31 December, 2003

Hoo-hah, I Whacked! Top of the Whack Stack, as of this moment...can't last, but it's still great, since I never got to put my initials on any of the vidcade games I won...Oh, guess I didn't win any, that must be why....

And the big question is, what the HELL am I doing still up?

Well, duh. Killing braincells surfing, and writing in spurts. Pfah, if the woman had any discipline, she might get somewhere someday. Tough to leave the keyboard, as the new space heater makes it more than tolerable out here in the glass room. Though the thermostat on the unit's remote reads a mere 66*F, it still beats the hell out of what the ambient temp would be otherwise.

This all black thing has something going for it...in the mall (that's right, bub, I said "in the mall". As in, I was there. I know, not my usual.) I saw this cute sweater (that's right, bub, the woman said "cute sweater") but it wasn't black, so I avoided buying it.

I did not, however, avoid buying (as Belle terms them) knickers.

On my list, but unimaginatively left on the shelf, until now.

News flash, boys and girls: An appliance is NOT a sexy gift. No matter how useful.

30 December, 2003

Sapphire Day

The clouds give a certain multi-hued flatness to the sky this morning. By the time Shiloh and I return home, the sun and wind have torn holes in the moisture-ladden blanket, and brilliant azure eyes peep through at me, gorgeous and smiling.

Today is the day that the Hans Brinker cast gathers for ice skating in upscale downtown Glen Burnie, at a very nice outdoor rink. I have resolved ahead of time that I will not skate, as yesterday saw me miserable, my every joint anticipating the early morning rain. When I wake, there is evidence on the ground of rainfall, and walking the dog is painful. I rent skates for the kids, and help them into them. They go out on the ice. My ankle says "no" but my heart yearns to participate, my body clamors to fly at high speed, though it's likely been fifteen years since I wore blades. I am not, by nature, a wallflower. The sky is now a mass of blue beauty, punctuated with handfulls of fluff. I watch a hawk hunt pigeons, who scatter unartfully.

And no one who knows me, not Carla, who said, Hawk will kill us, Jose who said, I'm not gonna talk you out of it, Mark (via Carla's cellphone, he's sick) who threatened to kick my ass, JB, on my cell phone about casting Watergate!, who said Guuuuurl!, or even Hawk himself (whenever he hears of it) will be the least bit surprised that I must put my complaining ankle on ice tonight.

Worth it, though, ohhhhhh, yeaaaahhhh.

29 December, 2003

My dear friend Wes
Sorry I see you less
Me and mine
Is doing fine
Bones heal
Tree's not real
Holidays low key
Okay by me
Walking good
Endurance should
Improve with time
Little work for mime
Kids are fighting
Keep busy writing
Watergate! begins
for shits and grins
Hawk's still driving
I'm surviving
Thanks for the thoughts
I really ought
to say Balloon guy blows
hope your business grows
Last bit for your ear:
have a Happy New Year!

Spur of the moment doggerel I made up in response to Wes Holly's one line inquiry as to how I'm doing, hope he appreciates the humor. Kind of a snappy summation of the month, though not even close to Mayfly brevity.

Twenty things I've never done, in no particular order:

Had a tattoo.
Been a bridesmaid.
Gone to Vegas (or anywhere) to gamble.
Had accupuncture.
Auditioned for a role.
Been arrested.
Answered a Personal.
Owned ferrets.
Ridden in a limosine.
Eaten sushi.
Gone bungee jumping.
Painted with oils.
Rolled a car.
Seen a Humphrey Bogart movie.
Shaved my head.
Ridden a motorcycle, solo.
Been in a bar fight.
Learned to juggle.
Danced naked in the rain.
Gotten plastered on New Year's Eve.

Who's surprised? And at what?

27 December, 2003


A book I finished recently had me yearning for my I-Ching paraphenalia, that for awhile I carried with me everywhere. I have yet to finish personalizing these tools.

I polish up the brass coins Barbara at Somewear Beyond minted for me a couple of years ago, and go through my pamphlets. Though I am midway through the rewriting process, replacing each oracle with a new one more geared for the Western ear, and I realize that I am half-and-half new and old, I did not know that I had no version at all, old or new, of Mountain.

No Mountain. No Mountain?

Metaphorically, that would explain a lot. Like the time I had to shop for Mimi supplies because I was out of Joy. Out of Joy. I have made it a point since then to always have at least a partially full bottle of Joy somewhere in my domain. I lacked in Mountain, stillness, contemplation. My Mountain went missing.

I rewrite the Mountain pamphlet, stunned that I should have lost track of it, since it contains some of my very favorite oracular readings. It takes most of the day.

Coins polished, I throw two related questions. How surprised am I that one comes up Brief Encounter and the other is Soul Mates? Not at all. The DaVincian principle of Sfumato at work once again. Neither being, incidentally, from the freshly crafted Mountain paper.

And nearly equal in silliness factor, for my horoscope at Free Will Astrology, Rob Breszny gives me this quote from Abraham Maslow: "The great lesson from the true mystics is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's neighbors, friends, and family, in one's back yard." True. A year late to be strictly informative, but true.

Life. You have to laugh. No one gets out alive; meanwhile, go for maximum amusement.

26 December, 2003

"Why do you like that guy so much?" he asks me.

"Dunno," I respond. "I guess I think he needs it."

Does this end up being about me, then? Is it all ego? Perhaps. But I would hate to think that I had it to give, and didn't, and somebody needed it, and didn't get it.

Because witholding is not my way. Omission will not be counted among my sins.

Though excess perhaps will be.

Checking out someone's blog at random again. What's a googlewhack?

24 December, 2003

One Foggy Christmas Eve

A beautiful fog wraps the world in cotton. Traffic is an endless shimmering chain of white lights and red, smearing color across the mist, and little else.

While I am in the chiropractic office, fog transforms to diamond rain. Lisa has scolded me for allowing my pride and competitiveness to interfere with my Inner Voice which knew better and told me to stop.

And what is it but pride and competetiveness when Luke sneers, "Do whatever you want; you'll never get it right," which makes me determined to rehearse a move that wasn't properly choreographed to begin with. In the end, of course, he was correct. I never did get it right.

Bruises prove only stubborness that I kept trying.

This week's lesson: when it's wrong, say No.

From Tuesday, 23 December

And Then He Kissed Me

"I'm only doing this because you're here," he said, looking at my husband, "and because I've been drinking." Then he grabbed the back of my head and Laid One On Me.

Right there in the bar.


22 December, 2003

Magic of Christmas

Santa Claus kneels on the carpeted floor, listens attentively to the little girl addressing him with serious eyes. All in green, my daughter answers carefully his questions as to her behavior. His voice is soft, gentle, reassuring, and sweetly familiar. I capture this moment with my eyes, she leaning against his red fur suit, he tenderly cupping her shoulder. A camera in my hands cannot frame this earnest exchange, as both of them have photograph radar, and turn to pose with nary even an interruption. It's past nine and Santa has arrived for the most brief of visits, many of the children having already gone home from this party where he is a welcome surprise guest. Santa exits quietly and without ceremony, having said farewell to each child. My daughter runs out the door and calls after him, "I love you, Santa!" Turning back, the deep voice answers, "I love you, too."

And tears spring to my eyes as the pieces of the Universe fall into place. I am created to love people, created to create people who love people.

He soon re-enters as himself. I do not tell this fight choeographer that I have hurt my shoulder, elbow, arm, toes and neck doing stage combat that I've neither the training nor the coordination to carry off properly. He'd shake his head at me and call me a stupid girl. Which I am.

We walk out of Tom and Mary Ann's lovely party together. He hugs me one-armed, and I tell him, "I love you." He pats me and says, "You take care."

Yes. Thanks.

21 December, 2003

Once again, I marvel at my good fortune. I sleep, embraced by the tender caretaking of people who have no reason to look after me but do anyway. I wake, and light hits my face. I open my eyes, and the sky greets me, unique, transient, perfect.

20 December, 2003

This morning, the rising sun turns the horizon into hot pink fire and the clouds above into lavander and periwinkle smoke. My eyes dazzle in the glaze of brilliant orange reflecting against windowpanes. I try to capture in words what I can't manage to look at long enough.

Queen chants, "Find....Me...Somebody...to Loooove, Find....Me....Somebody....to Loooove....can anybody find meeeeee.....(wails Freddie Mercury, bless you, wherever you are).... Somebody to Looooove?" Only everywhere, Freddie. Only everywhere.

The morning is filled with magic and crackle of frost upon the grass.
Can I at once be horrified at the excess and delighted by the display?

I can.

I love driving through the neighborhood at night at this time of year. I even love the ambivalence I feel about the whole thing.

Curious, that. Sfumatzo.

I think I've got my edge back, and it feels good.

19 December, 2003

Love being a verb, I have tried to make it a point to show-and-tell, because if I do not behave as though I love the people around me, and tell them about it, then the end result is as if I never loved them at all.

That's right, isn't it?

Most people seem okay with this. The exceptions are a puzzlement.

The opportunity presented to be loving with Lisa. I took it and relished it, worked on her shoulder, and showed her how to blog.
I think that Pat must be the Buddah. Arriving late to rehearsal, flustered, apologetic, in need of a shave and smelling of onions, he still manages to be serene and soothing. He touches my bare toes, surprised that they are warm. On my other side, Luke jangles, but claims nothing is bothering him. I curl up next to an already napping Hawk for a few brief hours after rehearsal. I know he is relieved to be leaving, which hurts. Now I seek distraction and comfort, and will find it wherever I look.

18 December, 2003

Scent of spicy soap, shampoo...lather foams in my fists, sliding over slick skin. Steam billows curtains of haze through the room. Ah, Heaven, a haven of hot water and fluffy fragranced bubbles. Step out dripping: no towel.


Ah, life and the weather must be dull; I am reduced to writing about my shower.

17 December, 2003

Mixed Bag

A day of challenges, and wonder, and fun, and irritation....in nearly equal proportions.The weather conspires to make me miserable, seeping again into my joints...and yet I persist in heading out to the Walters Art Museum for a field trip with the homeschooling group I've taken up with. Eternal Egypt is touring, and I am excited. We find rockstar parking, and though we are two hours longer than the two hours we pay for, have no parking ticket when we leave. As I walk in, a woman asks if I have a ticket for the exhibit, and finding that I don't, hands me one. Amazing. The Universe looks out for me again. A side trip with Lisa and company to Beadazzled, and I find pearls for my navel ring, and a tigerseye cube.

