daily preciousness

Saturday, July 06, 2002

burn this

My body has ached since Monday. I think I slept for 12 full hours last night... And I still woke up tired. Like I always say, there's nothing like a few days of illness to make you appreciate a few years of wellness. (Okay, I don't always say that. But during dark times, it's essential to maintain a cheery outlook.)

But why did it have to happen this week? I'm leaving for New York tomorrow. It's only going to be my, like, second time there as an adult, where Seventh Avenue meets Broadway. I was hoping that I would be there as a healthy adult -- at least physically. (Can anyone be mentally well there? I don't know... that might be worth investigation....)

Right now I have a rattling, bad carborator-sounding hacking cough. Add to that a sore throat, dry eyes, a stopped up nose, and achy-breaky muscles.

(Right now I'm feeling better. Chemicals help. So does the restorative cup of hot chai with my cappuccino muffins. That chai felt great to my throat. I'm at my local coffee shop, the Uptowner cafe as I write these lines.)

Nicole LeCroix is talking to me. Her voice is rich, calm, intelligent and suave. Let's face it -- it's everything I wish my voice could be. Except I'm glad I'm not as girly as she is. Little Nicole, that little morning time tease, with her playful pauses and that obvious smile in her voice. She's the morning host on the public radio station who always teases me out of slumber. I wake up to her voice everyday and I mentally recite, mantra-style, the same old joke from AbFab: "LeCroix, sweety!"

At least I had a fabulous weekend leading up to my sickness. Friday night I saw a drama staged by George Washington University's unique little counter-cultural, anti-establishment theater group, aptly named "Generic." Oh, the very pinnacle of irony, you bad-ass Gen-Xers!

The play was called "Burn This." The title was taken from a line in a note that one of the characters left for another character. "This is real life, not opera, so stop being so tragic. Burn this [note]."

The play was well done. The actors did a great job, even though the script had a few rough spots. The staging was good -- there was a totally unexpected fight scene that nearly made me jump out of my seat. But the real treat wasn't actually the play. The best part of the evening was meeting Matthew, one of the actors.

I saw the play with my bud, Kevin. He had been anticipating the play for months, ever since his internet friend, Matt, told him about it. Seems that Kev and Matt had corresponded electronically since August of last year. They'd talked on the phone too. But they'd never actually met in person. There was a lot of pent-up emotional involvement between the two of them. I could sense it. Kevin seems to talk more when he's nervous. Matt obviously knew things about Kevin that I didn't yet know or understand. Kevin, safely insulated in his latinboy butchness -- that whole sporty Old Spice scent of detatched independence -- was decidedly tough to crack. But Matt had obviously gotten through. That much was already clear. The funny thing was that Matt had no idea who Kevin was in real life. He'd never spent time with him in real life.

Well, that was about to change the night of the performance. Kevin settled into the uncomfortable chairs of the black box theatre, housed in an old Episcopalean/Lutheran church just off Pennsylvania Avenue. The old church had been totally refitted as a performing arts building. The theatre was well-equipped and perfect for this kind of production. The lights went down and the show started. Before long, Matt made his entrance. Kevin's face lit up with a big smile of recognition.

Matt, a solidly built Matt Damon look-alike, wore chunky lesbian-chic glasses. They safely obscured his piercing green eyes. Growing up on a banana plantation in Honalulu (can you sing Day-O?), Matt has a confident, easy-going manner that readily translates to a high degree of stage presence.

If the play hadn't been so engrossing, I would've spent all my mental energy working out the staging of a relationship: Would Kevin and Matthew be suited for a collaborative effort? Would their performance be a romance or a farce? Well, after just a few lines, I could see that Matt's role as the comic relief in the show meant that if anything occurred between the him and Kevin, it would be a delightful -- if slightly comedic -- romance, indeed.

After the show, we found ourselves sitting on the edge of the Dupont Fountain. It was splash-and-gurgle free. The water was turned off; the only sound was the white noise of the city surrounding us.

We spoke of Hawaiian lays (leis?), city college campuses, the charms of the city. And we laughed. I snapped a few pictures of the boys, then decided to go eat. After botched attempts at finding a great italian place called Cafe Luna, we settled for the incorrect set of directions to an all-too-similarly named Luna Grill. The concierge at the Jurys Inn wasn't very much help to us. He obviously didn't know that there were two lunarly (or would that be "lunatic") named eating establishments in the Dupont area. So we ate at the poorer of the two. The food was still good, just not as nice as it might have been. Oh well, the avocado sandwich with bean sprouts was everything that I hoped and dreamed that it would be, so I was satisfied.

The warm glow of satiation surrounding me had highlights of theatricality, thanks to the drama geek stylings of Matt. Before long, Matt was trying to recruit Kevin for the Generic theater group. I agreed. Kevin has so much energy and flare that he was meant for the stage. He's got so much energy, he would do well to harness it artistically. Kevin admitted to an unnatural desire to do theatre games, like the ones on "Who's line is it, anyway?"

Sure, I felt a little left out when Matt didn't try to recruit me... but I was very brave and strong about it. Besides, I have my writing career to think of! (Ha ha. Good one, there, Jeffrey!)

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