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.