Home, in accident-provoking weather, to pick up a scruffy surprise package, whom the kids were overjoyed to see. Me, too, though he seems stressed and unfocused. To Mother's house to snuggle puppies, enduring a phonecall on the way chewing me out for not calling to say I'd be late, something could have happened, she was worried, etcetera. I'm getting damned tired of people chewing me out, and I'm ready to spit at the next one who does it.

Now the bank, then to Alaina's final dance class. She is incredibly flexible, and actually seems a little bit bored, perhaps the pace is too slow for her. Jose and CJ are delighted to see Hawk, though Jose is exhausted and CJ whinges, "I broke my ass!" for the umpteenth time. He, having not heard the story but second hand from me, is appropriately sympathetic.

Back home and Hawk feeds the quadrupeds as I phone for Chinese carryout; in short order we have dinner, intending to do some shopping all together as a family afterwards. I finish two of my four assignments from Steve while waiting for food. It becomes clear very shortly after dinner that taking the kids out is a losing proposition. Hawk goes, leaving me with the children, whom I banish to the basement out of sheer frustration. I hate the holidays. I'd rather have his company than gifts, but he needs to shop for the kids. I choke on powdered molars from grinding my teeth.

Check on my e-mail, mostly nonsense...three more offers to download the Paris Hilton sex video for free, one offer of penis enlargement, and a dating service. A note from my stepmom, an e-vite to my sister's birthday party/open house...and a letter from M, who has NEWS! Why he assumes I'd already know....well.

Nothing from Lit.org. I didn't expect, but I always hope. I know it's taking Crowe awhile to validate the slush pile, but sometimes when I leave comments for people, I get some back, even if it's on older stuff. John Libertus has been really regular in his posts. I should try to keep up, because it's not as though I'm not producing...on the other hand, it feels a bit like vanity, and I wonder at my motivation. Well.

But....M's news: He has just been made Chairman of the BPF! Amazing. I didn't even know he was interested.

From his letter:

I am very excited (and scared to death) and will do my best -- and I am
so glad I know you are there --

You are so very kind to me -- sometimes it makes my chest get all tight
(in a good way) when I read your kind and generous words. I will revel
in my sappiness...

Thanks again, Divine Cat -- for everything.

Wow. Nice stuff, that. And, funny, just when I needed it.

The accident-provoking weather provoked also the following:

From a stony smokestack, milky Chinese dragon emerges sinuous, writhes against the chalk-grey slate. Spit of snow, strike of sleet, spatter of cold rain, sputters, sporadic, stops. Afternoon sky kneads itself into cotton wadding over molten gold of sunset.
Pass the Whine and pour the Schmaltz
From my letter to Mark, who did (yaaaay!) get a job, at last.

Wasting time, wasting time....not to seem Scroogey, but do you think all the muss and fuss over the holidays is kind of, well, empty effort? My kids are all peevish because we don't have lights up in the yard. I'm peevish because I spent two hours putting lights on the tree. Actually, the lights are quite pretty, and to be fair, I didn't have to put the tree together. Hawk, on a rare afternoon home, did that. He's been gone so much this month, I think we've maybe had a total of 48 hours together. And I haven't done any (I mean ANY) shopping for the kids, how could I? Maybe tomorrow night. My mom planned to keep them overnight while I had a gig, but the gig tanked, and now I have the night off, sans pay, of course.

I had a disasterous time at WalMart. No, I am being overly dramatic, but I'm good at that. In the scheme of fiascos, it was rather minor, but here's the long story:

I took two disposable cameras in for one hour, double print, CD developing. I shopped, waiting for the prints, etc., choosing from WalMart assorted items such as milk and eggs and bath tissue and a tree-top angel. I opt to pay for these items and feed the children McDonalds food, then pick up the prints. It is six-fifteen when I go to pick up my photos. Plenty of time to pick up and pay, drop the milk and eggs at home, and get to FPCT, right? Sure.

They had mixed up some sweet old thing's prints with mine, showing some ceremony or other, and lots of ancient girlfriends. The second set was fine, but by the time the girl gave up searching, having determined that someone had picked up film and hadn't checked to see if it was right or not, it was ten of seven. Demoralized and near tears, I headed home, determined to use the time I'd have spent at the BPF meeting on writing.

I wanted those pictures so badly because I make calendars for gifts. And this year, I'm late, because with these injuries (although uncasted, I am far from healed) I am incredibly slow, plus I tire very easily (another reason I didn't look forward to a long walk from whatever distant desert I managed to park in to the theater). So I was counting on getting to Staples tomorrow afternoon, making good use of the time I would have been gigging. I probably overreacted, but it's like this: where ever I go, there I am. And overreacting is pretty standard behavior for me, especially this time of month. Wah for me, right? Get over it, woman. I hate being snarky.

Still, the story has a happy ending. I was helping the kids with schoolwork, and got a call: the woman who took my prints came back! So I packed the kids up for a return trip to WalMart, and got my photos. And the really nice bit was that because of the mixup, they gave to me free all the prints and etcetera, thirty or so dollars' worth, which I turned around and used to buy those damned lights for the fake tree.

Okay. I'm all whined out now.

I am curious to know what went on tonight. I would welcome Bob of Spots as BPF Chairman for a year, and I think he'd like to do it, too. But we shall see what was decided...if anything. If there wasn't a quorum, there wasn't an official meeting. I really DID want to go, if for nothing other than to pick up some scripts to read. Got to choose a show for the summer, and I haven't read ANY scripts. By this time last year, I'd plowed through about twenty. I didn't find Mike's wonderful script until late January, and laughed out loud at it, and brought it straight to Wayne (Shipley, executive director of the Arts Center, whose stamp of approval must be given to ANY theatrical venture), worrying about technical problems. I was so happy to have For The Return of Albion in our theater, though I think that Noel and company were unhappy to be there. The Center is not at all like Spots or FPCT or any of the other spaces the BPF encompasses. Whole other kettle of fish.

Congratulations on finishing Act I!!! So what do you do, open HALF a bottle of champagne? Don't worry about the title until the play's done, silly. You can't fully describe a half-finished work.

I DO think you're sappy, but not due to commercialized love-thy-neighbor crap. I think you are a sweet natured human who has maturity and insight enough to realize that even troubles are often blessings wrapped in brown paper. And I am honored to be thought of as a gift. The feeling is, of course, mutual.

16 December, 2003

I submit today to the screaming of the dryer, remembering the ear infections of years past. I sometimes think about cutting the stuff, donating it for cancer patients as I did a few years ago, but I've never let it grow until it stopped. "Hell, grow it to the floor, Cat," M. teased me. I have trouble resisting a challange. I wonder if his new job has started yet; must needle him for neglecting me. Well, what goes around comes around, I guess; there are people I've neglected. Oddly, the headache that walked in my door last night and made me miserable, wrapping my head in harsh tentacles, an unwelcome lover that held me through the restless night, releases and disappears as the scream machine is silenced.

I take it in my head to phone Hawk, and he doesn't get past "Hello" before I'm weepy. Stupid. Blame hormones or whatever. The kids hear me crying and come to comfort, but they're getting used to this. Jesus, it sucks needing what I can't have. He teases me and tells me silly stories and makes me laugh. "Feel better? A little?" he inquires. I think I shouldn't have called, but I do feel better for having heard his voice.

A phone call tells me that half of last night's rehersal is now moot; tomorrow's gig has cancelled. So much for Mrs. Santa.

15 December, 2003


Monday Monday, and I can't publish this until I edit and publish the other one (which will look weird because of all the quotation marks and apostrophes unless I edit it in this format).
I found that out the hard way. Anyway, today the therapist and writing CJ's script, if she'll send me the order of the scenes. Pulling up the character descriptions to look at, anyway. Finish cleaning the house, etcetera. Well, far too busy to bitch.

I drive to Lisa's house for a homeschool artgroup, watching the sky. It is lavender and grey, looking like the mountains in the distance. My phone rings. Joy! Hawk is calling to say he might be home this weekend, but don't tell the children yet. The sun shines in a sudden way, warming me outside, as I am warmed within.

Artgroup is good, and I meet Anita and Susan. Alaina takes to Susan instantly. I am not sure I like Anita, though she seems very nice. No reason not to, yet I reserve. Lisa enters, after working Vaughan's early shift, as he is out of town. We talk about a field trip, knitting, cooking. Lisa asks how I manage to feed the children. She hates to cook as much as I do. I tell her, canned soup, mac and cheese, that sort of thing. "I do that, but I feel guilty," she says. "I don’t have enough energy to feel guilty AND cook dinner," I quip. She laughs and keeps saying, "I can’t believe you’re here!" We've been planning for our children to spend time together since they were born, and here it is eight years later, and we're doing it…just as we always planned. The children took to one another immediately when they met on Thursday, and I can easily see them becoming fast friends. Yet another blessing garnered from my fall.

After artgroup, therapy. Chris is as wonderful as Pete, in a quiet gentle way. He is concerned about my swelling, and tries to disguise dismay that Pete set such an ambitious regimen of exercises for me. He asks if I ice. I truthfully tell him that I can’t be still long enough for ice. He asks about heat, and I ask if the shower counts. Yes. Let's do some today. Can you sit for ten minutes? The real answer is no, since within the first fourty five seconds I am leaning to drag my purse near, digging for my therapy putty, to work on my hand and wrist strength. If at all possible, I should try to heat ten minutes and have someone massage my ankle, towards the knee, to reduce the swelling, then do the stretches. There’s no one but me, I say. Chris turns to Garrett, sitting with his book, and asks, "Could you do this for your mom? It’s important to her recovery," as he works my ankle and calf. Garrett guesses so, without any visible sign of commitment. Sent home with a wimpier Theraband and a modified exercise schedule, we head out.

The children want to go shopping. We did for me most of Thursday, so my sense of fairness wrings a reluctant yes. We find parking just as the phone rings. Hawk's voice does not sound encouraging. My voice breaks on "Where are they sending you?" and the tears begin when I try to put a good spin on the answer of Municing, Michigan, saying, "At least it’s good money." I apologize for going to pieces. I tell him I will be too busy to see him this weekend anyway. I blame my emotional state on being premenstrual. Bless his heart, he buys none of it. Twenty years has taught him a thing or two, I guess.

