I? How long can a person live like that? It makes it very difficult to function.

I started sleeping again this weekend. For some reason, once my depression was firmly hooked into my waking mind, I was able to sleep. Then, I spent the days depressed, instead.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Yes. Another note about Rosa. What's it to ya?...

I woke up this morning, feeling very much like I have every morning for the last four years. I felt as though I'd lost her just yesterday and was amazed it had been four years and I was still alive.

Then, I realized that I wished I hadn't woken up.

The pain just doesn't let up.

But, yes, I did wake up this morning, which means I slept last night. It's a start.