Monday, March 10, 2008

Strange Monday

Late last night, some happy news tapped ever so gently on the lid of my e-mail box - news I almost forgot by lunchtime Monday, so I will open with it and move on to my strange Monday.

The glad tidings came from the Shoestring Radio Theatre up in San Francisco, letting me know my first attempt at a radio play had been accepted and would be produced for their weekly show on KUSF , also to be heard on the Public Radio Satellite System and, naturally, their website. Keep one of the eyes on the back of your head on this space, gentle reader, and we will let you know when and where you may hear it.

The play, Do You Hear What I Hear?, was written in 2006 at the instigation of an old Conservatory chum who dove into radio. It's a barmy fantasy involving a gumshoe detective, a wee bit of madhyamika buddhism and more than a few jokes. Really, I am pleasantly surprised and delighted that Shoestring is going to perform it and put it on air. I was so excited, I sat up late at night reading the script again, and more than anything else what I enjoyed was a handful of two-dimensional stock characters contemplating the very fabric of their universe - something three-dimensional human beings rarely do.

Anyway, I slipped into bed elated, and spent the night being woken up by one nightmare after another. It was truly one of the worst nights of sleep I've had since I started sleeping again. Waking up and shaking off one terror, I would drift off again only to find some new horror cued up for me. It was a night of being pursued by disembodied dreads, walking in on suicides, rotting colors, music that ached, and finally - around five in the morning, thank you - dreaming of being shot in the head. Thanks ever so much, I'll go back to the insomnia if you don't mind.

Sleep deprived, I drove into South Central for work. (We're encouraged to call it "South Los Angeles" instead of South Central because changing the name of a problem is far cheaper than building things there or handing out kevlar to all the children. I call it South Central, never you mind, because everybody knows what I'm referring to when I write those two words together.)

At work I was nearly killed because some homicidal archivist decided to stack a 30-pound box of weighty matters on top of several boxes of donated clothing. I go searching for bank statements from 2005, and down it comes, nearly taking me down and leaving my creditors with no stone to suck; yet I survived this assassination attempt and soon found my day was only beginning.

Sallie Mae has drawn a line (a line you can view by opening a PDF attachment) that said, no more, you must resume paying your student loans, it is time to pay the price for getting a master's degree in a profession where you aren't wanted, pay up. Moreover, hand over your net income for the rest of March, dad. I wrote them an appeal to human sense, with proof of income and details of expenses; and if further appeals are required, they will include copies of sonograms and offers of my firstborn, or perhaps a shirt packed off to them with the memo "Please find enclosed, the shirt off my back (laundered)."

The lady bearing the spark of our passion phoned me at work to tell me her doctor was making concerned noises and directing her to the hospital, would I care to join her for a romantic evening in the labor triage unit? What could I say? When love calls... Spruced myself up, waved to the boss, and off I went to hold hands with my love as we listened to a John Cage composition entitled "Fetal Monitor" and wondered if this little ape running loose in her stomach was going to crawl out today.

Well, he didn't, and we were sent home relieved of much pain and fear. The pain, in my case, was over the welts Sarah dealt me when I remembered George Harrison and began to sing, "Here comes the son..." Rat-a-tat-tat, blows across the shoulders - who knew those cables reached so far?

As I finished writing this entry, the sleeping beauty partly awoke and called to me across our den of felinility. "Alg!"

"Yes, mistress of everything savory?"

"The rice bowl is under the piano! Okay?"

"Okay!"

And thus endeth a very strange day, dear friends. The question remaining is - do I slip under those covers tonight? Will I dream of rice bowls under pianos, or do the terrors lie in wait for me again?

Maybe I could just stay up and write another sentence or two?

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