I regain enough control to go inside the store. It has not started well, the store is crowded, and my mood is heavy, not at all prepared to smile at strangers, though I hate to be the stereotypic grouchy holiday shopper. I find an item or two of interest, and help the children with their choices. Alaina is nearly in meltdown mode by the time we exit the checkout. Entering the car, they recall my tears and I am forced to answer their questions while struggling against a fresh bout. Look out the window, kids, and see how beautiful: creature clouds swim about the sky, their bellies lit luminous neon pink and their backs brushed lavender blue. We, or perhaps only I, marvel at them all the way home.

Time for a nap before Garrett's dance class and Hans Brinker. It is dark now. We arrive late for class, having had a hasty meal of spaghetti in the car. Even twenty five minutes, though, did them good. They feel much better, as do I, when I head into the bosom of my new village and all the wonderful folk there. I get the kids settled in their separate spots, and ride with Tim for a coffee run. Jose reminds us when we return that we need to break down the set before going to the Double T with the cast, an Opening Night tradition that was postponed last week in deference to weather-related safety.

The show is being taped, and the kids, especially mine, ape to the camera, becoming even more porcine than usual. I shadow Kelly, the stage manager, as I will do her job tomorrow so she may see the show. I do what I can for strike afterwards, and head to the diner, bringing Tim in my car, along with Garrett, as Tim's wife Lisa has gone ahead with their boys, and Alaina insists on riding with the Peacos. She does not leave Angelica's side the rest of the evening, until the Peacos go home, and she is forced to return to me. Rhonda generously scoots down the bench seat, leaving room enough for me to sit on Jose's other side while we order food but no beer.

We pull up to our house, and it is nearly midnight. A familiar truck sits in front of the drive. Hawk is home. He carries his sleeping daughter to bed, and cuddles his son, telling them a story while tucking them in. He was in Georgia this morning. He has driven eighteen hours in order to be home overnight, "because you sounded so sad," he tells me. More tears, this time joy. He should have stopped for an eight hour break from ten hours driving at about the time he called this afternoon.

He is exhausted. We head upstairs to burrow into the waterbed, cozy and companionable. I massage his back with my good hand. "You’re poking at it with your tongue, aren’t you?" he accuses, referencing my missing tooth.
"How did you know?"
"I could tell by the sound of your silence."
Twenty years has taught him many things, apparently.


I wake reluctant to leave the cozy nest created by a sleeping husband, a waterbed, and a down comforter, though his tigerpurr snoring prohibits further sleep, as does a ten AM call time for a video shoot with the kids. We are a lot late leaving, though only a little late arriving. Having left Hawk with requests to put together the tree and make the guest bed, I am confident that I am prepared with the proper clothes, makeup, and snacks and activities for the children. Sam brings me coffee and arranges my hair as we swap men gripes. She thinks the story of the eighteen hour drive is the most romantic thing she's ever heard. I suppose it makes up for the day-to-day loneliness, these sporadic fairy-tale magnitude gestures. Or they ought to.

The shoot goes well, clean, and David Jones, the director (and our Murder Mystery co-actor) seems satisfied, takes us all out to lunch. We toast one another’s company, and Jose complains, "Aw, no, man, I was just gonna say, 'to beer!'"

I had promised Jason Brown to stop by the Center, where he has rehearsal, to work on music for Autobiography, though he'd sent a message saying that he'd got it, but if I still wanted to stop, he'd play it for me. I stop, and he plays. Brilliant, as usual.

Home for pre-show napping. A familiar truck is parked. He has gone to fetch the load and come back, four hours round trip. I get to spend fifteen minutes with him before heading out to get tonight's sitter…but instead of waking the children and taking them, I leave them sleeping awhile longer. He gives them dinner, and then the four of us, I, the two kids and the sitter, bid him goodbye, and go to the theater. I do better than I expected as stage manager, with just one fairly stupid looking bit that was only partly my fault.

Afterwards, I take the kids home and go back to the Center. I ride in Dan's car, along with Pat, to Spotlighter's, to see Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer, a very twisted but fun version of a classic holiday tale. A woman's face baffles me towards the end of the show. I know her face well. Her name in the program is unfamiliar. How do I know this woman? Finally, I decide to ask her about the Renaissance Festival. I do, and she seems confused. Realization begins to dawn on her, and as her face lights up and she squeals, "Chris is not going to believe this," I figure out who she is. She and her now-fiancee are two of my Most Favored Patrons. Her name is Michelle. His name is Chris. They have each participated in the Mimi Flambe show. Wow. I’ve had a relationship with this woman for probably ten years, and never spoken to her. We embrace enthusiastically, then she hurries off to find her parents, who are in the audience.

Dan is hungry, and Jose suggests a diner as opposed to the bar, citing interesting entrees so varied that "even Cybbie will find something to eat." Off we go, to the Paper Moon Diner, which is better than promised. Leaving, Jose sends Dan home to Towson, volunteering to drive Pat and me back to our cars at CAC to save Dan some drive time. Then it's a tour of Jose's old neighborhood, which is well lit for two-thirty AM. After some weirdness with a semi tanker empty, save of a stressed driver, we have traversed the salt-covered city streets back "home" again to the Center. I park my car at the top of my hill, instead of in front of the house, in case of weather.


Here I sit at four thirty in the morning, knowing I've a full day, bringing Tierra The Babysitter home again, cleaning house, show, strike, cast party, and rehearsal for a murder ahead of me, because I hold my breath along with the still quiet of the winter night, waiting for snow to begin to fall. And now that it has, how can I possibly sleep?

I did sleep, though, from six am until eight-thirty, at which point I change tenses and grab my shovel to scoop a path from doorstep to cardoor, all the way up the hill, where I've parked. The snow has switched to rain by this time, and not only is the snow heavy, but I am soggy and stiff-jointed most of the day. On the way, I shovel off the steps, walk and drive of my neighbors Ms. Leona, Mr. Howard and Mr. Howard’s Brother. I don't know which of them Ms. Leona is married to, but all three of them top eighty by a good bit.

Tierra is appreciative, as she's wearing white sneakers and has plans to shop with her friends at the mall. We drop her, drive to Muzzy’s (quick phone call, Mom, can we come over?) where we snuggle puppies who yip and lick and take tiny steps and are in every way just as adorable as two week old baby animals can be. Alaina is coaxed from the puppy box where she's taken up residence for a bite of lunch, and it's off to the theater for Garrett.

On the way home for housecleaning, I get a call from CJ, who is canceling rehearsal, ostensibly due to a possible freeze and the treachery of my hill, but I imagine her fractured tailbone is a factor as well. I still spend an hour rearranging furniture to accommodate a six foot white tree (if I'm going to have a fake tree, it may as well look like a fake tree), sweeping and dusting, then back to the theater for the show, which is surprise, surprise, well attended, given the weather. My seat is way in the back, unfortunately, as I've been popping around trying to be useful and failing miserably.

Post- show strike, and Jose finds things for me to do that do not require much walking. After the cast party, his voice stops me. "Cyb."
"Yes, Jose?”"
He stands with his arm around Alicia, who literally saved the show with her enthusiastic and creative musical direction after the desertion of Paul, who hadn't done much anyway. She's more attractive and mature than a seventeen year old has any right to be.
"Rest, okay?"
And in those words, I hear what I hear every time my former partner tells me "Be careful," or "You have a good day, now." In three years, I have learned to speak Jose.

I don't plan on telling him, though.

12 December, 2003


Avoidance not being my usual modus operendi, I am struggling. But I owe it to myself, I think, to keep the promise I made to me, to work out what I think and how I feel before wrapping the wrong words around something.


11 December, 2003

Today the sky was the surface of the sea, as viewed from beneath.

It's hard to drive when the sky is so fascinating.

By the way, Lit.org is back, in case anyone cares. AND I got two new messages, one of them validating a gorgeous piece of work that the subject never appreciated.

This weekend looks overstuffed. I hope I survive.

10 December, 2003

Unreasonable Panic

Which implies that there may be such a thing as Reasonable Panic, which I will neither argue nor refute at this time.

I am here to whine, and yes, I WOULD like cheese with that.

I got a comment on something I posted to Lit.org (go ahead, try, maybe it will work now), and was gutshot suckerpunched when I got an error message of "this account has expired, please see accounts payable." WHAT????

No, no, don't take from me my newly found community (albeit virtual, remote, nearly fictional, and even at that, tiny) and my forum for new material, and a favored reading spot as well, no, not that! And I can't see my comment, only that Penelope posted it. Penelope, who is wise and literate and prolific and Canadian, if none of that contradicts.

Well, I will be patient (I can be, given the right frame of mind) and hope that it sorts itself out. In part, I hope so because I have an unfinished poem on my Lit.org blog, and I'd like the chance to recover it and make it into something, rather than have it lost in the netherworld of cyberspace.

In the meantime, I stumbled across a blog entitled this is not my beautiful house, which appeals to me on so many levels. Next, the requisite visit to Belle du Jour. And here I am.

Enter whining.

09 December, 2003

Belle du Jour

The sun is bright, my mood is chipper, I have more housework than I care to contemplate, and yet here I go, nosing around a very literate prostitute's blogspot. And from that site, this:

mardi, novembre 18
There are work knickers, and there are Boyfriend knickers, and never the twain shall meet.

Work knickers, I've learnt from experience, should be big. Not big white undies as such, but for some reason punters prefer metres of lace to bare flesh. Remember this picture of Liz Hurley that fuelled a thousand fantasies? Other pics from the same set show my favourite star-who-isn't-a-working-girl-but-should-be in far less clothing, but the black knickered, hold-up'ped Liz is the one that sticks. Call it the power of the tease. Call it the logic of the hourly rate: the more there is to take off, the better value they think they've had. Whatever. So work gets big lacy pants like these.

Boyfriend knickers on the other hand tend to be small. Thongs. Take it off with your teeth-type stuff. Sporty, functional, but cheek and lots of it. Covering less area than a swimsuit, not more. Gap is a favourite here.

Work knickers and boyfriend knickers don't even share geography - they occupy different drawers altogether.

There is, of course, the third, unspoken category, and that is Laundry Day knickers. These are usually of the solid cotton, 'sold in packs of three at M&S' variety. But shh, I wouldn't want to disappoint anyone.

