Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'd say there was a running theme here, wouldn't you?

11/19. I dream that I wake up on Monday November 22nd, look at my alarm, and decide never to go into work again. I have no money in the bank and no other job to go to, but I also have no desire to enable the corporate assholes who pay my salary when they tell employees things like, “Be sure to decompress during the holidays, and spend quality time with your families and loved ones, because God knows when you drag your sorry ass back to the office, we are going to work you to death, divorce and despair.” Since I have no one to divorce, and am already half-dead and half-despairing, I unplug the alarm, say to no one in particular, “I say it’s spinach and I say the hell with it,” and go back to sleep, fully expecting someone from work to call me around 8 in the morning and ask me where the hell I am. But nobody does call. I sleep till noon, get up, write the opening scene of the Christmas one-act about suicide, have Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup for lunch, write the second scene, map out the rest of the play, and go to bed. I go online once to check e-mail, I keep my phone on silent; and still, no one from work has called or tried to contact me. I spend the next two days like this, getting up and writing, going out occasionally for food, doing as little as possible, eating as cheaply as possible, and writing, always writing. The Christmas play gets finished Wednesday morning; I title it Up On The Roof and walk it to my agent’s office at 40th Street. Then, because I’m only 8 blocks away, I head to the office, and end up standing at 48th and 7th, staring at the door, looking for people I know. There's an ache in my heart, the kind you get when you realize that what you thought was a two-way passion was just one-way and a mirror, when you realize you were the only one who actually cared. But I don't care. I don't care about the job. And if I don’t care about the job, then why do I care that they don’t miss me?

11/20. Since I saw Harry Potter 7.1 Saturday morning, I dream Saturday night of high school people I haven’t seen in years. In this dream, Sheila Tagrin wants me to help her with the high school graduation pageant she’s staging, so I agree to sing backup to her girl group, which consists of her, Vicki Gibson and Laura Yurkstas. The song we’re doing is a Glee-version of a Gladys Knight number (which makes me The Pips), with a whole other semi-rap interlude sung by twelve dancers, four male, eight female, on the gym floor. Problem is, none of the dancers know the words to the interlude; every time they try to do it, either they blow the words or the dance routine. “Look,” I say to Sheila, “let me sing the rap interlude while they’re dancing, I can cover for them and they can worry about getting the steps right.” She gives me a blank stare. “Why would you want to do that?” she asks. “I’m trying to help,” I say. “Why are you always trying to help other people?” My face gets hot. “Because I can,” I say. “No,” says Sheila, “because that’s how you feel good about yourself. Maybe some people don’t need help.” My face gets red hot. “Remind me to say that to you the next time you need help with a term paper.” Sheila’s face gets red. “I asked,” she says. “And some people don’t know how to ask,” I say, “but they need help anyway.” I point to the dancers. “Like them,” I say, and Sheila works her mouth into a knot before saying, “Okay. Fine. Do it. Do you know the words?” “I’ll get them from Karen,” I say, and go up to Karen Wolozin, who’s the dance captain. “Give me the words and I’ll cover for you,” I tell her. She looks at me like I’m nuts. “We don’t have the words; do you think we’d be blowing the words if we knew what they were?” “So who has the words?” “Ask Sherri.” Oh crap. “Sherri?” Karen gives me the hairy eyeball. “You see our problem?” she says, and I sure do. Sherri Rosen is to cute what citrus is to grapefruit; but as far as brains go, she is only eating with one chopstick. (And who was crazy about her when he was ten? Three guesses, and the first two don't count.) So I start looking for Sherri, but she’s not in the gym, she’s outside on the swings. Of course. She’s out on the swings with John Hickey giving her a push. I take one look at the two of them, say to myself, you know what? Get him to help you, honey. And walk back inside.