$306.13 to be a person who still has Paper. $120 to hire two delightfully apathetic yet lovely and helpful hipsters and their Van to rescue all of your books, college papers, poems and pictures and scrapbooks, your Grandma’s mink coat and that nice crockpot your mom got you for Christmas from storage; $176.13 to ship these things to yourself across the country. (Give the years old video camera, camera camera, old flip phones and printer to Goodwill, because maybe some one still wants those things?) Shockingly not that pricey for clinging to a papery way of life that I refuse to let go away; least not in my lifetime.
My city’s different in small but detectable ways. Suddenly everybody’s riding these bikes everywhere and Williamsburg is officially hipster Times Square. At first I felt oddly betrayed. How dare it change in my absence and not tell me? Like its totally fine to make subtle changes and not just send me an email, give me a heads up so when I come back I don’t feel so left out? Then I remembered that I’m the one who left, and so this city can do whatever the crap it wants. Then I also remembered that the city is a city, not a person. Mostly it’s a strange sensation, for the first time ever: I do not live here anymore.
Ladies and gentlemen: Theodore, son of Emily Shooltz who pretty much made my career happen, and so he is the royal baby to me.
BACK IN BROOKLYN! This wise, stout sir is my ward for the next 4 days, thanks to my lovely friend Dana who is letting me stay in her big and beautiful and central aired and I want to live here now apartment, in exchange for letting this guy walk around on my stomach and stare deeply into my eyes until I Know Myself. Don’t mind if I do, Cat.
Last day at the O’Neill and I just….No.
Don’t feel like parting from its pace and whiskey and plays and introspection, but part I must, and like, ‘live my life.’
The month culminates in an epic evening of Alphabetical Live Band Karaoke, at which THESE two queens’ll be sangin some Shania Twain:
So just… stay tuned for news of the horror of that.
Sometimes I re-read something I wrote years ago and become really nostalgic for how I felt then, when I was really in love or feeling something really intense. I miss how I felt when I was writing it, even if it was conflicted or sad. I miss feeling something with such clarity and so deeply that I had to sit down and write about it. Now I feel other things, sure, but I miss knowing exactly what hurt, and I miss knowing exactly which scenes to write that would place my avatar in the necessary hypothetical situations and arguments and kisses that would reveal to me the truth of what I was thinking, and sort of exercise and then purge those thoughts. But most: I love remembering that the best writing comes from confusion and longing, and so it’s probably best that I never really, never fully really, get what I want; that I never fully understand anything.
David Auburn, Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning writer of Proof is also in residence here this month, and well, he’s just the best. Hilarious in a subtle and surprising way, a deep thinker, very kind. Yesterday he took an hour to answer all of our nerdy process and Proof related questions. Obviously, there were lots of questions about Proof, being that every undergraduate theater student, well, ever, has crossed paths with it. We’ve all read it, we’ve all seen it, we’ve all done scenes from it.
But he’s written tons of other plays since then, as well as had pretty solid directing and screenwriting careers. When asked how he felt about said Fame Play, and about a resurgence of regional productions of it this year, he said I’ve got a weird relationship with that play. It’s like looking at a really old picture of yourself and thinking, meh – I look okay I guess – why was I wearing that shirt ? It was one of those brilliant tiny moments when someone you idolize or see has having achieved the pinnacle of success becomes incredibly human. Of course it’s weird to have your entire career defined by one thing you wrote when you were younger. But it’s inspiring to see that 10 years later, he’s still gettin after it, which is a gift, as he aptly put, to still be doing the thing you did in college, for fun.