// posted by belle @ 10:00 AM

Having neither work nor boyfriend, I wonder how to explain my lack of Laundry Day panties. Still, Hawk gets a kick out of bragging to his brothers-in-law about my undergarments. Apparantly, his sisters are way off the deep end into Granny Panties. Sheesh. Some women know NOTHING about men.

08 December, 2003

Gone Again

Arriving after we'd left for the theater Saturday evening, wrapping me in warmth and safety Saturday night and all day Sunday, he slept beside me, strangely quiet. Often I cannot drift off for his snoring, and must nudge him around until he stops, but not last night. But could I sleep, comforted as I was by those big arms and the rumble of his breath in my ear? After the initial restful three hours from eleven to one, I found I could not. Restless, I spent my time stroking his skin, tangling my fingers in his silky hair, curling up against his body in various curving lines. Perhaps he was relieved that Pogo barked and kept me out of bed and away from him for an hour or more, which I filled with a load of laundry, a list, a trip outside to the garbage can and a fresh poem. When he left me at five this morning, I huddled down mournful into the bed again, not venturing out until well past nine. It used to be four and a half hours was my total night's sleep, not the second half.

07 December, 2003

White Glory

The shooting for today is cancelled.

Instead, I grab a shovel, set to exercise my body, lungs and senses. Tiny flakes adorn my face until brusque wind pushes clouds away. Sun beams bold against the white, leaving sky a color there is no word to describe, so beautiful it hurt my eyes to see.

06 December, 2003

Saturday, Video Shoot

Still on target to shoot a video today, though it is snowing, snowing, snowing, and the world has once again become indescribably, unbearably, deliciously gorgeous.

I have survived eight months without this kind of glory. And stiff blue fingers as I type in the sunroom, the skylights blocked by pillows of white fluff, seems a small, yes, trivial price for such beauty.

This spring, I thought I'd written the best poetry I would ever write, driven by the winter's fabulous weather and my intense emotional reaction to it. I was wrong. This summer, I was changed in ways I never expected to be changed, and began writing more, better, deeper (perhaps). I experienced emotional upheaval as never before, and if it doesn't reflect back at me from the page, I will be dumbfounded. Though I may not be able to judge accurately until I have the distance of a year or more. Considering that the upheaval is ongoing, I wonder if I will get it.

It's very difficult to be objective about my work. I can say, "It's good," or "It's not as good as some of the other stuff," or I can say "It's garbage," and never know whether any of those statements are truth, opinion, or stem from my feelings about the subject.

Opening Night went well. A crowd of eighty or so turned out for Hans Brinker, despite, or perhaps because of, poor weather conditions. For a show set in frozen Holland, perhaps sleet turning to snow was appropriate. Garrett was his sunny sonny self, and the show, while imperfect from a perfectionistic directorial point of view, went off hitch-free.

My first physical therapy appointment also went well. I met Pete, who will confer with Chris, and they will conspire to care for me once a week, but it's up to me to do my own therapy at home with exercises designed to increase the strength, flexibility, and endurance of my injured areas. Once again, I am on my own, with minimal supervision.

When what I desparately crave is someone to watch over me, to take care of me, to love me and be there for me...of course, I'm transferring, and that's unreasonable. The Universe conspires to teach me independance, and I resist learning it.

No fault but mine, then.

04 December, 2003

The path of the journey of life is riddled with potholes and scenic nooks into which one may fall and be lost for moments, weeks, decades. It's not about the journey. It's not even about the detours. It's about the unexpected, the surprise.

At least, today it is. On my way here to post something else, I discover, through my semi-random, title-generated wanderings, the blog of a person with a zenmind. Very cool stuff, that. Was it a pothole or a scenic nook? Depends, I guess, on one's perspective. It's all about perspective, isn't it? No, it couldn't be. I just said it was all about surprises. Well, I'm of two minds about that, then. At least.

What I came here for was to post my most recent horoscope, from Rob Breszny's site as I found it strangely encouraging. Here it is.

I'm worried you'll suffer an attack of shyness or modesty this week. Instead of pushing to get exactly what you want, you might dream up lame excuses to explain to yourself why it's OK if you don't get exactly what you want. Or you may be satisfied too easily and retreat to your hiding place before fate has a chance to bestow the fullness of its unexpected blessings on you. Please fight off this trend, Cancerian. Give your inner wimp a dozen roses and send your inner warrior out to collect your just deserts.

I have lately been accused of pushiness and impatience, by someone I care for very deeply. I have been told that I "should" be satisfied with less, that I "shouldn't" be loud and flirtatious, that I need to learn this or that lesson, mostly having to do with restraint and self-denial. I spent many years in that hiding place, and it was dark and cold and lonely. I won't go back, but it hurts me to think that someone thinks I "should."

It's a relief, a comfort, to have an astrological refute.

02 December, 2003

Dental Work

On my drive to the office, the clouds are puffy and bright. In the center of my sightline is a massive formation, heavy, grey, riddled with holes through which the sun bleeds through in brilliant beams. It's the sort of sky Renaissance painters would use to indicate the presence of God. I go the wrong way by accident, likely divine, engineered so that I could view from just the right angle for just the right number of moments.

The oral surgeon is a sweetheart. He shoots first and talks long enough for me to get good and numb. Some of the members of the dental practice leave me alone so long that the Novacaine starts to wear off; evidently I process it quickly. He gets directly to work, talking me through the whole process, warning me of pressure. I can hear the tooth begin to splinter and fragment. His assistant holds a spanner, a tool designed to yank my lip out of the way of his work. On my other side, a rubber bite grip separates my teeth. Now the drill comes out. I imagine the sky. I try to distract myself with pranic breathing: six counts in, six counts out. The drill bleats inside my head, a screaming chainsaw of an instrument, singing the most miserable tune I know, changing pitch when blade meets bone again and again. Dr. Garden's fingers bore into my jawline, holding me tightly as he begins the pull. In my mind, I see round green and yellow bruises lined up like birds on a wire. I reach for the sky with my mind.

When they pause, asking if I hurt, feel pain, I spit the bite grip into my hand and mumble an explaination about my noise sensitivity. "Don't do vacuums. Don't do hairdryers." Dr. Garden chuckles, "You're in the wrong place, then." He is unhurried, but speedy. His touch is gentle but strong and secure. Kim, the assistant, is sympathetic, efficient and just dead on right there. "Terrible pressure, terrible noise," warns the doctor. A crack like breaking branch of sycamore resounds in my head and I feel a particle of something land in my lap. I am certain it is a shard of bloody tooth. This process repeats for the second half of the tooth...and then it's time to get the roots out. I retreat to the sky. In, two three four five six; out, two three four five six. I think of the sky, the sunset I shared Sunday with Adam as I drove him back to his apartment. I conjure in my mind gold and pink and purple, with glimmer shining through, golden rays of God.

Evenutually, it is over, and I leave the office with scrips for pain meds and antibiotics. By the time I reach my car, checking my twisted face in the rear view mirror, my jaw has already begun to ache.

Dr. Garden and Kim said I did well. I wonder what that means, doing well. I don't think I'm doing well right now.

29 November, 2003

Back again to Stephanie's house today, for our second annual cookie-baking party. Last night was Mother's house for Thanksgiving Redux, which was nice, with Kate and Larry from Across The Street, and I drank eggnog with brandy (well, SilkNog, actually) and a glass of wine, no wonder I did nothing but sleep after dinner.

Stephanie. What a wonderful, brave woman. She specializes in bringing home stray humans, damaged ones. Her newest are Walter and Morgan, both just out of jail, and recovering substance abusers. Morgan has been clean for a whole six days. Walter may be further along, but not by a lot, I think. Thanksgiving Day also included Alan, who has returned to the fold after a hiatus brought about by skipping his meds, falling into old habits, and a brief stay at the Big House. Jimmy Kraft may not have ever been inside the Big House, but that's luck more than anything. He was there for Thanksgiving. Dottie was there, and Tabitha, who works with Steph, Tab's boys Zach and Trey. All out gang, including Shane, Jessica, Seth, Kara, Garrett, Emily, Kayleigh, Hannah, Rachel, Christian, Alaina, and Jared. The adults: Stephanie, John, Theresa, Katie, Chris, Hawk, me, Joy (Walter's wife) and their baby, Pat (John's mother) and my mother and my sister.

Wow. Fourteen kids, seventeen adults and one baby. Thirty-two humans, who just kind of got absorbed into that cozy nest of a house, mostly mooshing into the kitchen, which is made for four or five at a time, but since people took turns, it wasn't always the same four or five. I even got to help, a little. At least I didn't end up feeling like deadweight, which I hate.

28 November, 2003

Thanksgiving! After composing and sending out my love-mail (and it's always a joy to see what comes back to me) I created a vegan version of everyone's favorite green bean casserole, which was very salty but otherwise edible. I also made a sachet for the cider, of cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice and-- this is new-- fresh grated nutmeg. And floated orange slices on the top of the warming brew. It got ignored until desert, when Katie remembered it, then it went pretty quickly.

I ate more than I should have, strayed from my no-milk diet (cream in the broccoli soup, sour cream and dill dip, and of course WHIPPED CREAM.) and had a wonderful snuggly time with my neices. My nephews ignored me and played football or video games, except for the oldest one (he's 22 now!) who talked about wrecking his last car, and how to find my house when he's going from the Patapsco Flea Market to Cycle World. My mother and sister came to my sister-in-law's house. My mother in law had three wonderful sisters before my husband, and these women have expanded into the large family that I always wanted.

Today will be quiet, and perhaps I get to spend some time writing today before the Thanksgiving Redux at Mother's house...she loves leftovers, and today will be cooking Thanksgiving in order to support that. Stephanie sent a container of turkey and stuffing home with us, which Hawk tore into before ten pm. Amazing. Which reminds me! Today, I must go to the grocery (which will be empty- everyone will be at Hechts or Macy's or WalMart or Ross or Target, because it's Black Friday and I will be alone seeking food instead of retail products) for apples. I am making an apple pie for tonight, and have been assigned apple pie for next year at Stephanie's already.

It got cold and rainy last night. My joints ache, all of them. I guess I was more active yesterday than I thought I was. Saturday, we may all be getting together again for Cookie Baking at Stephaine's, which I may or may not be up to. I'm trying to take this healing process slowly, but it's so very hard to pace myself.

