Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion . . . . I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.
~ Kurt Vonnegut
2000: Back to Basics
TODAY on TV
Six Feet Under
STOP THE WORLD--I WANT TO GET OFF
17 May 2004
The tapestry of my world is unraveling and I dont know how to stop it.
Its all the "little things" that are going to push me over the edge.
I volunteered to bake a wedding cake for a celebration thats being held downtown tomorrow, in conjunction with the first official, legal wedding licenses to be issued in the state of Massachusetts. I said long ago that I would bake a wedding cake for Shelly and Ellen, but since they never had a reception this is in lieu of that.
I got all of my ingredients together yesterday and baked the first two layers. Then I went off to the university to review a show.
Since I stopped working and started getting enough sleep at night, I havent had any problem falling asleep during shows, like I did for the first couple of years I was a reviewer. Id had enough sleep the previous night and I didnt anticipate any problem.
Usually I have a companion along to poke me if I start to doze, but Walt had gone up to Tahoe, I asked a couple of people if they were interested in going with me, which they were not, and so I went alone.
Outside the theatre I met the mother of one of the actresses (I recognized her instantly because she looks like an older, shorter version of her daughter). I chatted with her a bit and we ended up sitting together.
The play was quite good. Funny, intelligent, honest--a morality play.
I dont do "deep."
Im very bad at "message" plays.
I also still have the cold I caught in Boise and struggled and struggled not to cough. There was never a real break in the play where I could cough, so I tried to pick spots where it wouldnt disrupt the actors too much. I also compulsively ate some altoids I had in my purse, hoping that would help calm the need to cough.
The combination of struggling with the cough, and the heavy message of the play, in a warm theatre, made me nod off. I realized as the show ended that Id slept through a bunch of it. An entire scene Id watched being rehearsed I didnt see at all in the performance. And there Id been sitting next to the mother of one of the actors, behind the artistic director for a theatre company in Sacramento, and in direct view of the director of this play.
So I am now faced with writing a review of a play I didnt understand and missed part of. I saw enough to know that it was an excellent production, but how I can stretch that to 750 words is going to be a miracle. Sometimes I get some help by finding reviews on the Internet, but there are no reviews of this play on the Internet. I'm totally on my own here.
This morning before I started on the review, I went to take the first (largest) cake layer out of the pan...and the damn thing fell apart!!!!! I now have to start from scratch again. And hope I do better the next time.
I sat down in my chair to think things over for a minute, and the chair broke. Again.
To calm myself down, I decided to install some software a friend of Olivias had given me. OK, its pirated, but he assured me it would work fine. I had all sorts of plans for how I planned to use it. It wont install.
At the same time I was playing one of the millionth on-line games of Scrabble with my friend Joan, who has been beating me handily for some time now. I just can't seem to get decent letters consistently throughout a game.
When I went to make the next cake, I saw I'd bought the wrong cake mix. Instead of needing water and oil, this one needed 3 eggs and 1/2 cup of butter for each mix (and one layer takes 2 mixes). I can't even buy the right cake mix.
It was just the straw that broke the camels back. I ended up sitting here in tears. I cant hold a job. I cant ride my bike. I cant stay awake through a show. I cant stay on a diet. I cant sit in a bloody chair. I cant bake a cake. I cant install software. I cant play Scrabble. I cant... I cant... I cant. It seemed like I could only focus on all the negatives in my life and I was having a real good pity party here when Olivia called to cheer me up.
After I talked with her, I realized at least a little bit about maybe why Im so emotional today. Tomorrow is the end of our "grief season." Tomorrow is the 8th anniversary of Davids death.
Its just a bad, bad day today. Im normally fairly optimistic, but today all the "cants" in my life are starting to weigh heavily on me.
(Oh yeah--the kitchen is also a mess again, with all of the cake baking going on.)