26 November, 2003

It is time for my annual goopy Thanksgiving e-mail, which I mass-mail to those of my friends who don't mind, and customize and send individually to those who do. You know who you are. Under other circumstances, I would compose right here right now, as I am a right now sort of person, but it's cold, it's bedtime, and I had dental work today. Lovely stuff, that.

However. I have a husband home, who went out to bring back filled scrips for painkillers, which, by the way, have a "happy" ingredient, the Ultracet does, anyway, and in deference to familial harmony, I wish to be as happy as possible tomorrow and Friday, when, at my mother's insistance, we will have Thanksgiving Redux. May I just privately (hah!) say, I do not care for this holiday? I mean, in theory, yes. In actual practice, it's a helluva big assed deal, and I'd rather have Brunch, if ya know what I mean.

And the food. Oh, gods, the food. Could there be more opportunities for me to mess up my system? My inlaws, bless their adorable hearts and save their sweet souls, do not understand that vegetables are good even without sugar or chicken broth. Well, let me just earn my reputation for diva-hood with my annoying food sensitivities. I am a delicate person, and deserve to be taken care of properly, and I will see to that, despite familial pressures to the contrary.

Sunday, we have Tribal Brunch Thanksgiving scheduled, which will be wonderful. Scotty and Hawk can bond again, as Hawk will still be home, at least until afternoon. We have not heard yet from all the members, but any turnout of this group should prove to be warm and happy. As I wrote in the invitation, the Tribe is Family we chose for ourselves. Jose wanted to argue the point, but he's like that, and ended up not doing so after all.
And another interesting site, just plain funny, garnered from my regular forrays into "random browse" mode. The titles interest me, and they are often not backed up by any good text, but sometimes, sometimes, they are. This one has no substance, but is incredibly funny anyhow. The title is All The Good Blog Names Are Taken, which is a good start.

Another site I like purely for humor value which I found on Lit.org, is one devoted exclusively to bad puns. As if good ones were a possibility. And here it is.

Which reminds me. I posted a poem to Lit.org on Sunday and haven't heard back from the Powers That Be about its publication on the site. Usually the turnover is quite rapid..but wait, hasn't Crispain gotten married and had a baby? Or is that Bartleby? Oh, I can't keep up with these nearly-fictional folk. I am at least nearly certain that it is Spudley who maintains the Puns site.

It is again very cold, and I have work to do, for Steve, who is keeping me busy, partly to keep me employed, partly to keep my brain occupied, and partly because the other writer who was working on the project has disappeared in pursuit of a Master's Thesis or some such. A Worthy Cause, I suspect, but not one of mine. Today I will revise Monkeys and Parrots, continue work on Party Time (which I will rename, as that one is, in my opinion, dreadful) and do some character sketches/synopsies (is that a word? what IS the plural of synopsis?) so that Roy, the artist, can make Snigg, Sempi or Muppa always look like Snigg, Sempi or Muppa, rather than me reusing character names, and he reinvents character looks with each new storyboard. Good thinking, Steve.

Of course, Steve doesn't do any OTHER kind of thinking. My SuperGenius pal, he.

25 November, 2003

I've just found a very interesting site, runswithscissors, written by someone who is obviously well educated, artistic, and interested in daily journalling, both linguistically and imagistically; what I mean to say is, there are lots of photographs.

Speaking of photographs, there is a spot that I used to visit regularly until it was removed from the "check this out" corner of the Blogger homepage, called Shutterline. It's very chilly today, which makes writing out here on the sunroom especially cool after the sun has gone down. And yet, a few brief words about my day.

Lisa Dabbs, that genius of chiropractic, has made my day, evening, perhaps week, with her clever work. She imagines that I landed on the inside of my left arch, jamming the ligaments on the inside of the leg and tearing the ones on the outside. She worked on the right wrist and elbow, also, finding torn ligaments in the wrist as well. With her trusty tool the Activator, she moved things around in my ankle, giving me a full circle range of motion that I had not had five minutes prior. What a gal.

Tonight, I may be going to a viewing, accompanying CJ, as I do not know the departed very well. A teenager, killed in an auto accident, a very familiar and sad story. She was one of CJ's favorites, a sweet girl, very kindhearted and supportive. A pity. Jose knew her also, hope he's holding up okay. He has rehearsal tonight, maybe can make tomorrow's viewing if he wants to.

Otherwise, it's an evening home with my exercise putty and perhaps Queer Eye For the Straight Guy, which has moved to a new timeslot? or is just appearing on network TV? I'm not sure, but the show has created quite a buzz, and maybe I'll have a look. Garrett will be with Jose at rehearsal, and perhaps I'll invite him back to the house, though I don't have any beer.

19 November, 2003

MotionFest, Wounded

I owe Steven the story of The Dog and The Very Bad Day, which was Saturday, the 8th of November. Amazing that it is so far away already. I will write it soon (promise, Steve! Promise.) I also owe everyone a description of the wonderfully fabulous, fabulously beautiful, beautifully loving Humpty Dumpty Piano Bar Benefit. It's coming.

MotionFest takes priority right this moment. I started driving one day before Michael needed me to start picking people up from the airport. My first was Julie Goell, on Wednesday, who did not know who to expect. My second was also on Wednesday- the overtly adorable P McG, who had been waiting, though I did not know it. I was answering e-mail and got a call from Michael. "How soon can you be at the airport? P McG needs a ride. He's from Cirque du..." I interrupted. "StRagz's partner? I'll be there in twenty minutes. Maybe fifteen." I took Pat's cell number from Michael and packed the kids back in the car. They were happy to get out of napping.

Avner and his son Zev I pick up Thursday night, while Fluffy is at rehearsal. After dropping them off at the Best Western, I return to my own neighborhood to pick up Fluffy from the Pea's home. The Prince meets me there, dropping off Mr Pea, who needed extra rehearsal for Hans Brinker, having joined the cast late. The Prince very kindly follows me home, at my request, as Fuzzy has fallen asleep in the car, and I cannot, in my current condition, carry her from the car to the house, much less up the stairs. He does, even removing her coat and shoes, covering her (I imagine) tenderly with blankets. He is so wonderful to me, and I despair of ever adequately communicating to him how much he means to me.

Friday morning! I drive the children to SisterBoss's home, for my dear mother in law has agreed to keep them all day and most of Saturday, so that I can do MotionFest. They barely remember to kiss me goodbye.

When I arrive, I enter a womb of love, caring and understanding. Tomi Casciero is there, and we share a few special moments, as we always do. He's a special person, and we share a special lovebond. He seems as glad to see me as I am to see him. Later, he has very insightful words for me on the topic of accepting love.

I chat with Todd Strong. "She was mauled by a tiger," he says of my injuries. Soon, it is more than one tiger, and by Sunday evening, it is rival gangs of tigers who have damaged me.

I do not attend workshops. I order lunch for everyone, talk on the phone to Steven, return home for a nap and to let the dog out. Back to the site for dinner at Harborplace with Steph and P...I refuse to fall in love with this boy, but ah, he's good to look at. Steph and I, who have known each other for years without being particularly close, have much more in common than we used to. He's good company and looks after me without judgement. The show at Harborplace is well attended by MotionFest folk, and a few actual Harborplace patrons. Back to the venue, for a session on something I am not interested in. I am distracted by a rhythmic bumping. P is practicing in another room. I investigate. I watch him unobserved, for a few moments. The noise is generated by the bouncing of juggling orbs like lacrosse balls against the circular platform that was so troublesome to fit into my trunk when I picked him up. When P sees me, he invites me in. I am amazed and flattered. I see the same thirty or fourty five seconds of material over and over. He is meticulous.

Critique Sessions. They go well enough, and two particular friends of mine have offerings that are clearly in need of refinement. With any luck, the comments of the assembled will be constructive.

Saturday comes. I wish to take Avner's course, as I have heard the word "breathing" from several people who've already been, and think that something as primal as breathing couldn't hurt to explore, and might be just at my level, crippled as I still am. Todd calls out, "This woman was mauled by tigers. Won't someone carry her to Avner's class?" Keith volunteers. He is so sweet- he isn't even attending Avner's workshop. He blushes when I kiss him for a thank you.

Avner shows us many things, including personal comfort zones and how to retain tension by suspending breath. I partner with the delicious P for a handshake exercize, which, at his suggestion, we do left-handed, in deference to my cast. I invade his space and make him nervous. He enters mine with less assurance, and gets closer to me than he is comfortable with, but I evidently have accepted him into my posse, as he is mere inches from me and I still feel quite safe. He winks at me, flashing that fabulous smile, and I think he is pulling out a standard stunt, a fallback response, because he is disconcerted. What would he have to fear from me?

Avner analyzes our stances, and manages to collapse several large, seemingly well balanced, individuals, then encourages us to do the same. I partner with Sarahjah, daugher to Scott, former, future, current? MWA President. She worked the RenFest this year. I had a hand in that, letting Scott (and her) know about audition times and dates. She is charming.

Avner's enthusiasm is infectious and delightful. He keeps saying, "And next I'm going to show you something REALLY amazing!" I already see something really amazing, Avner. It's you.

Lunchtime: I end up with less time than I thought, and wind up at the hotel restaurant. I shouldn't have ordered the tuna sandwich, and wouldn't have, if I'd suspected the size of the salad. David Tyson joins me and we chat, until he notices the time, and wants to hurry upstairs for Tomi's tribute to Tony Montenaro. It's beautiful. Moni Yakim is there and is asked to say a few words about Tony, which he does. I decide, looking at him, that I wish to take his afternoon workshop. Stephanie Monseau, the gorgeous woman from Bindlestiff, chats with me afterwards about how MotionFest and all those involved in it seems such a love-based undertaking. She says it's not like that everywhere, with every instructor. I try to imagine, and it's unpleasant. We haven't shared much in the four years we've been nodding acquaintances, and I treasure these moments of shared insight and understanding.

Downstairs for Moni's workshop. I ride the elevator, as I have been doing each time I need to switch floors, stumping around with one crutch that I borrowed from CJ. Moni's workshop is amazing. We move in slow motion. We freeze. We spring into motion briefly, and freeze again. We make explosive movements, accompanied by vocalization. We work together in pairs and groups on an excercize called Imperceptible Engine, which is akin to an excercize I've done before, but this version goes way, way beyond, exponentially beyond, anything I've done before. It is amazing and I use muscles I have not used since October the 10th, when I fell off that twelve foot wall while performing. A short aside: everyone at MotionFest nods their understanding that I was injured while performing. It seems right, fitting, in this setting. How pitiful it would have been to have received these wounds crossing in front of a bus, or in a non-gig related car accident? No one, however, shares their performance injury stories with me. At the end of the workshop, I am soaked through with sweat, and by the way my muscles sing and zing, should be exhausted. I am not. I am exhilerated. I race home to prepare dinner for my family, who will be coming to the Public Show.

The Public Show! Avner is, in fact, amazing. Bob Berkey is hysterically funny. P McG is technically near perfect, and when he drops, covers with that adorable wink/smile combination that makes me wish he'd drop more often. Julie Goell is strangely cute or cutely strange, I can't decide. I participated in the Public Show by taking tickets and, earlier, by finding and helping to choose a clip of Tony Montenaro's performance in a previous show, which is introduced by Tomi Casciero, who plays Emcee tonight. Drew Richardson is a fabulously sweet example of the bungling clown genre, terrific both live and on film. He deserves international reknown, and I hope he gets it. The hair alone deserves recognition.

My children are cool for sticking around after hours, for the Critique Sessions, and I lean against my longtime friend, fellow stilter and fireater Chuck Flayhart, who (I mention to him) should be called "Chuck Sweetheart," which makes this happily married father of two blush. He has just had surgery and is sore from laughing at the public show. He sits beside me and I lean on his shoulder. I am worn out, but I wish to see Steven Lampredi's annual incarnation of Brain Surgery, Chris Davis's condensed dramatic rendition of Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum, and Stephon Walker has brought his dove, Clementine, to show us. She is a new addition to the Geek Show, as brought to us by Swami Yomahmi. Steph is very funny, and damn near perfect on his angles and his timing. Alaina and Garrett prowl the room as tigers, ready to maul. I think that's what they are, anyway. It's near midnight when we leave, and past that when we arrive home. I manage to wake Lainey, because the two casts prohibit carrying her.

Sunday comes, and with it, my eagerness and excitement for Moni Yakim's Intensive Workshop. Moni sees me in the morning, leads morning warmups, pats me and tells me how brave I am, how amazing it was to see me yesterday, "balancing on one leg, in all these intricate positions." He shakes his head and pats my cheek. It feels like a bennediction. I fall irrevocably in love with this man.

Moni's Intensive Workshop is very like the Non-Intensive, only moreso, and longer. I get to partner again with Patrick, this time for the Imperceptible Engine excercize, which I love, for some reason. Within the context of this exercize, he is not nervous. Perhaps he is used to me now. Afterwards, we go to lunch, finding Rock Star parking in the Whole Foods parking lot.

The event is winding down. Wrap Up and Horror Stories follow an afternoon workshop. I leave in the middle to make an airport run, taking three people from MotionFest to resume their lives. When I return, I tell the story of my fall, and let Michael wrap it up, as he used my accident as fodder for a sketch in the RenFest performer talent show. I get to hear his version, but he refuses to act it out for me. There are only fifteen seconds of tape, reputedly, which I still have yet to see.

As I am ready to leave, I am approached by Patty, who hugs me and shares a story of her spine injury. She has been a wonderful, gentle presence this whole weekend, and I am lucky to have met her. In fact, I am lucky to have met everyone here at MotionFest, even the ones I knew before. It had been an empowering experience, though I was less involved than in previous years. I felt enabled. No one said "don't do that." No one said "sit down." No one said "you should rest." Everyone instead said, "Can I help with that?" or "let me carry that for you," or "would you like me to bring you a chair?" I was encouraged to do what I could, by people who understand what it is to want to use the body to move, to be active, to express.

So I say to all of you who participated in MotionFest, as Patty said to me Sunday evening, "Namaste."

I honor the spirit of God within you.


15 November, 2003

Rob Breszny, week of 13 November:

Can you find a sensitive saint who'll cater to your desires for a whole day? Someone who is knowledgeable about what gives you pleasure, who would listen with supple curiosity to your stories, who would sing you songs and read you poems and describe to you in lyrical detail all your wonderful qualities? In other words, Cancerian, can you enlist the devotion of a love genius who would regard being of service to you as a holy privilege? The planets have rarely been better aligned for such a possibility. The entire universe is yearning to be more demonstrative in showing its love for you.

Your destiny is a gorgeous mystery, Cancerian. Your soul is awakening more every day. The secrets of life are ripening right in front of your eyes.

What a fabulous message. I am open to the possibilities.

14 November, 2003

Another weekend nearly upon me, no time as yet to recount the one prior. However. I am close to normal in my typing and will soon have regained full range and flexibility, which will go a long way towards my catching up. MotionFest, however, will have the opposite impact. Ah, but future fodder, future fodder, for when life is dull and uninteresting....not that I have had that problem lately. I'm sure I had it once...when? Ah. Last May, when it rained and rained and rained and rained. Before I cast View Thru Quarter Pane, before CJ's Memorial Day party, before my birthday, and Jose's.

10 November, 2003

The weekend was heelatious, and I am working on recovering. Cold like frozen snap beans crackles all the days and all the nights, a cruel laughter following the the sweet hot, eighty-plus degree kisses of last week. More about the weekend when I recover from it.

07 November, 2003

Days are turning crisp and cool, like a fresh apple, and though we've had quite a bit of rain, we've had also silky shimmer mists of fog rolling down to coat the colored trees in candy sweetness.
Thursday, Week Four

And how could it possibly be, in the face of a cold cruel world, where hundreds of thousands suffer daily, that I should enjoy such good fortune? Despite the desolation of my Tuesday, and the difficulty of my Wednesday, on Wednesday night, after stories, my children, bless their adorable, godswollen, lovefired hearts, covered me with my favorite blanket, the one inscribed with love messages from 1999's Once Upon A Mattress cast, put the dog in his room, kissed me, turned out the lights, and took themseles off to bed.

When Scotty arrived a bit early, how is it he did not make fun or even smile at helping me to fasten my bra? How is it I am lucky enough to have a friend I adore, who married a husband I adore, who is such good, quiet, friendly, funny company?

And my employer for a mere two years, who loves me with a passion and devotion that rightfully ought to be reserved for family, how do I find myself adorned with her care, given to me, given freely, by her puresouled nature? Lisa Dabbs, one of the most amazing humans it has been my priviledge to meet, to know, to share stories and wisdom, how stupifying that here am I grateful, GRATEFUL to be in need of her touch, simply in order to bask in the glow of her internal light.

Back again to Scotty, who made me feel as though I had done him great favors by paying for lunch at the Chinese buffet, when it was his sweetness that brought me there, where he filled my plate three times, who took me next door to buy thank you notes, knowing that it was important to me, helping me pick nice ones that expressed my feelings and my personality, how delightful to have in my life someone not married to me who expresses such tender care of my wishes.

Oh, but his wife, his wife, who allowed herself to be quoted, quoted for publication, as saying something about me that was almost- but not quite- completely out of character, which was this: "She is a wonderful, creative, artistic person and the best friend anyone could have. I will do anything I can to ease her suffering and worry." Ditto, Mrs. Crowe. Ditto.

Last week, it was Ruthie, who drove me around on Halloween Day to Wal-Mart and Dollar Stores to buy front-clasp bras and sundries, so cheerful and such a delight to be around, never allowing me or my children to feel burdensome.

Though I never cared for Barbara Streisand, I begin to understand the lyric, "people who need people/ are the luckiest people/ in the world.

Mmmm, Babs... you may be onto something, babe. You really may.

In many ways, this has been a wonderful learning experience. I will never be the same, in a GOOD way. I needed to learn balance in my life, not just when performing. Amazing how such a perfect dramatic physical metaphor should serve as the implement of my deconstruction.

05 November, 2003

Sage Advice?

Tips for StarPixie, a young performer who got harrassed over Halloween weekend by some teen boys who wanted to mess with the little girl mime. Oddly, in all her performances bellydancing, she never had a problem. She puts on gloves and makeup, boom, she's got trouble.

there are a bunch of things you can do to "make yourself bigger." (excuse my lack of caps; i was injured and type one-handed for awhile now)

first off, scot is right: the more you think of yourself as small and vulnerable, the more you will be.

second, never underestimate the power of a dirty look.

find your "safe" spots before getting really into a gig, so you know right off where to go, ie, the security station, the large friendly guy working the dunking booth, a police officer, another, larger, performer, the women's bathroom, etc.

go easy on the coy come hither stuff with those who are saturated by hormones or alcohol, or, god forbid, both. instead, square your shoulders, chest out, chin up, and meet their gaze straight on with a "no bullshit" message in your eyes. full professionalism.

build up your "personal bubble" to about two to two and a half feet. carry this with you at all times. it's fine to invite people in closer if you want to, but that's at your discretion, not theirs.

i have used my knees, applied with some force, as a method of self-defense. not often, and i'm not proud of having allowed the situation to deteriorate far enough that physicality became necessary, but it was effective.

refuse to play the game. let them have the hat, or the prop, or pick you up, whatever, because an angry struggling mime is amusing to bullies. a limp, annoyed one is just a burden. you will gain knowlege of when to use this tactic as you gain street experience. i once had a patron pick me up and carry me away at the ren fest. i just waited until he got tired of carrying me and put me down. then i gave him a dirty look, brushed myself off, and went about my business. i have lost a couple of props this way, but proportionately, very few, and never my favorite ones. standing patiently, unmoving, hand out, will often force the return of an item, also.

i hope this is helpful. good luck, sweetie!


Wednesday, Fourth

Wednesday, Week Four

A mist like opalescent luminous paint winds itself around the leaves and vines and trees and flowers that meander, brilliant and untamed, across the wild patch I term "yard".

Yesterday was Tuesday, and since my flying adventure, I've noticed I have trouble with Tuesdays. I woke sweating from a dream of abandonment this morning, delighted to find it was Wednesday. Wednesday generally means a trip to Rob Breszny's site for a look at my horoscope, but this morning it was less inspiring than usual. However, I found an article on the front page, about Harmonic Convergence, exquisitely fascinating.

A literary site I'm fond of, Lit.org, has been captivating me these last couple of days. Why is it when I'm down, I look for other people to offer help to them? I suppose I must have heard at one point that the best way to cheer yourself is to offer cheer to someone else.

Last night, Alaina asked for a story on the couch. I dozed off reading to her, and she woke me gently, telling me, "Go wan!" When I finished, she curled in my arms and went to sleep. The two of us were fast asleep on the couch when Garrett arrived home later. He got ready for bed, and I recited "Where The Wild Things Are" from memory rather than reading to him. He went upstairs to bed, concerned that he'd be lonely, but did not return. I spent most of the night on the couch with my girl tucked into the curve of my body. When my back hurt, I covered her and moved to the guest bed. I'd have taken her with me, but the broken arm and leg make carrying anything larger than a teacup impossible.

04 November, 2003

Week Four

Monday, start of Week Four

After several phone calls to arrange and rearrange, I am relaxed enough to don my swimsuit, yes, in November, for some sunbathing, a solar hairdryer after my awkward bath. Toasting in the rosy rays, I dream my hair has grown, Rapunzel-like, wrapping me round like a living blanket, snaring leaves and twigs and small birds. Fuzzy wakes me, fascinated by a black-tipped red-brown caterpillar that undulates along the walk. I encourage her to touch it with one finger. Eventually, conquering her girly, inexplicable fear of creepies and crawlies, she does so, delighted to find that it is, in fact, fuzzy, just as Mama promised.

I have managed to hook my bra together when The Prince walks in the front door, and scoot to the bedroom for a shirt. Not that he hasn't seen, but... he and Coco have arrived to take me to our Murder Mystery on the Eastern Shore, at Wye River. The interior of Coco's smokey, cluttered car rings with our shared laughter on the way down, and companionable silence on the way back. The Prince is quiet, pleasant company, less animated than usual, and Coco is very well, until we pass a John Deere harvesting soybeans from a field two miles prior to our venue. She becomes instantly allergy ridden, and is uncomfortable for the entirety of the show, poor thing.

The drive across the bridge is lovely, and I manage to not lose contact with Lewis, who has called from The Bay Weekly to interview me. He also interviews CJ, in a remote, relayed question-and-answer sort of way, as she is driving and doesn't want to hold the cell phone. Lewis promises to mail a copy of the issue in which the article appears, very kind, and I look forward to it.

Less satisfying is my conversation with Steven, who is after some scripts that I'm working on, and evidently did not get, or lost track of, the ones I had sent last week. Or (let's be fair) the ones I thought I sent last week. The outfit I'm working for as an independant contractor, Academic Edge, has a website that is far, far inferior to Steve's own, which surprises me, and does not, both at once. Steve's is probably the most beautiful website I've ever seen, appropriately so, as he is not only beautiful but a genius as well. And amazingly self-disciplined, which I admire but do not envy, somehow.

The Murder goes well. The guests are sparse but involved, quietly so. L feels he has not done a good job of managing the investigation, but I've never known him to admit to having done a good job on anything. Coco sneezes incessantly, The Prince seems distracted, and I alternate between hopping around and grumbling at being pushed. D is cheerful, as always, and S is feeling poorly. We're quite a motley group tonight, and nobody wants to drink or even eat together afterwards, very unusual. Most of us will return to this site on Saturday, for a different show.

Hawk is still home, and I savor another night beside him in the waterbed, though he inconsiderately insists on sleeping diagonally. A mixed blessing, that. I miss him in the morning when he leaves me, though I have the bed comfortably all to myself.

Mixed feelings. A lot like life.

02 November, 2003

Partially Mobile

Triumph! Standing on my good leg, I manoever the wheelchair to the sidewalk in front of the porch. Hopping barefoot down the two steps, I savor sunwarmed concrete under my sole. Scootch the chair along one legged, wiggle my way out the gate, a careful controlled downslope drift to the mailbox; I HAVE ARRIVED. Open the mailbox, caring little whether there be treasure or trash inside: faugh! it is Sunday. There is no mail.

Wheeling disconsolate back into the drive, I spot my overgrown, untended bed of blousy blooming mums, in pink and yellow and peach, autumn blossoms disguised in colors of springtime. I am cheered, as I was meant to be, look my fill, wheel round to face the sun and fall into a snooze. Catnap for me until the sun makes itself scarce and late persistant mosquitos come to feast on my naked foot.

Yesterday also beautiful, and I lie facedown in the grass outside my second home, the Chesapeake Arts Center. A filmmaker from California, here for the Film Fest, keeps me company, listening and talking with quiet intensity. Inside from time to time watching some of the offerings, including his own, Dream of the Lizard; outside again in the retreating sun, we spend a lovely four hours.

Time to leave for Murder Mystery. Coco and I have a wonderful time together in the car, playing games we invent as we go. Rehearsal is brief, but the trip from the parking lot to the restaurant has made me feel burdensome, inconvenient, unwieldy and frustrated. I am therefor cranky, so much so that the cast gives me a wide berth, which is actually not what I need. The Prince understands, and is amazingly obvious in his thoughtfulness, quite a departure, as he tends to be a practitioner of Stealth Kindness. We go for food, and Sid entertains me by steering the chair in a comically dangerous fashion.

When we finish, the Prince carries me, tossed like potatos over his shoulder, the short distance to his car. I suppose this place, one of his usual haunts, is accustomed to his outrageous antics, as no one seems to think this behavior unusual. Certainly it's preferable to returning to my wheeled cage.

We return to the Rod and Reel, and while I am putting on my makeup in the bathroom, the men clear a path for me in the crowded back storage space that is our safe room, setting up an area in which I can apply makeup to our ghosts. I am fortunate to work with such considerate people. The show goes well despite my feelings of inadequacy, and we revisit the bar where we'd had dinner. A young man named Montiego has not moved from the stool he occupied when Sherri introduced us more than four hours ago. Swearing that he is not hitting on me, he proceeds to flatter me shamelessly. I am charmed, though unconvinced. Still, he is amusing company, discussing cities, football, food and strip clubs with me in a fairly random fashion.

Two beers are not enough to put me to sleep, so I am a lucid passenger for Coco. We invent another game and tell each other stories. Arriving home, we find Hawk's car out front. He doesn't wake, though we are far from quiet in our entry. Three am finds me working my way up the stairs to sleep, for the first time in three weeks, beside my husband in our waterbed.

31 October, 2003

Autumn Delicious

Another crisp bright day. It is a peculiarity of this area that we have precious little in the way of spring, but a fine, fine autumn. Green trees are dipped in golden honey, rolled in red spices, baked brown by bright days, all at once. The air smells of earth and leaves and mountains and worms and air.

Red vines twine through quivering hedge, overgrown this summer into jungle madness, now a bright woodland bower, full of elvish sprites who paint the scenery at night.

30 October, 2003

Season's Cusp

Sunlight dapples patterns in the yards adjoining mine; through a chill glass wall I watch morning shadow retreat. Golden light gilds trees with giant brush. Northfacing window allows me not sunrise, but its effects. No crickets left alive to chirp me a good morning, the only birdsong harsh fastmoving voice of passing crows. Autumn has arrived, and with it, the anticipation of biting winter, breath visible, pinching rosy the exposed cherub cheeks of children. Autumn has arrived, and with it, the sad farewell to beachy heatdrenched days and heavy, scent-laden nights, alive with tiny creatures. Autumn has arrived. The world is now an apple, hard, crunchy, flavorful, dripping with juice. Dig hands and fingers, face and feet deep into delicious.

29 October, 2003

Names, Notions

When I went back to the orthopoedist, David joked with us and quizzed us on sports trivia. He was very entertaining, and knowledgeable about Ravens details, so the whole process was much more fun than it might have been. I did not like the loud buzzy thing that cut through the old cast, and found the ankle and foot to be incredibly sore. Hawk tenderly cleaned my leg, foot and toes with alcohol pads before David returned to recast me.He showed me my breaks on a model skeleton. It turns out that I have two broken bones in my leg, the fibula right at the ankle area, and the tibia, just above the heelbone, or talus. Also, I have broken my right radial head and something called a pisiform, which is in the wrist area, I guess. I checked out some impressive two-week old bruising along both sides and the bottom of my foot, making very clear to me why I haven't yet been able to take a step on my left foot.

Then we rode out, in the pouring rain, to the Ren Fest site. Hawk's notion was that I could blow bubbles from the gate, the way I wanted to do, but the rain was too fierce. He rolled me into the office to chat with Jules for a bit while he checked if he could bring home my Flambe trunk in the car. No. It was too big. Well. So home we went, but it was nice to get out, nice to visit, nice to commiserate with Jules about restrictions and interesting baths, from his hip surgery, which created a two foot incision. Wow. I thought I had troubles. Anyway, I told Jules I wanted closure, to get back on the wall and blow bubbles again, complete the cycle, even if it was the wrong wall. In his dry Minnesota way he replied, "Well, it doesn't have to be today." Which was absolutely right.

That's something I am learning: it doesn't have to be today.

27 October, 2003

Cleansing Shower

I slept last night with the window open, hearing sporatic patter of rainfall, periodic song of freshwashed birds, wondering if the rain had the power to rinse from me my excess of emotion. And here in the morning, it's safely grey, no need to make an effort to smile in the sunshine...which has been sorely lacking lately, probably a good portion of my problem.

My hero has returned, to fill my heart with joy, my home with laughter and my arms with his expansive thumping chest of comfort. He pours all his efforts into my care and keeping as he has for the last twenty years, helps me in ways he doesn't notice by knowing what I want before I ask, and since my injury has not once made That Face, when he sighs and rolls his eyes and says, "Yes, Dear."

Lucky woman, me.

26 October, 2003

Explaining Depression

It's impossible to impress on someone who has never experienced depression just what an awful, agonizing thing it is to feel ones self sliding, sliding backward into the pit, fighting and clawing every inch of the way, hoping to get enough sun, enough love, enough laughter or fun or something, anything, to check it, stop it, halt the slide, because once you fall into the pit, chances are pretty grim of a rapid escape or rescue.

And then there you are, at the bottom, crying, screaming, gibbering, and no one wants to come near the edge of the gorge to help you because they are frightened of the monster that's howling down there, frightened, and so am I; I'm frightened of the monster howling down there, even knowing the monster is me.

It's impossible for me to go anywhere on my own, and incredibly difficult to even get outside. When I do, it's to be rolled to a car, packed in like useless, outdated, scruffy luggage filled with clothing no one wants anymore, and driven to some other building. The process reverses, then repeats when it's time to put me back in my box, my cage, my trap. The trap I service and load with cream cheese bagels for the mini-mice who, through no fault of theirs, are trapped here with me, poor things.

Needed? A drive out to the site. A stroll, or even a roll, through the fallen burnished leaves. Assistance getting up to the wall, on the wall, check the direction of the breeze: help dipping the wand and wafting it around. There will be no patrons to ooh and ahh at my giant lovely bubbles, to applaud my return to my rightful post, but I will somehow, please, God, somehow, complete the cycle, bring closure to my Faire season in my own strange way. I need that, need it like breath, like life.

I am not living now. I endure. I am not enjoying this. I get no joy from it, and certainly am bringing none to anyone else. There's my task, then: figure how to bring joy despite my cramped and restless condition.

And I will. How? I don't know. But I will. I must.

24 October, 2003

Broken Inspiration

And is it within the realm of possibility that this happened so I have something new to write about? I like this, though I'm not about to send it to Poetry.Com.


cold porcelain against
my naked back
before warm fill
a chilly safety

no rubber duckie toy
but tools aplenty
a cup
a cloth
two plastic
garbage bags

arm and leg held up
lean backward awkward in the bath

inquisicat slinks in
wondering what
his stupid human is about

no soak of luxury
but clean
funny all the things
i never thought of

23 october 2003

21 October, 2003

Breaking Mimi

Mimi Takes a Break

I'm standing on the front gate wall at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival, blowing bubbles from this eight or ten foot elevation. Leaning over to redip my bubble wand, I stumble, lose my footing and start to go down, holding simultaneously in my mind the thoughts, 'I don't believe this is happening to me' and 'well, here we go.' I make a desperate grab for the wall on my headfirst way down, managing to turn myself right side up, leaving my left foot to take the brunt of the impact against the asphalt.

I raise my face from the pavement, thinking, 'I hope someone saw this and will come to my aid, because I am NOT calling out for help. And I don't think I can get up by myself.' Within moments, a PARF performer is at my side, reassuring me, telling me he's already called First Aid and that they are sending the cart around for me. He says they'll wrap me and splint me and ice me. It is just ten o'clock, and I wonder how quickly this can be done, as I have stage shows at ten thirty and noon. I have been on duty half an hour. When the First Aid team arrives, the performer has gone, replaced by a member of the Production staff, Nate, who holds my hand and hugs me when I start to shake. First Aid suggests an ambulance, and I shake my head, then quickly put my head between my knees to combat the blackness swimming across my vision. "If you pass out, we're required to send you to the hospital. You hit your head," First Aid warns. I hold my fingers apart a small distance, and wave away concern for my skull, for my head hit last of all, and I am more worried about my wrist and ankle. They offer oxygen, and I shrug, thinking, 'this will mess up my makeup.' Nate and the others lift me to my foot and help me into the cart. I want ice, elevation and compression for my ankle, but do not raise it outside the cart until well out of sight of the children streaming in for this School Day. I turn my face away, not wanted them to see Mimi in an oxygen mask. Aside from feeling stupid for falling, I feel guilty for being an inconvenience when everyone has so much to do.

At the First Aid station, we are met by my friend Brian, who says that he's got my stage spots covered. I ask for my shoes, cardigan, bag of stuff. He promises to see to it, hurrying off to get props from his car. They lie me down and get me out of my boot. It's bad. An ambulance is advised again; "this looks like a break," and he points to a certain lump on my leg. I ask them to remove the other boot for comparison. There is a matching bump on the other leg, but they still advise x-rays, and can't wrap the ankle when there's any doubt about breakage. They call Cliff, who's a doctor, for backup. Cliff is the performer who first helped me. Cliff also advises x-rays. I hesitate, then mention my uninsured status, which is not an uncommon state among full-time performers. An ambulance will simply be another expense, I fear. And there's no way I can drive myself. Within a few minutes, while icing my ankle and splinting it with a pillow, they have a driver for me, if I'll agree to go to the hospital. Alex helps me go to the bathroom, as it's not easy to struggle out of a unitard with a bum wing. She removes my costume, and wipes away the remnants of my white makeup after I've done my best with her jar of Vaseline.

My ride is here. I meet Lynn, who paints signs for the shire. It turns out that Lynn is going to stay with me the whole time, as my advocate. It turns out that the van, the lush, leather-lined van I'm riding in, belongs to Chuck, the owner. He has loaned it for my benefit. It turns out that the whole fair will be waiting for news of my condition. On the twelve mile ride to Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon, PA, I begin making calls to rearrange everything that I had planned past two-thirty. I do this some more from the hospital, where I have a surprisingly comfortable five hour visit. This cannot go under Workman's Compensation, as I am a private contractor. I sign a Hold Harmless agreement along with my contact with PARF, just as I do at every other Fair I work. I am listed as Self Pay, which I determine to not fret over right this minute. It is determined that I have three fractures: right elbow and wrist, and left ankle. I am slung, splinted and 'scripted, with the advice to get the scrip filled in PA; it may not be good across state lines. Lynn and I return to the site, where someone waits at "my" stage to load my things into the car that I manage to drive across the site with my right foot and left hand. It's Nate. Ginny, the Assistant Director, who is in charge of Independent Acts, checks up on me, gives me her cell phone number, hugs me, as does Dee, wife of Chuck, and Director of Operations. I thank her, ask her to convey my thanks to Chuck for the use of his van. "We'll see you next year," everyone promises. I express surprise to Ginny at this outpouring of kindness, since I'm just here on School Days, and this is only my third season. "You're one of our own now," she tells me. That's a very nice feeling.

15 October, 2003

Counting Blessings

here's the thing: i don't feel distressed at all! it's weird, but other than whining about not being able to finish out renfest, i have not FOR ONE MOMENT felt sorry for myself! it was as though this event were predetermined. I may have fallen, but I landed on a cushion of love.

in the first minutes after the event, the universe realigned itself with the sole intent of offering me love and support. i have been so well taken care of that i am amazed. yes, it's going to be hard not driving for three to six weeks, but people have been popping up from everywhere to do things for me.

the financial issues won't improve with worry, so i won't. scheduled activities i am taking one day at a time, seeing if i can find rides for the childrens' dance classes, wondering how to manage the class i teach on thursdays.

so here i am, broken but still good. and just stunned at the breadth and depth of love being show to me from all corners. i don't feel injured, somehow. i feel blessed.

12 October, 2003

Stupid Accident

Friday, 10 October

Stupid Accident

I messed up big time. Went to PA on Friday 10 October, and took a header off the 12- foot front gate wall while doing bubbles, at 10 AM.

I fractured my right elbow and left ankle, and sprained right shoulder through wrist, as I had made a desparate grab for the wall on my way down, which my chewed up palm can attest. Doing so may have saved my neck, literally, since the landing surface is unkind asphalt.

Mother and C drove up to get me, driving the car home for me, as I couldn't, and Hawk returned home from the road in time to be on kid duty and Welcome Wagon Committee, for Hilby and his two nine-year-old sidekicks. The house has been full of concerned family and friends, including BelovedJohn. I had to call out hurt at Maryland but wound up being part of the Cast Party show anyway.

08 October, 2003

Saturday. 27 September

Day 12 of Maryland Renaissance Festival, Romance Weekend

It seems packed, but it's only crowded by Market Stage, where the Singles games and message board are happening. The patrons are wonderful, the weather is hot and fine, and Martin stays up the entire time he's at the show, getting down at four-thirty to buy fish and chips. Oh, he breaks, and changes shirts, but never once untapes himself from his stilts. He is irritated because someone, another performer, has challenged his legitimacy, due to some "unRenaissance" details of his costuming and props. He wasn't wearing a badge, but had read his contract VERY carefully, and did not know he was supposed to.

He permits me to fuss over him, and feed him. He asks for very little. He ate eggs and a bagel this morning, saying that if he had a really good breakfast, he would be all right. One egg or two? Scrambled or fried? Toast or bagel? Butter or cream cheese? He considered each choice carefully. I give him an apple now, which he accepts.

He is so beautiful at rest, sitting peaceful and pensive. I cannot resist a few shots, wonder if I am catching on camera the expression I see before my eyes.

Ginny says I have the spirit of a 350 pound black woman. She demonstrates, mimicking me: "Come ovah heah, chile! Siddown, lemme git you some eggs. Yo' too skinny, c'mon have sumpin ta eat. You got sumpin on yo' face right there, lemme git that fo' you. Give you some love, got to c'mere an' let Mamma squeeze you all up!" I laugh, because it’s true. This woman’s name is Beulah. I have an icon.

After our stilt tour, Ginny asks me, Any highlights? No. There are none. Which is in itself very unusual. Once in awhile, it is work, I suppose. We spot Martin working in the streets. He is, to use his word, brilliant. Lurk is quite a character, and I am not the only one amazed.

When we finish at four-thirty, I scurry. Martin, who has streamlined everything for ease of travel, is finished his fish by the time Garrett and I are packed up. I know John will be joining the family later, and can't really worry about dinner, so I trust that Hawk, who is home, will find something to feed my friends, as I have a Murder Mystery to do.

After a quick shower, I head up to the Chesapeake Arts Center for a performance of a new show, An Award Winning Murder, which we rehearsed twice and should be fine on, but I am frantic and jittery and cannot calm down. The audience enjoys us, but CJ and I felt the whole cast was scattered and slightly off.

Afterwards, I go for one beer, and lean against Dan, who is kind and accommodates my need for touch. Food takes a long time coming, and I am weary and headed for home before it arrives. Fortunately, I had not ordered any. I look forward to an evening wrapped in big trucker arms, ensconced in the depths of a warm waterbed. I do not get it.

I haven't written anything since, I don't know, Wednedsday, I guess, so it isn't really a huge surprise that I get kept awake by a poem that won't go away. Combined with the jitters that I had so badly I was shaking, which haven't entirely disappated, I am exhausted and unable to sleep. I lie still, letting the poem soak in, figuring I'll write it down in the morning. Pogo, the elderly dog, barks, giving me an excuse to get up and write the poem down. She gives me so many excuses to get up all night that I don't really settle down until 5:30, waking again at 7:15 to prepare breakfast for a houseful.